Holt @ SXSW

I’ve seen Holt rap with Treated Crew, interview ShowYouSuck at JBTV, and DJ on several occasions, but never seen him own the spotlight like he did this weekend at SXSW. It’s really not accurate to say I saw his show when it was more like I was at his party. When he wasn’t crowd surfing, Holt held The Main down with multiple tracks off his forthcoming release from GOOD Music. Clearly drawn from a diverse background of punk, indie, and hip hop, Holt has cultivated a sound of his own – I can’t wait for the world to hear this shit. After the show, I caught up with him for a quick Q&A…

WD: So was that a preview of the album?
HOLT: Yeah, all of those songs are on the album. Except White Wedding – that was just for the show.

WD: What about Nightcall?
HOLT: Nah, we made that shit just to give to people.

WD: That was smooth as hell, man.
HOLT: The album’s a lot like that, the song’s are either hard as fuck or super chill.

WD: Obviously, congrats on GOOD Music.
HOLT: Thank you very much.

WD: How many times did you jump out that window till you liked it?
HOLT
: 8 times. 8 times we jumped outa that fuckin window.**

WD: Was it your idea?
HOLT: Yeah, I concept everything visually. And no matter what I’m creating, I collaborate with homies whether it’s music, videos, clothes…

WD: Whats next for Treated Crew?
HOLT: Treated Crew is forever on the rise. We will forever make (actually) exclusive, high quality shit for people to have whether its clothes, art or music.

WD: Any show you’re tryna catch here at SXSW?
HOLT: Always gotta catch Freddie Gibbs, cuz he’s cold as fuck.

WD: Pizza or Tacos?
HOLT: Thats a loaded question!

WD: Aright gimme your favorite pizza place.
HOLT: Giordano’s pizza. Deep Dish. From the Crib. South Side. Chicago pizza. Pizza, mother fucker. Not Lou Malnatis. Not fuckin Uno’s… It aint deep dish if it aint Giordanos.

WD: Yes, thank you! And tacos?
HOLT: There’s too many at the crib!

WD: My spot’s La Pasadita.
HOLT: La Pasadita on Division? Yeah, that’s flame. But Zacatacos – flamest steak, bruh.

WD: Aright, that’s all I got.
HOLT: Tight.

 

**

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Hype Hotel @ SXSW

One of the toughest parts of SXSW is choosing which parties/shows to hit on a day to day basis. In an ideal South By you’d be able to catch a day BBQ on the east side, maybe head to another party for a couple drinks, and end the night downtown at a more intimate show. But with people flocking to shows with the biggest names, free drinks, or free food, it often doesn’t matter what credentials you’ve got because most larger parties will reach capacity long before the night is over. That’s not to say you shouldn’t go to a larger event, but get there early. Wednesday night I knew I wanted to get into the Boiler Room, so I was in line two hours before doors opened. Was it worth it? You bet your candy ass it was.

So Saturday I let the rain fall, and when it’s stopped I got up and out in line for Hype Machine‘s Hype Hotel, which turned out to be one of the better experiences I had this weekend. I was in line for no more than twenty minutes, and when they check your id you receive two tickets for free Taco Bell tacos, and four free drink tickets (Tiger Woods fist pump). I grabbed a handful of drinks and started walking around only to find a most affordable massage – $5 (pre scandal putt for the win Tiger Woods fist thrusts). Now ya boy is two tacos, two red bull vodkas, and a massage deep before Mick Jenkins has taken the stage and I can easily say this has been the best pregame ever.

Mick took the mic and Chicago was very much in the building. Highlighting The Water[s] as well as a new joint, it was a hell of a start to the last night of SXSW.

ICYMI: Mick Jenkins on Sway in the Morning, SXSW

UPDATE: I was just reminded I ate the tacos after the show. I was also just reminded it’s Monday, not Sunday. So that’s where I stand.

Making a Splash

I knew it was going to rain yesterday but that obviously wasn’t going to stop the pursuit of smoked chicken, open bars, and low vibrations. And there I was, two blackberry somethings deep, telling my stomach “we’re not done here” as I worked on a plate from BBQ Heaven when the rain started bouncing. I threw on what I thought was a rain jacket to find I had apparently packed a wind breaker. Super. Sopping wet, I had to take it back to HQ and regroup. With the Mass Appeal BBQ and Spotify House now out of the question, I looked to my compass that is the SXSW pocket guide. I missed Pell’s spot at Spotify because of the rain but saw he’d be at Peter Rosenberg’s ICM Showcase at Highland, so I highlighted a few shows in the area and took it downtown.

I was pretty bummed about missing the big parties, but reminded myself of the SXSW I use to think of a few years ago – a place where artists, whether buzzing or trying to make a splash, are given the opportunity to do their thing and share it with an audience who’s looking for that scratch to an itch they haven’t reached before. Now I won’t play it off like I haven’t heard of Pell or Boogie – Pell’s “Eleven:11” and Boogie’s “Bitter Raps” both see heavy rotation when I’ve got the aux chord – but the opportunity to see an artist on the rise in a intimate setting is invaluable to someone who frequents shows.

If you find yourself at SXSW, I highly recommend getting out to the smaller showcases. Go places you’ve never been. See the artists you’ve heard of but never seen, and stick around for a couple acts. Support the people doing what they love. Seriously check your cool at the door, let loose and have some fun.

 

Ray-Ban X Boiler Room @ SXSW

Boiler Room did not disappoint last night with slated artists Shash’U, STWO, Rae Sremmurd, Badbadnotgood, Ghostface Killah, Kaytranada, and special guests, Goldlink, Funk Master Flex, J Rocc, Freddie Gibbs, and Dipset – yeah, man. I swear if the bar didn’t shut it down, Just Blaze and Action Bronson may have taken the stage too. Highlights of the 5 hour event include Ghostface and Killah Priest slaying Wu classics to the live beats of Badbadnotgood, J Rocc absolutely tearing the decks apart, and Dipset playing the hits. Shouts to Ray-Ban and Boiler Room for throwing the dopest party I’ve been to since Pitchfork afters with Tek-Life (RIP DJ Rashad).

The Glitch Mob Live @ Aragon (Photo Recap)

A few firsts for me last Saturday at the Aragon for The Glitch Mob.

1. The most impressive merch spread I’ve ever seen. EVER. Which at first, you may suggest lends itself towards selling out and cashing in, but I found nearly everything to be affordable – this coming from someone who compares the cost of pretty much everything to a Hot-N-Ready ($5 if you didn’t know, and if you’re thinkin’ to yourself “Little Caesars sucks” then you probably waste far too much of your life eating that imitation pizza from Papa John’s. You’d be better off cutting the box in 8 triangles and dipping it in tomato water. But I digress.) And I think it speaks volume to the relationship The Glitch Mob holds strong with its fans – the fans don’t just listen to them, The Mob listens back and responds.

2. The symmetry onstage was beautiful. All three members had similar if not the same instruments surrounding each of them, and all using them as well – always cool to see artists sharing the spotlight, or spotlights, as opposed to there being one front man. And the illumination of said instruments was beyond dope.

3. Look, if you like Papa John’s, don’t take my opinions personally, you probably just have dysfunctional taste buds or haven’t been exposed to the good shit (which entails pretty much everything from Jack’s frozen to Lou Malnatti’s).

4. Sincerity from the artist. I’m not sure how to explain it, but it’s something I felt. Something in their presence, and something in the way they handled themselves that said “we don’t want to be doing anything else in the world right now except sharing this space, this music with you.” And that felt good. It felt really good.

Shoutout React Presents for bringing us the show.