According to ScoreMore co-founder Sascha Stone Guttfreund, thriving multi-city festival JMBLYA (pronounced jambalaya) almost ceased after its 2013 debut.
“When you’re young, you make a lot of decisions based on fear,” admits the 28- year-old UT graduate turned promoter.
ScoreMore made waves with 2011’s Sunday Swagger, which featured Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, and Macklemore – all pre-superstardom. Only 700-800 showed. Yet the event left a lasting impression on Guttfreund, who also manages Canadian rapper/singer Tory Lanez.
His big shot at a larger EDM/hip-hop-specific festival began with JMBLYA’s debut two years later. A peak Tyler the Creator headlined, but the ambitious event failed to the extent that without supplementary successes, ScoreMore was in danger of shuttering.
“The thing was, we’re going to lose money regardless, so there’s two perspectives: Either try to establish a brand, or try to stop the bleeding,” says Guttfreund.
Preservation won out, each subsequent event a success. This year tops all previous shows, with arguably one of rap’s best, Chance the Rapper (9:20pm) topping the bill. Atlanta trap rapper Gucci Mane (7:50) returns after SXSW, live wire EDM DJ and festival favorite Steve Aoki (6:25) slots in the mid-range, and “Bad and Boujee” Atlanta trap trio Migos (5) are surefire crowd favorites.
Pleased with JMBLYA’s upward trajectory, Guttfreund says he’s taking it year by year.
“We’re just going to do the right thing, and put the fans and artists first. Everything else will fall into place.”– Kahron Spearman
America’s crossover revival finds international parallel in Foreseen. The Helsinki quintet’s Grave Danger will satisfy thrashaholics waiting for S.O.D. to reform. Austin hardcore cadre Concrete Elite provides spiritual and direct support in advance of this summer’s LP Iron Rose, and locals Body Pressure do the same.– Michael Toland
Judging from the New Pornographers’ reception at SXSW this year, frontman A.C. Newman may have underestimated the cathartic pull of his Canadian outfit’s power-pop. Seventh studio LP Whiteout Conditions returns with a New Wave pulse rattling the lyrical angst of Newman and Neko Case’s bursting harmonies. Waxahatchee opens previewing Out in the Storm, Katie Crutchfield’s harrowing fourth LP.– Doug Freeman
An Eighties Austin honky-tonk favorite, Jackalope Brothers today rolls country all-stars Bobby Earl Smith, Freddie Krc, John X. Reed, Gabriel Rhodes, and more, all fronted by outlaw angel Kimmie Rhodes. The reunion also serves as torch-passing to Rhodes’ daughter, Jolie Goodnight, and LP release for Smith’s Calling Me Calling You.– Doug Freeman
Spring edition of the 40th PSF boasts three stages of mostly local music. Saturday features Pleasure Venom’s unvarnished post-punk, digitally enhanced polemics from Blxpltn, My Jerusalem’s brooding alt-rock theatricality, and Teutonic-summoning ambient bliss from Brainwavve. Sunday brings psychedelic doomsayers Evil Triplet, San Antonio accordion queen Eva Ybarra y Su Conjunto Siempre, and raw rockabilly siren Beth Lee & the Breakups.– Greg Beets