Mar 192011

Seems like SXSW would be incomplete without at least one appearance from Diplo, in whatever form that might take. This year, the deejay/MIA-collaborator/baile funk–curator was in attendance for the showing of a short documentary about himself and performed during the film portion of the festival. He’s only performing once during the music segment of SXSW, headlining tonight at the Mad Decent showcase.


MP3: “Summer’s Gonna Hurt You (2010 Remix)”

Saturday, March 19- 1:00am, Friends Bar

Mar 192011

Gotta Get The Word Out Somehow...


So, on one level Odd Future’s performance was rather bland. The beats weren’t nearly loud enough, they inexplicably rapped over a capella parts of their own songs, and you’d often wonder why there was anyone else on stage besides Tyler and Hodgy – those two clearly run the crew. But then I think about the water bottle fights, the stage dives, the “FUCK STEVE HARVEY” cardboard signs, the apocalyptic threats, and there general diehard willingness to fuck shit up. It’s very rare to see a group as rabble-rousing on a heavily sponsored stage, and when the projectiles started flying overhead a sense of happy terror seized the more spectator-side of the audience. They’re certainly having a good time, which is something most of the drudged, fourth-day bands seemed to have been forgetting.

Smith Westerns sounded good, but Smith Westerns always sound good, lighters-in-the-air anthems like  “All Die Young” don’t usually have much trouble demolishing a stadium, or in this case an outdoor tent. It was actually commendable how much good will they generated in a typically hazy mid-afternoon set, especially after playing nonstop for the past couple days.

Plenty of other stuff happened throughout the night including free haircuts, me making an awfully embarrassing “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?” move at the door of a strictly 21+ venue, a particularly buzzy Dum Dum Girls set, and watching a Pitchfork intern google-image Fader senior editor Sam Hockley-Smith in an attempt to make his acquaintance before the night was over. But that all will be written about at another time, probably tomorrow morning, for now I sleep. Because as soon as I wake up I’m getting ready to head over to the power plant to see, of course, Kanye West.

Mar 182011

We were just one of many who heralded Before Today, the latest album by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, as one of the best of this past year, but we were probably ahead of the curve in singing it high praises when we interviewed Mr. Pink last summer. Ariel and his cohorts are only performing once this SXSW, tonight at the showcase, so don’t miss it!

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

MP3: “Round and Round”

Friday, March 18- 12:00am, Kiss and Fly

Mar 182011

So I’ve spent the intermediate time before Odd Future’s set here at the fort asking everyone I could find why they liked Odd Future. What I learned (besides the fact that not everyone knows who Odd Future is, they’re still bubbling just under the radar) was that nobody had a specific answer. The average reply was something like “well… they’re just different” with the more eloquent types making a specific point to designate the crew’s shit-stirring anarchism, mysogyny and homophobia as simply ‘boys being boys.’ I suppose I don’t want it that easily, I’ve been a vocal supporter of the band in terms of their de-gimmicked style, Tyler’s razor-sharp flow is one of the best the rap game has heard in quite a while, but no flossiness can make that “fuck a mask I want this girl to know it’s me” line any easier to swallow. Maybe seeing them live will clear up that confusion.

Mar 182011

Thursday was a strange day on my side with the search for a public computer and an emergency trip to a Radioshack a few miles south of down town.  Even so, I was able to fit in a few bands.  The day started with an old favorite DeVotchKa on the Radio day Stage in the Convention Center.  Then over to NPR’s showcase at The Parish to catch a packed Antlers show.

(Insert break here for bus ride down to Radioshack and meeting some kindred spirit ex-Ohioans on the way.)


Once back in town I checked out Jimmy Gnecco of Ours – with Ours as his backup band at Maggie Mae’s rooftop.  Then over to Stubbs for funk singer Charles Bradley and finally TV on the Radio who I’ve been waiting to see since missing their 2005 show with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Beachland Blalroom in Cleveland.

The photo pit was a disaster and we were shuffled in by groups of ten.  The first group had two songs to shoot and us, the second group, had in theory two songs as well but were kicked out after our first.  It was easier to shoot from the crowd!  Even so, their show made up for any mishappenings during the evening.


DeVotchKa on the Radio Day Stage:

















The Antlers at their NPR showcase:

Jimmy Gnecco and Ours at Maggie Mae’s rooftop:


Oh that’s right, happy St. Patrick’s day.  6th Street was pretty crowded…


Charles Bradley at Stubbs:


TV on the Radio closed out the night: