Concert Review: TDE Championship Tour AKA Kendrick's Victory Lap

The TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) Championship Tour came to Dallas tonight.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

Kendrick Lamar
RIYL: Pulitzer Prize Winners
Pseudo Genre: G.O.A.T.

1. It would be easy to make sports analogies, especially since Kendrick performed in front of a Formula 1 race car. Despite that, we will not say that this performance was a victory lap for Kendrick.
2. Almost the entire TDE roster performed, but all the attention was on Kendrick Lamar and SZA with a lesser spotlight on Schoolboy Q and Jay Rock.
3. Pulitzer Kenny, AKA Kendrick Lamar, performed without a pause and without an encore.
4. The crowd energy of a Kendrick performance is simply, unmatched 5. Kendrick and TDE draw a racial diverse crowd, but very few fans were over 30 years of age.

Here is a video we shot along with a few pictures.

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Kendrick Lamar

Album Review: Iceage- Beyondless

Here is a review of our current favorite album, Beyondless by Iceage.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

Iceage
RIYL: Old Artic Monkeys, LIFE, The Clash
Pseudo Genre: Punky Post Punk

1. It’s like Morrissey, King Krule and The Clash had a love child.
2. Ten years on, this Danish punk band is continuing to evolve and grow, which is not surprising given that none of the band is even 27 years old.
3. Iceage brings in pop stylings, utilizing horns and Sky Ferreira’s backing vocals on “Pain Killer”. Iceage does NOT make pop punk. Think The Birthday Party or The Clash not Green Day or Blink-182
4. Some of our favorite lyrics: from “The Day the Music Dies”: “Performed an exorcism on myself, Cited prayers and rites of deliverance, Yet here I am, somehow still possessed”
From “Thieves like Us”: “In echo chambers of fermented ethanol, Listen to reason as I voice my speculations, With the brains of a blowup doll”
and From “Pain Killer”: "Most when it's almost like a bane, You arrive like a siren refrain, Like death she takes everything, And dazes me like patent medicine”
5. This is another great album from a band that continues to experiment and grow with each album.

Here are some videos of songs from the album.

Childish Gambino's Satirical Genius on Full Display in"This is America"

The video for Childish Gambino's latest single, "This is America," was released shortly after his appearance on Saturday Night Live, and quickly went viral, because.....well, thats exactly what it was supposed to do. The video going viral is, in itself, a distraction; one of the major topics Glover confronts in "This is America".  On first watch, it is hard not to zone in on Donald Glover's Jim Crow era dance moves. He is The Distraction, placed against a backdrop of gun violence, death, abuse and chaos that is barely noticeable. Until the second watch....then again, and again. With each experience, a new piece of the puzzle is revealed, and sadly, a familiar scene begins to emerge- it is America, now... absurd, confusing, and for many of us, utterly horrific. Like most works of art worthy of their canonical placement, this one's got layers and layers of meaning- each of them intentionally created and pieced together in a way that moves the audience from one epiphany to the next, and back again. Definitely one of Stairwell Baby's favorite music videos to date. Check it out:

 

Concert Review: 4/22/18 The Breeders in Dallas

Here is a much delayed review from The Breeders show in Dallas on 4/22/18.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

The Breeders
RIYL: The Pixies, Pavement, Sleater-Kinney
Pseudo Genre: Pre-Seattle (NorthEast) Grunge

1. Kim Deal is a perfectionist, in all the right ways. The Breeders performance is tight and yet very entertaining.
2. Having the original line up together made this tour more special than the previous.
3. Josephine Wiggs, the bassist, has a dry sense of humor and excellent comedic timing.
4. A crowd with the average age in the 40s is much more polite and a lot less energetic than a crowd with an average age in the 20s.
5. We hope that this line up puts out another album, because the new stuff is as good as any of the old.

We shot a couple of videos and some pictures (one from SXSW).

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Kim Deal SXSW

Concert Review: Matt & Kim

 Matt & Kim performed on 4/14/18 at the Bomb Factory in Dallas.  Please check out the video and photos below.

 Our review format  is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts with a bit of style and formatting borrowed from the old Larry King USA Today articles. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be runon sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

The enthusiasm expressed by Matt & Kim is more contagious than the flu on a TransAtlantic flight...Their shows are not about artistry and creative integrity. Their shows are about creating the most enjoyable and unadulterated fun performance possible...Matt & Kim get your body moving and your booty shaking. In fact, we both hit our daily exercise goals from our dancing at the concert...Crowd surfing, balloons, and confetti...A smile that lasts for days.

