Michael Ullman's Party: Somewhere in West Lake Hills, Sunday, Mar 19

Wednesday Night

Michael Ullman's Party

Somewhere in West Lake Hills, Sunday, Mar 19

Sunday is the day of South by Southwest when everyone packs their bags and goes back to where they came from (or in our case, back to their day jobs), nursing hangovers, and looking ruefully at their depleted wallets. Though a handful of bands play on Sunday night, it's strictly the downhill side of things by then, and any party on that last day is likely to be a low-key affair. Swiss journalist Michael Ullman tossed a little Sunday bash out at his place, as serene and park-like a setting as you'd find on Lake Austin, and pulled together a string of bands for the couple hundred folks who showed up. There was talent like Doug Sahm compadre Clay Blaker, locals Roger Wallace, Marti Brom, Eric Hisaw, Oklahoma's Red Dirt Rangers, New York jump blues band Jet Set Six, and a handful of other folks, all set up under a huge live oak and facing a gently-sloping hill. With temperatures in the 60s, the crowd lounged on blankets, sipping longnecks and chomping burgers for one last round of socializing and subdued revelry. There was a blithe exhaustion in the air and the general mood of people who were spent after SXSW, but really didn't want it to be over with and couldn't abide the thought of Monday looming around the corner. It was a fitting adios to the juggernaut that seems to get bigger and bigger every year, sucking everyone involved into its slathering maw and grinding them into tiny Jimmy Dean sausage patties before ejecting them back into their daily routines again. With an atmosphere and setting like Ullman's little bash, it's small wonder everyone wants to move to Austin, and you could almost hear the brains of the out-of-towners mulling over schemes to return for SXSW 2001.

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