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Festival Blog

Live from the 2008 music and film festivals!

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March 16, 2008 1:39 PM

epilogue

Posted by Sabzi

our hotel room was nice. for a bunch of musicians, we leave hotel rooms pretty clean.

SXSW was an interesting experience. show went well. saw some other shows. saw some crazies. yup, it was time to go home. on our way to catch a cab in front of the hotel, i ran into this guy named Fat Mike who is the front man of a band i grew up on in junior high, NOFX.

when i gave him a copy of our CD, he was like "hip-hop? i think our guitarist likes hip-hop. i like Crystal Method. MUAHAHA." i wasn't really sure what the purpose of that statement was, but that's my guy. a dope musician, an excellent businessman, and hella friendly.

at the airport, there was a mass of people that looked like they were obviously in bands.

about 5 hours and one connection later, we were back at SeaTac. the weather is gray and crisp. good to be back. i wonder if we'll go next year.

THE END.... or IS IT?

... YES. it IS.

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March 16, 2008 1:08 AM

one more thing

Posted by Sabzi

while i was waiting in line for Donner Kabobs to bring back to the hotel for Geo and the fam, this guy recognized me in line. his name was Vaughn and he'd moved from Seattle to Austin. he was so excited to see another Seattle face he insisted on buying our late late dinner.

thanks Vaughn!

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March 15, 2008 11:42 PM

Posted by Sabzi

bssxsw03.jpg It says posted by Sabzi but it's not. It's Geo here filling in for your dude.

It's 2AM and I'm back at the hotel while Sabzi's at Stubb's to check out GZA (who we're opening up for in Cali later this month - yeah, shameless plug, I know). We just finished rocking a set at the Prague, which was thankfully filled with a good ratio of actual hip-hop heads to industry and hipster types.

bssxsw02.jpg

Despite the devastating aftereffects on my body from last night's wild-out session (good look on the drinks, Karim), I was reinvigorated by text message updates of Manny Pacquiao's victory in his rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez (thanks Chev!) and running into other NW people everywhere we went, including Braille (of Portland's Lightheaded crew, performing with Ohmega Watts), Shannon Stewart from The Vera Project, and this cat Will (pictured below) who just got back home from Iraq and thanked us for our song "Back Home," which apparently is getting some play among his fellow soldiers there right now. It was a fitting meeting, especially on this day - the five year anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq.

bssxsw01.jpg

Heading to the airport in two hours, so no sleep tonight. Hopefully we'll actually get some seats on the plane away from the wailing infants that we usually get stuck nearby. I'm looking down on the streets from the hotel window and it looks like the party is spilling onto the streets past the curfew. Horns honking. A stumbling mass of bodies. Uh-oh, here come the sirens. SXSW is officially OVER! Goodbye, Texas. It was good. Real good. So good that I don't even remember at least 1/3 of it.

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March 15, 2008 11:07 PM

From bats to Breeders

Posted by The Feral Children

We watched four million bats fly out from under the Congress bridge, jumped a bridge to see The Breeders, only to find out that the show was free anyway.

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March 15, 2008 11:05 PM

You can look it up

Posted by Choklate

So this mornin, I roll over to a phone call from my homegirl, Yahzarah (whose in the room next to me by the way), sayin..."you wanna go interview at the ME tv station?" I rub the sleep outta my eyes, clear my voice and say "yeah...yeah...sure, what time?" To which she replys..."now". So I jump up, throw on my freshest sneaks (which I got a mad discount on, last week from GOODS, thanks fellas), some jeans and a funky colored tee that's mentions "cheese" and my "Pool" shopper bag that I swag snagged in Vegas (at the Magic Trade show w/ my favorite boutique Retail Therapy on Pike N Broadway, thanks ladies), and ran the front door to meet a ME tv company car w/ a rather shnazzy gentleman by the name of Bavu Blakes behind the wheel.

