By Corey Deiterman
By William Michael Smith
By Jef With One F
By Craig Hlavaty
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Sonya Harvey
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Nathan Smith
Something Fierce: Something Fierce's razory garage-punk helped put Houston back on the punk-rock map. Since 2005, the trio has been doing Houston right with expert riffs, the right amount of sass, and with help from Dirt Nap Records, have now breached an international audience. Expect a new album and tour by late spring and early summer. C.H.
Two Star Symphony: Whether you see them in their quartet or octet form (naturally, we prefer the latter), Two Star Symphony will take you from whatever venue you are seeing them in â be it dark, packed indie shed, small concert hall or downtown oasis Discovery Green â and set you down in your own personal happy place. Joyous or forlorn, the classical (in configuration only) ensemble will remind you that soul isn't always found in an electric guitar or sticky keyboard. C.H.
SXSW ShowcasesNote: Showcases after midnight are listed under the day they begin.
American Fangs: 9 p.m. Saturday, March 19, Emo's Main Room, 603 Red River.
B L A C K I E: 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, Barcelona, 209 E. 6th St.
Bun B: 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, Stubb's, 801 Red River.
Buxton: 9 p.m. Thursday, March 17, 18th Floor at Hilton Garden Inn, 500 N. I-35,
Amber Digby & Midnight Flyer: 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, Continental Club, 1315 S. Congress Ave.
DJ Premier: With Nick Javas & NYG'z, 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, March 16, Fuze, 505 Nueces.
Robert Ellis: 10 p.m. Saturday, March 19, Lustre Pearl, 97 Rainey St.
Fat Tony: 10:15 Saturday, March 19, Karma Lounge, 119 W. 8th St.
Future Blondes: 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, Elysium, 705 Red River.
Indian Jewelry: 1 a.m. Wednesday, March 16, Soho Lounge, 217 E. 6th St.
Killa Kyleon: 11 p.m. Thursday, March 17, Venue 222, 222 E. 6th St.
Lil Keke: 10:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17, Fuze, 505 Nueces.
Something Fierce: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 19, Easy Tiger, 709 E. 6th St.
Trae Tha Truth: 9:45 p.m. Thursday, March 17, Austin Music Hall, 208 Nueces.
TroubleSum: 9:50 p.m. Saturday, March 19, Klub Krucial, 614 E. 6th St.
Two Star Symphony: 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, Central Presbyterian Church, 200 E. 8th St.
Michael "5000" Watts: 12 a.m. Thursday, March 17, Fuze, 505 Nueces.
Just like always, Houston is SXSW's Rap City, but things are different this year. Heavyweights like Bun B (joined live recently by Gang Starr founder DJ Premier, in a configuration we can only hope becomes semi-permanent), Swisha House Records don Michael "5000" Watts, Southside perennial Lil Keke and SXSW featured speaker Chamillionaire still loom over the scene like titanic downtown skyscrapers, but nipping at their heels is a crop of underground MCs that swap syrup for science. Besides The Niceguys (see "The Show"), the biggest blips on Houston's DIY rap radar right now are B L A C K I E, whose distorted lyrical bursts are as much Black Flag as they are Black Star, and Fat Tony, whose debut LP RABDARGAB won him the affection of Smiths-loving indie-rock kids (he's one himself) as well as his hip-hop elders. Then there's Trae Tha Truth, who took on corporate rap radio giant 97.9 The Box last year â making back in featured appearances and street cred what he lost in airplay â and whose commitment to the mean streets that raised him is as deep as his basso vocals. Rounding out H-Town's SXSW class of '11 are lyrical legend Killa Kyleon and TroubleSum, the shit-talking "Teflon Diva" out to prove that anyone who thinks the Space City rap game is a man's, man's, man's, man's world is sorely mistaken indeed. Chris Gray
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