Stephen Thompson Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music. He appears every week on All Songs Considered and Pop Culture Happy Hour.
Washington, DC - May 03, 2016: Stephen Thompson CREDIT: Matt Roth
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Stephen Thompson

Whether you buy a $795 badge or show up with a little spare cash on hand, SXSW has something for you — and will expect you to stand in line at some point. Katie Hayes Luke for NPR hide caption

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Katie Hayes Luke for NPR
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The Notwist's new album, Close to the Glass, comes out Feb. 25. Joerg Koopman/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Joerg Koopman/Courtesy of the artist

Death Vessel's new album, Island Intervals, comes out Feb. 25. Corey Grayhorse/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Corey Grayhorse/Courtesy of the artist

Phantogram's new album, Voices, comes out Feb. 18. Doron Gild/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Doron Gild/Courtesy of the artist