The music part of SXSW 2013 is at the halfway mark. It’s 30 degrees and getting hotter every day, my clothes reek of meat and smoke and there’s a lot more to come. Here are some random observations from Thursday (Day Three) of the festival. Read Day One’s round-up, including Best Bass Face, Snazziest Trouser Suit and Most Magnificent Guitar Riff.
Weirdest Hologram Rumour
I wondered when Pepper’s ghost would rear his head with a follow-up to the hologram of Tupac at Coachella last year. SXSW really seems to be pushing the boat out this year in terms of secret guests and massive stars so it wouldn’t be a great surprise. The rumour? Justin Timberlake will appear with a hologram of… John Lennon. WTF?
Eminem, P Diddy, Warren G and Justin Timberlake are apparently set to perform in a park somewhere on Saturday afternoon. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’ll die happy if I hear Warren G’s ‘Regulate’ live.
Fiercest Instance Of FOMO
You’re only 20 minutes away from an attack of the FOMOs (fear of missing out) at SXSW. You could be busy munching on a burrito and missing Beyoncé playing on the roof of a car park just next door. Amber Coffman singing ‘Get Free’ with Major Lazer last night was a major example as well as Stevie Nicks and Dave Grohl playing ‘Gold Dust Woman’.
Sohn, pronounced son, played at Hype Hotel to a particularly large crowd for a midday show. It’s no surprise: it was a captivating show and he was the best new act I saw on Thursday. The Sohn set-up is kinda similar to James Blake’s. He loops and layers vocals over electronic R&B symphonies that pulse and phase and sweep you to another place. The luscious break in ‘The Wheel’ was a top musical moment. You can hear it at 2.16 in the video below.
Vinyl Williams wins this hands down.
Most Rock ‘N’ Roll Behaviour From A British Indie Band
Beating Fred Spector, who jumped into a pool after a bash he organised fully clothed, is popular new band Peace, whose party antics led to the breakage of a glass table at the Four Seasons hotel, a swift eviction and a $1,000 bill.
Requisite Anti-Corporate Tantrum
Diiv’s Zachary Cole Smith took to Tumblr to blast SXSW on Thursday afternoon, saying:
Here, the music comes last. 5 minute set-up, no sound check, 15 minute set. The ‘music’ element is all a front, it’s the first thing to be compromised. Corporate money everywhere but in the hands of the artists, at what is really just a glorified corporate networking party. Drunk corporate goons and other industry vampires and cocaine. Everyone is drunk, being cool. ‘Official’ bureaucracy and all their mindless rules. Branding, branding, branding. It’s bullshit… sorry
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I saw the band play a couple of hours later and they looked perfectly happy but hey, it must be really difficult to be an upcoming rock star playing at a festival thousands of new bands would kill to showcase at.
I don’t know if I can date her. She has 65,000 followers
Canadian troubadour Mac DeMarco (pictured above) played a superb set in a warehouse, featuring guitar freestyles, improvs and a masterful drum solo. It was effortlessly brilliant. ‘Cooking Up Something Good’ was the song of the day for me, particularly when its goofy chorus sails into a stonkingly beautiful chorus.
You can read a massive round-up of NME at SXSW in the March 30 issue of the magazine. Check back on NME.com for news, daily blogs and galleries (with actually good pictures) related to the festival