NPR Music: Live From SXSW

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 Backed by two drummers, electronic pop artist Dan Deacon needed only a table full of electronics and a ringleader's personality to launch a wild dance party at NPR Music's SXSW Showcase.  (Katie Hayes Luke for NPR)
Backed by two drummers, electronic pop artist Dan Deacon needed only a table full of electronics and a ringleader's personality to launch a wild dance party at NPR Music's SXSW Showcase. (Katie Hayes Luke for NPR)

Summer festival season kicks off now with South By Southwest. Fans flock to Austin, Texas to immerse themselves in music and discovered new favorite bands. Watch live from the SXSW Music Festival.

SXSW 2012

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Sharon Van Etten, a singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, built a brooding set on stealthy rock underpinnings at NPR Music's SXSW Showcase. Her new album is called Tramp.

Sharon Van Etten, a singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, built a brooding set on stealthy rock underpinnings at NPR Music's SXSW Showcase. Her new album is called Tramp.

Brittany Howard, the charismatic lead singer for the rock/soul outfit Alabama Shakes, told Bob Boilen and Ann Powers that she had never traveled outside the American Southeast prior to playing NPR Music's SXSW Showcase.

Brittany Howard, the charismatic lead singer for the rock/soul outfit Alabama Shakes, told Bob Boilen and Ann Powers that she had never traveled outside the American Southeast prior to playing NPR Music's SXSW Showcase.

Backed by two drummers, electronic pop artist Dan Deacon needed only a table full of electronics and a ringleader's personality to launch a wild dance party at NPR Music's SXSW Showcase.

Backed by two drummers, electronic pop artist Dan Deacon needed only a table full of electronics and a ringleader's personality to launch a wild dance party at NPR Music's SXSW Showcase.

Toward the end of Dan Deacon's set, a collaborator led the audience in a choreographed dance-off.

Toward the end of Dan Deacon's set, a collaborator led the audience in a choreographed dance-off.

The violinist Andrew Bird — also a composer, and singer and accomplished whistler — headlined NPR Music's SXSW Showcase. He performed largely from his new album, Break It Yourself, but also found space for older classics.

The violinist Andrew Bird — also a composer, and singer and accomplished whistler — headlined NPR Music's SXSW Showcase. He performed largely from his new album, Break It Yourself, but also found space for older classics.

When Sharon Van Etten sings, it's like she's singing just to you, and then maybe you awkwardly sing back.

When Sharon Van Etten sings, it's like she's singing just to you, and then maybe you awkwardly sing back.

Untrue fact: The Stubb's bandshell doubled as an alien spacecraft in The X-Files episode "Invasion of the Fuzzy Boots."

Untrue fact: The Stubb's bandshell doubled as an alien spacecraft in The X-Files episode "Invasion of the Fuzzy Boots."

Travis Sethman, from Denver, freestyles with his group The FAMM on the streets of Austin.

Travis Sethman, from Denver, freestyles with his group The FAMM on the streets of Austin.

Start 'em young: Christian Brothers, from L.A., plays in the middle of the street during SXSW.

Start 'em young: Christian Brothers, from L.A., plays in the middle of the street during SXSW.

"Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me. Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me. Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me. Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me."

"Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me. Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me. Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me. Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me."

"This side of the room dances like Avatar was actually good. This side of the room dances like the mom in the movie Big." OK, Dan Deacon!

"This side of the room dances like Avatar was actually good. This side of the room dances like the mom in the movie Big." OK, Dan Deacon!

Wearing paint-splattered shirts, the Venezuelan dance-rock band La Vida Boheme kicked off NPR Music's day party at The Parish in Austin, Texas with chant-along songs and stage-shaking energy.

Wearing paint-splattered shirts, the Venezuelan dance-rock band La Vida Boheme kicked off NPR Music's day party at The Parish in Austin, Texas with chant-along songs and stage-shaking energy.

