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Bass is the place: Thundercat comes to New Orleans

The bassist and bandleader performs at Tipitina's Oct. 6



By the time Thundercat has you in his claws, it's too late — you already got got. Nom de plume (of smoke) of stoned-silly bass ace Stephen Bruner, the animated '80s reference is all the warning necessary for the redlining ridiculousness on his third album Drunk (Brainfeeder), a wacky, jingly ride that makes predecessors The Golden Age of Apocalypse and Apocalypse sound like sobriety tests (and mind, the latter features a straight-faced love song sung to Bruner's real-life Thundercat, Turbo Tron). With 23 tracks — more of which fall under two minutes (nine) than stumble over three (six) — Drunk spins its dials like roulette wheels but always ends up on the same low-end Slip 'N Slide, whether snoring, farting, meowing (yes, there's a "Tron Song Suite II") or shouting out Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, who actually appear in smooth overload on "Show You the Way," prefaced ("Tell 'em how you feel, Kenny") by Bruner's equally creamy falsetto. Other A-list guests include Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell Williams, Kamasi Washington and Kendrick Lamar — the latter returning Thundercat's multiple favors on To Pimp a Butterfly by turning Drunk on its axis at midpoint "Walk on By": "Nine times out of 10, young n—s are nine or 10 when that line becomes thin / Be a killer or fireman." It's easy to miss the tonal shift, especially when Bruner sings things like "I'm safe on my block / Except for the cops / Will they attack? / Will it be 'cause I'm black?" with the same helium-filled cheer as shoulder-dusting disses like this, from "Friend Zone": "I'd rather play 'Mortal Kombat' anyway / I'm all about my Johnny Cage / If you're not bringing tacos, I suggest you start to walk away." Saco & Uno and PBDY open. Tickets $25.

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