Chris Smither always manages to sound real on his records. Like he's living the songs he sings every day. In a sense, that's exactly what the 50-year-old acoustic bluesman is doing—living the very truths he sets to music. Smither's childhood wasn't unpleasant, but it wasn't stable either. His parents, both university professors, moved the family from Miami to Ecuador to Texas to New Orleans to Paris back to New Orleans, all by the time Smither was 13 years old and already fascinated by music.
Another March has passed, and with it another installment of the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, where several of us go every year to scout the newest, coolest bands. OK, we all see a few older cool bands, too, but most of the reason we go every year is to give you a brief preview of bands to watch when we get back. Plus, it keeps us from killing ourselves (and each other) the remaining months of the year. Here we go with SXSW 2004 Top 10:
¡Mayday! • Demrick • DJ Stigmata • Septicemia Records • rap, hip-hop
By Adam Wood
I’m not sure that the concept of “genre” is really relevant anymore in the realm of music. The days of “pure” music are long gone, and while this might leave some “old-heads” grumbling over message boards about the loss of “real rap” or “real jazz,” I think that for the most part this is a good thing. The possibilities are more abundant than ever before as artists dip their fingers in any number of genres and traditions. ¡MAYDAY! is one group embracing this diversity in their quest for success, with dual emcees Wrekonize and Bernz backed by a full band as they delve into the worlds of rap, rock, reggae, pop and more. With the industry experience of Tech N9ne and his Strange Music label behind them, the Miami-based group boasts a live show that is fast, fun and furious. As part of their promotion for upcoming album Search Party, the group will be bringing that energy on Wednesday, Aug. 23, to Launchpad, the perfect venue to witness their smooth, quickfire wordplay shine alongside an impressive and eclectic array of instrumentals and some silkily-sung hooks. Tickets for this 13+ show run a meager $13, making this a show that the youngest and oldest of us alike can attend and enjoy.