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Album Review: L.A. Salami: The City of Bootmakers

L.A. salami does not have anything to do with a Southern California city or luncheon meats, but has everything to do with creating avant garde, genre bending 21st century Folk music...The album is of NOW, and tackles subjects such as gentrification ("Brick Lane"), radical Islam ("Terrorism (The ISIS Crisis)"),  the problems facing England with Brexit and great divisions ("England Is Unwell"), and the meaning of life ("Science+Buddhism= A Reality You Can Know")...Some great lyrics include: "and the cash flows from all the wealthy come in, Who seem not to like the scene that led them on, and the scene is gone" from "Brick Lane" and "I'm penniless, but I've sold my soul, I'm restless, but I've nowhere to go" from "Generation L(ost)...Lookman Adekunle Salami sings with the restrained energy and emotion of a hand grenade explosion being channeled through a drinking straw...Tackling important subjects would be a waste of time if his music was not catching and enjoyable. 

The album will be out and streaming everywhere on Friday 4/13. Here are a couple of the songs that we really like off of the new album (also "Terrorism (The ISIS Crisis)" is on last Friday's playlist).

 

Our SXSW Rankings

We have rated about 650 of the bands that will be at SXSW our lists are compiled in downloadable PDF and Excel files. Here is a link

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1D4TqZaPATJsPGTmGCIiwLaShlhl0Cwty

 

The stars or numbers are our ratings and the ratings are 1-5.  

1 is a band to avoid,

2 is a band that might be worth seeing if you are there, but is not worth seeking out. 

3 Is a band you should try to see and will add to any show they are at.

4 is a very good band

5 is a band that we think are amazing

The first column is related to how much the SWB staff would like a band. The second column is how much a fan of that genre is likely to enjoy the band. The other column are comments about the bands to help you find out who you like. 

Starting Monday, we will have a ton of SXSW posts and pictures, so be sure to check back often. 

 

 

 

Tyler the Creator/ Vince Staples Feb. 8, 2018, The Bomb Factory Dallas, TX

If the Democrats are serious about winning the upcoming elections, they’ll hire Tyler the Creator and Vince Staples to instigate a youth-driven frenzy, just as they did on Thursday night at The Bomb Factory. Fans lined up outside the venue hours before doors opened, and by 7pm, the line zig-zagged around several buildings in Deep Ellum, forcing Bomb Factory employees to monitor street crossings in several areas. Once inside, fans anxiously sought out the merch tables, where they happily dropped $200 on one of Tyler’s signature hoodies or $30 on a pair of socks donning his “GOLF” logo. The merch was so popular, in fact, that it drew just as many fans as Tyler himself, with hundreds of people foregoing the show to wait in an hour long line to buy something-anything- made by Tyler. Those who chose to see the show were treated with a set from Vince Staples, whose expertly crafted multi-screen backdrop was a perfect accompaniment to his understated all-black aesthetic. Vince began his set with “BagBak” and “Rain Come Down,” with little pause in between the fourteen songs that followed. His typical all-business stage persona kept the crowd continuously jumping and moshing to the music (even to the slower songs). When he was finished, I was sure the crowd would be, too. But about 30 minutes later, when the curtain opened for Tyler the Creator, fans once again rose to the occasion. Standing with his back to the crowd, atop a life-sized fallen tree, Tyler seemed to be soaking up the moment, silently reveling in the adoration. As the music to “Where This Flower Blooms,” began to play, fans lurched toward the stage all at once, causing a wave of bodies to close in on each other as the anticipation built. Tyler followed his grand entrance with an even mix of old and new songs like “Yonkers,” “She,” and “November.” He walked along a fallen tree prop showcasing his uneven, contorted dance moves and lazily sat on a large rock during one of his slower songs, “Garden Shed.” Throughout the show, his honesty and at times awkward, introspective personality was on full display. Early on, Tyler asked someone backstage to order him some soul food, complete with a turkey leg on the side, and later, offered his musings on human behavior by asking why people scream when they’re excited. His verdict: “Humans are weird as fuck.” This stream of consciousness stage banter is exactly why Tyler’s fans love him so much…just like his music, it’s novel and most importantly, authentic. In a world where young talent is often manufactured and managed down to a predictable, packaged product, Tyler is different. That’s why his fans immediately obliged when, towards the end of the show, Tyler strongly encouraged them to put their phones away. “Have one God damn authentic experience in your fucking life.” And they did. For two glorious songs, “Sometimes,” and “See You Again,” not a phone was to be seen amongst the mass of bodies jumping up and down together, hands in the air, living in the moment, for once in their fucking lives.