NPR Music – www.NPR.org/music – will present two concerts from an eclectic range of musicians during the 2009 South by Southwest Music and Media Conference in Austin, TX, and for the second year, will make the performances available to audiences everywhere through free live webcasts and broadcasts. Following the popularity of its on-air and online coverage of SXSW 2008, both concerts will be streamed live, archived and podcast at www.NPR.org/sxsw, and will be available for broadcast on NPR Member stations across the country.
NPR Music returns to SXSW with five NPR Member station partners – KUT Austin, WFUV New York, WXPN Philadelphia, KEXP Seattle and The Current from Minnesota Public Radio – to offer extensive coverage of the influential music festival on-air and online. In addition to its concerts and events, NPR Music and the stations will have artist interviews, reports and live performance sessions, all available at www.NPR.org/sxsw, and will keep tabs on the Austin scene via the “All Songs Considered” blogs and Twitter @allsongs.
As previously announced, on the opening night of the festival, Wednesday, March 18 at 10PM (CT), NPR Music will present a SXSW showcase headlined by The Decemberists at Stubbs Bar-B-Q. The Portland-based band will give the first live performance of its new album, The Hazards of Love, which the band will play in sequence, in its entirety. Joining all five members of The Decemberists on stage will be Lavender Diamond’s Becky Stark and My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden, who lend leading vocals to the album. Opening bands are North Carolina trio The Avett Brothers, set to debut songs from its forthcoming album produced by Rick Rubin, and bluesy rockers Heartless Bastards, riding the success of its third record, The Mountain. A SXSW badge is required for this official showcase.
On Thursday, March 19, NPR Music is hosting a daytime concert at The Parish, open to the public, with six acts worth lining up for. Kicking off at 12:30PM (CT), “Music for the Right Brain” will feature roots-pop duo Blind Pilot; BLK JKS, the art-rock band from Johannesburg; Brooklyn’s Dirty Projectors; Somali-born rapper K’NAAN; and songstress Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Downs. Headlining the concert is Blitzen Trapper, whose 2008 release Furr was an NPR listener favorite.
Both concerts will be anchored by Bob Boilen, host and creator of the popular show All Songs Considered and its Live in Concert series. Joining Boilen will be NPR Music blogger Carrie Brownstein and David Brown, host of Texas Music Matters on KUT in Austin. Up-to-date information about all NPR Music events at SXSW and music from the featured artists will be available at: www.NPR.org/sxsw
Last year, NPR Music and the five partnering stations live webcast and broadcast 14 of the most anticipated concerts from SXSW, among them R.E.M., My Morning Jacket and Vampire Weekend. The concerts were made available to public radio stations across the country. NPR Music’s daytime concert at The Parish was one of the festival’s must-hears, with headliners Vampire Weekend joined by Bon Iver, Yeasayer, The Shout Out Louds, Jens Lekman and A.A. Bondy. Those concerts, along with artist interviews and live audio and video performance sessions, are archived at: www.NPR.org/sxsw
NPR Music is a multimedia music site that features content from NPR and 12 NPR Member public radio stations, including live performances, studio sessions, exclusive first listens to new albums, interviews, reviews and blogs. The site’s continuously expanding sections are dedicated to rock/pop/folk, classical, jazz/blues, world and urban music. NPR Music culls from NPR’s and the stations’ extensive music archives to present thousands of features; more than 240 new features are added to the site every month. The site’s popular Concert section offers hundreds of streaming concerts in every genre.