Photo by Kristen Wrzesniewski
The weekend in Austin started off quickly with several interviews on the docket early. My feet, blistered, sore and just generally unhappy about the situation, slipped into a pair of Converse boots with the thought it would help with all the moving. Strapped up and ready to go I headed out to The Blind Pig on 6th Street to talk to The Lonely Biscuits, a four piece jam/hip-hop/indie group from Nashville. The Belmont University students were on the back end of a wild collection of shows throughout SXSW and played a fitting mid-afternoon set after we had a chance to sit down and talk. As soon as I was done there, I raced across town to the Omni Hotel where I was to interview New York City’s rising star, 17-year-old Bishop Nehru. Sans photog for the week, I was able to get the lovely pair of Rasha Mosa and Asia Ashley of The Lab3l to lend a hand for what ended up being one of the more interesting interviews I’ve done in awhile. We discussed the theory of the ‘twenty year loop’, his ties to Nas and what we can expect next, words on that coming soon.
After that it was off to 502 Brushy Street on the other side of the highway to catch Chicago local Taylor Bennett perform at the House of Aura showcase. Technical problems led to him doing a rousing acapella performance before launching into a full set list. A trip to the Rap Genius Ranch ended up just getting me more miles on my ragged feet as we made the trip just a bit too late to catch Nas actually talking about Illmatic. It was at about this point I realized the ridiculousness of this ‘festival’ and how impractical a town Austin really is. There is a ton going on in ATX for SXSW, so much in fact you can find music just about anywhere you go. However, once you walk up to that venue with your Bomberman-looking arm of wristbands, trying desperately to find the one for this particular venue, you’ll likely find there is an extra hierarchy above your ‘credential’ (i.e. it’s a corporate party with people who don’t really even like the music), or you’ll be directed to a mile-long line with a shrug and a ‘good luck’. So, I spent a good amount of time Friday walking to shows like SaveMoney’s set at Clive, only to hear Tumblr only likes folks in badges and decided to pack it in and meet up with some familiar faces at D.B. Riley’s on 6th where Marrow played an absolutely fantastic SXSW debut. Going back to Austin being impractical, keep in mind there is little to no public transportation, the highway system is like a toddler’s SimCity game and they have a train that literally runs like every three hours in a straight line down one street. Sorry guys, you have a way to go before you get true ‘city’ status. Anyway, after Marrow injected happiness into the souls of D.B. Riley’s patrons, I decided it was time to get out of the city and ended up at a mansion party about 20 minutes outside of town where we partied through the night. Looking forward to the last day, ready to get back to Chicago.
Marrow at D.B. Riley’s
Taylor Bennett at House of Aura
The Lonely Biscuits at The Big Picture Media Showcase