I went to peep Norah Jones after Chet, and actually to my surprise it was CRACKING. I don’t know why I thought Norah Jones wouldn’t be a draw, but I made the wrong assumption and paid the price. Instantly turning around I teetered with were to move to and settled on the DJBooth.net showcase.
There I caught the opening DJ who played a good mix of jams, nothing too outlandish, your basic go to cuts from the last 12 to 15 years. Austin’s own League of Extraordinary G’z took the stage and it being their home town did it ably right. It was an entertaining set, something I haven’t seen from groups in a long time. They all knew each other well and complimented the assortment of styles present. The highlight had to be when they dropped a beat that utilized a loop from “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” I spoke with a member later and will hopefully have the mp3 to give y’all soon.
As they wrapped up I took off to catch Nesby Phips. He was on a New Orleans showcase in an upstairs bar that happened to be missing it’s roof. It had the walls for the roof to be there they just didn’t put one on. Ill. And so was this party. Straight out of NO, I thought I had been kidnapped back into time onto the set of Juvy’s “Back That Ass Up” video. Damn. I hung out for a bit and heard a party rocking DJ like none ever but had to escape the nonsense once I realized they weren’t on time and Nesby wasn’t hitting the stage.
A serious of misses followed. The line into Machinedrum wasn’t forgiving and the Madbury Club had an awesome party going on but no sense of timing. I hung out and copped a shot of Fernet at the only club in Austin with it. While enjoying that I listened to Statik Selektah wreck shop. He played a huge chunk of Jigga cuts before going into a bit of a history lesson for a number of the kids in the crowd. The Texas showcase with a number of rappers from the area I was interested in was running an hour behind so I thought I’d make that work but still missed the desired acts.
But hey, it’s SXSW and things just aren’t going to run how you expect. You have to adapt and cease all expectations down here. Enjoy everything you hear, not just what you want to hear. I flipped up the script and went over to the brainfeeder party even though I had already seen Starkey last year. He was just finishing up so I grabbed some food and lost my shit when I realized I had walked in on a surprise Thundercat set. Tokimonsta was nowhere to be found?
Having missed him the night before I was excited to see him and chillled out to his grooves while eating. He had an impressive screen behind him and the visuals were amazing. I was lost in those lights. His music is unarguable. Feel good sounds for the soul.
It was getting close to 11:30 and I was determined to catch Rittz, of course Skyzoo was running long. He’s a good emcee and I enjoyed his cuts at some point in the last ten years. His set was ho hum, too hard core NY for me but he did have a live trumpet player with him, much respect there. A nice addition to the monotony of his boom bap. And who did they announce to the stage at that point? XV. I peaced.
Waiting for an act that was supposed to perform but didn’t only to miss a group that was rocking while I waited was the final straw, I took off to meet up with Julie from Tha Blog over at the Thrasher party where El-P was on and Killer Mike was set to go next. What’s this I learn from Twitter? Killer Mike is with Bone Crusher in Atlanta. SMH.
The ASAP Mob did show up, about 60 deep and they rocked a number of cuts from their mixtape I’m guessing. Overall the performance was mediocre at best. Obviously young and anxious for praise they aren’t ready for. The general of the team never once touched the mic, letting his boys do their thing. I want to figure out which one of the crew kept having a new blunt to spark.
It was then that the Killer Mike discovery was made and we departed for food. We found a food truck center and after almost getting a philly a young lady convinced me the fried chicken wrapped in a waffle with hot sauce and maple syrup was the way to go. And she was 100% correct.
As we walked down the street looking for a taxi I heard the sounds of a saxophonist. I looked, crossed and tossed him a buck but kept walking. I stopped and returned, to listen. He only played maybe another 45 seconds but that was what I was thinking about when I said a few graphs ago while down here you have to enjoy all sounds. It was beautiful. He apologized for his horn and I didn’t even care. I thought it sounded awesome, and it’s 45 seconds of I’ll never forget.
SXSW is a lot of things and it’s a complicated animal. Last year I thought I learned a lot and returning this year I thought I had it in the bag. I think what I know now is that I don’t actually know anything and regardless of how many times you’ve been its never going to be the same. You have to hussle, you have to expect nothing and you have to prepare to see everything including nothing you might have been looking forward too. If you are open to sounds it won’t matter cause the only thing that prevails down here is great music.