Southbysouthwest

It’s been a week since I returned from the dreamland that is Austin, Texas during South By Southwest Music Festival. Every year I get nervous that it’ll be different and some how won’t live up to the year before BUT every year I have been proven wrong; Sure, it has become so much bigger and “Too commercial, brah” but where else in the world can you have a cultural experience like this completely FOR FREE? It’s such a crazy mix of amazing intimate shows, huge mega parties, and brand-sponsored events that you will have the time of your life and barely spend a dime which makes you forget that everything is a walking/driving/eating/drinking advertisement; I know I know, how very un-Oregon, free-range, gluten-free, paleo hippie of me but this girl likes her free stuff. The reality is that I’m not buying a Mazda vehicle just because they drove me around Austin a bunch of times for free. I’m not suddenly a vodka drinker just because the Titos and Deep Eddy were more readily available than water last week. I’m no longer steady drinking Don Julio craft cocktails by the bucket because, well, I’m no mixologist and I probably (Read: definitely) had too many of those last week. I’m not running to Whole Foods to buy Beanitos Lime and Sea Salt Bean Chips…okay fine, I am actually totally sold on those and they may have been a life saver because of the aforementioned plethora of free booze. SXSW pro tip: ALWAYS TAKE THE SNACKS; they’ll come in handy later when you’re in a line at 2 pm and realize you only had a liquid breakfast. Whoops!

Now I think we all know it’s not the free food and drank that brings me to Austin every year. I’m a music junkie who always has a long list of must-see artists that I stress out about trying to fit into my daily schedule; scratch the word “stress”, I’ve just been informed that drinking more margs whilst seeing other amazing bands and passively missing other shows cannot be defined as stressing…duly noted. Every year I leave the festival feeling refreshed, despite a lack of sleep, and inspired by the incredible shows and quality humans I’ve met. Since I’ve been back in town for a week post-festival a lot of people have asked, “How many shows did you see?”, “Which bands were your favorites?”, “How are you so cool?” etc. etc. This post is about to answer the first two questions for the masses because that last question…hasn’t been asked yet.

Who I saw this year in no particular order:

Ghostface, Raekwon, BADBADNOTGOOD, TOTEM, Torey Lanez, KING, Lucius, THEY., Miguel, Lukas Graham, JAHKOY, Alunageorge, D.R.A.M., Vince Staples, The Lucas Bros Comedy, a Questlove DJ Set, Ruby Woo, Louis the Child DJ, Honne, Coast Modern, Transviolet, Gallant, Poliça, Just Blaze, Rock City, JP Hoe, Tigers are Bad for Horses, Tabi Bonney, Chaz French, Maggie Rose, DJ Spicoli, Wale, Visto, BJ the Chicago kid, Anderson .Paak, Haelos, Powers, Will Joseph Cook, Låpsley, Allan Rayman, St. Lucia, Muna, CHVRCHES, Jack Garratt, Kacy Hill, Hinds, Fear of Men, Mitski, Lower Dens, Kacey Musgraves, SBTRKT, Hannibal Burress Comedy, Morly, Elf kid, Little Simz, Metro Boomin, Lewis Del Mar, Kill J…

Phewwwwwf. Taking into account a few I’ve forgotten from the list above, I saw over 60 acts this SXSW. While there were some live performance duds and total weirdos in the mix, I was able to see so many amazing performances and this week’s post and playlist will focus the ten best.

My favorite artists at SXSW 2016:

