Find the Best Mustache
[Best Mustache We’ve Found At SXSW]
Austin is ground zero for skinny jeans and bushy push broom lip ticklers. After two days of stealthily chasing mustachioed men in flannel shirts, we came across the ultimate soup-straining cookie duster. When the flavor savor comes in the form of a see-saw, everyone gets a free mustache ride.
Find the Best Funk Band
The difference between professional, tight grooves and looser, more organic funk could be grounds for a heated debate. Which is better? To see a group nail every change with tight precision is nothing to be scoffed at, while hearing another band passionately jam out every section might turn you on your head. Somehow we talked our way into the private Entertainment Weekly party to see Fitz & The Tantrums . We were floored by Noelle Scaggs’ voice, but we all agreed that without her this band would be Shits and the Tantrums. The New Mastersounds, on the other hand, were exactly what this trio needed to amp us up for the rest of the day.
Go Off On A Political Rant At The NPR Party
When engaging in a political discussion with NPR staff, you have to know your stuff. When we tried to reason that Newt Gingrich cheated on his wife for his love of America because “there’s nothing more American than gambling, cheating and getting caught”, they just smiled and gave us more free beer tickets. Victory.
Of course, there was much more to talk about besides our hunt, and we saw a bunch of great bands. By far the biggest unofficial SXSW party is the Fader Fort. The entrance lines curling around the block made immediate sense to us once we indulged in the free beer and popcorn. We caught a couple songs from The Givers, a Louisiana foursome, and dug their vibe very much. The theme for the week has been energy, and these guys didn’t disappoint. Their African inspired guitar lines and heavy rhythms were completely infectious.
[The Givers @ Fader Fort]
At the NPR Day Party, The Antlers previewed their upcoming album Burst Apart from cover to cover. They provided complex melodies and well-crafted songs, reminiscent at times of Radiohead’s In Rainbows. There was something exciting about it, but halfway through the set we were asleep on our feet. With the exception of a couple tunes, the ethereal sound scape wasn’t what we were looking for.
[The Antlers – NPR Day Party @ The Parish]
The lyrical machine gun that is Yelawolf, aka Michael Wayne Atha, was born in Gadsden, Alabama. His flow is the bi-product of Eminem and Busta Rhymes but his delivery has the RPMs and clarity of Crazy Bone. Yelawolf threw down in a big way, dropping jaws and raising eyebrows. We’ll be keeping track of this tattooed mad man.
Fishbone hasn’t been on the radar of popularity for a while and that is unfortunate. Wu-Tang couldn’t have asked for better hype men because these guys can incite a horn driven riot on the drop of dime. Stage dives, impeccable ska and the best cover of Sublime’s Date Rape imaginable earns Fishbone a spot near the top of our favorites list.
Wu-Tang Clan is so ingrained in the collective consciousness of 3GM that there was no way we could miss the chance to see them. As expected, they came on late, only a handful of them showed up and they were plagued with microphone feedback – BUT they were awesome. The crowd was so amped for classic Wu that even Erykah Badu’s guest appearance paled in comparison to the response to songs like C.R.E.A.M. And Protect Ya Neck. It should also be noted that at some point leading up to Wu-Tangs performance, Community’s Donald Glover came out and freestyled – and freestyled well.
No Widespread? When executive scheduling decisions revolve around 2,000 bands, tough calls are made by the hour. When it came down to the WSP performance, we just figured we’d been there/done that. Looking at the fairly standard setlist, it appears that we made a good call…even if it was an Austin City Limits taping.
We headed to Malaia for Bo Bliz’s DJ set at 11:15. When the Philadelphia native took the stage there were 4 people on the floor. Fifteen minutes later the place was a full blown dance party. Bo Bliz’s deft blend of recognizable hip hop and harder crunk brought the energy we needed to recharge our batteries and head back in to the Austin abyss.
[Bo Bliz @ Malaia]
For this one week in March, any place big enough to hold a hundred people and a stage is turned into a venue, and many are simply not equipped for the large sound the bands deserve. This unfortunate circumstance took its toll on us and Morning Teleportation at The Marq late last night. The bright sounds and subtleties in their music were lost, though thankfully their energy was not. We may not have been able to get the best impression of how this band sounds, but we saw enough to know that they’re worth a listen.
[Morning Teleportation @ The Marq]
Headed back out now. It’s one of our birthdays, one of us hasn’t showered, and all of us are out of fresh underwear. Energy is everything.