Watching smoking-hot German producer Alex Ridha (aka Boys Noize) absolutely tear the roof of the Beauty Bar patio last night was astonishing for a few reasons. First, seeing a DJ have that kind of command over people’s emotions and bodily reactions is always a thrill, especially when he or she is actually mixing records and not hunched over a laptop.
It also showed a growing shift in the rock star model for DJs. Where once you’d have a John Digweed type perched up in his lofty booth, musically governing over raving thousands, Ridha is playing to young, fashionable crowds who want chaos: stage diving, rushing the stage and pseudo-moshing. Everything and anything to just plain up the anarchy factor, which is something that’s already in no short supply here at SXSW.
Boyz of South By Southwest
Earlier in the evening Vice Records trotted out their newest acquisition, a ridiculously over-staffed collective from Athens, Georgia called Dark Meat. They range between 15-20 drugged-out looking members, but they’re not all playing instruments. Some for instance are simply on stage throwing glow stick and candy at the audience while the rest of massive band plays a stomping mean brand of dirty southern rock.
Dark Meat: Too much meat?
They actually hold it all together surprisingly well. And though it feels like we’ve seen too much of the bigger-is-better concepts in music the last few years Dark Meat are more of spectacle and don’t take themselves too seriously like other Arcade-aping groups. Think acid-dropping pirates and you’ve got some idea.
Bearded Brooklyn folk rocker Phosphorescent (Matthew Houck) kicked things off at the Black Mountain show over at a multi-level cowboy bar called Mohawk. Houck has been getting a lot of attention for his Sam Bean-style indie folk, which he does perfectly well.
Perhaps it needs to be said again: Beards are the new black
But “well” got old three songs in and you’re left wondering how many sad sacks are out there dwelling in New York lofts writing pain-inspired dirges. I guess if you can’t get enough of the Will Oldham scene then get on this, otherwise take a pass.