Two years ago — not too long after they'd exploded onto the scene as ambassadors of South Africa's zef culture — rave-rap outfit Die Antwoord played Cannery Ballroom, and I found myself asking, "What does it all mean?" Well, The Spin caught it live, deeming it a chuckle-worthy spectacle, if nothing else. Tonight, Die Antwoord stops off at Marathon Music Works in support of their sophomore LP Ten$ion, and I wrote a Critic's Pick on it. Take it away, me:
A few short years ago, South African rave-rap outfit Die Antwoord (that’s Afrikaans for “The Answer”) exploded onto the Internet, delighting, terrifying and confusing the Western Hemisphere. Espousing the principles of “zef” life (another Afrikaans term, in this instance being basically the South African equivalent of “ ’hood rich,” or perhaps classily déclassé) and sporting haircuts that looked like they came courtesy of a weedwacker, MCs Ninja and Yolandi Visser took America by storm, bringing their gaudy freak fest to venues across the country and even shooting a short film called “Umshini Wam” with Nashville-residing avant guardian Harmony Korine. When Die Antwoord played Cannery Ballroom in November of 2010, their show was indeed full of spectacle, half-comprehensible your-mama jokes and suggestive props. The music itself … well, when it comes to a bizarre cultural anomaly like this one, that’s almost an afterthought, isn’t it? This year’s Ten$ion lands somewhere between Ke$ha, M.I.A., Skrillex and Insane Clown Posse, and it remains to be seen whether or not Die Antwoord will make any further impact on the music world. But for now, as long as they still exist and are still touring, these weirdos from the other side of the globe do indeed put on a show worth seeing. If you like seeing really weird shit. —D. PATRICK RODGERS
And there you have it. I think maybe I've said my piece on Die Antwoord forever. Except, that is, to tell you that they have a brand-new video for their tune "Fatty Boom Boom," and it features a lot of body paint and a pretty gruesome Lady Gaga send-up — because of their feud with Mother Monster, I guess. Watch that above. Tonight's show starts at 8 p.m., costs $25.