Day 3 kicked off for me at the Pitchfork/Windish Agency Party. Well technically it kicked off at 5am with intense side cramps from sleeping on the floor but the part you cared about started at this really neat venue called Emo’s which basically looks like they found a pit, poured concrete in it, put up a fence and some shamble roofing, and when something breaks they take some 2×4 and plywood and slap that over it.
I waited through a lot of indie bands the only one of which was really memorable for me was the Dirty Projectors. Their guitar sounds are truly unique (sounds something like what you think indie music in the medieval era would be) and their three front women create some damn good harmony, I mean it is really beautiful (of which Truby is in love with the bassist).
But the main attraction for me was the duo performance of A-Trak and Diplo (who will be in Madison April 11th). What was really interesting about their split bill is that you really could tell the differences between their styles. Diplo started it off with his worldwide gutter shit (meaning sort of electro world type beats with a banger twist) and A-Trak who started off in hip-hop (and rose to the level of Kanye’s DJ) but then made the move to more of a hard electro style but as he showed us he still has that solid hip-hop base with some perfect beat jocking and the best scratching I have seen in a while…on some electronic shit (Abilities and him should square off). Hearing these two styles go back and forth was great and seeing the whole room dance unrestrained was something that doesn’t happen too often. Whats great is that they do what the like and have been before this got popular. That’s what makes it work for them.
Tilley, Truby, and I had some excellent dinner at the Ironworks BBQ which almost made us fall asleep but not enough to miss Hollywood Holt (before the side journey to the wrong venue for some Mexican punk band Pat wanted to check…turns out the venue was next door and the one we were in looked like something out of Blade II). Holt had apparently been crunkin and doing shows all day but that didn’t mean he didn’t give us a damn good 25 minutes of a show. He somehow always manages to give out a ton of energy and even crowd surf with the 30 or so people he packed into the front of the venue. He may be loud and obnoxious but once again in an age where hipster rappers are starting to come from everywhere he is legit and this is what he loves. Its hard to knock that. Plus his shows are just too much damn fun. From lessons in juking to “gold chains hanging low” its hard not to enjoy yourself when Nigel is on stage.
This also made me realize one of the shittier parts of the experience: that there is so much going on, so many of your favorite artists appearing that its impossible to catch every little thing that happens. From what was most likely a wild afterparty with Kid Cudi, to the secret Diplo shows, to Holt’s 5 other performances which weren’t listed that day
I then ventured off to see another one of the “Freshman 10 of Hip-Hop” Mickey Factz, but not before passing the big story of the festival thus far, Metalica‘s appearance at the Guitar Hero party. I guess people had been in line since 5am but with my magic badge I got to jump ahead of them just to catch a glimpse of these folks only to say that I was there…and I was. I couldn’t tell you what song they were playing nor do I care that much. Its just one of those things I can say I did. Church.
Anyways I got to the AM Only party which was at the worst run venue I have been at thus far the Beauty Bar. It took everyone about two minutes just to get into the seemingly half full venue. I made my way to the patio to see Mickey. Not impressed. No Supras performance. He spent the set yelling over electro beats and Daft Punk, bringing girls on stage to dance, telling one to “crawl on the ground like a mouse gurrrrl”, and more yelling. I know he has some legitimate music but its hard to be impressed when you see that shit show.
I was hoping this show would redeem itself with some Tittsworth but despite him putting all his energy into it the awkward ass crowd was just too much to overcome. His set was more electro based than I expected it to be based of the hard B-More club stuff I have come to know but I will hopefully see that live another day.
All in all this was the downer party I went to this week. Terribly organized by both promoter and venue and strange performances from otherwise great artists. Epic fail.
I wandered back to where I was originally to catch the end of Amanda Blank‘s set who I was quite impressed with. Her music isn’t too hardly rooted in hipster electro like the rest of the artists that night like Thunderheist who set was good but had no up’s and downs and never drew me in. Blank is a talented singer and above all a really good emcee. This girl can rap. She varies her lyrical style with speed and precision and its something unique in the emerging realm of hipster-hop. She is definitely an artist to keep an eye on and I’m bummed I wasn’t able to see more.
The next up was Lady Sovereign from dA UK who was quite loud and in your face. Not bad but maybe just a little much. She performed he main song Love Me or Hate Me (Fuck You) to a sea full of middle fingers. Other than that it was an up-tempo electro British rap set to a crowd of drunk UT kids, old brosephs looking to slang, the occasionally hype beast, and chubby hipsters. Yay. Church.
Asher Roth was up next and I will say this: he has come a ways from rapping over Milli beats which tons of kids do in their dorm rooms anyways. He came down hoping to start a revolution of some sort, which ended in him roaming the streets looking for pizza at the end of the night. As stated in the previous article he did perform some new songs and is starting to gain a more legitimate sound and in my mind some actual credit for his raps not just someone who I think I could battle over an old Beastie Boys beat because he is too high. Of course he performed his hit I Love College but the highlight was his new stuff which should produce a semi-decent album. You can tell the industry has gotten a hold of him though since he got on stage with no acknowledgment of his gracious host Hollywood Holt and was backed by a drummer, some dude as his hypeman/pusher, and a djay to throw in some scratches all in the set of a pretty planned out set. He is good and he does what he like I am not here to knock that, but the fact that he is so packaged up does two things: one it makes him loose some of his very connective (to the 20 something masses) nostalgia that got him to where he is anyways, and two once his niche closes he is going to be chewed up and spit out…he will just be the first white boy to have it happen. Hopefully he can keep pulling something together like Soulja Boy has.
Kid Sister was the final performer of the evening and was accompanied by her boys Flosstradamus. Her set was live. Her set was short. All was well. She always puts on a very interactive and hype show but this one was just a little too short. Its hard not to get into it when she hits you with Damn Girl then Switchboard followed by Pro Nails and then ends with a Flossy-D Act A Fool live performance. Shit is banging. Also got to end the night with a little duo tag team djay set of Hollywood Holt and Autobot. Juke dem hoes.
One finaly big ups to Holt for hosting the entire night and doing a smash up job djaying. Gotta love some new Orleans bounce followed by Dunn Dunn by Shawty Lo not once but tree times just to get into it long enough so the crowd could got “Got Damn! Must be Two SIDE!”. See why:
Off to the Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish. And my deadly 7:00am flight. FML.