Lil Wayne, Skrillex, And Others Fire Up Austin On Day Two Of SXSW
If you're familiar with chaos theory, which in its basic form is the attempt to find patterns in this planet's many happenings, then you may understand the difficulty that comes with describing a full day at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. To break down the chaos, a few of Village Voice Media's music editors have selected their favorite moments from SXSW's second day. Find 'em below.
Lil Wayne - Austin Music Hall After being shut out of the T.I./B.o.B show at La Zona Rosa (thanks, fire marshal), I headed to see Lil Wayne at the Austin Music Hall. This was the first stop on the #DEWeezy campaign, a new partnership between the New Orleans rapper and soft drink company Mountain Dew. Tunechi rolled to the stage on his skateboard, bright neon green soda in hand. He offered up "I'm Going In" and "A Milli" before he apologized to the fans for his tardiness; he compared life to skateboarding, saying that even after falling multiple times, you just have to get up and try again until you succeed. Rumor had it that both Drake and Nicki Minaj were going to appear. Sadly, neither showed, but YMCMB products Gudda Gudda, Shanell, and Birdman did. Wayne ended his impressive, high-energy (drink-fueled) show with "6 Foot 7 Foot" and "The Motto (Y.O.L.O.)." Greatest rapper alive? Not quite, but definitely one of the game's better showmen. Marco Torres
Audible Treats Showcase - Kiss & Fly Dallas's A.Dd+ had the entire crowd screaming their name by set's end, although Paris Pershun and Slim Gravy facilitated that reaction somewhat by ending the set in the crowd, rapping to each other. They've got the perfect complementary flow, and when they trade verses, they actually look at each other with an intensity rarely seen in rap duos nowadays, gauging where the other might be going. They just got off tour with Detroit's Black Milk, so they've no doubt gotten a chance to refine their delivery. The energy of the set made me stick around for Brooklyn trio Flatbush Zombies, who endured some technical difficulties, but thankfully got to perform their hit "Thug Waffle." Bay Area rapper Moe Green followed suit, but the surprise of the night was Georgia Anne Muldrow, an L.A. MC who's just as comfortable with rap as jazz and soul, a beat poet who eschews formal verse/chorus/verse in favor of mantra and message. Her voice is an instrument in itself. Madlib produced her upcoming album, Seeds, and I can't wait to hear the fruits of that interstellar collaboration. Audra Schroeder
Gary Clark Jr. - Four Seasons Lots of people at SXSW trot out that old "I saw 'em way back when" saw, but that doesn't make it any less satisfying when you watch the "'em" in question legitimately become a star. People have talked about Austin native Gary Clark Jr.'s guitar skills since he had to wake up from his weeknight Continental Club residency to go to high school. Already regarded by the likes of Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton as the best blues guitarist of his generation, Clark's Levert-like crooning on ballads like "Things are Changing" is really turning people's heads. At dusk on the Four Seasons patio during the Grammys' private schmooze-and-booze, Clark burned Hendrix's "Midnight Lamp," making a serene and psychedelic moment among the pecan trees and glowing white orbs. Then he kept the train right on a-rollin' with some John Lee Hooker-grade boogie. Chris Gray
Youth Lagoon - Club De Ville It felt like the reward for a long day of marching through trash-strewn Austin streets, hunting for exciting new things and finding relatively few of them: Long after their scheduled 1 a.m. start time, the two members of Youth Lagoon situated themselves atop the wooden stage of Club DeVille and let off a gorgeous set of melancholy bedroom pop, underpinned by ribbons of throbbing bass. The combination of warm, sad keyboard melodies, electric guitar adornments, and the low-end rumble of electronic beats made for a music you could think, feel, and move to. From the first drop, the drunker members of the audience started slowly gyrating, while a larger portion simply stood, nodding and swaying, watching principal member Trevor Powers pour his plaintive stories into the microphone. Thin, vulnerable, and a little raspy, it was striking how similar Powers's unadorned live voice sounded to the processed version heard on the band's 2011 breakout debut, The Year of Hibernation. With its laconic beats and lonely vocals, Youth Lagoon seems to have either picked up where the xx's debut left off or made a more satisfying version of what James Blake is doing, albeit with fewer overt dubstep nods. Either way, their set was late-night music at its best. Ian S. Port
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