Hot 8 Brass Band's Bennie Pete Talks Feel-Good Music, Jazz Funerals, and New Orleans

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Hot 8 Brass Band founder and tuba player Bennie Pete.
Whether two-steppin' toward a birthday party, second line parade, or jazz funeral, New Orleans's Hot 8 Brass Band always keeps it big, bad, and brassy.

But over the years, the Hot 8's battled through plenty of tough times. Three members -- Jacob Johnson, Joseph "Shotgun Joe" Williams, and Dinerral Shavers -- have died on Nola's streets. And like so many of the Crescent City's citizens, this band struggled through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Still, there's nothing that can stop the music. And tonight, the Hot 8 Brass Band hits The Stage as part of the fourth monthly edition of Crossfade music series.

We spoke with Hot 8 founder and tuba player Big Bennie Pete to talk about feel-good music, jazz funerals, and New Orleans.

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Sazerac and "Sexual Healing" With Hot 8 Brass Band at Crossfade Music Series

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Ready to get big, bad, and brassy?

Hot 8 Brass Band when the fourth monthly edition of the Crossfade music series hits The Stage on September 29.

Hot 8 is a nine-man fiyah brigade that boasts tubas, trumpets, and plenty of percussion. This trip to Nola begins at 10 p.m. and it's totally free.

Expect endless sazerac, copious ass-shaking, and lots of sweaty "Sexual Healing."

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Hot 8 Brass Band Brings the New Orleans Second Line to the Crossfade Music Series

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Photo by Michelle Elmore
Slip into the second line with the Hot 8.
There have been good times, plenty of booze, and a few flashes of craziness.

Back in June, we kicked off Crossfade Presents The Local at The Stage with a wild punk rager soundtracked by Furious Dudes, Bulletproof Tiger, and Secret Arms. Next, we took a midsummer trip to the country, sipped a little moonshine, and got hick with Everymen, The Wholetones, Brain Chips, and Uncle Scotchy. Then last month, our plans for a swag bash with Metro Zu, O'Grime, and Chalk devolved -- unfortunately -- into a party in a public parking lot.

Now, though, the Crossfade music series is getting set for a late-September second line parade with New Orleans hip-hop, jazz, and funk crew Hot 8 Brass Band.

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Metro Zu, O'Grime, and Crossfade Party in a Public Parking Lot

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Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez
Swaggin' in the car park.
We here at Crossfade had massive plans to spend last night swagging out with Metro Zu, O'Grime, and Chalk at The Stage.

And if you paid close attention to the party scenario laid out in last week's epic interview with the Zu crew and the O'Grime guys, you know that Freebase was hoping to "see a titty," Niko was calling for "100 Taco Bell Party Packs, two beer pong tables, a Slip 'n Slide," and all Metro Zu's Lofty wanted was "a mike and big-ass speakers," proclaiming, "the possibilities are endless!"

But shit didn't really go down that way.

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Metro Zu Drops Behind-the-Scenes Footage From Superposh "Debinare" Video Shoot

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Smokin' and drankin' under blacklight is just another day on the motherfucking job for Metro Zu.

And last week, between discussing the art of swag with us and whipping up a "Fuck the Hurricane!" flyer for tonight's Crossfade music series show at The Stage, the Zu crew's Lofty, RubenSlikk, Freebase, and Mr.b the Poshstronaut kept shit busy by kickin' it with director and photo dude Stian Roenning on the set of the official music video for "Debinare."

Now the final cut isn't quite ready for public consumption. (It's gonna hit the internets sometime in the next week.) But Metro homie Sean Biffar hooked up some behind-the-scenes footage while Crossfade hit up Lofty (AKA Loftr Uber Poshr) via Gmail chat for some behind-the-scenes blurbage.

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Metro Zu Says: "Fokk Da Hurricane!" Come Party at the Crossfade Music Series Tomorrow

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Photo by Stian Roenning
Metro Zu just shrugging and saying: "Irene who?"
According to the National Hurricane Center, there is a nasty bitch with one eye named Irene who's gonna come crashing through "the Southeastern...Central...and Northwestern Bahamas" today. She's a "category three hurricane." She's whipping up winds of 115 mph. And she's pissing "1 to 3 inches" of rain on any fool who gets in her way.

Tomorrow, Irene could be throwing her hissy fit in Miami. But Metro Zu ain't sweating that shit. In fact, Lofty, RubenSlikk, Freebase, and Mr.b the Poshstronaut have got a stiff message for this hard-blowing ho: "Fokk da hurricane!"

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Metro Zu and O'Grime Talk Kush, Chi, and the Crossfade Music Series

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Grinding! O'Grime's L.Rey Reyes and Nikolais Javan.
Go RSVP for the Crossfade Music Series via Facebook and invite all your homies and hoochies.

Whatever the haters may say, we here at Crossfade aren't just a gang of mindless party people. We are also pop philosophers. And lately, we've been asking ourselves some pretty deep questions, like, "What is swag?"

Believe it or not, that little four-letter word is loaded with an inexhaustible multiplicity of meaning. There is positive swag and there is negative swag. We could also be talking about a person's general state of being or way of life. It's even earning currency as the de facto descriptor for a whole subgenre of hallucinatory, next-level hip-hop pioneered by wacko rappers like Lil Wayne, Lil B, and Odd Future.

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Get the Pussy and the Power With O'Grime's "Almighty Dolla"

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O'Grime on that grinding shit.
Too busy chasin' that chedda (i.e. money) to notice our annnouncement that O'Grime and Metro Zu will be droppin' swag, Swishers, and dirty bills as part of the August edition of the Crossfade music series at The Stage?

Shit, kid. Wipe them $$ out your eyes 'cause we got your payoff right here! And it's called "Almighty Dolla," a collabo track by O'Grime's L. Rey Reyes and Nikolas Javan, featuring the homie Saheed.

Like L. Rey say: "We all lookin for the almighty dolla cause we need the pussy and the power!"

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Swag Out With O'Grime and Metro Zu at the Crossfade Music Series August 25

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O'Grime's L. Rey says, "Swag!"
Way back in June, we dropped the inaugural edition of the Crossfade music series at The Stage. It was a drunk punk rager starring Furious Dudes, Bulletproof Tiger, and Secret Arms.

By the end of July, a full moon had risen. And so we wandered off into the woods, sucked back some moonshine, and got hick with Everymen, The Wholetones, Brain Chips, and Uncle Scotchy.

But now, it's the middle of fucking summer. We're feelin' sweaty, sleazy, and stupid. And we just wannna swag out with local rap maniacs O'Grime and Metro Zu.

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The Wholetones' Alex Dorris Talks Bluegrass Jams Under a Bridge and Living at the Alamo

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You wonder: What's that thrashing?

The sky is dark. The fields have gone silent. But there's a bonfire off in the distance, surrounded by vaguely human shapes and a furious funnel of sound -- acoustic axe, banjo, cello, upright bass, mouth organ.

This is the middle of nowhere and you've just stumbled upon four-man folkcore crew The Wholetones. They became friends under a bridge. They hang out in the woods a lot. And as Crossfade's already mentioned, they're all about "abusing acoustic intruments in pursuit of some perfect bluegrass-folk-metal hybrid."

This Thursday, The Wholetones bring that thrashing to the Crossfade music series at The Stage, alongside Everymen, Brain Chips, and Uncle Scotchy. So we asked singer and guitar guy Alex Dorris about Bridge Troll Meetings, dream jam sessions, and the Alamo.

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