Late Night Dispatches From SXSW: Saturday

A horse-drawn carriage transports concert-goers at SXSW in Austin, Texas. i i

Too tired to walk between shows at SXSW? How about a horse-drawn carriage? Shantel Mitchell/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Shantel Mitchell/NPR
A horse-drawn carriage transports concert-goers at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Too tired to walk between shows at SXSW? How about a horse-drawn carriage?

Shantel Mitchell/NPR

At the end of every night of South by Southwest, Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton and Stephen Thompson have met up on the streets of Austin to try to retrace their steps and piece together the events of the day. Then, in the all-too-soon light of day, we post their weary and sometimes punchdrunk conversations here on the blog (and make them available in the All Songs Considered podcast).

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In this final installment for SXSW 2010, the trio reconvened one last time at 2:30 a.m., a tad worse for the wear and a little blissed-out from all the music they took in on Saturday. A blustery, cold day in Austin may have put a damper on outdoor shows — including the Domino Records garden party Robin attended — but plenty was happening inside in the bars and clubs.

Among the many acts the group discovered and loved were Timber Timbre, Hey Marseilles, Villagers, Rye Rye, The Bewitched Hands on the Top of Our Heads, Kings Go Forth and DC-area bands Le Loup and Pree.

There were also surprises: Robin stumbled upon the 40-Watt Club party showcase featuring Athens, Ga., bands Holy Liars and Spring Tigers. "Spring Tigers was one of those bands with a lot of members," Robin says. "Everyone was standing up, including the drummer, and they had incredible energy. It was just one of those big, messy, rambling, grungy, dirty rock bands and it was a great show."

Stephen went to the Rachael Ray party, which began with Matthew McConaughey introducing a reggae band and the requisite appearance by Ray's husband's group, dubbed by Stephen "The Rachael Ray Hus-Band." Bob even managed to tolerate an entire set from The Lovely Eggs.

"It was bitter cold; there were some people there," Bob says. "And there they were, in all their glory — a guy and girl. Her voice was a lot more irritating live than on record. And I stayed through the entire show. Then I saw a guy dressed in a fuzzy hamster suit on piano, backed by a 10-piece marching band."

Finally, Stephen and Bob caught the tribute concert for Alex Chilton, who died Wednesday, just as SXSW was getting underway. Big Star was supposed to perform Saturday night at the festival, but with Chilton's passing, the show became a star-studded tribute to the musician and producer. The show featured members of Big Star, The Posies and a revolving cast of guest musicians and singers such as M. Ward, Evan Dando of The Lemonheads, Mike Mills, The Watson Twins, Sondre Lerche and Chris Stamey.

"There was a lot of love in the room," Bob says. "It was a very different way to end SXSW, but also a very different way to begin. It set the tone for many people — maybe more for the older musicians and organizers of the festival and critics. They know Alex Chilton. It was a nice tribute."

You can listen to the whole conversation above and check out all our coverage of SXSW here.

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