The New Pornographers
Civic Theatre, 510 O’Keefe Ave.
(504) 272-0865, CivicNola.com
If ever a band didn’t sound like its name, it’s the Vancouver-based New Pornographers. There’s not a hint of sleaze in the la-la-la-flavored, carefully composed pop of A.C. Newman, Dan Bejar and Neko Case. The new album’s title, “Brill Bruisers,” is telling with its salute to the home of classic pop songwriting paired with a rowdier sensibility. And no one gets more mileage out of pulsing eighth notes, whether sung or played, which serve as a baseline for unpredictable melodic decisions.
UNO Lakefront Arena, 6801 Franklin Ave.
(504) 280-7171, UNO.Lakefront.ArenaNewOrleans.com
Folk-pop singer James Taylor hasn’t released an album of new material since 2002, but he has been playing a few new songs on his summer tour along with deep cuts from throughout his career. No matter what he sings, Taylor’s warm voice is still in fine shape though, and his easy way with a melody remains gently powerful and appealing.
Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St.
(504) 310-4999, HouseOfBlues.com
What does it say about Kurt Cobain’s compositions that jazz artists are drawn to Nirvana? The Bad Plus and Shamarr Allen have played jazz versions of Nirvana songs, and on Thursday Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra will do the same as part of their classic rock show. Mayfield has a feel for popular music, so it’s reasonable to expect smart, satisfying versions of material by Led Zeppelin and Queen as well.