And the second day in Austin has come to an end with some excitements, more hiking near the Hook em Horns campus and late night surprises (aka Pat Tilley CREEEEEPPPIN! not.)
We started the day where all self-entitling hipsters should, at the back alley of an Urban Outfitters with our BFF from the Ill Mill at a PBRty. Yippee.
The first band I saw and the only one I feel like mentioning from this venture was the band Women from Canada. From my limited experience with Indie bands all I can say is that I did really enjoy their drummer. He carries the melody of the group quite well and has several creative approaches to his rhythms including placing the tambourine on the snare and making some strange yet well produced noise.
After a healthy hike back to the downtown area from the UT campus (about 23 blocks more or less) we made it back to the main downtown stretch where I broke off from the main group to help promote the Rhymesayers showcase that eve. The main promo was done at a day party with radio djays where some interesting events took place. Mainly the never to be seen again freestyle on the street collaboration between the Yay Arena’s Mistah Fab and the South MPLS emcee Eyedea of E&A. I shit you not. I wish I had video. This never to be seen again unless a parallel universe opens between the ghost riding king and the long winded fast rapper may be one of the strangest and more epic events I have seen thus far.
The evening show for RSE started at the Havana club with Toki Wright who has just been signed to the label under what appears to be a ‘Showcase Series’ of artists from maybe just the Twin Cities or all over. Or maybe he is just on the label. Well have to see. He played a lot of new tracks which didn’t really differ stylistically from his previous work but still sounds like it will make up a good album.
I Self Devine was the next artist up also playing material off the new album to come “Sounds of Lower Class Amerika”, and also similarly sounding to the previous release “Self Destruction”. He continues to be one of the under-represented artists by the label since every time you catch one of his shows it is one of the livest and most memorable performances you will see.
E&A were up next and performed a few new songs and some of the classics like Now and Birth of a Fish. And of course one of my favorite parts of the whole experience is to see Abilities do a scratch set. Shit is bananas and always something new. This time it was the Mr. Me Too beat and scratching “Yeah…I’m Back” for about 5 minutes straight.
I ran over to the Back Alley Social about 10 blocks away to catch Pac Div the F.A.T. Boys from sunny LA. The 20 minute set was highlighted by 5 minutes of the Mayor dance in the half full venue and only about one verse of their hit F.A.T. Boys. This wasn’t the greatest show but you caught enough of the idea of what they are trying to do so it all works out. And in the end what they are trying to do is somewhere between the Cool Kids and U-N-I. Not quite just hipster rap but pretty close.
I caught the beginning of the POS show back at Rhymesayers before heading off. It was pretty much the same set except a curtailed version as in Madison so you can just read all about that.
Finally it was off to Ace’s Lounge for the final act I was going to try and catch that night, Kid Cudi. But it appears the dreams of the room were to be slashed as the rapper appeared to be a no show. The venue manager from SXSW came out to announce the news and was quickly greeted by a beer bottle being thrown on stage and hit back with a very stern look and mean pointer finger at the culprit. Then the actual owner of the venue came out to try and calm folks down but was also greeted in a similar fashion and a stream of people leaving.
About two minutes into his speech however a flood of people came back into the venue and 30 seconds later Kid Cudi jumps on stage, a sigh of relief passes over the club owner, and Cudi yells out “Sorry Ya’ll we flew into Houston!” After a brief sound check the show started which can apparently be seen on Carson Daly’s Late Night programming.
The show itself was quite good. Whenever a new rapper following in the Cool Kids steps (more or less but you know what I mean…hipster rap) comes out its always hard to tell if the can rap or not. Cudi appears to be one of those individuals who actually can. He may not rap fast or show you ten different styles in a night but lyrically he can tell a story and that is more than the Cool Kids can say save the Basement Party track. He broke up the set with short “smoke” breaks on stage and bringing his party girls on stage. And he of course closed with the “popular” radio station hit Day & Nite and then throw on the Crookers remix of the same song to “keep the party going”. And the party did keep on going. More girls came on stage, Million $ Mano started dancing around, and guests from Rhymesayers who I was surprised to see there (Brother Ali, Jake One, Freeway, Siddiq, and others) and the guys from Pac Div showed up even after the main sound was turned off and the monitors were the only music going.
So yeah that show was interesting. We apologize for the lack of photos since our internet is terrible in the hotel. They will be up when we get back. Stay tuned for updates from Day 3 (Hollywood Holt, Diplo + A-Trak, Mickey Factz, Tittsworth, Amanda Blank, Asher Roth, and Kid Sister) and from what should be a good Day 4 (Cool Kids and MSTRKRFT).