Originally published on Sun March 22, 2015 9:19 am
The eyes of the pop music world are on Austin, Texas this week. Thousands of bands and fans have descended upon the city for the South by Southwest music festival. Austin is also home to its own music scene year-round — and one of its more unusual groups is tapping into a sound that has nothing to do with indie rock or hip-hop. They're called Riyaaz Qawwali.
Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:21 pm
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's new album, Freedom Tower: No Wave Dance Party 2015, is all about New York City. As leader Jon Spencer explains, it was time to pay homage to the city the band has called home for almost 25 years, even though his love for the place is complicated.
Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 4:08 pm
Maybe it goes without saying, but if you're a musician and have time to kill on the road, you're going to hit up a record store in town. In Austin, Texas, there are many, many options to throw down cash for vinyl, and for Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield, her favorite record store is End of an Ear.
Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 11:43 am
The rain arrived in Austin on Friday, but it didn't wash away the weirdness. One-legged kung-fu dance moves, fog machines that sent off fire alarms that blow out electronic instruments and all sorts of other challenges couldn't stop the music, though, and our team at SXSW has sent back proof: photos, recommendations and a video of Laura Marling playing a song from her new album, Short Movie, at 2 a.m.outside a church.
Here are some of the best things we heard at SXSW on Friday.
Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 11:46 am
"I've been coming here for so long," Jack Antonoff says of SXSW while waiting for a breakfast table at the Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin. "The first time I came, in 2003, I had one show at a sushi place that like nine friends came to. Which I thought was the coolest thing because I was like, 'I'm at South by Southwest!'"
Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 7:58 pm
This week in Austin, Texas, Seinabo Sey gave her first performance at South by Southwest. It was an emotional moment for the singer, who told the crowd that if there's one thing she'd like them to learn from her music, it's that "anything is possible. You have to understand: I am from a tiny town on the west coast of Sweden."
Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 4:56 pm
Some days at South by Southwest, everything goes right. You see the bands you want to see, every one of them puts on an amazing show and the heavens open and angels give you shoulder rubs. NPR Music's Robin Hilton had a day like that on Thursday, with epiphany after epiphany. Things went well on Day 3 for the rest of NPR Music's team in Austin, too.