It’s OK to be a little afraid of Die Antwoord. Especially if you’ve gotten a gander at the videos for “Cookie Thumper” or “Pitbull Terrier,” tracks off 2014’s Donker Mag. We’re dealing here with some grade-A weirdos, but visionary weirdos with a global fan base (those videos respectively have 8.1 million and 90,000 views — the latter having been released five hours prior at press time). This South African punk rap-rave crew of brilliant lunatics, headed by vocalists Ninja and Yo-landi Visser, sprung from the gritty, bizarro depths of “zef,” a post-apartheid South African counterculture where mullets and bling ring true. Many have accused them of cultural appropriation, of gratuitous violence, of perverse sexuality, but the truth is, they don’t give a damn. “Music used to be about people not giving a fuck,” Visser tells Rolling Stone. “We’re taking it back there.” See for yourself 7 pm Saturday, May 24, at Cuthbert Amphitheater.
Pitch Perfect: The second annual Women’s A Cappella Festival, SheSings, returns to The Shedd May 23-24 (see Brett Campbell’s “Giving Voice”). Headliners include The Riveters and the Honey Whiskey Trio, as well as the UO’s award-winning collegiate group Divisi (they were the inspiration for the Bellas in the 2012 film Pitch Perfect).
Let the races begin! EW’s Next Big Thing contest is up and running, with entries from Edewaard, Jude The Obscure, Congratulations, The Crescendo Show, Gemini Rising and more. Submit or vote for your favorites at nextbigthingeugene.com. Submissions close July 1.