WBEZ | Big K.R.I.T. http://www.wbez.org/tags/big-krit Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Pitchfork Day 1: A$AP Rocky and Big K.R.I.T. http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-07/pitchfork-day-1-aap-rocky-and-big-krit-100900 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ASAPRocky.jpg" title="A$AP Rocky (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>In a sharp programming shift, Day 1 went from the psychedelic pop of Olivia Tremor Control into the mixtape hip-hop of A$AP Rocky. The only similarity I can think of between the two acts is that there are higher than average odds that both their listeners partake of illicit substances.</p><p>Walking into the photo pit at the start of Rocky&#39;s set, the presence of pot smoke went from occassional to all-encompasing. Photographers were even smoking joints while jockeying for position in front of the stage- the only time I&#39;ve ever seen that.</p><p>The crowd quickly doubled in size, but quadrupled in excitement. Women in elaborate bathing suits suddenly appeared among the fans. Kids in front knew every word of every song. All this for a rapper who still hasn&#39;t released a proper album (but did recently sign a $3 million deal with RCA).</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ASAPRockycrew.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="A$AP Rocky's crew (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>As an outside observer to the hip-hop mixtape world, this set reminded me of Odd Future&#39;s performance at Pitchfork 2011. There weren&#39;t (as many) troubling anti-social, nihilistic messages in the music, but there <em>was</em> a shared language and lots of inside jokes that people learned in very specific corners of the internet. Thanks to a guest appearance by Chicago&#39;s LEP Bogus Boys the stage was crowded and chaotic at times. Oh, and there was lots of jumping into the crowd from the stage.</p><p>There&#39;s no denying that Rocky is a born showman and midway through the set we got to see some of his talents come through. His crew took a break leaving Rocky almost alone on stage with Clams Casino&#39;s innovative production getting a chance to breathe. If he&#39;s able to approach shows less like a party and more like a performance, he may well grow into his namesake- his mother named him after hip-hop legend Rakim.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/BigKRIT.jpg" title="Big K.R.I.T. (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>Big K.R.I.T. followed A$AP Rocky in what some festivalgoers called the &quot;rap interlude&quot; of Day 1. However, there was a world of difference in their performances. Big K.R.I.T. seemed much more than three years older than A$AP Rocky.</p><p>Prowling the stage in camoflagued pants, a Chicago Bulls hat and a necklace of his home state of Mississippi, K.R.I.T. was a singular performer, not the host of a party. Instead of Odd Future, I was reminded of Public Enemy and Outkast. His delivery was sharp and full of conviction- he meant what he said and didn&#39;t care much if your hands were in the air or not. And best of all, I didn&#39;t need to figure out what it means to be &quot;trill.&quot;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/BigKRIT2.jpg" title="Big K.R.I.T. (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div></p> Fri, 13 Jul 2012 23:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-07/pitchfork-day-1-aap-rocky-and-big-krit-100900 SXSW 2012 Days Two and Three: Bruce Springsteen, Of Monsters and Men, Chiddy Bang, 2:54, Balconies, The War on Drugs, Howler and more http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-16/sxsw-2012-days-two-and-three-bruce-springsteen-monsters-and-men-chiddy-bang-254- <p><p>Thursday, Day Two, was my first day on random international band watch. I decided to head to some international showcases. My first stop was at the German Wunderbar lunch at Parkside Restaurant, where DJs Apparat, Bonaparte, Coma, Touchy Mob and more spun tues. I can't tell you who was on when I was there nor did it sound distinctly German, but the tasty fare and friendly folks made it a fun stop. Next I ventured to Taiwan, by way of 6th Street. Inside Soho Lounge, the female-fronted The White Eyes were playing a poppy, punked-up set. Not sure what they were singing about, but it mattered little. The energy was enough to keep me there until they left the stage. Plus it didn't hurt that there were potstickers and shrimp egg rolls to go along with the music.</p><p>Since there were more opportunities ahead to catch some relatively unknown international acts in the coming weekend, I thought I'd detour from my virtual globe trotting to catch a bit of Mississippi's Big K.R.I.T at Fader Fort, who had the crowd pretty pumped. Last year he had a backing band, but his stripped down version of hypeman and DJ sufficed for the revelers at the Fort, especially during "Money on the Floor." On the hip-hop tip, I also made a stop at the mtvU Woodie Awards Festival in time for Chiddy Bang (full disclosure, I write for MTV's Buzzworthy). The Philadelphian duo were backed by a band that included a string section, which buoyed their clever rhymes that were married with indie rock samples. They had been making waves on the blog and mixtape circuit, and having just dropped their debut album, <em>Breakfast</em>, there was a large audience in attendance.