...we head to the TV station where, Mariah Garret (look her up), is ecstatic to be interviewing my 'ol stank butt. LOL. I'm flattered. We snag swag bags (swag bags are bags full of free stuff...I learned that the first day in Austin and the local fellas of Dyme Def talk about Swagga Jackin on their latest record...pick it up when it drops...should be hot). These bags have fresh tee's and gallons of Dewers Whisky in them...oooh...trouble is 'a bubblin...we do the interview, drops and then, like small children headed into a free for all candy store, smash down to their in studio stage (that their setting up for an upcoming artist) and jack the mic's to which the blue collar workers are beyond appreciative of a 20 min freestyle like session, just for their entertainment. It IS in a SXSW engulfed music television studio...so why not. They sway and clap after ever lil improv and I'm beamin and feelin really punky brewster like all of a sudden.

It gets better...

We then head, along w/ Mr Bavu Blakes and his manager, who is also S1's Manager (Symbolic One of Strange Fruit Project? Look it up) to a place that reminds me of Langston Hughes Performing Arts center in the cd except the walls are lined w/ immediate Black Music History...I mean The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Sarah Jordin Powell...look'em up...and we walk in to where Bavu and his sidekick Element 7D as WORLD TRADE perform some songs that have me out of my seat pumpin my fist...not only me...but everyone. They take a break to set up for the panels and we converse w/ obviously what is the core of the community (SO Langston Hughes like...I think they have a Back to Hip Hop showcase sometime this weekend...go see it and you'll see what I mean). I hugged and kissed brand new babies, bummed candy from lil kids and had a darn good time before....

WAIT...get this...

We head w/ Bavu to go and interview Pharrell aka Skateboard P and N.E.R.D.!!! Yes, I'm sprung. LOL...whoda thunk it?! Now I'm not completely a FAN but a star is a star and I know bout "She Moves" and Billionaire Boys and the Neptunes...blah blah blah...We're in Pharrell's suite and I ask'm if I passed the fresh sneaks test to which he replys "1st thing caught my eye" shakin his head yes...GOODS took care'o me. Told'm that's where I got'em and he said he'd heard of the place last time he was in Seattle...dunno if he was tellin the truth or not but I felt real Too Oh Six like right quick. I was then exposed to some real star like behavior that I'm going to keep to myself and head back to the hotel.

Pharrel was dumb cool to meet but I ain't got one cd left in my bag so I don't get to give'm one...oh well...what is to be, will be and I enjoyed gettin to mobb around in his lil circle for a lil bit. Fun times. The other two boys of NERD, Shay and the other fellow...can't quite remember his name, where hella kewl and that was pretty much the highlight of today so far anyway. Tonite we go see Ice Cube, Talib Kweli and and Jean Grae at the outdoor stage. Hmmm..what random adventure awaits...

SXSW. Officially a darn good experience.!

Choko

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March 15, 2008 6:12 PM

Drumhead

Posted by The Feral Children

We just finished playing the Seattle party here in Austin. I ended up with my head stuck in a drum and most of the audience flipped out in the melee. Hanging out with our friends from the pleasureboaters and getting tans by the creek.

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March 15, 2008 5:45 PM

walking around

Posted by Sabzi

after loading into the venue for our show tonight, i walked around SXSW for one last time. outside The Fader venue, i saw a tshirt designed by our friend peekaboo who used to live in Seattle and unfortunately moved to LA.

we like his art. so much so that we asked him to design the cover for Bayani. the one in the pic is his Johnny Cupcakes collab.

at first, you might think this crowd is waiting in line for something...

... they're not. apparently, the new cool thing to do is to just line up and stand around in silence. for 5 hours. this happens often at SXSW.

and then i saw this little gem.

enjoy.

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March 15, 2008 10:10 AM

day deux

Posted by Sabzi

woke up around 9am. ever since i stopped drinking coffee, running on 2 hours of sleep has gotten easier.

we set out for a warehouse thingy to tape a drop for MTVu. just 5 hours ago this place was a complete dump, so it was impressive to see how barren--and clean--the streets of Austin were.

the Brits even had their own building for SXSW

ftp server

a short 4 block walk led us to the spot where we were gonna film this thing. have you ever watched MTV/BET or some crap and between videos seen a short freestyle break by some group you might have never heard of before? well, that's what this shoot was for. and it was all about Blue Scholars! filthy.



this dood Barry directed it.

we decided to use a cut that we've only done live. so all you folks that have been emailing asking for it should keep an eye on MTVu mid to late April to peep game.

