Southern Rock Opera

SXSW 02 Music Fest Wrap-up

Atmosphere

Emo's, Friday 15 What was a hip-hop act doing rocking a non-hip-hop showcase at Emo's? Actually, it's a common occurrence for Minneapolis' Atmosphere. Over the years, Slug, Dibbs, Crescent, and Nate have held their ground in Austin, waging battles with local MCs in open mikes at their shows. This time, they chose to introduce their hip-hop blues to another crowd, attempting crossover at SXSW. Atmosphere's "ode to the modern man" centered on universal antidotes to breakups, car troubles, and daily travails -- the kind that can be appreciated by any 9-to-5 clock puncher. The quartet switched up the show a little, making it less raw hip-hop and more rock, Slug reciting his poetic verses over a blend of Motown metal. Building a routine that sought the approval of hip-hop and indie rock kids alike, Slug offered the guidelines to hip-hop's perspective in Minnesota, while Dibbs justified contexts by tearing Black Sabbath vinyl. The outcome was purposely cheesy, and fit well with their "nothing but sunshine" approach. That's life, don't let it get you down.

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