The Memphis Music Foundation event at Barbarella offered a strong line-up of local talent, starting off with Harlan T. Bobo, shrouded in darkness save for one electric blue light. Then the effervescent, dreamy, and sweet Star and Micey took the stage, encircled by white string lights and a row of cardboard green grass. The two started the show with a short lead-in from Big Star's “Thirteen”. Big Star drummer Jody Stephens played alongside the Ardent Music group, and said a few words in Chilton’s honor.
The Saturday Goner Records event at Beerland was equally crowded, although the post-Friday-bender haze made for a much more subdued group, head bobbing to Sector Zero, Ty Segall, and The Limes. I got there in time for CoCoComa, the punk band from Chicago with an unfinished feel, full of false starts and straight out of the garage. Magic Kids were up next with ’60s surfer pop, and if The New York Times was right that this year “catchiness was king,” then the Magic Kids were right on track with “Hey Boy” and “Good to Be.” Bobo was the capstone of the event, playing songs from his soon to be released album, Sucker.
Big Star’s performance at Antone’s, sans Chilton, was one of two tributes to erstwhile Memphis artists; the other a gathering of punk bands and River City Tanlines on Thursday, playing in honor of Jay Reatard, who passed away in late January. It has been a rough start to the year for Memphis music. Memphis artists at SXSW took time to pay respects while keeping an eye on the road ahead.