March 16, 2010
Anna Christopher, NPR



NPR Music Opens SXSW with Spoon, Broken Bells,
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, The Walkmen and Visqueen
Wednesday, March 17 at 8PM (CT)

Day Party Features Sleigh Bells, Surfer Blood, G-Side,
Local Natives, Smith Westerns and Brooklyn Rider
Thursday, March 18 at 12:30PM (CT)

NPR Music and Five Member Stations to Cover Festival March 17-20
With Artist Interviews, Performances, Social Media

March 16, 2010; Washington, D.C. – For the third straight year, NPR Music is opening the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference and presenting a daytime concert the following afternoon – featuring two of the most dynamic lineups of the festival. Both shows are accessible to audiences everywhere through free live webcasts and live streaming via the NPR iPhone App, as well as broadcasts on NPR Member stations across the country. All SXSW coverage, and archives of the past two years of music, can be found at NPR Music. Resources for media, including a calendar of all NPR Music events in Austin, media availabilities, photos and fliers are available at:

Joining NPR Music in festival coverage are five NPR Member station partners – KUT Austin, WFUV New York, WXPN Philadelphia, KEXP Seattle and The Current from Minnesota Public Radio. Throughout the week, find artist interviews, reports and live performance sessions at and at the stations' web sites. The stations are also hosting many of their own concerts and events (see the events calendar for complete details).

All Songs Considered is reporting on the local scene via Twitter (@allsongs) and with a daily podcast wrap-up featuring roundtable commentary on the best discoveries from Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and Carrie Brownstein. Now at the site: The Austin 100, a streaming music sampler of 100 must-hear artists of SXSW (producers listened to 1000 acts to create this list), and a free 11-song NPR Music Sampler of showcasing bands for download at iTunes.

Austin’s own Spoon headlines NPR Music's SXSW showcase at Stubb's on Wednesday, March 17 beginning at 8:00PM (CT). The concert kicks off Spoon’s U.S. tour in support of its new album, Transference, and is the first stateside performance of this new material. Sharing the stellar NPR Music lineup are Broken Bells, a collaboration between Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) and Shins frontman James Mercer. This barnburner also presents the body moving retro-soul of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, known for their intense live performances; The Walkmen, whose urgent and artful songs have made the band a perennial on critics’ best-of lists; and Seattle power-pop band Visqueen. A SXSW badge is required to attend this official showcase.

On Thursday, March 18 at 12:30PM (CT), NPR Music brings together must-hear bands during its daytime concert at the Parish. Headlining the show is Brooklyn-based Sleigh Bells, the breakout duo of powerhouse vocalist Alexis Krauss and programmer-guitarist-drummer Derek Miller. The lineup includes five groups on the rise: Palm Beach indie pop band Surfer Blood, who earned quick praise for its hook-filled debut album Astro Coast; G-Side, a rap duo out of Huntsville, Ala.; Local Natives, a young L.A. quintet creating percussive rock; frenetic Chicago garage-rock group Smith Westerns; and the charismatic string quartet Brooklyn Rider, which alternates between the classics (Debussy, Brahms) and its own fiery compositions. Line up early – this show is free and open to the public (21+).

Both concerts will be anchored by Bob Boilen, host and creator of All Songs Considered and its Live in Concert series; NPR Music "Monitor Mix" blogger Carrie Brownstein; and David Brown, host of Texas Music Matters on KUT.

This is the third straight year that NPR Music is presenting the opening night of SXSW at Stubb's, and introducing a new record from a major band in the process. Last year, the Decemberists played all 17 songs of its album, The Hazards of Love, in sequence, and in 2008, R.E.M. (in its SXSW debut) performed songs from the March 2008 release Accelerate. In 2008 and 2009 at Stubbs and its dayparty, NPR Music also webcast and broadcast live performances by Vampire Weekend, The Avett Brothers, My Morning Jacket, K’Naan, Heartless Bastards, Bon Iver, The Dirty Projectors, Blind Pilot, Blizten Trapper and many others. All past concerts, along with artist interviews and live audio and video performance sessions, are archived at:

NPR Music celebrates great music in every genre and is an industry leader in music discovery. The free, multimedia web site at offers 300 new features monthly and an extensive archive, in collaboration with NPR's newsmagazines, 12 public radio member stations and the passionate NPR community. NPR Music creates and distributes inventive music coverage across multiple platforms – from web, to radio, to podcast, to mobile, to social media, to live events – with first listens to new albums, live performances, concerts at the Tiny Desk, interviews, reviews and blogs.