Blondie made their first appearance as a band at SXSW, pulling double duty with a panel Wednesday, March 12, and performances at Rachel Ray’s Feedback house party and other venues.

Original Blondie members Clem Burke, Chris Stein and Debbie Harry all appeared at SXSW to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band’s inception.

During their panel, the legendary rockers touched on everything, from hipster culture and how it has made Blondie mainstream to the rebellious streak Blondie is known for.


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“There’s been this cultural shift, an explosion of hipster culture,” said Stein. “When we got here it was like World War Z, every single guy was in a plaid shirt and fedora. When we started our band, we were on the fringe. Now the whole culture is inside.”

Blondie was formed in 1974 and has nine studio albums to their name, not to mention two Grammy Awards and their recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Known for mixing up genres, as well as turning out iconic hits such as “Call Me” and “Heart of Glass,” Blondie spoke about how their music evolved during their panel.

When asked about how they subverted genres, Burke revealed that “Heart of Glass” was actually a bit punk in its own right, saying, “Dance was as subversive as punk to me. Us doing ‘Heart of Glass’ was our way of pissing off people in our own circles.”

That weekend, Blondie made its inaugural SXSW performance at Rachel Ray’s annual Feedback party. Playing up to their fans, the band got the crowd going, opening with “One Way Or Another” and playing a full 40-minute set.

Blondie played songs off their upcoming new album, Ghost of the Download, including “A Rose By Any Name," at the gig and also performed at 'One Night In Austin' concert as well as at the Yahoo party.

Blondie is currently embarking on a 40th Anniversary World Wide Tour and Ghosts of the Download is being released as part of a two-disc package titled Blondie 4(0) Ever, which will also include a greatest hits album.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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