In this weekly column, MC/DJ Hesta Prynn pairs pop culture stories with an original playlist.
South by Southwest officially starts today, and the exodus of indie bands from NYC to Texas is well underway. Finding one's way at their first SXSW is not always easy. In honor of Kendrick Lamar being the rapper to see this year, and the fact that I'll be DJing the Spotify Live event with him on 3/13 (!), this week's Five 'n' Five picks five of his best songs (so far) as the soundtrack to the First Time SXSW Experience.
1. Four Seasons Brunch - "m.A.A.d City (featuring MC Eiht)"
See song references: "packing a van," "free lunch."
Every year, one of the big publishing companies hosts an official brunch at the Four Seasons. This will be the uncoolest party you'll ever attend, but it will be the easiest to sneak in to, and have the best food and the nicest bathroom you'll see for the entire week. You wash out the disgusting t-shirt you've been wearing since the drive from Little Rock. You lay it in the sun to dry. You try a mimosa.
2. Salt Lick, Driftwood TX - "Hiiipower"
See song references: "pig," "dying from diabetes."
Though you have no money, no record deal and no future of which to speak, you somehow manage to make the 45-minute drive to the real Salt Lick (not the one in Austin, not the one in the airport) out in Driftwood, Texas. There you will wait three hours for a table, eat yourself sick and proclaim it the best meal of your life.
3. Pizza on 6th Street - "ADHD"
See song references: "high tolerance," "born in the '80s," "Vicodin."
While drunkenly beasting on terrible pizza at five dollars a slice on Sixth Street, you and your bandmate will conceive your best idea ever: Move to Austin, import water from NYC, open a NYC-style pizza stand on Sixth Street, make a million dollars. (When you wake up at 11 a.m. the next morning you will have forgotten this idea and be back to playing a half-empty day party at La Zona Rosa with a hangover.)
4. Emo's (Outdoor Stage) - "The Recipe (featuring Dr. Dre)"
See song references: "women, weed and weather."
It is 10 p.m. and 75 degrees out. You sneak into the outdoor space by pretending to wait for a table and asking to use the restroom. The restaurant opens up and your favorite band from the '90s is playing. You get a contact high from two girls in front of you smoking weed in short shorts and cowboy boots. You tell them that this band is the reason you started playing guitar. They care.
5. The Driskill Hotel Bar - "Swimming Pools (Drank)"
See song references: "fit in with the popular," "pass out," "faded."
It's two a.m. and you're tagging along with your friend's bandmate's friend who works for a major label. You wind up at The Driskill. At 24, you are the youngest person in the room. You try a whiskey sour. You feel like you've stumbled into a movie about a music business that you didn't know still existed. You have an internal battle over whether or not to pass Michael Goldstone your CD. You think people still listen to demos on CD. You think people still listen to demos. You have arrived.