For a cocktail bar that broke the mold in New Orleans when it opened a decade ago, it’s fitting that the music at Cure also takes a road less traveled. In a city bursting with jazz joints and old-school cocktail bars, Cure takes a decidedly modern approach to music, spanning genres and decades to keep things fresh. “That was always the goal with the cocktails at Cure, so it follows that the music would do the same,” says general manager Turk Dietrich. “The music has been a big part of our success, particularly in the early days when the concept of a cocktail bar was a foreign concept to most people in New Orleans.”
The vibe at Cure can change depending on the day of the week, hour of the day, or even the weather, with Dietrich’s personal music tastes always serving as inspiration. Genres from experimental electronic to 60s psychedelic and dubstep all find a seat at the bar. “Not all of the music that I personally like works, but the type of things I think have helped define Cure have leaned toward the realms of New Romantic music from the 80s, NYC hip hop from the 90s, and certain strands of electronic music from the past couple of decades, like Italo-disco or the artificial intelligence era of IDM or even Berlin Dub,” Dietrich says. “The common thread is that they all tend to be funky or rhythmically moving, and a lot of it has a sad but hopeful vibe melodically—not too upbeat, but also not too downbeat; a ‘dispassionate cool’ for lack of a better description.”
With songs like Stereo’s “Somewhere in the Night,” The System’s “Almost Grown,” Der Zyklus’ “Elektronisches Zeitechno,” and Ryuichi Sakamoto & David Sylvian’s “Bamboo Houses,” Dietrich says the approach strikes just the right tone. “This style of music is so hard to hear anywhere in New Orleans, so I think it presents an element of the unknown to a lot of the people from here. Music like this can transport people.”
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