AUSTIN, TEXAS – A steady rainfall Friday and a relative downscaling on the size and vast number of parties led to a more subdued vibe as the South by Southwest Music Conference trickled into the weekend.
At the Spin magazine day party outside Stubb's BBQ, hipster fans in extra-tight skinny jeans (from the rain soaking) didn't let the deluge dampen their enjoyment of New York's dance-rock favorites Twin Shadow and headlining rap duo Run the Jewel.
"It's a rap miracle," RTJ's smaller half El-P quipped when the rain lightened just as he took the stage. His partner Fat Mike weathered a torn rotator cuff for the gig and cemented his reputation as SXSW's reigning tough guy, following an incident earlier in the week where an audience member inexplicably jumped on stage swinging punches at him.
"The doctor told me to watch my [step] and give it my all," Mike bellowed on stage Friday.
Thursday night's big public concert on the Auditorium Shores outdoor stage offered a sharp contrast to Thursday's scene, as a gorgeous spring night and peaceful, easy feeling greeted two returning champs from past SXSW fests. Austin's own hometown indie-rock heroes Spoon — whose reputation grew over the past 15-plus years alongside the conference — played a well-received set reminiscent of its Rock the Garden finale last summer in Minneapolis.
Latecomer soul star Charles Bradley, 66, returned to open for Spoon after his unlikely breakout as a SXSW buzz act in 2012.
"Austin, you put me on the map," Bradley declared to cheers.
Several younger acts made their own map-marking showings later Thursday, including the Districts, Palma Violets and Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear. See our full SXSW coverage at startribune.com/sxsw.
Suge Knight collapses in court
Moments after his bail was set at $25 million Friday, former rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight collapsed in a Los Angeles courtroom. Knight was taken to a jail hospital ward where he was being evaluated. Knight is accused of deliberately running over Terry Carter and Cle "Bone" Sloan in a parking lot on Jan. 29 following an argument on the set of a commercial about the film "Straight Outta Compton."
Arnie time: Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled his own brand of wristwatches on Friday, a business endeavor that may surprise fans of his movies more than aficionados of timepieces. The former governor of California is introducing Schwarzenegger watches in partnership with Brazilian watchmaker Magnum Group.