NPR logo Of Shearwater and Stains

Of Shearwater and Stains

If I'm asked to name the best shows I saw at SXSW in 2008, I'll rattle off the URLs for NPR Music's streams, because those shows are great and I'm nothing if not a craven self-promoter. But once I've completed my duties as an NPR hype man, I'll babble my fool head off about Shearwater, which put out my favorite album of 2006 — and which has always been amazing live, but never better than last night. I'll let Robin Hilton take it from here, but I'll just say that at 2 in the morning, after 16 hours on my feet, I hated to see Shearwater walk off stage. If that show were still going on, I'd still be standing there.

Anyway, NPR Music is hosting one of SXSW's big afternoon parties today, and in addition to hosting an impressive lineup of live music we like, we're also hosting a large crowd of fans, friends, media, and music-industry folks. Consequently, we need to be easy for people to spot. I suggested that Robin and Bob walk around with their thumbs up or down — Carrie Brownstein would have to pose in profile, with a dog behind her at all times — but instead, we all got matching NPR T-shirts.

So today's game, in addition to trying to see how many times I can goad publicists into kissing Robin on the face, is to see how long it takes for my nice new light-brown shirt to sport a gigantic barbecue-sauce stain. The line out of Vegas says 1:30 p.m. CT.