GOhome EVENTScalendar GOhear GOview GOread GOplaces DOmore SOUNDcheck


» Local bands
» Get band listed

 

 
  » Contact Us
  » Advertise With Us

 
  » Classifieds
  » Newspaper Ads

 

 

News:
SXSW Roundup: Big Sean, Bob Geldof and more...
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

The demands of his early success delayed Big Sean’s South By Southwest moment.

The Detroit rapper, riding high on his hit “My Last” and great anticipation for the May 3 drop of his debut album, “Finally Famous,” was slated to perform an early set at BET’s Music Matters showcase on Thursday March 17. But he found himself in Los Angeles working overtime on the video for the single. So the long and the sort of it was…

“I missed my flight,” Big Sean (real name Sean Anderson) said after finally arriving at the Kiss & Fly club, where the showcase was being held. “But I made it here, so that’s all that counts.”

It did cause a bit of consternation at the showcase, of course, where the lineup was shuffled to accommodate his tardiness – and he ultimately closed the night in the wee hours of Friday, March 18.

But the snaful didn’t dampen the audience’s appetite for the rapper or Big Sean’s own sense that he’s on the verge of a career that’s sizzling.

“I’m excited,” he said. “Everything’s going really good so far. It seems like it’s starting to take off, and I’m glad. I worked hard to get to this point, missing out on (college) to follow my dreams. I’m very happy.”

Big Sean is also slated to perform on Saturday, March 19, at another showcase sponsored by Billboard magazine.



Even with Big Sean’s drama, the BET night as a success, albeit a late-running one whose frustratingly long set changes pushed the show well beyond the 2 a.m. shutdown mark most showcases adhere to. Miguel and Melanie Fiona each delivered charged, killer performances, the latter finishing with a cover of Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic,” while Marsha Ambrosius continued to declare her independence from Floetry with an arresting set that showcased her acrobatic vocalics and songs from her first solo album, “Late Nights & Early Mornings.” Even DJ Premier had the house rocking with a well-executed set of his own.

J.Cole was a clear crowd favorite, but the Jay-Z protégé was all over the place during his 45 minute performance complaining about having lost his voice – which was noticeably hoarse – but still holding the crowd for hits like “Who Dat,” complete with a left side/right side audience “duel,” and “Lights Please” and touching on collaborations such as “In the Morning,” which he recorded with Drake. There were shout-outs to late rappers Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., and some shouting at the sound techs for a better monitor mix.

The showcase was taped by BET and will be available at iTunes next week.



The situation in Japan is top of mind at South By Southwest, with a large delegation of Japanese musicians taking part in the conference – although many had already come to the U.S. when the earthquake hit.

The SXSW Asia organization had boxes set up around the Austin Convention Center to raise money for disaster relief and had collected more than $70,000 as of Thursday. The group also held a Cheer-Up Meeting on Thursday afternoon.

Contributions are also being made to www.sxsw4japan.com.



A bright South By Southwest spotlight shined Thursday, March 17, on Bob Geldof, the former Boomtown Rats frontman and organizer of the 1984 Band Aid famine relief effort and the Live Aid and Live 8 benefit concerts.

Geldof delivered this year’s SXSW keynote address, which many considered to be one of the most thoughtful and provocative in the conference’s 25-year history. Geldof focused on changes and challenges in the music industry, but rather than blaming it on technology he took the music itself to task. Pointing to a number of social and economic issues facing the world, and particularly America, Geldof asked, “What’s music got to say about it? I don’t hear it. I don’t hear the disgust in the music…Can you imagine the 60s without the bands interpreting the fast-moving agenda of the times.”

Geldof noted that the “hyper democracy of the Web” is responsible for “the illusion of talent. Everybody has got the means to say anything they want, but nobody has anything to say.”

Geldof explained that this lack of substance is at the heart of the music industry’s recent sales woes. “The industry is only a function of the music,” Geldof explained. “And the music is only successful when it’s relevant.”

Geldof made some music of his own on Thursday as well, playing a show at the new “Austin City Limits” studio. Wishing the crowd a happy St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish-born Geldofs and his crack band – which includes Boomtown Rats bassist Pete Briquette -- played an hour-long set that focused on his new album, “How to Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell,” but also included some Rats favorites such as “When the Night Comes,” “Joey’s on the Street Again” and, of course, “I Don’t Like Mondays.” For those keeping track, Duran Duran made some important set list changes during its second show in as many days at South By Southwest.

After opening its tour on Wednesday night, March 16, the British group played a privated party on Thursday, March 17, and smartly included a pair of favorites – “Planet Earth” and “Rio” – that it had left on the sidelines at the previous show.

The group’s new album, “All You Need is Now,” comes out on Tuesday.

South By Southwest does Motown? The Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” is becoming a go-to cover in Austin this year. Not only did Duran Duran include it in the encores of its two shows here, but the Dirty Dozen Brass Band played it at a party Thursday, March 17, sponsored by HBO to promote its New Orleans-based series “Treme.”

The party also included performances by the Pine Leaf Boys, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux – who jammed with the Dirty Dozen, headdress and all – and Henry Butler, who said he’s already taped a guest appearance for an episode in the show’s upcoming second season.

The party started with a traditional New Orleans Second Line parade through the streets of Austin around the Ghost Room, where the party was held; about 200 people participated, including many that were at other St. Patrick’s Day parties nearby.



Last year’s South By Southwest was marked by the death of rock great Alex Chilton, who was due to appear on a panel and play with his band, Big Star. This year Chilton was remembered by the Bangles, who included Big Star’s “September Gurls” in their set on Thursday night, March 17, and dedicated it to “a friend we lost around this time last year.”



For those keeping track, Duran Duran made some important set list changes during its second show in as many days at South By Southwest.

After opening its tour on Wednesday night, March 16, the British group played a privated party on Thursday, March 17, and smartly included a pair of favorites – “Planet Earth” and “Rio” – that it had left on the sidelines at the previous show.

The group’s new album, “All You Need is Now,” comes out on Tuesday.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



GO & DO Michigan, an Entertainment Portal
http://www.goanddomichigan.com
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Interested in a career at Journal Register Company, click here

Copyright © Digital First Media Our Publications | About Our Ads | Privacy Policy/Terms of Service