SXSW Review: Dave, March 14, Latitude 30

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Welcome to the stage……DAVE!

What a artist name. Impossible to Google but man, you must be hot shit if you just simply go by Dave. A London hip hop artist who is only 18, Dave played the BBC Showcase Tuesday night. It’s probably not the most hip thing to say, but Dave played a very comprehensive set. “You’ll get some up tempo songs, you’ll get some slower songs, I’m going to rap and also, I’m going to sing” Dave told us during his set. The man does it all. In between songs, he would tell us about his upbringing and how he became popular “Waaaaaay back in 2015, I was free-styling…” It’s then you realized that this kid is 18 and that 2 years ago must be quite a long time.

Stories aside, Dave put on a stellar set that showcase his talents not only as a rapper, but also as a pianist and an arranger. Among his songs include ones that sampled his own piano arrangements and also some Spanish guitar, a nice departure from other songs. At only 18, the future is bright for this one.

SXSW Review: Sofi Tukker, March 14, Empire Control Room

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Sofi Tukker is a duo from New York who put on a devastatingly fun show. Sophie Hawley-Weld, one part of the duo, seemed like she was born to perform. Whether she’s singing, dancing or wielding a guitar, she has an energy to her that is incredibly infectious and is irrestible. The duo play what is essentially electro dance pop , and they have this odd contraption set up in the middle of stage that they hit with drum sticks that makes different sounds. Also, I’m pretty sure some of their songs are in Portuguese, however none of that really matters as their music puts a smile on your face and get’s you moving.

Go check them out.

Documentary Review: My Scientology [2017, Louis Theroux]

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Louis Theroux’s first ever feature documentary is an interesting take on the documentary genre. Considering there are already a few documentaries on the subject (Going Clear comes to mind) I guess it behooved Louis to take this approach.

With Scientology shrouded in secrecy, obtaining actual footage related to the religion and its leader, David Miscavige is incredibly difficult. Whatever footage that is available is already available readily on the internet. With that in mind, it seems that Louis made a bit of a meta film about trying to recreate some of the important moments in Scientology with actors. Throughout this process, he is guided by several important figures that have since left scientology.

It is through conversation with these defectors where the hold that scientology has on an individual becomes increasingly clear. We get insight into the tactics that the religion takes to not only gain members, but to also probe their deepest intimate details and ultimately leverage that information against the individual. The results are scarring.

In a bit of a twist, Scientology gets a hold of this documentary and their response is certainly odd and captured, giving the viewers some real insight as to how the religion harasses those who try to expose them.

As a documentary, the film’s odd turn into casting actors to recreate scenes gives the film a unique feel but for someone seeking straight up information, it can be a bit confusing. Ultimately those who want a meticulous documentary about the religion will go elsewhere, but My Scientology is an unique film that can provide some amusement.

SXSW Review: Bash and Pop, Muncie Girls, March 13, The Mohawk

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Near the start of Bash and Pop’s set as part of The Onion AV Club’s Manic Monday party at the Mohawk, Tommy Stinson mentioned how the band were starting off the first night of SXSW during the day and joked that by the last night they’d probably be playing at 4:00am to “that one guy. You know the guy.” And while Stinson might feel more comfortable playing at night (or at least remembering to bring sunglasses for the next day show), the band still put on a great show. Following a fairly meticulous (by SXSW standards) soundcheck, they showcased a few numbers off of their latest album Anything Could Happen, the band’s first release since their 1993 debut album Friday Night Is Killing Me.

While Stinson’s a veteran of SXSW, Muncie Girls, the band who preceded him on the smaller indoor stage at the Mohawk were experiencing their first SXSW and seemed to be enjoying themselves so far, though Lande Hekt jokingly confess that she felt a little worried about playing a show presented by the AV Club after reading the comments under a video of theirs that premiered on the site. As it turns out, she had nothing to worry about – the crowd was definitely on Muncie Girls’ side as the band plowed through a set of catchy as hell feminist punk anthems off their debut From Caplan to Belsize. And besides, I don’t think the commenters on the AV Club go out to shows anyways. Unless it’s a Dawes show …