Baby Bands, Pop Stars And Room-Filling Joy: What To Expect At SXSW 2013

Play associated audio

Listen to Stephen Thompson's conversation with Audie Cornish on All Things Considered by clicking the audio link.


The South by Southwest music festival kicked off Tuesday with the first of five straight nights of music overload: The clubs, makeshift music venues and front porches of Austin, Texas, were overrun with little-known discoveries-in-waiting and big names alike, as well as tens of thousands of fans who have flocked to the city in search of epiphanies.

Finding a prevailing trend at SXSW isn't easy; the festival is like 50 events in one, so it's possible to see nothing but hip-hop, or big names, or heavy metal, or bands from overseas. There's one clear trend in independent music: A lot of the biggest artists have shed the intimacy of bedroom recordings in pursuit of a grandiose, joyous, room-filling sound.

My favorite young band of the festival's opening night fits this bill. Mother Falcon, a 17-piece rock orchestra of sorts, is based in Austin and can't help but send huge sounds bouncing off the rafters. I'm looking forward to seeing a like-minded octet called The Soil & The Sun.

Of course, the big names have their own pull, too. Prince is slated to perform at the SXSW closing party Saturday night, and even the most discovery-minded festival-goers — the ones who lament SXSW's increased emphasis on established names like Green Day and Snoop Dogg — are likely to have a hard time passing up the opportunity to see that.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

A Biography Of Your Cubicle: How This Became The Modern Workplace

The office has long been seen as a symbol of boredom: It's a killer of spirits, a destroyer of spontaneity. But reviewer Rosecrans Baldwin says a new book brings out its entertaining side.
NPR

California Farmers Finagle A Fig For All Seasons

Two growers are competing to harvest fresh figs earlier and earlier in hopes of transforming the industry for year-round production. But some fig lovers say they can hold out for summer fruit.
NPR

Report Decries A Cozy Relationship Shared By DHS And Watchdog

A Senate panel released a report Thursday that criticizes the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security. It accuses him of repeatedly compromising his independence.
NPR

Tech Giants Pony Up Cash To Help Prevent Another Heartbleed

Google, Intel and others say they will now financially support the open-source software that encrypts much of the traffic on the Internet. The effort follows the discovery of a key security flaw.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.