SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo by Sandy Carson


Stubb's, Friday, March 14

"Fuck this industry shit – it's a party!" Good luck finding an artist having more fun than Santi White at this year's SXSW. The artist better known as Santogold passed the mic to the crowd for a joke contest when sound problems mired her free day show and was downright giddy to be playing to a nearly full crowd at Stubb's Friday night. With the buzz surrounding her New Wave for the new millennium simmering just below a boil, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Philly native launched into a dancehall toast on dubbed-out electro mash-ups "You'll Find a Way" and "Shove You," then showed off singing chops on post-New-Wave anthem "L.E.S. Artistes." Two militaristic but mod backup dancers marched along to the kaleidoscope of hip-hop, dancehall, punk, and 1980s synth beats, Santogold's femme answer to Public Enemy's S1W's. Santogold, whose self-titled debut is due in April, is likely the only person to have fronted a punk band (Stiffed) and written songs for Ashlee Simpson. She hates the M.I.A. comparisons, but her genre-bending rap on closing track "Creator" makes them impossible to avoid. It's hard to pin down, but the big beats thumping onto Red River on Friday night sounded a lot like the next big thing.

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