NPR Music At SXSW 2014: Wednesday

By NPR Music Staff  |  NPR

Damon Albarn performs at NPR Music's SXSW showcase at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas.
Damon Albarn performs at NPR Music's SXSW showcase at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas. 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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Damon Albarn and his band closed NPR Music's SXSW Showcase from Stubb's Bar-B-Q on Wednesday night.
Annie Clark of St. Vincent played a highly-choreographed and highly-charged set at Stubb's.
The R&B singer Kelis played a retro-tinged set from her forthcoming album, Food, bac...
George Mitchell led the English post-punk outfit Eagulls in a feedback-heavy yet melodic performa...
Perfect Pussy frontwoman Meredith Graves told the crowd her band was "terrified" as they took the...

The Mohawk audience got a peek into the future sonics of soul when Kelela played Spin's day pa...

Charlie XCX debuted the guitar-driven power-pop song "Breaking Up" at the Mohawk.

The post-hardcore band Frameworks previewed tracks from its debut album, Loom, at The...

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