SXSW

NPR Music At SXSW 2014: Wednesday

  • Damon Albarn and his band closed NPR Music's SXSW Showcase from Stubb's Bar-B-Q on Wednesday night.
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    Damon Albarn and his band closed NPR Music's SXSW Showcase from Stubb's Bar-B-Q on Wednesday night.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Annie Clark of St. Vincent played a highly-choreographed and highly-charged set at Stubb's.
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    Annie Clark of St. Vincent played a highly-choreographed and highly-charged set at Stubb's.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • The R&B singer Kelis played a retro-tinged set from her forthcoming album, Food, backed by a large band featuring horns and backup singers.
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    The R&B singer Kelis played a retro-tinged set from her forthcoming album, Food, backed by a large band featuring horns and backup singers.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • George Mitchell led the English post-punk outfit Eagulls in a feedback-heavy yet melodic performance.
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    George Mitchell led the English post-punk outfit Eagulls in a feedback-heavy yet melodic performance.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Perfect Pussy frontwoman Meredith Graves told the crowd her band was "terrified" as they took the stage — not that you'd know it from their brief and ferocious opening set.
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    Perfect Pussy frontwoman Meredith Graves told the crowd her band was "terrified" as they took the stage — not that you'd know it from their brief and ferocious opening set.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • The Mohawk audience got a peek into the future sonics of soul when Kelela played Spin's day party.
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    The Mohawk audience got a peek into the future sonics of soul when Kelela played Spin's day party.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • Charlie XCX debuted the guitar-driven power-pop song "Breaking Up" at the Mohawk.
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    Charlie XCX debuted the guitar-driven power-pop song "Breaking Up" at the Mohawk.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • The post-hardcore band Frameworks previewed tracks from its debut album, Loom, at The Liberty for the Brixton Agency/Run for Cover Records party.
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    The post-hardcore band Frameworks previewed tracks from its debut album, Loom, at The Liberty for the Brixton Agency/Run for Cover Records party.

    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • You Blew It!'s guitars squiggle and jut at The Liberty.
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    You Blew It!'s guitars squiggle and jut at The Liberty.
    Adam Kissick for NPR
  • David Lindell dancing on his own as his the synth-driven electro-pop project Anne, at The Liberty.
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    David Lindell dancing on his own as his the synth-driven electro-pop project Anne, at The Liberty.
    Adam Kissick for NPR

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For most of Wednesday, our team in Austin, Texas, had their eyes on the stage at Stubb's BBQ, where we presented our SXSW showcase featuring sets by Damon Albarn, St. Vincent, Kelis, Eagulls and Perfect Pussy. But near the end of the night, we started hearing news of a terrible accident involving dozens of people outside another venue.

At about 12:30 a.m., two people were killed and 23 others injured after a suspected drunken driver, now in police custody, drove a car through barricades on Red River Street and struck pedestrians near The Mohawk. You can read more about the incident at NPR News and at KUT, NPR's member station in Austin, which is updating the story as it develops.

It's difficult to turn back to music after hearing about awful news like this. You can hear a little bit about how the whole night felt to the All Songs Considered team by listening to the podcast in the audio player on this page. As our own Ann Powers puts it, "In the midst of this joy, you never know what's going to happen, and that's why the joy is all that more precious."

We'll have more coverage from SXSW all week on NPR Music.

Update: The Austin Police Department held a press conference at 10:30 a.m. CT to review the condition of those injured in the incident and give an update on the progress of the investigation. SXSW managing director Roland Swenson spoke during the press conference and said that organizers would like to go home to recover from the shock of the event, but that the festival feels "some obligation to the people who have traveled here from around the world" to continue events as scheduled.

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