Best Of SXSW 2011 : Doomtree

It’s a cardinal rule of SXSW. Don’t go down there and check out your hometown artists. I am well aware of that rule, but I’m also one to go with the flow as dictated by the circumstances. So when everyone in our movable binge insisted on checking out Gayngs on the Mohawk’s outdoor stage, I bowed to the pressure. Fortunately, the buzzing lite-rock Lotharios were picking up an assist that night from Minneapolis hip-hop collective, Doomtree.

If you’re not down with Doomtree, you really owe to yourself to get off your kiester and perform some due diligence. All of you; no “if you like hip-hop” qualification. Over the last few years, we at MOKB haven’t been shy about singing the praises of Dessa, P.O.S and Laserbeak, but like all great art, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and the Doomtree brand is proof positive that creativity and celebration can exist in harmony. In a period of musical history where shoegazers and “serious” artists dare not exchange glances lest they be accused of interaction, it’s truly awesome to see performers mesh as effortlessly and enthusiastically as the ‘Tree. Even crazier is how much fun these kids seem to be having. On this night (and most nights) Dessa stole the collective heart of the audience. Rapping and singing  in both English and Spanish, it’s only matter of time before she is major force in indie music. But I would be derelict in my duties if I didn’t throw some love in the direction of Mike Mictlan, whose urban Heyókȟa absolutely made the night for me and sent me scrambling for his Hand Over First release with Lazerbeak. All in all, a show I had no intention of checking out proved to be a serious highlight, and struck me as even more impressive following the lackluster Das Racist set I attended the following day.

If you’re in need of Doomtree 101, they have a slew of great releases in various configurations, but the best places to start are Dessa’s A Badly Broken Code, Doomtree and P.O.S’s Audition. No word on when entire gang will be together again, but Dessa will be heading out this spring with Sims and Lazerbeak on the Into The Spin Tour, which should be well worth the price of admission and your time.

Dessa “Into The Spin” Music Video from Doomtree Records on Vimeo.

Random great thing about SXSW 2011: A nameless didgeridoo and drum duo that turned 6th Avenue rubberneckers into sonic zombies with their super-saturated indigenous goulash of techno, free jazz and metal. Can’t imagine that there were a lot of didgeridoo virtuosos in Austin this week, so if anyone caight the name of this act, please share with the group.

  • B

    March 21, 2011 [ 5:08 pm ]

    LaZerbeak not Laserbeak. Everything else you said is right on.

  • Dan

    March 24, 2011 [ 9:59 pm ]

    I would recommend Never Better over Audition, but either album is great.

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