10 New Orleans Bands You Need to Hear

Tomorrow, mes chères, is Fat Tuesday, which marks the beginning of Lent and also one of the biggest party days of the year. It’s also, of course, New Orleans’ biggest holiday. Tramp through the French Quarter tomorrow — or anytime this week, really — and it’ll be difficult to avoid drunken, beaded, half-naked revelers. It’ll also be hard to avoid the music –brass bands and blues guys and banjo fiddlers coming from every which way. You already know about the legends (there’s this guy named Louis Armstrong), but New Orleans has more to offer than its blues and jazz greats of yore. (See: sissy bounce.) Compiled for your listening pleasure, here are ten current New Orleans groups you should listen to. Laissez les bon temps roulez!

1.  The Zydepunks

The Zydepunks are one of those bizarre musical fusion projects that sound suspect — folk punk and zydeco? — but actually work. They describe themselves as “New Orleans’ favorite Cajun Irish Jewish Punk” and are regulars on the bar scene as well as staples of any hometown music festival. You can hear why — their peculiar multicultural hybrid actually makes great dance music, with a side of accordian.