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March 15, 2008 1:26 AM

nite trippin

Posted by Sabzi

when nighttime arrived, Geo and i decided to go hit up a couple venues that were next door to each other: one called Volume, the other called Emo's... only one lived up to its name.

thankfully, we had our trusty SXSW badges and wristbands to get us VIP access past the long lines of succa-busters waiting to pay with cash. privilege feels great! it made me realize that all the people with privilege who complain that it sucks need to shut up.

at Volume, we saw a few people.


Mr. Hill (Beacon Hill / Old Dominion)


Bushwick Bill (Geto Boys / Rap-A-Lot)


Grayskul (SEA / Rhymesayers)


some guy who thinks shaking my hand is really important

after Grayskul, Geo decided to stick around and watch Tech N9ne. i went next door to Emo's to peep the Flosstradamus / Cool Kids / A Trak / Kid Sister / Clipse show.

....... anyway.

there was a poster on the wall, and a nail salon in the corner.

they had people getting their nails done at the Kid Sister Pro Nails Salon!

Cool Kids took the stage.

i actually thought the Cool Kids rocked it. at least, they did at first. the first half of the set had sparked off a hipster streetwear orgy in the front. i had to hand it to them. some of the other people in our group were hating, but i have to give it to a good show when i see it.

while observing the crowd, i thought a thought. you know, sometimes i hear criticisms that 99% of hip hop fans are white, although i'm not sure how that can be considered a criticism. i have found that it's usually said by other white people who are mad that they're white and even more mad that they aren't the only white people that like hip hop.

either way, when it comes to Cool Kids and Clipse, their fans that night were no exception. if these artists are lucky, they'll eventually secure their place on one of the Internet's most popular blogs. hopefully, Blue Scholars will too!

this guy's jacket was something i couldn't avoid taking a picture of

it dawned on me that Disco is back in full effect. just in a new kind of rave-form. and remember when raves were the cat's meow (?) back in '99? YEA! i never went to any, but i heard it was a pretty awesome 9 months.

my favorite thing about Disco is that, although there were a handful of good hits, the genre and scene as a whole pretty much sucked. and what happens when hip and popular music sucks that bad and cocaine is kind of a big deal? things like Hip-Hop get invented to save the people.

then we bumped into some more people.


Steven Severin (Neumo's)


Naledge (Kidz In The Hall / not Rawkus)


Ice Cube (NWA / lifetime member of me and Larry Mizell's top 5 MCs of all time)

it was quite an event. we soon decided to call it a night and took the walk back to the hotel to rest up for the next day.

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March 15, 2008 12:47 AM

day trippin

Posted by Sabzi

so, we had to head out of the hotel to do some kind of interview with The Fader. got some interesting first-impressions of this notorious festival they call South By Southwest.


on the way, Geo stopped to check out some hot tunes from a new up and coming band. they literally reeked of promise.

these guys were lying on the ground for some reason.

arrived at The Fader "Fort," a maze of cool guys and hip girls and Levi's jeans and free beers lying around all over the place.



some guy in a booth videotaped us talking about Seattle. he initially wanted to get us to talk about how it's hard for rap groups that aren't black. instead, we gave him the stink eye and said "Seattle summers are nice."

over by the convention center a familiar face with long hair and longer fingernails wooshed by.

it was Reggie Watts, former frontman for Maktub and currently a funny guy. (more celeb and mini-celeb sightings to come)

the most entertaining thing was seeing the table of "flyers" in the convention center.

good thing we brought flyers for our showcase tomorrow too! we wanted to make sure to leave some on the table so that everybody at SXSW would know about Blue Scholars.

then i made it rain with flyers.

if you listen close, you'll hear the following transcript for the video.

sabzi: make it rain!
geo: (chuckles) good sh*t!
cowboy: (from offscreen) hey! yew pick that sh*t up!
geo: ooh! i'll clean up, hold on

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March 14, 2008 11:09 PM

Beer, part II (and ice cream)

Posted by The Feral Children

We are covered in beer after hoisting Monotonix's new heavier drummer up on a beer-covered bass drum. There was free ice cream.

