Considering that we're not even a full week past the music industry's annual expense-account-funded mutual jerkoff session in Austin, it's understandable if just seeing the acronym SXSW makes you break out in hives. But if you can tough it out for the sake of my column on local hip-hop/culture blog Ruby Hornet, you'll be rewarded with the story of an insane recording session in Austin during SXSW with a mansion full of rappers and the surprisingly cohesive compilation that came out of it. (The album will likely please the kind of old-school rap fans who spent yesterday freaking out over the identification of a mystery sample from Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones Pt II.")
Jessica Hopper contributes a really great Q&A with solo performer Emily Lacy on her idiosyncratic career path, which veers between traditional singer-songwriter material and long-form experimental music and from performances in living rooms to performances in museums. The Photo Pit brings us images from the Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour at Lincoln Hall, the Secret History of Chicago Music ends its Winter Blues series with a profile of Willie Buck, Gossip Wolf dishes more Pitchfork rumors alongside news from the local goth and garage scenes, and the List shouts out shows with Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Dawnbringer, Xray Eyeballs, the Robert Glasper Trio, Danielson, and more.