It Happened Last Night: SXSW Night Four
The Stooges' Iggy Pop flies, Redman dives, bringing SXSW's rowdy party to a close.
St. Patrick’s Day evening was hands down one of the hottest nights of SXSW. Sure, thousands of non-badgeholding locals added to the rock’n’roll fray with their beer-soaked celebrations, but Iggy and the Stooges totally brought the awesome on SXSW’s final night out. Redman, too, aimed to please with his own wild stage antics while Kid Koala, Oppenheimer, and Wax Fang also added their own acts of awesomeness. Read on for more SXSW coverage from SPIN.com.
Paolo Nutini delivered reflective folk and Kings of Leon brought brawny Southern rock to Stubb’s (801 Red River), but SXSW’s closing night clearly belonged to the Stooges. Even hometown heroes Spoon gave a shout-out to the punk legends during their sole appearance at the festival. The Austin act mixed new songs (“Don’t Make Me a Target”) and old standbys (“The Way We Get By”) before the legendary Detroit rockers took the stage. Wearing only low-slung jeans, a surprisingly well-preserved Iggy Pop jumped around like a maniac throughout the hour-long performance. The Stooges played a series of scuzzy classics such as “No Fun,” “She Took My Money,” “Trollin'” and “I’m Fried.” But the highlight of the showcase was when Iggy dove into the crowd during “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and a fleet of photographers captured the rock-star shaped hole in the audience, marking one of the best photo ops of SXSW. 97% awesome GINNY YANG
Now Watch This: The Stooges, “No Fun”
While the two or three heads who were unexpectedly ambushed by a flying Redman plummeting from Cedar St. Courtyard’s (204 W. 4th St.) upper balcony might have walked away from Saturday night’s Filter magazine bash with gaping wounds, rap fans who hit the show looking for a memorable hip-hop send-off walked away in figurative stitches. Following his long tradition of flicking roaches at convention, and milking his aggravation over being asked to rock for free, Funk Doc threatened the soundman, quizzed cats on “Da Rockwilder” lyrics, and moved the crowd in more than one way despite coming out with no apparent game plan. 84% awesome CHRIS FARAONE
St. Patrick’s Day isn’t St. Patrick’s Day without some good old-fashioned Irish music. And by good old-fashioned Irish music, we mean the euphoric brand of electro pop that Belfast duo Oppenheimer manufactures. Playing to a packed crowd of green-clad revelers at the Soho Lounge (217 E. 6th St.), Shaun Robinson and Rocky O’Reilly rang in the day of St. Patrick with a set of pop bon mots that aimed to please and did. A member of the boys-whose-voices-kinda-sound-like-girls club (along with club president, Wheatus’s Brenden B. Brown), Robinson backed O’Reilly’s computer generated-sounding vocals on closing song “Saturday That’s Bad to Me.” 80% awesome MELISSA GOLDSTEIN
Spoon wasn’t the only local band making noise Saturday night. Playing in the cozy, cave-like backyard of Club DeVille (900 Red River), Zykos reaffirmed our early inclinations that they’d be a band to watch during this year’s showcase. Mike Booher’s raspy voice, a whiskey-soaked croon on par with the Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli, arched into falsetto territory on “Autographin’ Bibles,” and after he coaxed out screams and shouts on “In Yer Blood,” he literally coughed up a vocal furball, as one more yelp just needed to push its way to the surface. The circus-y keyboards on set-closer “Wipeout Try Waking Up” gave way to a delightfully drawn out jam that climaxed with guitarist Alex Leon going spelunking along the cave wall behind the stage and bassist Mike Roeder wrecking the drum kit while Cully Symington somehow managed to keep thumping along. 91% awesome PETER GASTON
Now Watch This: Zykos, “Autographin’ Bibles”
Despite being SXSW’s most lyrically kinetic rapper in red booties and a leotard, Australian MC Macromantics slipped in and out of touch with the crowd at Saturday night’s Kill Rock Stars showcase at Emo’s IV (601 Red River). It’s difficult to knock an Aussie for vocal clarity, but Macro undoubtedly shined when she dropped her horny, choppy backdrops and spit accapella. Still, tracks like the celeb-slapping “Bandwagon” from her KRS debut Moments in Movementpopped off as brutally passionate and steered fully clear of any artificial b-girl posturing. 82% awesome CHRIS FARAONE
Seattle’s KEXP (90.3FM) were likely pleased with the long lines of antsy fans waiting outside the Mohawk Patio (912 Red River) for their Saturday night (March 16) showcase — but were the bands worth such hype? Just barely. Previous touring partner to acts like My Morning Jacket and the Whigs, Louisville, Kentucky’s Wax Fang demonstrated their incredible capability and candor, defining the image and sound of the token rock power trio. Alternating between punk-rock rage with thumping bass and vocal sensitivity akin to Cat Stevens or Jim Croce, the trio was close to innovation while in disguise as a small town bar band. While lead singer Scott Carney could be found shredding on a TV antenna center stage, songs became less distinct as the set eventually closed. Despite all efforts, the monotony was slightly undeniable. KEXP may have built a great lineup, but unfortunately on this tired Saturday night, it reflected more of the festival’s burnout phase than energetic spark. 77% awesome SAMI PROMISLOFF
Montreal turntable maven Kid Koala’s hand skills were enough to get partiers peeping Ninja Tune’s Saturday showcase at the Parish (214 E. 6th St.) scratching their domes; and thanks to the surveillance camera propped above his decks, fans could witness first hand that while hip-hop might be dead, vinyl relics live forever. Outclassing his laptop savvy contemporaries, Koala bridged new classics such as Mr. Lif’s “Brothaz” and Golden Age staples like Tribe’s “Award Tour” with a blend of honky-tonk and break beats that would make any hardcore crate digger mighty envious. 90% awesome CHRIS FARAONE