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Sunday, March 22, 2009

SXSW - Day 2
Ebony Bones, Rye Rye, Kid Cudi, Vivian Girls, Rosie and the Goldbug

-Ebony Bones

Ebony Bones made more than just a few new fans Thursday night when she commanded the stage with her bizarre and delicious blend of new wave afro-punk. Dressed garishly with oversized bracelets and giant fabric balls for sleeves, Ebony recalled the art drama of Grace Jones' live persona, but infused it with a much more high-energy dance charisma. She is rumored to be finishing her debut album and all I can say is when this one drops, watch your head! Hands down the best show I saw at SXSW this year.

M.I.A.'s new protege Rye Rye is riding a wave of hype, mostly because she is the debut artist on the star's new label N.E.E.T. The Baltimore rapper is crazy cute and mouths off a mean jam, backed by infectious techno-pop beats. Her debut drops this summer and will be insanely huge, no question. You can get her first single "Shake It To the Ground" on iTunes.

Kid Cudi gave the crowd a scare when he was nowhere to be found at show time. I think someone made an announcement that he might not show up, because a mild panic spread through the club and people started filing toward the exit. At about the same time, Cudi and his entourage stormed in through the main entrance, creating a brief frenzy. He immediately jumped up onto the stage and rambled a bit about how he is NOT retiring. I never heard that he was, but I don't stay up to date on the latest hip-hop drama. He launched into his set and all was good. Very talented guy.

-Rosie and the Goldbug

Earlier in the evening Rosie and the Goldbug of the UK played their very first US show. I had no idea who they were, but it's kinda of like what you would get if you mixed Karen O, Tori Amos, and New York Dolls. Outrageous and dancey; completely likable.

Then came Vivian Girls (yes, again) who played possibly one of their best shows to date. I have seen this band about five times now and this was by far the best one. They had charisma and humor, which is a totally new addition from my perspective. They announced they were about to play a cover song they had just learned an hour prior in a parking lot. It turned out to be Wavves' "So Bored". Later they asked the audience for requests. When no one came up with a suitable one, they launched into "So Bored" again! It was kind of fantastic. During the last song, all three girls played musical chairs in the middle of the track, changing off instruments.

No one represented SXSW for me like the Vivian Girls. It became increasingly funny how often I stumbled upon them over the course of the week. Whether it be one of their many shows or just hanging out in the background, they always seemed to be around.

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