Archive for the ‘James Blake’ tag

I guess it was inevitable?

Take two artistically-inclined performers, both of whom are already mere steps away from each other on either side of the “mainstream/underground” dividing line (as if it were 1996 or something), shake well, and unleash upon the world. Well, hell, at least the results are good.

Now I’m just waiting for someone to sneak some Frank Ocean in here and we’ll be all set.
James Drake Mixtape – BombĂ© & Mr. Caribbean by BombĂ©

Turns out hot days are perfect for sitting in the sun with a cold beverage. The French Legation Museum – the former French embassy grounds – hosted a lawn party with two stages and many places to lay your weary head to rest. It turned out to be the perfect environment to hear James Blake perform, as his low-tempo melodics translate into even more of a relaxed vibe when performed live (as a certain Hollis Wong-Wear said, he is the Mayer Hawthorne of dubstep). Also caught San Francisco two-piece the Tune Yards, who I’m definitely going to be looking into more.

No mention of the day would be complete without Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. OFWGKTA is the single most buzzed-about group going right now, and the line at the Fader Fort reflected it (side note: even Fader cover boy James Blake was having to work his talking magic to get through the lines).

Odd Future is hip hop that is about as punk rock as it gets. The music is heavy and energetic, driven by bass hits and sharp snares, and the lyrics are about what you would expect from an eight-person deep crew of 17 to 21 year olds. Despite the intense water bottle throwing (chill, guys), they owned the crowd for every single minute of their set.

After swinging by Shabazz Palaces (and THEE Satisfaction) at the Sub Pop showcase, the night wrapped up at Emo’s with a showcase that could very easily make one’s head spin: Pharoah Monch opened up, with Mela Machinko on vocals, and a surprise appearance from Jean Grae; Asher Roth continued to be terrible; Freddie Gibbs brought some serious midwest lean – and a seven-deep crew – to the stage; the Cool Kids played their hits and have apparently grown up into being the Cool Men; and Das Racist finished out a six-show day by bringing down the house.

Day one at South By Southwest is in the rearview mirror, and for this first-time attendee, I think it’s safe to say that it was a trial by fire. The sheer scale of the festival is astounding – I did the math late last night and can now proudly say I cracked the five mile mark of walking. Classy!

It was a crazy day of lines, but here are my highlights, as well as a selection of pictures from my absolutely high-quality camera. Enjoy!

The Fader Fort is its own center of gravity in the SXSW universe. The multi-hour line to get in, and the total production of the space is unmatched. To get a good sense of it, imagine a boiled down Sasquatch with more edge. That is to say, free beer, Statik Selektah and DJ Eleven providing between-band music, and a razor-edge selection of music. Twin Shadow won the day musically, combining delicate melodies with synth-driven quiet/loud rock. The only downer was a cancellation from certified Grown Ass Man Raphael Saadiq. Next time, Ray Ray.

Seattle’s Members Only crew put together an excellent funk and soul night with Austin staple DJ Chorizo Funk. Seattle’s DJ 100 Proof and Mr. Supreme, aka Supreme La Rock, flexed their significant crates, with the event serving as a de facto reunion for Seattle expats.

Yup. Heems and James Blake.

New York’s certified party-rockers and LxNxM homies Das Racist put a memorable capstone on the night by playing a show with Impose Magazine that featured the worst sound system, the nicest bar staff, and the most beer bottles per capita thrown thus far (note to showgoers: not cool).

And finally, the requisite afterparty, featuring Moby and Trouble and Bass boss Drop The Lime. Another note: when you walk into a warehouse and see a bald house DJ, there is an approximately 95% chance that it is Moby. There is no reason to question this.

Today’s all about checking out some specific folks, including the Vancouver/Brooklyn crew Old Money Massive, and San Antonio’s own Sonora and Mexicans With Guns. Where will we end the night? Nobody knows…

Hella more pictures right here after the jump.

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