No Badge South By - Wednesday
Ric Leichtung is one of the founders of Adhoc.fm, a daily independent music and visual arts publication brought to you by the brilliant minds behind Altered Zones (RIP). Check them out on Facebook and Twitter!
Let's just get this out in the open: it's total bullshit that anyone should ever have to pay $750 to wait in line to see bands in overcrowded, poorly run, and shamelessly sponsored concert halls, patios, and dive bars. But beyond the heavy price tag and the 56-foot vending machine/sky-raping phallus Doritos constructed on E 5th and Red River is that many of these bands don't see a cent for playing of these showcases. If you're a band at SXSW and you're going to play for free, you might as well play in your own element to people who care about who you are and what you do, rather than a bunch of Harold and Kumar bros who passed on Cancun because they couldn't find their passports under their puka shell necklaces.
But you don't really need the badge--the best places to see music during SXSW are in the outskirts of the 6th street area at the warehouses, house parties, and impromptu shows on the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge or behind the Wendy's on 6th and Brushy under the freeway. Here are some of the best shows I've seen at my first day at SXSW.
It's rare that you'll find much metal down in Austin, but luckily Brandon Stosuy, the writer behind the metal column Show No Mercy, hand-picked eight bands to play at ND Studios. San Francisco's Deafheaven was the band that resonated most with both with the genre's rabid followers, and with the uninitiated as they switched between ambient post-rock guitar work and black metal. Respec's projections of early Japanese war films, one of which featured a warrior walking around with an arrow in his neck, fit really well with frontman George Clarke's screams of anguish. Just looking at Clarke's neck of raging veins and purple face, you'd think the was some kind of monster.
These Toledo-based punks have been making noise for a while now, releasing tapes and seven-inches with Siltbreeze and HoZac over the past 5 years. At the sound of their soundcheck, which teased a shitgazed rendition of the Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night," the audience swarmed the front of Beerland. Once the frontman got their attention, he took the opportunity of asking for weed after the set, which only fed the crowd's level of stokedness. The Areolas only played a few songs, but along the way they put forth equal helpings of noise, psych, and sloppy punk. Extra points awarded for the X Ray Spex-style sax freakouts.
Impose and affiliates of Brooklyn DIY venue Shea Stadium put together a hell of a hip hop showcase that boasted Main Attrakionz, eXquire, and standout Danny Brown, who already has pretty a serious following despite being a thirty-year-old dude from Detroit with a fucked up haircut. The rapper was in top form last night as all of the white people crowd forgot what race they were, waving their hands in the air and shouting Brown's infectious ad libs all throughout his set.
Deniro Farrar: Notice - Cult Rap - Part 3/4
Deniro Discusses How Cult Rap is a Genre of Music That Connects With the Listener Through Social Commentary
Insanely Close and Personal With the Brian Jonestown Massacre
I met Katy Newcombe when we were both fifteen. Now I see her presence lurking within magazine features, disguised as the words “Anton’s teenage Welsh bride.”
Courtney Barnett Told Us How to Stop Writing Terrible Poetry and Land a Record Deal
We talked to the Australian singer about art school and why trying to write good songs just leads to writing bad ones.
Turn Up to Keys N Krates' Diplo & Friends Mix
Occasionally, we the at Noisey will kindly request that you drop whatever you're doing and turn the goddamn motherfuck up. Now is one of those times.
Meet Amos: The Man Who Designs Moog's Wonderful Toys
Moogfest takes place in North Carolina this Wednesday and boasts a lineup including M.I.A., Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk, Dan Deacon and many more. So we talked to the man who dreams up synths.
I Went to Bogotá in Colombia For Festival Estéreo Picnic and Danced For Days
Noisey ditched North America for South to eat endless empanadas, catch up with Julian Casablancas backstage, get winded while dancing to Phoenix and find out more about Colombia's music scene.
Give Life Back to Fhqwhgads
How a Strong Bad/Daft Punk mash-up album helped bring out the magic in 'Random Access Memories.'
HEARTSREVOLUTION Talk Pop Culture, Feminism, and Michael Jackson's Crystals
"This is our love letter to this generation. It’s an invitation to a conversation…"
Behind the Lens: Sky Ferreira Is Not Racist
Discussing Sky Ferreira's video for "I Blame Myself" with director Grant Singer.
Lifting the Curse off Necrophobic, Swedish Death Metal's Forgotten Sons
After years of misfortune and tragedy, the overlooked band Necrophobic might finally be catching a break.