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The Austin 100: Sonámbulo Psicotropical

Courtesy of the artist

Hometown:San José, Costa Rica


Why We're Excited:Sonámbulo Psicotropical has spent more than a dozen years touring the world with its dizzying and delightful, horn-driven mix of African and Latin American music. But a few years ago, significant lineup changes and a key illness left the band worrying about its future — and turning to old traditions to reinvigorate its danceable, psychedelic sound. The band's third album, Domitila y su jardín (Domitila and her garden), relates the story of a woman who rediscovers her place in the world. It's no coincidence that it's helped Sonámbulo Psicotropical do the same.

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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.)