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March 14, 2008 11:07 PM

Beer, part I

Posted by The Feral Children

Met up with our buddies Dead Confederate. They got us in to the Monotonix with free beer. Rockin out beneath the hot Austin stars.

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March 14, 2008 11:01 PM

Getting to the nitty gritty

Posted by Choklate

The concerts last night were mad dope parties. Kinda sparse w/ people as folks were headed in and out consistently as there was so much to check out on one block or another but each artist definately pleased the crowds they entertained. For the record. SXSW is hard work...that's if you're here to work anyway.

Ok so we get to the nitty gritty today, the seminars are high in content and jargon but immensly educational. I couldn't begin to divulge how much information was given or how much more there is to gather. Now what I do notice though is that there are exceptions to every rule and to get bound up in the ledgers presented or "industry standards" is to totally pigeon hole yourself as an artist in this ever changing game. NOTHING is what it seems. Lotsa smoke and mirrors until industry execs figure out how to shift w/ the tide. HOWEVER, being exposed to the knowledge of industry standards and such, is an invaluable pro to being invited to participate in SXSW.

In the area of play, a private pool party was the highlight of the day, thus far anyway and swimming was fun...a live band played at the mouth of the pool and that was filthy. The guitarist ripped. I'm doing horrible w/ names so I won't even try. Headed to the NERD concert as well as a few industry parties tonight. Don't get it twisted though, this IS work.

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March 14, 2008 3:54 PM

All-day party people

Posted by The Feral Children

We're feeling pretty savage this morning after acting civil nearly all day yesterday. We talked to eric grandy from the stranger and mat brooke and thomas wright from grand archives while out on an all day drunk. We played already today which was super fun. Just one more left tommorrow!

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March 14, 2008 2:57 PM

day uno

Posted by Sabzi

a word of advice: don't arrive at the airport 40 minutes before your flight takes off. thanks to the handy help of the SkyCap at the curb, we made it on the plane just in time.

on the plane, this lady tried to make me check my mixer--which i refused to do because the airline has broken at least 3 pieces of our gear over the years. she was very unhelpful and rude. and now her picture is on the internet.

arrived in Austin. saw kids on leashes at the airport. these Texans are savages!

on the way to the hotel, driving past lots of these venues and the crowds outside, Geo and i concluded that our pants might not be tight enough to hang with these folks. it's all good tho! weather is warm and sunny and we've just begun.

we're sharing a class A room with a bunch of friends. peep the view.

Geo had some thoughts to share.

stay posted...

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March 14, 2008 2:45 AM

day zero

Posted by Sabzi

my documentation of Friday starts out at 2:51am. i'm sitting in a shoddy excuse for a new house in Othello Station with a "No. 9 w/peppers" from Jimmy John's and a mini-tub of mitmita powder. for those who don't kno, mitmita powder is a ground spiced chili powder used to make awaze at Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurants. i like a good sprinkle of it on each bite of my sandwich.

what does this have to do with SXSW you ask? well, nothing really.

in Austin this weekend, our group Blue Scholars has to shoot some kind of video thing for some MTV kind of thing on Saturday and then play some showcase kind of thing in the evening. we're flying into this festival as late as possible and flying out as early as possible. why? cuz we some community havin, family havin, kid raisin folks. can't be wasting time drinking PBR and acting ironic with a bunch of foolish ones.

(kid raisin? oh he means raising, not the dried grape.)

this is what i look like now, and i will probably look something like this for the next couple days considering the amount of sleep we're gonna get.

more on SXSW when we actually get to SXSW...

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March 13, 2008 8:27 PM

Sign that bird!

Posted by The Feral Children

There is an abundance of sound and people eveywhere we go here. Even the birds are starting bands in the trees! We're gonna wander around until we drop tonight.

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March 13, 2008 6:43 PM

Grubbin' and Trippin'

Posted by Choklate

We totally skipped out on seminars and such, grubbed out all day and hung out listenin to Snoop's newest record: "Ego Trippin." And yes, he was Ego Trippin on this record.

