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The All Songs Considered SXSW Preview, 2018

Clockwise from upper left: Descartes A Kant, Chloe Foy, Dave B, Pale Waves, Nailah Blackman
Courtesy of the artists
Clockwise from upper left: Descartes A Kant, Chloe Foy, Dave B, Pale Waves, Nailah Blackman

It's the most wonderful time of the year! At least it is for avid music fans like us and anyone else attending the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. The annual endurance challenge gets underway this week, with thousands of bands from around the world — and many more fans — converging on the city for a seemingly endless bender of live performances — shows both big and small that last all day, every day, into the wee hours of the morning, with music pouring out of every club, restaurant, street corner and alleyway for miles.

For this edition of All Songs Considered,we (Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton and Stephen Thompson) listened to songs by more than a thousand bands that'll be performing at SXSW, and picked some of their favorites from artists previously unknown to hear and see. We run through some of those favorites on this episode, including the sludgy noise rock of Sharkmuffin (we're not making that name up) to the sweet voice of singer-songwriter Chloe Foy, the Calypsonian and soca artist Nailah Blackman and much, much more.

This preview show is just a small part of NPR Music's SXSW coverage.

  • For NPR Music's full coverage of SXSW 2018, visit this page where we'll post live concert videos — and other daily updates — and keep an eye on our social media.
  • To get you started: here's Bob, Robin and Stephen on Twitter, plus Bob on Instagram, where he posts photos of many of the shows he sees.
  • We'll be down and around all week with more updates,
    announcements, South X Lullabies, in-the-moment exclamations of joy, and bleary-eyed late-night dispatches from the All Songs Considered team.
  • If you don't already, subscribe to the All Songs Consideredpodcast for our late-night dispatches highlighting the best discoveries from each day.
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.
    Robin Hilton is a producer and co-host of the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.
    Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)