More SXSW: Ghostface Killah, Blossoms And Much More

SXSW 2015

Austin – Wednesday was—fingers crossed—the most frustrating day schedule-wise at SXSW.  Attendees were forced to make painful choices between Elliphant and Shamir, and those of us that chose Elliphant ran into a line that wouldn’t budge. But the line was moving smoothly for the Ray Ban showcase at Boiler Room, and it wound up being arguably the night’s best set. On paper it was already a phenomenal set, but appearances from Ghostface Killah and BadBadNotGood made an otherwise fruitless day of standing in lines more than worth it.

Blossoms

Blossom live by Will Jukes

There was a weirdly large contingent of British fans at Blossoms’ Latitude 30 set last night. Weird, because you would imagine they don’t need to fly 5,000 miles to see the Manchester quintet. One fan managed to explain it in a way that made sense—the BBC-curated showcase is where you go to find the island’s best up-and-coming musicians. Blossoms are called a psych-rock revival band, but they don’t love that label. Their sound has an extra dash of punk and—according to bass player Charlie Salt when we sat down for an interview—the bass licks that made New Order so distinctive. Look for our full write-up next week.

Standout track: “Blow”

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Rae Sremmurd

Rae Strummurd live by Will Jukes

Rae Sremmurd’s set was squeezed down to just a few minutes after Ghostface played “one more song” about six or seven times, but they made the most of it. Even if you don’t know the Mississippi brothers, you’ve probably heard “No Type” and “Throw Sum Mo” ft. Nicki Minaj. (Ed., Earlier this year, Best New Bands called their album, SremmLife, a “fun, solid debut.”) Those two songs are a pretty good sample of what they do best—enthusiastic scream-rapping over beats that have been stripped down to only their best hooks.

Standout track: “No Type”

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Kaytranada

Kaytranada live by Will Jukes This was the guy everyone thought they came to see at Ray Ban’s Boiler Room set. And, I mean, it’s not like he was a letdown after Ghostface. He brought a very different pace, though. Standout track “Leave Me Alone,” for example, couldn’t be less like a Wu Tang song. Its lush arrangements and breathy vocals are closer in spirit to EDM than the hard edged, stripped down sound of Wu Tang’s samples. Not that Kaytranada can’t produce a good hiphop beat, either. Just see his latest single “Drive Me Crazy.”

Standout track: “Leave Me Alone”

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Best Old Band: Ghostface Killah with BadBadNotGood

Ghostface Killah live  by Will Jukes

Let’s face it, Ghostface could read the phone book and people would freak out like it was The Beatles playing Ed Sullivan. The quiet heroes of this set were BadBadNotGood, who sounded excellent backing up Ghostface on a slew of Wu Tang classics. And not just Wu Tang songs: the set included a tribute performance of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Shimmy Shimmy Ya. The collaboration isn’t a total surprise: BBNG and Ghostface collaborated on Sour Soul, released earlier this year.

More to come from SXSW!
Will Jukes

Will Jukes

Will Jukes has lived in Texas his whole life. It doesn’t bother him as much as you’d think. A Houston native, he studied English at the University of Dallas before moving to Austin in search of the coveted “Grand Slam” of Texas residencies. He comes to music journalism from a broad reporting background and a deep love of music. The first songs he can remember hearing come from a mix tape his dad made in the early 90’s that included “Born to Run,”, “End of the Line,” by the Traveling Wilburys, the MTV Unplugged recording of Neil Young’s “Cowgirl in the Sand,”, and “The Highwayman,” by The Highwaymen. He has an enduring love for three of these songs. Over the years he has adored punk, post-punk, new wave, house, disco, 90’s alternative rock, 80’s anything, and Townes Van Zandt. He’s not sorry for liking New Order more than Joy Division.
Will Jukes

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