Stereogum's SXSW Superlatives 2012

Guess what? We went to SXSW 2012. Without further introduction, here are our SXSW superlatives for 2012:

BEST BEARD:The one on the bassist from Black Tusk, which swings around impressively when he headbangs. -Tom

BEST HAIRCUT: The pompadour on the guitarist from Ceremony, a sort of punk-rock version of the Kid N’ Play hightop fade.

BEST SHOES: The shiny blacks on the feet of Kindness, whose soulful disco-dipped sets were long on potential, dance moves, and legs. (He’s tall.) -Amrit

BEST BARE FEET: Nick “Paisley Adams” Allbrook, the perpetually shoe-bereft bassist for Tame Impala, who was recast this week as the perpetually shoe-bereft livewire frontman for Australian classic riff-rock vamp band/Tame Impala spinoff POND. What he lacks in shoes he makes up in HEART (and amphetamine-y spasms and contortions). -Amrit

BEST BOSS: TIE: Ricky Rozay and Bruce. On that note, the best Fader Fort closer rumor (among others like Outkast, Jay-Z, along those lines of impossibleness) was back to back sets by Springsteen and Miami’s finest.

BEST HUSTLE: Yeah, so after Rick Ross played Fader Fort, he got on a plane and played a show in Miami later last night. Of all of which he boasts, this might be the most bawse. -Corban

BEST/WORST MALL EXPERIENCE: On opening night, Apple Store Barton Creek Square fixed my Air even though I didn’t have a Genius appointment. Too bad it took an hour to get a ride back to 5th St. – Scott

BEST CONFESSION: Jacked Doritos taste pretty good. -Tom


MOST STARVED, AND THEREFORE MEANEST, CROWD: Fiona Apple at Stubb’s. I wish I could express what it was like to experience the collective groan that rippled through the crowd as Tom (who is, just so you know, approaching 7”) moved through the audience, many of whom who had been waiting all day, to meet Scott and me. Luckily, the show was worth all of the strain. -Corban

BEST UNINTENTIONAL HARMONIES: Two members (Elizabeth and Caroline) of Girl Crisis singing along front row to Nite Jewel at Wax Poetics’ showcase. -Scott

MOST JACKED STAGE: 1100 Warehouse Honorable Mention: The Doritos Jacked Stage. -Corban

BEST GUEST APPEARANCE: Swag-rap lunatic Riff Raff, resplendent in complicated braids and more-complicated facial hair when he jumped onstage to kick a verse with Queens rap bulldozer Action Bronson. Said Bronson: “I can’t wait to hear this!” -Tom Honorable Mention: Fucking GANGSTA BOO. -Corban


BEST ONSTAGE USE OF A SHOWER CURTAIN: Lower Dens, whose set at ND 501 featured an onstage shower curtain. -Amrit

BEST CELEBRITY SIGHTING (EVERYWHERE): Vermin Supreme, future President Of The United States. -Scott

MOST AGGRESSIVE ADVERTISING: TIE: Nike and Google, who basically just outspent everyone ten-, maybe twenty-fold (Nike built a basketball court and another multipurpose field, cuz people just wanna hoop during SXSW! Right? I never saw anyone on it). -Corban

LONGEST SETUP TIME: Korallreven at Barbarella, approx. 50 minutes. -Corban

BEST WAILER: Screaming Females leader Marissa Paternoster. -Tom


BEST SINGLE SERVING TUMBLR THOUGHT UP BY STEREOGUM STAFF MEMBERS:, because right after Trash Talk got done playing their set at Lustre Pearl, Tom raced over to Nacho Picasso (whom he had seen earlier) to see what he thought. Nacho loved it. -Corban

BEST FLEET FOXING: TIE: Poor Moon and Father John Misty, hours apart at Sub Pop’s Red 7 showcase outdoor stage. -Scott

BEST GUITAR SHREDDER: Screaming Females leader Marissa Paternoster. -Tom



BEST PLACE TO SNEAK IN NCAA TOURNAMENT GAMES: The Marriott sports bar Champions, three years (at least) running. Rock Chalk Jayhawk. -Corban

BIGGEST SNACK CHIP: You didn’t think that 56ft tall Doritos vending machine was just a stage, did you? -Scott

Comments (32)
  1. How much did Doritos & Taco Bell pay you guys to write this post?

  2. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  3. Not enough Niki & the Dove love. This band is is going to blow up. Kimbra= also pretty great

  4. I haven’t had Doritos in a while…mmm…they never get old…
    reply: cool ranch or nacho?

  5. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

      • Don’t pick on Tom. He’s approaching 7″. That’s approximately 17″ shorter than Skrillex’s hair. Your mind would have been blown too.

      • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

      • “In Defense of Skrillex” isn’t really so much about Skrillex as it is actually about how Stereogum thinks we’re just a bunch of snobby music-obsessed assholes who live in bubbles confined by our self-awareness boundaries. Why that pisses me off is because it tells me that you think I’m stupid.”

        Okay, you actually might need to take some time off. Because you’re arguing that, based on one post, Tom is actively trying to discredit the core of your identity. That’s a little silly.

        Your arguments would be somewhat if there was no context to the post. If the post was something random like “In Defense of Duran Duran” or unnecessarily controversial like “In Defense of Chris Brown” it would feel out of place and I’d agree with you. But he and others went to South by Southwest. And spent days writing about his experiences. This was just another experience to write about. That’s all. I just don’t understand why anyone is taking this personally.

        • Live reviews, like food reviews, are useless and that’s almost entirely everything that “In Defense of Skrillex” was based on. It’s the issue I had with 90% of the content that was going around last week on all other sites, and I thought Stereogum was doing the right thing by just letting the pictures tell the story, but then Skrillexgate happened. Unlike say, an album, a song or a movie, you can replicate exactly the same from one person to another, you can’t do that with a live show. If you went all alone to some glossy, House of Blues franchise club in like, Raleigh, NC, I doubt the Skrillex experience would be the same. I have a hunch that if you take SXSW and a bunch of your colleagues out of the equation, the story changes immensely. That said, it’s a shock piece based on one night’s experience and the only thing it accomplished was talking down to us.

      • I dunno, I mostly come here for the music and the comments section anyways. I kind of like it when something super comment-baitey like this comes up because it makes me question why I like what I like – I’m not a closed-minded person, so I’ll read the points and if he makes the case I’ll concede, and if not, I’ll stick with my own rationalizations. That’s all you can do. I don’t think you have to take it personally.

        Skrillex is not trying to make great art. He’s not doing anything electronically that wasn’t eclipsed by Richard D James about 10 years ago. He’s not doing anything in dub that his contemporaries don’t even currently do better than him.

        The problem is that sometimes when we speak in superlatives, it gives the impression that we think worse than the reality. I make no apologies about saying that I think Sleigh Bells is shit, but I think it’s safe to assume that I don’t actually think they are crappy performers in the same way a high school stage band is shit. Obviously, they aren’t a train wreck of mistakes and singing off key (well…a little off key maybe, ugh.) A more accurate way for me to say it would be “Sleigh Bells is not that interesting, and not worth any more time than a play through on a long car ride maybe.” Instead I say “They’re shit” but that’s not what I mean, per se.

        That’s the Skrillex issue here: Nobody actually thinks he’s SHIT. The music he plays is fine. It sounds nice. He’s a capable producer, and that’s fine. When we say he’s “Shit” what we mean is, “We don’t care about Skrillex that much. He’s fine, but we don’t need to really be talking about him that much.”

        Skrellex = Overhype. So Tom’s defense is a little absurd here: To defend an over-hype is to defend someone who is being praised constantly, to people who are really just saying “we’re reserving our expectations.” We don’t need a defense. Our stance is that we do not buy into the hype. What you’d need to do is suggest reasons that expectations were not only met but exceeded. But what I read was nothing different than an experience I’ve had at a kid koala show, or Amon Tobin, or DJ Premier, or any million number of shows where a DJ did cool things and I was entertained. Cool. Nothing to take personally though.

        • Wait, nobody thinks Skrillex is shit? That’s news to me.

          Sorry, but I just can’t be convinced as to why this article needed to exist in the first place. It’s not even part of a regular Stereogum weekly franchise feature or anything of the like. It’s shock-and-awe journalism that rivals the public masturbation that was Kony 2012 (and I’m not even talking about the actual display of public masturbation Jason Russell was detained for.)

          • Also, the fact that it did nothing but breed content amongst and between readers here — That’s just messed up. Like I said, it was begging for a knife fight and if that’s your mission when you write — There’s this other site called “Is Anyone Up?” In fact, I’m certains tons of Skrillex fans read it.

          • But they don’t. People don’t actually think he’s shit. And he’s not shit. I mean…he’s not on stage constantly screwing up and making a fool of himself and being terrible while people applaud! He still makes pretty conventional, fairly consonant music. It’s not the worst.

