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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.