Look, we know that the festival-crazy nature of South By Southwest results in a bunch of cut-and-paste lineups–Satellite Party opening for The Good, The Bad, and the Queen; Paolo Nutini and Kings Of Leon setting the stage for the Stooges–but Saturday’s showcase at Stubb’s, which boasted Ghostface and Rakim as headliners, included a short set by Mickey Avalon, the Los Angeles ex-hustler who fancies himself a rapper.
The pairing was either an insult or a way to highlight just how talented Ghost and Rakim actually are, because we spent most of Avalon’s set cringing and wondering who, exactly, the people up front who knew every word could have been. (Street teamers who were flown into Austin for the week? St. Patrick’s Day revelers who were quick studies in stoopid couplets?) Avalon’s lyrics, when you could make them out, centered mostly on getting drunk and shaking booty, and his flow was so addled that the only words you could really make out were “Mickey” and “Avalon” (“Is he singing ‘Do the tampon’?” a friend asked us as he performed “Jane Fonda”; he was actually imploring the crowd to “Do The Jane Fonda,” which probably says all you need to know about his diction).
But really, the nadir of the set came when The Cobrasnake, the chronicler of Los Angeles’ most hipstery clusterfucks, came out onstage to snap pictures of the crowd; it was like watching everything wrong with present-day “culture” at once. We just wish we could have been backstage to hear if Ghost and Rakim thought Avalon was teaching the audience “the tampon,” too.