The day started off seeing friends at the SXSeattle party. The Young Evils are, and continue to be, perhaps the most perfect Seattle music for a sun-dappled early afternoon, and at the hiphop showcase on the inside, Fatal Lucciauno and State of the Artist had good-sounding sets. I dashed before the Physics took the stage, but if you haven't downloaded (for free) their latest track "Fix You," then you're missing some of the most mature and self-assured hiphop coming out of Seattle.
The Young Evils. NOT ACTUALLY EVIL.
Fatal Lucciauno and DJ Nphared.
Turns out hot days are perfect for sitting in the sun with a cold beverage. The French Legation Museum - the former French embassy grounds - hosted a lawn party with two stages and many places to lay your weary head to rest. It turned out to be the perfect environment to hear James Blake perform, as his low-tempo melodics translate into even more of a relaxed vibe when performed live (as a certain Hollis Wong-Wear said, he is the Mayer Hawthorne of dubstep). Also caught San Francisco two-piece the Tune-Yards, whom I'm definitely going to be looking into more.
The Mayer Hawthorne of dubstep. In 3/4 profile.
No mention of the day would be complete without Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. OFWGKTA is the single most buzzed-about group going right now, and the line at the Fader Fort reflected it (side note: even Fader cover boy James Blake was having to work his talking magic to get through the lines).
Odd Future is hiphop that is about as punk rock as it gets. The music is heavy and energetic, driven by bass hits and sharp snares, and the lyrics are about what you would expect from an eight-person deep crew of 17 to 21 year olds. Despite the intense water bottle throwing (chill, guys), they owned the crowd for every single minute of their set.
After a quick swing through the Sub Pop showcase to see the double duo of Shabazz Palaces and THEESatisfaction (looking good, team!), the night wrapped up at Emo's with a showcase that could very easily make one's head spin: Pharoahe Monch opened up, with Mela Machinko on vocals, and a surprise appearance from Jean Grae; Asher Roth continued to be terrible; Freddie Gibbs brought some serious Midwest lean - and a seven-deep crew - to the stage; the Cool Kids played their hits and have apparently grown up into being the Cool Men; and Das Racist finished out a six-show day by bringing down the house.