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South By Southwest Day Four: Wrapping It Up

Santogold J.I. started the last day of SXSW emceeing a show for Armed Forces Entertainment, an organization that sends indie bands around the world to play for troops stationed overseas. In between our hungover attempts at stage banter, we watched sets from a handful of bands that are alums of the organization’s tour.

The first, Tripdavon, played solid rock; they stumbled when they did covers (and to be fair, “Billie Jean” is a hard one for anyone to nail), but their original songs were quite enjoyable. Urban Sophisticates followed with swingy, upbeat hip-hop, and Five Star Iris closed the show with some radio friendly rock.

We headed over the Fader Fort afterwards and squirmed through a set by South African reggae act BLK JKS; there was nothing really wrong with them, but we were just dying to see our girl crush Santogold (pictured), who was up next. Santi didn’t disappoint, owning the stage while her backup dancers grooved in perfect time. Much to the delight of the crowd, she brought on Kid Sister to help her close a fantastic set.

J.I. then decided to check out the rest of what Austin has to offer, hoofing over to the UT campus to wander around. Maybe New York has spoiled us, or maybe it’s just because spring break is on, but we were seriously bummed about the lack of open bookstores, boutiques and restaurants. We finally chowed down at Veggie Heaven, a dingy if tasty vegan Asian joint and indulged in some TCBY.

The evening found us enjoying a '90s theme, watching the Breeders throw out a mix of old and new tracks and Simian Mobile Disco leading an old school rave. Thus comes of the end of J.I.’s very first SXSW. There were a few insanity inducing moments, far too many lines, sometimes too many people, but a lot of awesome music and very cool folks. Next year, we’re RSVPing to everything and coming back with power. – Cortney Harding

March 16, 2008 in SXSW | Permalink

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