South by Southwest

Wed, 03/18/2009 - 11:00pm

WRUR-FM 88.5 will broadcast NPR Music’s presentation of two concerts from the 2009 South by Southwest (SXSW) Music and Media Conference in Austin, TX on March 18 and 19. NPR Music returns to SXSW, for its second year, to offer extensive coverage of the influential music festival on-air and online.

On the opening night of the festival, Wednesday, March 18, beginning at 11 p.m. WRUR-FM 88.5 will air a SXSW showcase headlined by The Decemberists at Stubbs Bar-B-Q. The Portland-based band will give the first live performance of its new album, The Hazards of Love, which the band will play in sequence, in its entirety. Joining all five members of The Decemberists on stage will be Lavender 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. A SXSW badge is required for this official showcase.

On Thursday, March 19 from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.  WRUR-FM 88.5 will broadcast a daytime concert at The Parish, hosted by NPR. The concert event 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 Downs. Headlining the concert is Blitzen Trapper, whose 2008 release Furr was an NPR listener favorite.

Bob Boilen, host and creator of the popular show All Songs Considered and its Live in Concert series will anchor both concerts. Joining Boilen will be NPR Music blogger Carrie Brownstein and David Brown, host of Texas Music Matters on KUT in Austin.

In addition to its concerts and events, NPR Music will have artist interviews, reports and live performance sessions, all available at, and will keep tabs on the Austin scene via the “All Songs Considered” blogs and Twitter @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.

WRUR-FM 88.5 is a broadcast partnership between the University of Rochester and WXXI Public Broadcasting.