May 29, 2012 10:22 PM

No doubt about it, Taylor McMahon's four-track EP, Memory Music, is perfect summer music.

No doubt about it, Taylor McMahon's four-track EP, Memory Music, is perfect summer music. The acoustic alternative pop tracks resemble the upbeat tunes of Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz, leaving listeners bobbing their heads and humming along with the catchy chorus. Truly a product of the South, McMahon was born in Shreveport, raised in Lake Charles and now heads east to reside in Lafayette. The 19-year-old learned about the rich culture of Gulf Coast music from his father, who also taught McMahon to play the guitar. By the time he turned 16, McMahon was writing songs and at 18 he recorded his first record, Memory Music. Since its release, the disc has garnered significant critical praise. One track has been featured on MTV's Real World: San Diego and was given a "Highly Recommended" status by premier Internet site Memory Music is available for free download on McMahon's Facebook page, or for purchase on iTunes, and Barnes & Noble in Lafayette. - Katie Macdonald

Louisiana nightlife is a unique experience, a combination of heart-pounding zydeco, entrancing jazz, soulful blues and wailing Cajun music that is impossible to duplicate.  In his latest book, Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls ($24.95, Louisiana State University Press), music critic Alex V. Cook celebrates this legendary "Louisiana Saturday Night" with a detailed guide to the bars, dance halls and clubs of southeastern Louisiana. Cook begins his journey in his hometown of Baton Rouge and the surrounding area, but a large portion of the book is dedicated to the music venues of Cajun Country, including Lafayette, Eunice, Abbeville, Breaux Bridge and Opelousas. Sprinkled throughout Cook's humorous and distinctly personal descriptions of bars and dancehalls are several narratives of Cook's "detours," each offering entertaining insights to local ways of life. Fascinating venues include a trip to the Cajun heartland, Mamou, where Cook and his crew encounter courirs and the famous Fred's Lounge during a Mardi Gras celebration. Louisiana Saturday Night is a map of music culture that offers short and descriptive snapshots, inviting readers to explore a living and breathing aspect of Louisiana culture. - KM

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