  • Miguel. This is not one of those typical WAS “You’ve probably never hear of him” posts because Miguel is a huge mainstream star and for good reason. Laaaawd have mercy, he is INCREDIBLE live. It was my first time seeing him perform and I was completely blown away. He is handsome, his voice sounds impeccable live, and his stage scaffold climbing made security staff incredibly nervous which was fun to watch. “Miguel Jontel Pimentel you better get down from there before I call your mother and tell her you’re being reckless again.” Miguel had the whole crowd at the Spotify House eating out of the palm of his hand and his hit ‘Do you’ asked the perfect question for this particular demographic; Yes, my rough estimate is that 80% of that crowd don’t just like drugs, they loooove drugs. WOULD SEE AGAIN.
  • Gallant. In the past year I’ve flooded my playlists with newly released Gallant tracks and I actually got to see him live three times over the course of the week. He killed it every. single. time. So much emotion, insane voice, provider of crowd-wide chills; Just try to not sing along as he belts out ‘Weight in Gold’. He was one of the best of the week, hands down. Go see him when he comes through your city.
  • Lewis Del Mar. I was in line at East Side King (Very hip, very delish, very Austin) one night when these girls were freaking out about this group of guys ordering in front of me and I just assumed it was someone I didn’t know. The next night, when I made sure to catch Lewis Del Mar I realized it was that whole band who had ordered their chicken karraage noms ahead of me the night before and the girl’s freak outs were absolutely warranted. They put on an amazing live show and are exciting to watch. I was so impressed by their sound live and I cannot stop listening to their EP.
  • Lukas Graham. I’m sure a lot of you know the song ‘7 years’ because it is everywhere now and it’s lovely, well, he sings it. I made an effort to get up early for this show; FYI, in Southby time a noon show start time comes much too early. I was so glad I got up “early” because he and the band sounded absolutely perfect live. Lukas has great onstage banter and you would have no idea that he’s selling out 10,000 capacity venues in Europe because he seems so down to earth. Lukas’ backing band look like Danish male models which adds to the appeal. Try to see him while he’s playing the little venues across the US because he’s coming for our stadium shows in no time.
  • Honne. If you like their relaxed brand of British electronic-soul music, you’ll love their live performance because the chill factor is very high and they sound great. No crazy stage antics or exciting banter just solid musicianship.
  • Anderson .Paak. I’m about the drop a bomb here but I was not sold on Anderson until I saw him live at SXSW. I loved his features all over Dre and The Game’s albums and that Tokimonsta track is insane but I’ve never been as into his own solo releases. When ‘Malibu’, his second studio album, was released this year, I liked it but I wasn’t sure why ALL the blogs were going nuts over it. Now, seeing him live I saw a mega star in the making; This guy sings with an incredible voice, he raps, he plays drums, he dances, and he has a completely fun and likable on-stage persona. SOLD. I was lucky to see him another two times during the festival and I am excited to see him again in Portland next month.
  • Låpsley. Two years ago I posted a Låpsley track ‘Station’ that I was obsessed with and I finally got to see it live last week. She is insanely talented and her strong vocals give off major Adele vibes in concert. I have tickets to a big name act the night she is coming to Portland next month but after seeing her live, I promptly decided I’ll sell my other concert tickets and grabbed tickets for the Låpsley show here at Doug Fir.
  • Transviolet. They are another act that sounded as good live as I’d hoped. The lead singer is a rockstar and she managed to jump off the drum kit in a leather mini skirt while keeping her vocals consistent. I loved this show.
  • Metro Boomin. This is not a joke, people. I took an Uber pool with one of those hip LA music industry guys one night at SX and he said Metro was his favorite act of the festival so far; I joked that he should probably take in some more shows if that was the best he’d seen. Then I saw young and his crew in concert and totally got the appeal; the show had so much energy that the whole Hype Hotel was going off. I ran into LA dude again and he was like, “SEEEEE!?!” In this case, it’s definitely less about the producer and more about the fun I had at the show. If Young Metro don’t trust you…
  • THEY. These guys are new to the game and, as a result, they seem like they’re still having a blast performing; their boyish excitement was awesome to watch. They had the whole crowd dancing and singing along with a bunch of their most popular tracks and I almost got KO’d by some bro’s backpack during ‘Motley Crue’ so you know the show was tyte.

Please enjoy this 10 track playlist that summarizes my favorite song moments of this year’s SXSW. ‘Til next year, Austin!

Just be a tough act to follow. You know, a free spirit with a wild heart. – Miguel

XO

-Jenna

 

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HUGE Wait And Scene announcement!!! I’m heading to Austin, Texas for my fourth annual SXSW in less than a month!!!

