Your live music planner: Justin Timberlake, Joan of Arc, Jon Spencer

After a sleepy beginning to the year, it feels like the city is finally waking up (and not just because of that string of unseasonably warm days). Big, big acts are coming to town this week to counterbalance the glut of always-great local shows and tiny venue throw-downs that the city keeps on the back burner all year round.

We have scene legends, pop masterminds and nerd-beloved soundtrack fillers playing out this week. We also have some star NOLA talent and a fair bit of shouting. Altogether it makes for a fairly healthy week of show-going if you’d like to get yourself up and moving.  

Justin Timberlake

We had to start off addressing this. Yeah, nobody can name a single song off of the album Timberlake is touring behind. It doesn’t matter. He’s still J-GD-T. He’s going to play “Rock Your Body.” He’ll probably do “Cry Me A River” and “Mirrors.” Pretend it’s your buddy’s wedding when “Suit and Tie” drops.

What we’re saying is one questionable album isn’t enough to skip seeing a legendary pop figure like Timberlake when he comes through town.

When: January 15
Where: Smoothie King Center
Tickets

Smoothie King Center
Getting there
1501 Dave Dixon Dr, New Orleans, LA 70113, USA
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Joan of Arc

And now for something completely different, if no less legendary. Joan of Arc is somehow still around after over 20 years of releasing challenging art-rock records that find as many fans as they do detractors, most of whom just want to hear Tim Kinsella make something like Cap’n Jazz again. If any city knows how to celebrate still being here, it’s us. Join a kindred spirit in something weird.

When: January 20
Where: Gasa Gasa
Tickets

Gasa Gasa
Getting there
4920 Freret St, New Orleans, LA 70115, USA
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Neno Calvin

While we’re celebrating ourselves, spare a little love for this NOLA rapper who has been consistently grinding for most of this decade. Like the last two acts, he’s also a survivor. Calvin was shot earlier this year, but he hasn’t let it diminish his hustle. He’s still out here releasing mixtapes, collaborating with Pell and playing shows.

When: January 18
Where: Republic
Tickets

Republic NOLA
$$ $$
Getting there
828 S Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
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Tom Boil

Back to the out-of-towners for an act that’s guaranteed to sound different than anything else you’ll hear this week. Tulsa’s Tom Boil is a heavy, post-punk outfit that matches walls of sonic wailing with screamed lyrics about tough subjects like sexual assault. It’s a far cry from a good beat you can dance to, but being on the receiving end of that intense energy will show you why the group is racking up raves.

When: January 15
Where: Circle Bar

Circle Bar
$ $$$
Getting there
1032 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
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Jon Spencer

You know Jon Spencer, even if you think you don’t. Long the vaunted god of record store old-heads, blues lovers and garage band freaks, Spencer has recently come into the popular consciousness thanks to a well-placed cut in a movie where the soundtrack was the star. If you remember Ansel Elgort whipping his car through impressive turns in the opening of “Baby Driver,” then you’re familiar with Spencer, and there’s plenty more where that came from.

When: January 18
Where: One Eyed Jacks
Tickets

One Eyed Jacks
$$ $$
Getting there
615 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
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