            That said, I think that’s the point and I agree why the article “In defense of” is incorrect and unnecessary – you don’t need to defend something that is “fine.” You don’t need to defend a Big Mac. We all know Big Macs are fine. They sell a lot, and while the ingredients may be dubious, it tastes fine.

            It is odd to be subjected to an attempt to sell me on why a Big Mac is more than just fast food, when the crux of the argument is “It just feels good.” I understand. But I don’t really read it as asking for trouble. it’s polarizing, for sure, but nothing to be offended by. At least the writing is better than the Deconstructions.

          • But Big Macs are not fine. They’re loaded with cholesterol and saturated fats which can lead to heart disease, obesity, diabetes and a host of other troubling health issues. That’s why I don’t eat Big Macs. I hate Big Macs. Big Macs are shit for your body, just like Skrillex is shit for our ears. If you put garbage into your body, then your body will eventually stop running correctly.

          • I agree that Big Macs are not healthy, but in moderation, you can have a Big Mac and not die. You can listen to a Skrillex and it won’t harm your tastes. We agree generally. But I wouldn’t begrudge anyone trying to validate why Big Macs could be considered haute cuisine if they make a good case.

            If Tom had said “Skirllex just feels good alright, so everyone shut up and get out there and buy all his records” then I’d be a little offended. It reads more like “I liked it and I don’t feel guilty about it” which is actually a perfectly fine thing to do, in the context of both Skrillex or Le Grand Mac.

          • Even though he’s wrong and I still don’t care too much either way about Skrillex.

          • I guess.

            djfreshié, I want you to be the first to know that I’m giving up on the music game. In the past few weeks, discouragement has set in and I’m not feeling things anymore. This whole Skrillex post kind of was a microcosm for that disappointment. I’ll speak more about it in the Ceremony “Adult” video post…

          • Michael_ don’t get discouraged…no doubt you are correct, the music game is a series of disappointments after disappointment, but that’s the game. If it was easy and fair, it wouldn’t be a game.

            Trust me, I know it’s a pretty shitty place, but it needs more people with taste and smarts, not less. There is an abundance of garbage people everywhere. But if a post on Skrillex is the straw on the camel’s back, that surprises me, because there’s so much straw out there it’s ridiculous.

          • My disappointment stems from a few different reasons, which I narcissisticly detail here:

      • In Defense of Tom:

        Michael, I think you’re reading far too much into Tom’s article. Everyone is. “In Defence of Skrillex” may not have been the best choice of a title, but I can understand why he chose it. It was almost as if he was saying “hear me out, guys,” knowing full well he’d be received with skepticism. But the article that followed was not meant to be polarizing nor drive away long-time readers of the site. It was also not some huge paradigm shift nor and attempt to make anyone feel stupid.

        Here’s what I got from the article: Tom went to a Skrillex show, and his experience exceeded his expectations. I imagine this happens to alot of people. Skrillex is on tour more than most, so it would only make sense that he puts more attention into his live shows. From what I gather, the albums are only an afterthought.

        Regardless of YOUR opinion of Skrillex, you shouldn’t fault Tom for writing about his opinion. That’s his job. Is it only okay when his opinion matches yours? If so, what would be the point of even tuning into the site at all? Maybe you don’t agree with him and that is fine. Telling him so in the comments section is also fine. But you crossed the line when you started accusing Tom and Stereogum of writing this article to polarize the readers and/or push an agenda. You’re acting quite childish, frankly.

        You say that you are annoyed with the music blogs writing about live music, as if doing so was breaking some cardinal rule, but what do you expect of these guys? They were at music festival for several days enjoying live music. What else are they going to write about? I for one enjoyed hearing about a music festival I wasn’t able to attend and I think many of my fellow music blog readers will agree. I think they will also agree that there is merit in writing reviews of live shows. I’ve been to quite a few live show in my life and I can definitely say that great albums do not always translate into great live shows and vice-versa.

        • The post was one that caught me at the exact right time when I was feeling overly-defensive about everything the other day, so I take back everything I wrote. If I were in a sunnier mood, I probably would have just replied with a .gif and watched the comment section blow itself up.

    • Alright already we get it: you liked Ceremony before it was cool.

  6. seriously though Exquire poured a shot of Jack for me during his show

  7. Simply stating the information to facilitate Doritos and Taco Bell were accurately plastered all terminated everything downtown isn’t advertising. I think they managed to facilitate on their own already.

  8. You didn’t think to 56ft tall Doritos vending piece of equipment was honorable a stage, did you?

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