I haven't been to the film and interactive conference that's going on this week, but Austin's SXSW music festival is just a relentless rock ’n’ roll firehouse. With 2,000 bands roaming the clubs, theaters and streets, it's impossible to sort through it all, but as long you don't somehow break a leg and end up stuck in your hotel room, you'll end hearing plenty of great stuff. (And rumor has it that even if you do break a leg, you can get rent what you need to still get around, at least a little bit.)
NPR is doing its part to help me sort through what's gonna be available next week with The Austin 100: A SXSW Mix, which includes 100 songs by artists who will in Austin next week. I'm particularly digging the Heartless Bastards (who will be at Club Congress on Friday, March 30, with Tucson's own Brian Lopez), Nada Surf, Spoek Mathambo, Shimmering Stars, Caveman, Girl in a Coma and the Alabama Shakes, but almost all of it is worth downloading (especially when you consider that it's free).
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