SXSW in review | Bleader

SXSW in review

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I'm finally home from Austin, and aside from the mild coma I slipped into last night, I seem to be suffering little in the way of serious damage from the festivities. I'm working on my column about it—which will be online Friday— but there are a couple of things I wasn't able to fit in, including (for various reasons) two of the best shows I saw.

One was the Pack and the Federation (warning: tons of auto-play files on their MySpace) at the Catchdubs showcase on Friday. Aside from the Pack, I've never really liked listening to hyphy music. The description makes it sound like the kind of thing I should be playing all day every day, but in reality I can't really stand the shit outside of a club. But having seen the Federation get completely dumb all over the Beauty Bar patio stage, I have come to the realization that every person in the world should have to go to a hyphy show at least once in their lives. Even if you don't like hyphy—even if you don't like rap at all—you will have a good time. The Federation are all decent rappers, but they're ridiculously talented showmen. They're willing to do just about anything onstage—including putting on glowstick stunna shades—to get the audience to wild out, which might seem kind of desperate if they weren't just absolutely dedicated to the idea of people having fun. If the entire world went to a Federation show, I believe they could bring about global peace, Wyld Stallyns style.

My postshow party crew on Saturday took a little too much time getting it together after the LiveFastDie show, so we all showed up at the Vice afterparty a little too late. Luckily there was a backup plan, in the form of a small generator, the Lamar Street pedestrian bridge, and a bunch of cases of beer. Fucked Up and the Carbonas traded off three-song sets to a bunch of drunks in a full-on, old-school mosh pit until hella late. On the really good songs you could actually feel the bridge shake and flex beneath the jumping bodies, which added some dangerous excitement for those of us still together enough to think about those things. When I left at 4:30 AM the beer reinforcements were just showing up. As far as I can tell, the bridge held up.

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