Wednesday, March 12
Well, as I write this details are still coming out on the people killed outside the Mohawk tonight. Really terrible to have this happen and it kind of makes the joking around less possible. Anyone that has been to Austin during SXSW would agree that its probably more surprising that more accidents like this don't happen, but that won't comfort anyone and it doesn't make it hurt any less for those that lost friends or family. So, our thoughts an prayers to anyone affected by this and let's hope the rest of the event proves safe and fun for all.
Earthless San Diego, CA The reaction:
Investigative findings: The kind of music that is only enjoyable at a place like SXSW. Instrumental guitar rock that is basically an amped-up solo for the entirety of a recording. No reason to buzz as they are more than ten-years-old, but a band that probably deserves the audience it does find, as there are a handful of rawk fans that would just eat this up.
Incan Abraham Los Angeles, CA
Investigative findings: Because they have been the most hyped band recently in L.A., of course I still haven't seen them. But at least I now have listened to their music. The verdict? All over the place, still have no real idea who they are or what they stand for. But hey, you either get L.A. hype for being really good or really evil, and they don't seem evil to me, so take that as you want.
So what does this Neil Young iPod do?
As you may have heard, Neil Young is getting in the streaming music game, or something. Just last month Dr. Dre and Trent Reznor did something similar. I think. Truth is I don't know anyone that really uses any streaming service except for Spotify. So, it is hard for me to imagine any of them being successful.
Now, that said, Neil Young's is a device with a service, and it is supposed to focus on quality, a gripe I've heard many times by audiophiles and I believe that the celebrity endorsements and the nature of these types of fan being willing to spend money for quality, I can see a niche market for Pono. And, as long as everyone is reasonable and knows that music itself is almost a niche market at this point.
So I can fuck the world for 72 hours...
Perfect Pussy NPR Showcase Somewhere, there was a secret lottery for hardcore bands to get recognized by a large audience, and Perfect Pussy won. Congrats to them, and if you are into them, congrats to you, because there are about one thousand other bands you will probably like, too. Truth be told, they are enjoyable but mostly because I enjoy lots of hardcore and don't really know why everyone cares about this band and not the others, except for the name.
Eagulls NPR Showcase Like Perfect Pussy, there seems something inherently icky about buzz punk bands. Of course, Eagulls aren't nearly as interesting as Perfect Pussy, and come from more of a post-punk background, rather than hardcore, but they seem equally as lottery-chosen as their counterparts. The one thing that should be said is that both put on energetic, uncompromising sets for an NPR audience that might not have been ready for such confrontational music, especially considering the lighter fare on top of the bill.
Schoolboy Q iTunes Festival Best set of the day. With his friend Kendrick Lamar headlining after him, Schoolboy the first star turn of his rising career that I experienced, and I've seen quite a few. Maybe it was the fact that his album went number one, or that he has a legitimate album at all, but every song of this set felt like an event, much like Kendrick's performances have come to be like. "Collard Greens" and "Man of the Year" burned especially bright, but everybody has to be a little surprised about how naturally Schoolboy Q has taken to the spotlight.
Kendrick Lamar iTunes Festival Upstaged by Schoolboy Q? Well, kind of. Kendrick Lamar is past the proving himself battles, and this year is Q's for the taking. Good thing he is playing a certain party.
St. Vincent NPR Showcase Bob Boilen noted that Annie Clark worked with a choreographer for her current tour, and looking at her set with that lens was pretty remarkable. From her tiny steps she would take to move around stage to the subtle motions she displayed in her songs, to know how planned it all was impressed that much more. And yeah, the new songs sound perfect.