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Preview: WTUL 30th Anniversary Showcase

Noah Bonaparte Pais on the "Songs From the Basement" record release show



My affection for WTUL New Orleans goes beyond whispered station identifications and fumbled public service announcements. WTUL began issuing its Songs From the Basement compilations in spring 2003, the season I moved to New Orleans. The 2004 edition, Vol. 2, was among the first review copies I ever received; that disc's standout track, "Could Be Anything" by The Eames Era, featured future Generationals Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer on guitars. Vol. 4's post-Hurricane Katrina call lined up a parade of home-and-abroad responders: Ballzack, Madvillain, Bipolaroid, Jens Lekman, Truth Universal, Liars, Chef Menteur, Drive-By Truckers, Belong and Vashti Bunyan. The current iteration is all-local and hence less star-studded, but unless you're into $200 T-shirts and coffee mugs, it's still the value prize of this month's Rock On Survival Marathon pledge drive (March 10-31). Available to patrons making the minimum $25 donation, the album — as well as this release-party lineup — features two guys making more noise than seems humanly possible (Caddywhompus, pictured), a band playing its first-ever gigs (Shuvuuia) and another comprised of WTUL DJs putting their money where their mouths are (Eastwood Smokes). The least we can do is play along. Tickets $6. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

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