Alexis Marceaux (Photo: Joshua Brasted)
While Alexis Marceaux gained national exposure on Cee Lo Green’s team on season 3 of “The Voice,” the New Orleans native has always been a fixture of the local music scene. She frequently performs in New Orleans music clubs as a folk-pop solo artist and in the pop bands Alexis and the Samurai and Sweet Crude — her newer venture. Alexis and the Samurai recently release a live EP and will release a studio EP in the spring. Sweet Crude is currently in the studio and preparing to make its New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival debut in April. Marceaux gives us the low-down on the New Orleans music scene — which isn’t just about jazz music.
How would you describe the music scene in New Orleans?
There’s your typical jazz and blues and whatnot and you can get all of that on Frenchmen (Street). But there’s actually a really cool independent scene that a lot of people don’t know about. Of course if you’re visiting you want to go to those place that have the typical New Orleans thing, but if you want to branch out there are so many independent artists making new sounds.
Who are some of your favorites in the independent scene?
Cardinal Sons, Vox and the Hound if you want a dancy band — they do Motown and original stuff. The Essentials are awesome; they play on Frenchmen a lot. Cardinal Sons is my favorite. I love their shows so much. I feel like I’m seeing someone that’s on a bigger scale but in my own backyard.
As a performer, what are your favorite clubs to play in?
Chickie Wah Wah. We (Alexis and the Samurai) have a residency there every Monday. I like it because it’s one of the few listening venues in this city, so people go to listen, and they hush people to make sure no one’s talking and they’re there for the music. There’s also Gasa Gasa, which is a newer venue where some of those independent artists go and play
(and) they have this really cool chain of touring artists coming through. It’s also smaller, and it’s a louder venue. They have a really good sound system — that’s another thing, when you’re a musician you have to make sure to find the good sound systems in the city.
Where do you like to enjoy shows?
I go to Gasa more than any place. Hi-Ho Lounge has good stuff. DJ Soul Sister’s (Saturday HUSTLE dance parties are) awesome. Siberia has good bands playing there. St. Claude (Avenue) is a fun scene to me.
What’s your favorite music festival?
Bayou Boogaloo for sure; it’s my favorite. They treat their artists amazing, first of all, and it’s just a beautiful festival — it’s on Bayou St. John (in the Mid-City neighborhood). The weather’s always perfect; it’s never too hot or too cold. It’s a smaller festival and it’s getting bigger and bigger every year, but with its growth it’s become better.
Since you’re out late performing usually, what are some of your favorite places for late-night food?
Lately I’ve been Uptown a lot, and New York Pizza is delicious. They have stuff late, usually — at least ’til, like, 11 or 12. I live by Chickie Wah Wah, and they have really good barbecue there, and they’re open at least until the music ends or an hour after. Siberia has a delicious menu — the asparagus po’ boy is amazing. It’s Eastern European food. Everything on the menu is really good food, and it’s open really late.