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img align="middle" alt="" class="caption" height="333" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-17/Bruce_Springsteen_and_the_E_Street_Band_with_crowd-Photo_credit_Michael_Buckner.jpg" title="Bruce Springsteen at Moody Theater/Photo by: Michael Buckner" width="500"></p><p>But it was Bruce Springsteen that won the night, and it very well might eclipse everything else I'll see at SXSW. The intimate show was held at Moody Theater, the home of Austin City Limits. Attendees were picked via a lottery and I luckily scored a ticket. First, I must admit, I've always respected him and understood why he was so beloved, but I was not a rabid fan or early convert. I suppose early on his lyrics didn't resonate with me. &nbsp;As the daughter of Asian immigrants, songs like "Born In The USA" didn't feel relatable. My born in the US experience was entirely different.&nbsp;"I'm on Fire" downright creeped me out as a young girl, and kinda still does. However, as I grew up, his protest songs, politics and man-of-the-people ways spoke to me. &nbsp;And this show, my first time seeing him, sold me. He and the 17-piece E Street Band were consummate performers, their synergy was so well orchestrated. Their already full sound was augmented by a number of guests, including Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello who played guitar on several tunes, Jimmy Cliff, one of his musical inspirations, and The Animals' Eric Burdon who fronted "We Gotta Get Out of This Place." The encore "This Land Was Your Land" included openers Alejandro Escovedo and Low Anthem, Joe Ely, members of Arcade Fire and more. From "Promised Land" to "The Rising," "My City of Ruins" to "The Ghost of Tom Joad," each song of the close-to-three hour set was delivered like it was their last rousing moment. Springsteen volleyed several guitars across the stage to his guitar tech, did a bit of front-of-crowd surfing and worked the stage and audience showing us exactly why he is The Boss.&nbsp;</p><p>Friday I planned to take a cruise with some German bands, but unfortunately my cell phone died, which is essentially a life line when covering a festival. As I mentioned in my first SXSW 2012 post, sometimes what's on schedule doesn't always go as planned. After finally getting that in order, I was ready to make up for lost time. First stop was to catch Minneapolis band Night Moves. Perhaps their set was too early in the day for them or it was too hot, but they seemed a little lethargic in comparison to their catchy recorded music, which ranges from psychedelic-electro dance to a little countryish. Next up was a stop at Fader Fort for Southside Chicago rapper Paypa. His laidback flow sounded radio ready (minus the swears). Shoegaze-tipped UK group 2:54 followed. The fuzzy guitars of sisters Colette and Hannah Thurlow and dark-droney melodies contrasted well with singer Collette Thurlow's wispy, ethereal vocals.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="375" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-17/Balconies.jpg" title="Balconies at Canada House/Photo by: Althea Legaspi" width="500"></p><p>I finally got to catch The War on Drugs, who've been on my list of bands I've wanted to catch live, and they were worth the anticipation. Their sprawling Americana stylings with trilling guitars coupled with&nbsp;Adam Granduciel's beat-poet-like cadence was engaging. Next stop: at trip to the Great North via Canada House where The Balconies was holding court. The Toronto trio's hooked-up pop rock was particularly vibrant due to its exuberant singer&nbsp;Jacquie Neville, whose rock star poses, including semi-splits and dance shuffles with her guitar as partner came off, natural and were pretty adorable. &nbsp;</p><p>The night kicked off with the glorious Of Monsters and Men, one of my favorite acts I caught at Iceland Airwaves in October. Their fanbase has grown exponentially in a short time given their soaring, swoon-worthy style and thanks to radio play of "Little Talks," an infectious "hey" peppered tune that received crowd sing-alongs at the crowded Stubb's. Their expansive orchestral sound included a horn and accordian player. While their debut album is already out in Iceland, they signed to Universal and it will be re-released with additional songs Stateside. Their lush, folky-orchestral approach coupled with the female-male &nbsp;vocal interplay of Ragnar Thorhallsson and Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir buoyed "Lakehouse" and "King and Lionheart."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="375" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-17/JackWhiteCrowd.jpg" title="A crowd gathers to watch Jack White through venue window/Photo by: Althea Legaspi" width="500"></p><p>Jack White's Third Man Records showcase was unsurprisingly a complete madhouse, and queuing in line an hour before the set, it was already too late to gain entrance. I watched from outside for a couple of songs, before swimming upstream through a sea of people on SXSW's main artery, 6th Street. It was complete carnage, so much so that navigating through garbage-strewn, pee-filled alleyways was more appealing. I eventually arrived in time to see Howler at Latitude 60, who pretty much summed up my feelings for the night when frontman Jordan Gatesmith announced, "I'm f****** scared of SXSW." It can be pretty overwhelming. Their indie rock mined a retro sound, fueled with youthful spirit. Paired with their wry lyrics and a snide manner – I'd bet we'll be hearing a lot more about them soon. While they behaved their ages with penis jokes and other silly banter, their cohesiveness was much wiser.</p></p> Fri, 16 Mar 2012 23:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-16/sxsw-2012-days-two-and-three-bruce-springsteen-monsters-and-men-chiddy-bang-254-