There are two camps of Ausinites when it comes to SXSW: those who flee for the hills (or I suppose more a appropriately, the Planes), and those who embrace the abundance of free beer and fill the week with shows and parties. I am a little embarrassed to say that I generally flee, or rather, hibernate, and dedicate only one day to seeing some of my favorite artists. But this year, with my very free schedule, will be different.
One of the bands on my “must see” list is Riders Against the Storm (RAS). Austin locals, the gorgeous husband and wife duo counter culture by becoming culture. Their rhymes are pure poetry dedicated to communicating the African diasporic experience, and working toward positive change. But they do not lean on their message rather than talent. In the tradition of Tupac, Talib Kwelli, and Common, RAS combines contemporary beats with clever and meaningful lyrics that evoke both shivers and swaying hips.
During SXSW they will be performing at the So Fresh by South West party, and officially at 9:30 on Friday, March 18th at The Marq (Along with Covert Curiosity favorite, Zeale). In celebration of their SXSW debut, during the week of the festival, RAS will have their entire album available for free download on their website.