SXSW Nite 2 – Hip-hop Nite for Coté

Friday night, for the second night of SXSW, Kim and I split up to see different shows. She went off to Mohawk, while I went off to Scoot Inn. Unknown to many people, I actually like hip-hop a lot.

Before choosing to split-up, though, we stopped off at the Cedar Door to figure out what to do, get a taco, and listen to Army of Freshman. As we were on the Cedar Door deck, I didn’t get to hear Army of Freshman too well, but it seemed OK.

Looking through the Austin Chronical’s guide for Thursday night, and with much “are you sure?” conferring, we decided to split up to go see different venues.

Red’s Scoot Inn

The long trek

While I go to The Long Branch frequently, I’ve never been to their sister bar-venue, Red’s Scoot Inn. While I “know” that Scoot Inn is in east Austin, I somehow managed to clod it all the way over to La Zona Rosa after misreading the map.

After getting directions from a rickshaw-man, I hiked all the way over to Scoot Inn which is quiet a trek, but, hey, I need to exercise.

Scoot Inn is a sort of Stubb’s junior with a big wooden, covered stage, and a little bar shack next to it. As the sign said it was a bier hall, I’m guessing they have big tables in the wide open spaces when there’s not music – I’ll have to check it out sometime.

Def Jux/ Dirtee Stank Showcase

Scoot Inn Def Jux Nite

Thanks to Matt Ray, I got to like most everything that Def Jux puts out a few years ago. They’ve got El-P, Mr. Lif, Cannibal Ox, Aesop Rock and loads of other – I don’t know – “underground hip-hop.” I went to Def Jux’s showcase last year with El-P and Aesop Rock and it was great. Still, the best SXSW hip-hop show I’ve been to over the years was Soul Position a couple years ago.

I was most interested in seeing El-P as he was the only act I really knew in the line-up. The other acts – Del the Funky Homosapien, Devin the Dude, Bisc1, and the two grime acts – were fun and good.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting most of their records as I’m always hard-pressed to find new, good hip-hop. Indeed, I wish I could I just subscribe to Def Jux in general; that’d save me some thinking. They’ve got this Club Meds thing, but I don’t think that’s what I want.

Not having really heard grime before, it was fun to see it in performance. I haven’t really listened to it enough to characterize it, but it’s definitely English accented, really fast, and slightly more fizzy and poppy than you’d expect from American hip-hop.

ScottD! showed up about half-way through giving me a chance to have plenty of Tito’s and Tonic’s with a friend.

Crowd Comparison

Most interesting in the context of SXSW was the comparison between the hip-hop scene (black, latino, and white) and the rest of SXSW (mostly white). The hip-hop people were out hustling their records and shows in force and wearing plenty of crew themed shirts and hats. Zip-codes, area-codes, and group names were everywhere at Scoot Inn, while at the rest of SXSW only rarely even mentioned what city a band was from.

And, of course, there’s the mega-entourage thing with hip-hop. At one point, Bushwhick Bill walked in with about 25 people. I’d bet even REM didn’t come with a trail of that many people.

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