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The Big Star set went off as a star-studded tribute, with singers ranging from Evan Dando to R.E.M.'s Mike Mills honoring the late Alex Chilton.
SXSW: THAT'S A WRAP
Our Virtual Correspondent Jeff Leven Parses the 23rd Annual Music Fest as Ozomatli, Alpha Rev, Chilton Tribute Bring the Heat
As SXSW headed into the weekend, inevitably a certain degree of attrition taxed my correspondents.  Fatigue, alcohol, sore feet, rapidly dropping temperaturesthese are the things that make the last few miles of the Austin marathon the crawl that they sometimes are. 
Still, clearly there were things left to celebrate.  As I mentioned in an earlier posting, not only did Ozomatli manage to stay out of jail, but they apparently played a bracing set for 20,000 (!) people at Auditorium Shores.  Numerous people talked up the Middle East and Chew Lips, and Scottish rockers Twin Atlantic also rode a solid buzz through the weekend.  Other high marks went to Master Shortie and Family of the Year, while Atlantic A&R hitter Mollie Moore flagged Wallpaper, Ten Bears and Solid Gold. There was also quite a buzz on local homeboys Alpha Rev, L.A. by way of Oklahoma singer-songwriter Audra Mae, Atlanta hip-hop rockers The Constellations and Hollywood buzz band Miss Derringer.
 
Muse’s Stubb's set seems like it was hard to get into, which is perhaps why there was less chatter than might have been expected.  That, or people are waiting to see them blow the sand off the polo field at Coachella.  Seemingly, Courtney Love’s Hole set (with a new lineup despite using the old name) at Stubb's grabbed some limelight, crashing through a lot of new material and a few choice older cuts like “Violet.” 
 
As noted in the Rumor Mill, the Big Star set went off as a star-studded tribute, with singers ranging from Evan Dando to R.E.M.'s Mike Mills honoring the late Alex Chilton.  Meanwhile, many people ended their SXSW with rediscovered Detroit punk rockers Death, whose For the Whole World to See collected their '70s singles and was released in 2009, sparking a reunion lap to finally reclaim their legacy. 
 
Still, while this year’s SXSW undoubtedly had some classic artists ranging from Smokey Robinson to Roky Erickson in attendance, the focus more than ever seemed to be on the new.  Scott Dudelson’s photo exhibition captures numerous acclaimed performances and also offers a dose of the weekend’s flavor and intensitywaves of new artists seeking to etch their place in the public and the industry’s larger consciousness. 

Each March, a fresh crop of performers sweeps into Austin, a rite of spring whose energy seemingly has yet to flag, even as its participants are slowly ground down to joyous exhaustion.  As my BlackBerry stopped buzzing and the Twitter feeds slowed to a crawl, a virtual veil dropped over SXSW 2010one I’ll just have to lift in person again next year :) 

 
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