I cooked chicken fajitas w/ homemade pico de guillo and fresh made from scratch quacamole. Vanilla Ice Cream w/ Oreo's cushed on top for desert. We've put on our heels and pretty faces and we're now headed to see Devin The Dude, Yahzarah and J Davey perform.

Should be a blast of a night.

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March 13, 2008 1:35 PM

Rock around the Bloch

Posted by The Feral Children

Really cool playing with Kurt Bloch at our first show. He was a childhood hero. We are at the bar watching The Ettes waiting to go on stage.

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March 13, 2008 10:47 AM

You gotta pay to play

Posted by Choklate

Last night was bananas. We're getting dressed, eating breakfast, getting tea and headed to take advantage of some of these seminars. My friend Yahzarah (fellow indie soul artist) and I are bunking in the same space and we've realized that this conference is not geared toward us. HOWEVER, a lot of the people here are in the same boat as us. Paying to be here and reaching out and conferring w/ the industry people and booking agents which ultimately makes it all worth it. And to think you had to be accepted or invited to this madness.

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March 13, 2008 7:16 AM

The whole city is doin' music

Posted by Choklate

The weather is great and people are all looking for a good time. Soundcheck was full of energy and movement, AFTER the sound engineer arrived to do soundcheck from his own show. LOL. The whole city is doin' music. His ears where exceptional though and after runnin back to the flat to grab cd's, have a peice of fruit, change my sneaks and switch my tee & hoodie, we jutted back to the venue to find a small hand full of folks waitin to check it out.

I stepped off the mini stage in front of the crowd...twirled, sang my songs and even called two musicians up from the crowd. One keyboardist (who eventually played phenomenal guitar for an artist later in the night), an adventurous drummer and myself; engaged in a Jumbalaya like spaz. It was as if standing at the edge of a cliff and diving into a sea of spontenaety, freestyle and an exchange w/ the crowd that I consumed like hot food.

The drummer, who sat down and patted the drums w/ his fingers, cause the superstars in the room didn't have any sticks to lend us, had tat sleeves and a striped tee and I could have sworn he may have even served drinks later. Fun times.

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March 12, 2008 11:30 PM

Here goes.

Posted by Throw Me the Statue

Tuesday afternoon's arrival in the Austin airport was a humorous gaggle of band gear at the oversize luggage carousel. Some amount of sizing each other up was inevitable as Dudes waited for guitar cases and amplifiers to emerge on the conveyor belt. Wondering what other bands each other were members of, we scooped up gear and waited curbside for our ride to arrive.

Half an hour later we're packed into a family sedan breezing across the warm afternoon desert. It's a desert I am sure we will come to enjoy over the next five days. A desert of opportunity if you believe the promise of what South By can mean for a young band. More likely, though, it's at least a place to sleep on a floor, eat lots of BBQ, and play your damndest when given the stage. Here goes something.

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March 12, 2008 9:42 PM

Road tripping

Posted by The Feral Children

3 days in the desert

Our excitement got fizzled a little once we had been driving through the Utah/New Mexican desert for nearly 2 days. So we started seducing each others' sister via telephone, chugging coffee to the dismay of the orange-skinned mormons and filling the van with with ash and empty bottles.

We have run out of things to talk about so we just make stupid sounds instead.

Austin had better lay us down and do it right.

We play tomorrow at high noon.

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March 12, 2008 5:23 PM

Welcome to the festival blog

Posted by blog

Hello everyone, and welcome to the festival blog. You can check back here for ongoing coverage whenever there's a big music festival this year. This week we've enlisted local musicians to tell us about South by Southwest, which has got a huge local contingent heading there. It's the biggest deal in indie music, so keep coming back for their updates.

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March 1, 2008 12:24 PM

Phone post (#765437796)

Posted by blog

testing twitter rss

Continue reading this post ...


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Recent entries

Mar 16, 08 - 01:39 PM
epilogue

Mar 16, 08 - 01:08 AM
one more thing

Mar 15, 08 - 11:42 PM

Mar 15, 08 - 11:07 PM
From bats to Breeders

Mar 15, 08 - 11:05 PM
You can look it up

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