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SKSW Guest Blog: Black Diet pt.2

Mar 15, 2014

"Note: If you split up with your friends at SXSW, even for a moment, you will never see them again. The smoke monster will take them to the Hype Hotel, and they’ll have to live out their lives dancing shirtless to old Cut Copy albums."

Day two, man. Day two.

Alright so this one went a little better. Or rather, we saw more stuff.  Note: If you split up with your friends at SXSW, even for a moment, you will never see them again. The smoke monster will take them to the Hype Hotel, and they’ll have to live out their lives dancing shirtless to old Cut Copy albums. Or at least that’s what I imagine happens.

First order of the day was to check out Kurt Vile. Is Kurt Vile a play on Kurt Weill? I’ll bet it is. I’d seen Mr. Vile play a session at Radio K, so I knew what to expect here.  There was a line snaking around the block to see this gentleman, and he was solid as a rock. He’s one of those performers that is intimate without sharing much, vulgar without swearing. Everyone was physically leaning forward during his set. I loved it. Marvel (Southside Desire) said it was cleaning music; I thought it to be more suited to staring at your first born while contemplating your life choices.

Next stop was Clive Bar. SXSW pro-tip. If there is something rad at a bar, but that thing doesn’t happen until much later, go to the bar early and try to pick up a wristband. Not foolproof, but oftentimes you can grab said band and then bypass a portion of the line when the bands you want to see start playing. If that makes any sense.

As I was trying to execute this at Clive Bar, I stumbled upon Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, a band I’d quite literally heard of 2 days ago whilst reading a Bloomington Indiana music blog (they are not from Bloomington). On record, they scorch. The mix just punches you in the face. It’s lovely. Live, they fell short. They were a fine band. But the sound wasn’t nearly as aggressive. Add one more guitar, add distortion. They are a blues band, so maybe this is sacriledge. But it’s how I feel!

It was at this point that I got caught in the SXSW vortex. That horrible spot where your phone’s battery is near death, but there are shows you want to see starting in one hour. What do you do? Is the line so long that you’ll miss them anyway? How much charge can you get/will it even last the majority of the show? These are the questions that haunt my Texan dreams.

I chose to charge. Perhaps Garrison Grouse can do an addendum to this blog, because he got to see three acts I was pretty desperate to see. For the curious, they were Sam Smith, Jeremih w/Schlomo, and, later in the evening, Aloe Blacc. I heard they were all great.

I got to 36%. Once there, I decided to trek a not insignificant distance to Weather Up check out St Paul and the Broken Bones. I could not handle how good of a singer they have. I stumbled upon them in a Spotify haze about a month ago, and I was so excited for this set. I don’t know the singer’s name, but he might be the best singer in modern soul. Seriously. Go listen.

Post that set, I fruitlessly tried to sneak into the Fader Fort. I tried to break the rules, guys. They knew I wasn’t a member of the press. Probably because I didn’t have any credentials.

Next up was the Totally Gross National Product Showcase. I was concerned about this choice. Why see Minneapolis acts when you could see nationals that don’t regularly play in your city? I’m gonna tell you, that’s flawed logic. Minneapolis showed up. The Cloak Ox was so damn good. Some of the best songwriting around. Pony Bwoy I’d been wanting to see for so long, but I had no idea how they’d come off live. Laptop acts can be rough. But they ended up being the best set I’ve seen all week. I was floored. So lifted that I couldn’t stop dancing.

The rest of my night was a giant error. I left before Lizzo and Har Mar in the hopes of catching a glimpse at Kelis. She was an hour and a half late. On lame, haughty music guy principle, I left. By the time I returned to the Totally Gross Showcase, it was over. I heard it was magical, and I’m really sad I missed it. I will make up for it over the next two days.

Radio K: I love you and I miss you.

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Read more
SKSW Guest Blog: Black Diet pt.1
SKSW Guest Blog: Black Diet pt.3