March 17, 2009
Anna Christopher, NPR



The Decemberists to Perform Entire New Album in Sequence,
With The Avett Brothers and Heartless Bastards,
March 18 at 10PM (CT)

NPR Music Day Party Features Blitzen Trapper, K’NAAN, Blind Pilot, Dirty Projectors, BLK JKS and Thao Nguyen,
March 19 at 12:30PM (CT)

Festival Coverage Includes Artist Interviews, Performance Sessions

March 17, 2009, Austin, TX – NPR Music ( returns to Austin to bring audiences everywhere the experience of the 2009 South by Southwest Music and Media Conference, and talk with the musicians behind the city’s sounds. Following the success of its inaugural SXSW visit in 2008, NPR Music is presenting two concerts from a range of bands and artists, and for the second straight year, is making the performances accessible through free live webcasts at and broadcasts on NPR Member stations across the country. All content will also be archived and available for later podcast.

Joining NPR Music in festival coverage are five station partners – KUT Austin, WFUV New York, WXPN Philadelphia, KEXP Seattle and The Current from Minnesota Public Radio. Throughout the week, find artist interviews and live performance sessions at, and keep tabs on the Austin scene via the "All Songs Considered" blog and Twitter (@allsongs). Now at the site: The Austin 100, a streaming music sampler of 100 must-hear artists of SXSW (producers listened to 1100 bands to create this list), and a free 10-song NPR Music SXSW Sampler for download at iTunes.

On the festival’s opening night, tomorrow at 10PM (CT), NPR Music presents a SXSW showcase headlined by The Decemberists at Stubbs. The Decemberists are giving the first live performance of its new album, The Hazards of Love, performing all 17 songs in sequence. Joining band members Colin Meloy, Chris Funk, Jenny Conlee, Nate Query and John Moen on stage at Stubbs are Lavendar 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.

On Thursday, March 19 at 12:30PM (CT), NPR Music is hosting a daytime concert at The Parish, open to the public, with six acts worth lining up for. "Music for the Right Brain" features 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 Down. Headlining the concert is Blitzen Trapper, whose 2008 release Furr was an NPR listener favorite.

Hosting both shows is Bob Boilen, host and creator of the popular show All Songs Considered and its Live in Concert series, with "Monitor Mix" 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 is available at:

Last year, NPR Music and the five stations live webcast and broadcast 14 of the most anticipated concerts from Austin, among them R.E.M., My Morning Jacket and Vampire Weekend. NPR Music’s daytime concert 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 and all SXSW coverage are archived at the site.

NPR Music, a free, multimedia music site with content from NPR and 12 station partners, offers original programs such as All Songs Considered, Jazz Set and World Café, live concerts, studio and video sessions, interviews, reviews, music lists and blogs – curated and aggregated for audiences to explore, experience and enjoy. The site expands constantly, with sections dedicated to rock/pop/folk, classical, jazz/blues, world and urban music. More than 250 new features are added each month; the site’s popular "Concert" section alone offers hundreds of streaming concerts in every genre.