August 1996


NOTE: Each issue, LA Weekly selects a single show for each night of the week for its highest recommendation. For some reason, in August 1996 they decided to choose Galactic's first Los Angeles appearance for this honor.

by Jonny Whiteside

New Orleans can proudly boast of being home to most of this nation's oldest musical traditions, but fresh sounds from the Crescent City have been somewhat underwhelming. While underexposed talents like N.O. genius Sunpie and blues growler Walter 'Wolfman' Washington ceaselessly labor in the uptown joints and French Quarter boites, national names like Harry Connick Jr. (making a jerk out of himself with ersatz funk albums) and Aaron Neville (selling his self-parody falsetto to all comers) sully and weaken that rich heritage more than anything else.

Galactic, a wet-behind-the-ears group of youngsters, have erupted with a deep-grooving brand of muscular, economic, syncopated soul-funk that hits the ear with almost bewildering impact. Well aware of their town's daunting precedents (by which they'll invariably be judged), Galactic manages to deliver the heat, rhythm and style with good grace, a twist of historic influence, and that most essential of elements: the try-for-further sense of exploration and adventure that has always characterized New Orleans' best bands. And what better setting than the funkenized, down-home elegance of this room? Almost too good to be true.

Check out Galactic's website at for more info on the band and their nonstop tour schedule. You can also listen to their entire album online, in stereo and for free!

Article copyright © 1997 Billboard Magazine.
Copyright © 1997 Fog City Productions. Design by Fog City Graphics.