Sunday, March 18, 2007

Rumors of Injuries at Balcony Collapse During South by Southwest

Sun, Mar 18, 2007 at 5:05 PM

Eye-witnesses spot ambulances responding to Vice Magazine after-party

The definitive story of the twentieth annual South by Southwest Music Conference may include some serious injuries linked directly to hype, as reports have started to come in that Vice magazine's A-list after-party in south Austin required ambulances after an overloaded balcony collapsed. It's 4:45 a.m. in Austin during the apex of a week-long party featuring 1,500 bands, and information is scarce. In music news: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings solidified their solid-gold soul funk reputation during one of the top performances of the week. The acts got better and better since the event's beginning on March 14, culminating in time-stopping performances by Jones as well as the UK celebrity collaboration the Good, the Bad and the Queen.

Brooklyn singer Jones seems destined for a breakout year after her late 2006 release, only matched in quality by her fully orchestrated live show. Channeling James Brown, the band tore through at least twelve soul and funk numbers, winning accolades from an audience of tough critcs blasted by four days of shows, heat and booze.

Gorillaz side project the Good, the Bad, and the Queen ended its set on a similarly happy note, but the journey slogged through some seriously heavy material. Former Blur singer and Gorrillaz boss Damon Albarn went straight for the tear ducts on "The Bunting Song," easily one of the most broody moments of the week. People will kill themselves to the certified gold album, but at least they'll die with good taste.

The blasted urban stage backdrop perfectly matched Albarn's melancholy lyrics about how all the days are a ticking bomb as Fela Kuti's drummer Tony Allen kept a spare beat. But the haunting came from a lilting piano riff and the loping bassline from bassist Paul Simonon of the Clash. Combined with guitarist Simon Tong from the Verve, the band 's performance took audiences to a very serious place while still managing to be a very violent slap in the face to any bands with a similar arrangement. Part of it is age and experience, but Jones and the UK boys simply do what they do better than anyone else in their field, and if you see it, it's an undeniable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Video of Sharon Jones

Pictures of the Good, the Bad and the Queen

From good bad quee...

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