This is my absolute favorite event of the year for so many reasons and I feel #blessingsonblessings that I get to do it all again in 2016. I don’t like to let too many people know that this is happening until I cue up a lodging situation because, as any of you who are familiar with the event know, regular old hotel rooms go for upwards of $1000 a night during this festival and everything sells out months in advance. Even if I was a millionaire, I don’t think I could justify that ridiculous opulence. I’m fine surrendering my ‘gram lifestyle flex in order to try to find a place to lay my head and my massive suitcase for much (MUCH) less money; My only requirements are that it’s near all the downtown party action, reasonably safe, and not disgusting ie. not filled with animals and doesn’t smell like poo. I’m pretty easy to please! Last year I was staying in a house owned by a few too many college boys and this year ya girl is staying a ROOM with seven strangers of various ages and genders. This could be a living nightmare or it could be the best week of my life, only time will tell. The things I’ll do for the sake of live music, tacos, and party vibes! …No, not that… Eww, not that either.

In the upcoming weeks, I’ll hit you with lists of the artists I’m excited to see but most of them have been on these Wednesday mixes. Plzzz start sending positive Southby roomie thoughts my way and enjoy this week’s playlist!

XO

-Jenna

P.s. The first track hurts my vocal cords and my professional opinion is that singing like that is a reeeeeally bad idea. Do not try that at home, kids.

P.s. The cover pic is me dreaming up fire ‘fits for Austin.

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Ill artist alert! Ill artist alert! *said in the voice of 2 Chainz*

Let me start off saying that I was really bummed to find out that the group Pacific Air is no more. These brothers were a killer band and they put on an awesome live show the one time I was fortunate to see them. My best friend and I made sure to check them out during our crazy SXSW rounds two years ago. At their show at The Mohawk, I was standing next to a music blogger and we started talking about our love of Pacific Air.

I was like, “Yeah, I was a fan of these guys when they put out their EP and were still called KOKO!”

and he’s all, “Holy $#!+ ME TOO! That’s crazy, no one else knows that stuff.”

and his girlfriend was like, “Hey guys, I’m here too you know…”

And I’m all, “Get on your boyfriend’s level and maybe you can keep up.”

Oh snap! That’s cold.

Fine, I’m actually a nice girl. That last part with the girlfriend didn’t happen but I could sense her ‘tude and hear her sighs as her boyfriend and I geeked out on good music. Here’s hoping that blogger and his girlfriend know that the now defunct Pacific Air’s lead singer, Ryan Lawhon, has a solo project and he has put out these two perfect tracks for our listening pleasure.

BOTH SO GOOD. I can’t wait to hear more,

Xo

-Jenna

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As per usual, March has been MAD REAL. It’s the best month of the year because I barely work my real job, I go to #alloftheshows, and most importantly I get to spend more than a week in my personal heaven, Austin during South By Southwest. Just like last March, I briefly fell off the blogging map and off the proverbial wagon of my normal life but I’m back in Wait And Scene action just in time for this month of new music. Before I move on and get back to the reality that is April, I’d like to reflect on the 10 random things I learned in my second year at SXSW:

1) The best looking guy at the party will likely turn out to be the performer on stage. Conversely, if a guy is dressed like a mini-van driving dad who’s only missing a cell phone holster, he could also be the lead singer of one of the biggest buzz bands at South By. Dadcore!

2) 
Smoking cigarettes is still the most disgusting and least attractive thing a person can do. I would wake up every morning raspy and stuffed up thanks to you fools. In the words of Reggie Watts, “I love cigarette smokers. They look like time travelers from the past where they didn’t know any better about health.”

3)
 I could live on a steady diet of tacos for all meals as evidenced by me consuming tacos at least once a day in Texas. Shout outs to Tochy’s Tacos and ChiLantro for killing me softly with their noms.

4)
Confidence and good conversation skills are key when sneaking into shows using a person’s badge who is not of your same gender. I would NEVER do such a thing but I assume this is the case. *wink*

5)
Some of the best connections you make are in those long-ass lines or when using the communal day party sunscreen. Sun protection and conversation, what better way to bring people together in the hot sun? … Oh free, cold booze? You’re right, that IS better.

6)
Speaking of which, when drinks are free you suddenly become a fan of things you’d never drink otherwise. “Why yes I’ll take two of your strong vodka and blue Curaçao beverage that looks like vintage airplane toilet water and reminds me of my 18th birthday.” Yum.

