The Austin Chronicle

NPR Hosts Damon Albarn SXSW Showcase

By Chase Hoffberger, February 18, 2014, 11:01am, Earache!

South by Southwest now clocks in at less than a month away – high time the big Music fest names start rolling out. That makes Damon Albarn a prime SX reveal, particularly since he’s sharing the NPR showcase at Stubb’s on Wednesday, March 12, with St. Vincent, Kelis, and Perfect Pussy.

Anticipating his first solo album in a career already spanning three decades, April’s Everybday Robots, Albarn, 45, was already a six-year Austin veteran by the time the Chronicle briefly chatted him up prior to a 1996 Liberty Lunch blow-out for fourth Blur disc The Great Escape. When the UK foursome returned with radio smash “Song 2” off ‘97’s Blur (“waaa-hoo”), they’d upgraded to the old Austin Music Hall. A 2012 box set put their Brit-pop legacy in perspective.

Albarn’s made regular local stopovers since then, of course, most notably when he brought one-off supergroup the Good, the Bad & the Queen to SXSW 2007. Most recently, October 2010, he superimposed his ever animated Gorillaz across an LED screen backdrop at the Frank Erwin Center.

SXSW began trotting out last year’s headliners right around its announcement of Green Day on Feb. 25, so we’re a bit ahead of schedule this year. Expect more in the coming days. Until then, fill in those schedules with a pencil.

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