Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

March 21, 2011 at 10:05am

SXSW with Rev. Adam McKinney: The Nightgowns final Austin gig, Tea Cozies, Casiokids, Pop Up Animal Kids, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All

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There was a certain frantic desperation in the air, Saturday, on-ostensibly-the last day of SXSW. (There are sparse shows happening here and there Sunday, but the festival's basically over.) The sudden realization that a million shows have happened over the past few days and I've only seen a relative few washed over me.

The day started at The Stage, with the Nightgowns' final Austin show. Surprisingly, even though the show was at 2 p.m. and the walls were lined with photo-realistic paintings of country music stars, this turned out to be the Nightgowns' best and most well-attended show of the festival. Being that this was a Seattle showcase, I stayed and watched the next couple bands: the sunny garage rock of Tea Cozies and the earthy folk rock of Ravenna Woods.

Afterward, I wandered around, peeking my head in at the random shows that lined Sixth Street, finally resting at the Benson Interruption, hosted by comedian Doug Benson. The show features comedians-this time including Chelsea Peretti, Eugene Mirman and Brody Stevens (who called me John Hodgman; gush!)-doing standup sets while Doug Benson sits on the stage and interrupts their acts.

Back out on Sixth Street, I wandered over to the Parish, where I caught Casiokids, from Norway. Like much of the music coming from that part of the world, theirs was a slick, disco-flavored pop that did miracles in turning the muggy humidity of the Parish into the perfect spot for dancing out all that Lone Star beer I had been saturated with.

Next, I hit up B.D. Riley's downstairs for a set from Pop Up Animal Kids, from the Netherlands (what is it with European people and putting "kids" in their name?). They are the first band I've seen in town that embrace the idea of band uniforms. Each one was color-coded-either red, blue, green, or yellow. Their crunchy, riff heavy indie rock united the odd assembly of people in the Irish pub. Heavy enough for that guy in leather to bang his head, and groovy enough for that middle-aged dude to awkwardly bob from foot to foot.

But by far the shining moment of the night was the performance from the L.A. shock-rap collective, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All at the Billboard music party. After waiting in line for about 45 minutes and watching as wristband-holders were turned away at the door (making it a badges-only affair) I finally made my way through the gauntlet of entering the club. Three stations of doormen stood, ready to check IDs and badges, search backpacks, and wave people down with a metal-detector.

Once inside, the crowded club was treated to the kind of show that you look for in a festival like SXSW. About 30 seconds into their first song, "Sandwitches," OFWGKTA leader Tyler, the Creator, stopped the song and berated the audience for not being wild enough. They started over, with chants of "wolf gang," "golf wang," and "swag" ringing through the club.

Tyler, the Creator and Hodgy Beats took turns jumping onto the monitors to swat at lights and shout "fuck you" to the crowd. Tyler, the Creator's microphone was a little too quiet, so he said, "Yo, sound guy. Microphone two is shit. Fucking fix it!" before throwing it off stage.

Two songs later, Tyler, the Creator introduced his breakout hit "Yonkers" by announcing that most of the assholes in the room only know this song of theirs. After they finished "Yonkers," Tyler, the Creator once again shouted at the audience, telling the people in the front that they were cool, but that he wanted everyone else to leave.

Finally, after playing three songs, Tyler, the Creator and the rest of OFWGKTA stormed off stage, saying that they fucking hate SXSW, they never even read Billboard, and that this whole show was bullshit.

Chants of "wolf gang" died out after a minute or so, and befuddled press ambled out of the club.

Regardless of what OFWGKTA's intentions were, I think that this was a brilliant marketing strategy. Because the show was badges-only, at that point, a large contingent of the audience was made up of jerky press people like me. We all wanted and expected to see some crazy nonsense from Odd Future, and that's just what they gave us.

I walked across the street to see Starfucker's set at the Parish. But after Odd Future, Starfucker's bland, edgeless indie rock did nothing for me.

I caught my ride and headed back to the house.

LINK: Weekly Volcano's 2011 SXSW coverage

Filed under: SXSW, Tacoma, Music,
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