7)
Vice was right, people do A LOT of drugs at SXSW. As someone who isn’t/never has been in that scene, I think I’ve always been a little clueless about who’s using… but when someone sneezes and then says “Dammit!!”, I totes know what that means.

8)
Bucket hats are menswear must-haves in 2014. Dust off those 90s era Tommy H joints!

9)
Odd Future concerts are the most terrifying. When possible, always observe from ABOVE the mob. Also if you see good looking group of boys at said concerts, talk to them early or you may look back to see them all bleeding from the face (True Story).

10)
It’s easy to fall in love with new places and the people that call these places home. Even though my real life in Oregon is  amazing, I really didn’t want to leave ATX when my vacation ended. I can’t wait to see you next year at SXSW, beautiful people of Austin!

Now in typical WAS style, this playlist has nothing to do with the subject matter and everything to do with the fact that these are 10 great tracks I’ve recently discovered. Levels to this ish …

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This is Jenna at Wait And Scene giving you all the up-to-date info on SXSW…wait a minute! That certainly didn’t happen as planned. Blog smog. Day whiskey and new friends happened and I had the best GD time of my life. Oh and the music, ALL OF THE SHOWS!! You wouldn’t believe all the shows that I was lucky to see in a week’s time…another thing that you probably won’t believe is the info I’m about to share with you in this series. Here is entry one about my favorite shows during the music bender that was Southby. These entries are in no particular order and my top live music picks are about as random as my music taste. Get into it!

The Warner Sound Captured by Nikon Party (first product name drop!) at The Belmont was DOPE and perfect precursor to the craziness we were going to experience for the entire week after this show. It was a packed and diverse line-up of awesome. I could talk about each artist in essay format, because quite apparently that’s what I do, but I’ll try to make it snappy…

Spoiler: my favorite did not perform last in this showcase but they do come at the end of this post.

iconapop

 THE PERFORMERS

Sirah

She is not my steeze…that is all.

Charli XCX

She is surprisingly not ideal live (I’m being nice) and I really do enjoy her album…I even blogged about her project once.

Blondfire

They’re talented and I totally get why people like them but…a *yawn* from me and another small *yawn* because this was the second time I saw them at SXSW without really planning on it.

Rockie Fresh

He lives up to his fresh name and I recall him being good live but nothing memorable happened, so yeah…

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

I love these guys and I’d seen them a LOT of times prior to this show…from the small town club show days to sold out arenas, it’s always great to see them and they kill it live every single time. Go see them whenever and wherever you can, you won’t be sorry!

macklemore

Action Bronson

Dude sounds like Ghostfa…oh, he hates when people say that? Okay…um he has a couple hundred pounds on me so I’ll drop the comparisons. Bronson was really cool to see live and he is a performer and a half. Highlights of his set: he hopped over the guardrail and rapped through the tightly packed crowd and up the steps to the roof top, mid rap he yelled at people to get off their phones then seamlessly continued rapping, and the crowning jewel (and one of my favorite SXSW moments) was when he lifted a very excited paraplegic fan onto his shoulders and wore him like the finest of fur stole for an ENTIRE song. REALLY.

bronsonblog bronsonblog2 bronsonblog3

Icona Pop

For me, Icona Pop were the real winners of this showcase. They’re a synth-pop duo from Sweden; they’re adorable, they’re energetic, the base beats were loud, their voices were perfect live, and everyone was dancing and had an amazing time while they were on stage. I was a fan long before seeing them live at SXSW and even before their biggest hit ‘I Love it’ was on an epi of HBO’s GIRLS but this performance just solidified the love. If you have a chance to see them live DO THAT, okay?

icona2

I took all the second rate pictures (with my phone, NOT WITH A NIKON) that I added to this blog post but this shot is actually good, if I do say so myself. It was taken through a fence while listening to Icona Pop being interviewed the day after The Belmont show. Stalker-styles!

Just try to listen to their song and not feel overwhelming joy. Impossible!

Side note: If you met a couple of really cool girls at Southby who said they were in a band called “Icona Bop” I may know the two girls that you met…their band just hasn’t officially formed yet 😉

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