The first half of SXSW 2012 was pretty amazing as evidenced in the previous post. We had already hung mad banners, traversed endless blocks 5 times over, and witnessed some amazing shows where we shelved the camera in addition of a back break and freedom to move a little slicker through crowds. One of these shows was Warner Brothers amazing showcase headlined by Mofoz fam and Austin native Gary Clark Jr. Gary and his band continuously amaze me with every show we witness. Gary was fresh from a round of shows including the White House, private events countrywide, as well as a schlew of sold out shows virtually everywhere these Austin representers set foot. I could write all day about the amazing songwriting of Gary’s, just as easily as I could write about his vocal range which ranges from panty-dropping Motown swooning to full out swinging rock; however, Gary’s brilliance is in his ability to make the guitar his bitch. During the Warner Brothers showcase, he did just that. He and his tightknit band jammed a break where Gary commanded his six stringed Gibson into fits of scratching sounds that would have given the most respected turntablists a run for their money. Being no stranger to hip hop, Gary lends his talents on Phranchyze‘s latest project S.T.A.R.S on a song called “Be Here”.
We woke up the next day to meet up with our good friends and make it happen brethren, Moshe of Hour Band , as well as Chris and Shane of Electric Touch. Chris and Shane were up bright and early to perform a few acoustic songs for Austin’s KXAN morning show to promote their much anticipated new album,” Never Look Back” which features fan favorite “Dont Stop”. Electric Touch has recently toured with Evanescence and is currently on the road with Hot Chelle Rae.
Chris of Electric Touch hanging at the KXAN studios.
Moshe Mosh holding it down.
From the studio we hightailed it to downtown for the S-O-TERIK showcase that ET was playing at and debuting a new signature tee from the clothing company. S-O-Terik has been a strong supporter of the band as evidenced by the nice magazine ads in JUXTAPOZ. The company’s party showcased some of the great tees , as well as a lot of space and paint open for artists or would be artists to use and express themselves. We had a chance to meet a lot of the great artists and talents involved with S-O-TERIK and really dig the approach they are taking in creating apparel as well as marketing their products…pretty much being real with it.
From there we went back to the HQ Hotwire Unlimited office to take a breather and catch up with our friend and Houston MC, Perseph One who was in town to blaze a SXSW showcase later in the day. We both watched this 6th street showcase for a good 45 minutes from the window. This was actually one of my more memorable SXSW shows and it was the most unofficial and unconventional shows I’ve ever witnessed. I don’t even know who the band was but they did it up right, brought a generator and just started plugging in. any other week of the year these guys would have probably been tasered by the APD, but this was SXSW and they just let it ride. The band played what seemed like a full set. From song to song passerbyers took time to check out the music, some stayed, others danced, some took pics while others even circled the band real Jaws-like continuously on inline skates, while others even displayed some great break dance skills. Long story short, you are standing on a stage; and even if bands do not have corporate backing, large show promotion, slick booking agents, or roadies there is always a chance that a little ingenuity in addition to good music can and does transcend into the masses. Sure, I didn’t catch there names but I witnessed a line of people after the show waiting to talk to the band and network with them.
Here on the other hand, there was a crazy ass line to attend an early day Gary Clark Jr show at the MOG showcase at the newly renovated Mohawk. This line did a somewhat U-shape into Red River…
Heres Gary getting his guitar on in a barely salvageable photo.
Gary Clark Jr and band at the Mohawk.
This kid thoroughly enjoyed the show also…he actually started dancing nuts as Gary soloed.
Immediately after Gary’s dazzling set, we traversed into the inside stage at The Mohawk with Phranchyze and our friend Jessica who was raving about a femcee named K-Flay. Jessica had already seen 2 of K-Flay’s showcases earlier in the week; this marked her 3rd and I believe she was also planning on seeing a 4th set later in the day. K- Flay gave a great performance that showcased her dynamic skills on the MPC as well as her poignant lyrics she delivered in an almost Eyedea-like rapid fire but with a more Atmosphere like sound. I dug that she had a drummer also to keep the music organic, this was one of my favorite sets during SXSW and I look forward to catching this rising MC again if given the chance. Also, she has a really cheeky website.
K-Flay at SXSW 2012
The Roots. The Legendary Roots. The Legendary Roots Crew. This was by far one of the best examples of musicianship displayed at SXSW 2012….and that says a hell of a lot. Black Thought is one of the most underrated emcess in the rap game, and although they do enjoy a great chunk of mainstream success, they still make music that talks to real people and talks on real topics. The professionalism and showmanship of this band should be heralded in the music industry always and continuously over some of the horrible excuses for shows some of the top rappers in the game put there fans through.
The Roots at SXSW 2012…thats DJ Jazzy Jeff in the back who was welcomed on stage for a percussion jam with Q-Tip and the band.
SXSW is not all about the concerts, there is a fair amount of great panelist and speakers that present and talk on every possible aspect of the music industry. We caught a session with Nas…but left out early due to the slow talking, mostly boring interview that literally had me falling asleep. In his defense, this was almost a full week into a very busy SXSW.
Another surefire SXSW staple is the Austin clothing company MadGods. MadGods represented their brand and art along with fellow Austin clothing brand ,33 and a 1/3, with a downtown pop up store offering fresh threads to style hungry SXSW’ers. The pop up store also featured live artwork throughout the week as well as a small art gallery housed in the pop up shop.
All in all, SXSW 2012 kicked much ass.