It Happened Yesterday: SXSW Day Four

Decked in every shade of green, locales amassed on Austin’s beaten paths for various St. Patrick’s Day festivities while SXSW attendees made their final assault on SXSW’s day parties. Without a doubt, Ghostface Killah delivered the awesome, did others such as Takka Takka, Datarock, and Mickey Avalon add to SPIN’s daily quota of awesome? Read on for more on SXSW’s last day.

Outfitted in red sweat suits that left no chest hair to the imagination, Norway’s Datarock offered calorie-burning entertainment at the NY2LN party at Habana Calle (709 E. 6th St.). Frontman Fredrik Saroea interspersed his Byrne-ian vocal stylings with running man (on a very slow treadmill) dance moves, and triggered a new-rave lovefest with the single “Fa Fa Fa.” Before leaving the stage, the crew drove home the importance of dirty dancing, exiting the stage to a recording of “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” after declaring it the best song ever written. Later on inside, Brooklyn’s Takka Takka took a subtler, though no less heartfelt approach: Lou Reed-looking lead singer Gabe Levine stood on tiptoe throughout most of the set-come simultaneous harmonica and guitar playing or tambourine banging-but finally dropped to his knees for a grand finale guitar jam on “We Feel Safer at Night.” Levine gave a laundry list of thanks: “to [the sponsor] Le Tigre, the bar, you guys, the earth,” but we were the ones who felt like we owed him one. 80% awesome MELISSA GOLDSTEIN

With only twenty minutes and about eight square feet to work with at Saturday afternoon’s Redeye Distribution 10th Anniversary party, New York chick-hop unit Northern State pulled an impressive feat by wowing the heavy Austin rock contingent at the Yard Dog Gallery (1510 S. Congress Ave.). Guinea Love, Sprout and Hesta Prynn brought a flawless ping-pong rhyme routine gained from compulsive touring, added local spice with a southernized “It Takes Three” and stirred in the methamphetamine-driven Ad-Rock collaboration “Sucka Mofo” for what could be considered one of the week’s most unique bread and butter boom-bap sets. 89% awesome CHRIS FARAONE

Even though Scion celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a showcase that featured L.A. and NYC acts, it doesn’t mean the concert was lacking holiday cheer. Mickey Avalon’s spazzy, hedonistic rap kicked off the event at Stubb’s (801 Red River), with the hard-partying singer offering invitations for people to pinch him for not wearing green. Avalon introduced the Cobrasnake, who was standing at the side of the stage snapping away, before launching into his MySpace hit “Jane Fonda.” But the set was nothing compared to Ghostface Killah, who ripped through a series of solo classics such as “Ice Cream” and “Beauty Jackson.” Backed by a full funk band, the original Wu-Tang member hyped up the tattooed and backwards cap-wearing crowd. The rapper invited girls to dance onstage with him during a medley before ending his performance with chants of “Peace!” 93% awesome GINNY YANG

Just south of Austin’s beautiful capital building, SXSW’s most elite attendees gathered at the Austin Museum of Art in celebration of renowned retailer Waterloo Records’ 24th anniversary. As partygoers sipped on fine wine, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Leslie Mendelson also performed, plunking out her gems on an immaculate baby grand piano. Cocktails and desserts also coincided with the museum’s showcasing of paintings by legendary producer and visionary Brian Eno. Selections from Eno’s “77 Million” collection did not appear in tangible form, but rather alternated for hours as images on flat screen TVs. This all-encompassing party of Austin’s fine art cornerstones was a welcome way for insiders to revel in the pride of progress and ingenuity. 88% awesome SAMI PROMISLOFF

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