Tuesday, March 1, 2011

SXSW 2011 Preview: James Blake

Well y'all, today is officially March, which means I OFFICIALLY begin the Bloggy SXSW preview posts. Now, for those of you who have never been to SXSW before I can tell you that this site will not give you all of the information you need. Even for a veteran like myself South By can be quite overwhelming and you couldn't possibly see every showcase, artist, film, event that you would like to see so just throw that idea out the window right now. My goal, is simply to highlight an artist a post, each day of March leading up to the beginning of SXSW Music. That isn't to say that I will, necessarily achieve this goal but that is my intent. I'm starting things out with, what I would consider, an obvious and popular choice for an artist to highlight, James Blake.

James Blake - The Wilhelm Scream video via YouTube

Going into SXSW 2011 I can already tell you that James Blake will be one of the most talked about and divisive artists of the festival. This U.K. dance producer/D.J. has been building buzz for months now. He released a series of EP's, high-profile remixes and now a full-length LP and with each release the buzz has grown louder. He has already been tapped by the taste-makers over at Pitchfork as an artist on the rise, which means he'll be playing some of the most popular showcases and day parties of the festival.

According to his Myspace page James Blake is only playing three events at SXSW thus far but I have a really hard time believing that to be true. In fact, I know that a week or two ago he was listed as a performer at the, always popular, Fader Fort on the Saturday of SXSW. I'm assuming the folks over at Fader requested he remove that listing as it sort of spoils the surprise. I, also, wouldn't be surprised to see him listed as a performer at one of the other most popular free events like One Night in Austin with Perez Hilton or possibly the party sponsored by Red Bull. I haven't heard if C3 and Playboy will be teaming up as they have in year's past but that party would be an excellent fit for him if it occurs.

James Blake - Limit to Your Love (Feist cover) video via YouTube

As of March 1st, 2011 these are the dates/places that you can catch James Blake at SXSW, at least according to his MySpace page and the official SXSW website:

Wednesday March 16th, 9:30pm at Stubb's you can catch James at the Time Out North America showcase, which will be headlined by Duran Duran

Thursday March 17th (technically Friday the 18th), at 1:00am you can catch him at the Central Presbyterian Church where he is headlining the Pitchfork showcase. I expect this will be the hardest set to get into, so if you want to be there arrive early!

Friday March 18th, James Blake performs at 5:30pm at the French Legation Museum. It's not listed on MySpace but this is traditionally the site of a free day party, so for you unofficial festival goers this will, likely, be your first shot to catch JB gratis. If you click the above link for the museum you will see that this is, indeed, a free party and the full-lineup is listed as well.

Saturday March 19th, at 7:30pm is when it WAS listed that Blake was performing at the Fader Fort. As of this moment, that information is merely speculative but I have a strong inclination that it is correct.

James Blake - A Case of You (Live) (Joni Mitchell cover) video via YouTube

As I mentioned at the start of this post, don't rely on me for all of your SXSW information. Think of me more like a highlighter. Follow me on Twitter to stay more a tune to what I'm up to and feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Show List Austin and Do512 are GREAT resources for unofficial stuff though.