February 2, 2009
Anna Christopher, NPR




NPR Music and Five NPR Member Stations
To Live Broadcast, Webcast and Podcast Entire Show

February 2, 2009; Washington, D.C. – NPR Music will present a South by Southwest showcase headlined by The Decemberists at Stubbs on Wednesday, March 18, kicking off the opening night of this year’s SXSW Music and Media Conference in Austin, TX. The concert will mark the Portland-based band’s first live performance of its forthcoming album The Hazards of Love, which The Decemberists will debut in its entirety. Additional bands in the lineup, and NPR Music’s complete schedule of events at SXSW 2009, are to be announced.

Following the popularity of its concerts and on-air and online coverage at SXSW last year, NPR Music will live webcast and broadcast the entire concert. The concert will be streamed live, podcast and archived at www.NPR.org/sxsw, and will be available for broadcast on NPR Member stations across the country. As in years past, NPR Music is partnering with five NPR Member stations – 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.

At SXSW, The Decemberists will perform all 17 songs from The Hazards of Love in sequence – how the band intends for the record to be heard. The Hazards of Love, out March 24 from Capitol Records, is the follow up to the quintet’s 2006 breakthrough The Crane Wife, and augments the band’s standing as one of the most creative forces in music. This album tells the tale of a woman named Margaret who is ravaged by a shape-shifting animal; her lover, William; a forest queen; and a cold-blooded, immoral rake. Joining The Decemberists members Colin Meloy, Chris Funk, Jenny Conlee, Nate Query and John Moen on stage at Stubbs will be Lavendar Diamond’s Becky Stark and My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden, who lend leading vocals to the album.

NPR Music’s broadcast and webcast of the concert 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 Austin Music Unlimited on KUT in Austin. “Usually, you go to a concert to hear your favorite band perform your favorite songs, but this 17 song journey will be a completely new to the audience,” says Boilen. “It’s going to be so much fun to see everyone experience this absolutely epic and fun song cycle performed live for the first time.” NPR Music announced the SXSW show on today’s episode of All Songs Considered, which features a track – “The Rake’s Song” – off The Hazards of Love. The All Songs episode is available at: www.NPR.org/allsongs

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 – www.NPR.org/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.