UPDATED: Wild Flag, Wu-Tang, Erykah Badu and Yelawolf: Liveblogging the Village Voice Media SXSW Showdown
UPDATE: Now with video of Wu-Tang Clan and Erykah Badu after the jump, and lots more pictures to be seen in our slideshow.
Marc Brubaker Times New Viking gets the party started.
The doors didn't open exactly at 5 p.m., but that didn't stop the Austin Music Hall from filling quickly just before Austin-by-way-of-Houston locals Ume took the stage, the first band in the all-night line-up for the 2011 Village Voice and Frank 151 Showdown at SXSW. With groups as diverse as Columbus's Times New Viking to Yelawolf and of course, headliners Wu-Tang Clan, tonight is one of the festival's most-anticipated showcases. Oh yeah -- did we mention Erykah Badu is also dj-ing?
So far, Wild Flag, with their Pixies-like blend of hard/soft/hard, have been a huge hit. The all-girl group features former members of Sleater-Kinney and Stephen Malkmus's band. Rocks Off saw several people in the crowd carrying vinyl from their merch table.
Marc Brubaker Wild Flag
Aaaaand Trouble Andrew just hit the stage. You know how we know? Because the bass was so hard it was causing our drink to jump off the table. The internet just told us that dude is Santigold's fiance. We knew we liked him for a reason. He came out on stage wearing braces and a Fred Perry shirt singing pop punk funk, and was later joined on stage by a rapper/toaster with a nameplate necklace to rival a Houston Rodeo belt buckle.
Trouble Andrew was followed by Rocky Business, a band who's high-energy stage show would have been perfect were it nor for their reliance on pre-recorded backbeats and special effects.
They reminded us somewhat of M.I.A. with their multi-genre approach to political and cultural commentary. Singer Strictly Business (the band's name is portmanteau of his and that of collaborator/producer Johnny on the Rocks) bounded from one side of the stage to another, occasionally taking out his aggression on a floor tom next to the mike. They closed with a beat-heavy dance number that had the packed floor of the Austin Music Hall moving.
Shannon Cottrell Rocky Business
And then half the crowd took an intermission to swarm the patio for fireworks over Auditorium Shores, where The Strokes were playing a reportedly packed show. Which was a good thing, because the hip hop portion of our program was just beginning.