Polica's stage show was a welcome jolt of beauty and power in contrast to the shimmery debut album, Give You the Ghost..

Polica's stage show was a welcome jolt of beauty and power in contrast to the shimmery debut album, Give You the Ghost..

Mixing songs from 2010's majestic Twin Hand Movement with material from the hotly anticipated Nootropics, Lower Dens seethed through a gorgeous, brooding set at NPR Music's SXSW day party.

Mixing songs from 2010's majestic Twin Hand Movement with material from the hotly anticipated Nootropics, Lower Dens seethed through a gorgeous, brooding set at NPR Music's SXSW day party.

Dude just off-center was all agape at the  awesome Sugar Tongue Slim show.

Dude just off-center was all agape at the awesome Sugar Tongue Slim show.

Our day party poster for The Parish in its natural habitat: An over-stapled bulletin board.

Our day party poster for The Parish in its natural habitat: An over-stapled bulletin board.

It's always quite the occasion when Stephin Merritt takes The Magnetic Fields on the road, and he certainly rewarded fans with old favorites as well as new songs in a laid-back set that closed out NPR Music's SXSW day party.

It's always quite the occasion when Stephin Merritt takes The Magnetic Fields on the road, and he certainly rewarded fans with old favorites as well as new songs in a laid-back set that closed out NPR Music's SXSW day party.

Can't tell if line to NPR Music's day party at The Parish or SXSW fashion show.

Can't tell if line to NPR Music's day party at The Parish or SXSW fashion show.

Surrounded by a lively and crackling band, Sugar Tongue Slim cut a smiling and   conspiratorial figure on stage at NPR Music's SXSW day party.

Surrounded by a lively and crackling band, Sugar Tongue Slim cut a smiling and conspiratorial figure on stage at NPR Music's SXSW day party.

"We live in a post-authentic world. Today, authenticity is a house of  mirrors." That was just one of many memorable quotes from Bruce  Springsteen's outstanding SXSW keynote that began Thursday.

"We live in a post-authentic world. Today, authenticity is a house of mirrors." That was just one of many memorable quotes from Bruce Springsteen's outstanding SXSW keynote that began Thursday.

Late Thursday night, Bruce Springsteen and the retooled E Street Band ripped through a nearly three-hour "secret" concert at the Moody Theater, the new home of Austin City Limits. Ever the showman, Springsteen crowd-surfed.

Late Thursday night, Bruce Springsteen and the retooled E Street Band ripped through a nearly three-hour "secret" concert at the Moody Theater, the new home of Austin City Limits. Ever the showman, Springsteen crowd-surfed.

"We live in a post-authentic world. Today, authenticity is a house of mirrors." That was just one of many memorable quotes from Bruce Springsteen's outstanding SXSW keynote that began Thursday. (Birzer)

"We live in a post-authentic world. Today, authenticity is a house of mirrors." That was just one of many memorable quotes from Bruce Springsteen's outstanding SXSW keynote that began Thursday. (Birzer)

Like hundreds of other musicians and fans, NPR Music arrived in Austin,  Texas, before the official start of SXSW 2012, including this balafon player.

Like hundreds of other musicians and fans, NPR Music arrived in Austin, Texas, before the official start of SXSW 2012, including this balafon player.

Enjoy those calories now. They will destroy you by the end of SXSW.

Enjoy those calories now. They will destroy you by the end of SXSW.

Break dancers perform on 6th Street at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Break dancers perform on 6th Street at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

When is it not "jorts" weather in Austin?

When is it not "jorts" weather in Austin?

Old and busted: Getting to that Tanlines show by foot. The new hotness: Purple light rickshaws.

Old and busted: Getting to that Tanlines show by foot. The new hotness: Purple light rickshaws.

Wearing paint-splattered clothes, the Venezuelan dance-rock band La Vida Boheme kicked off NPR Music's day party at The Parish in Austin, Texas with chant-along songs and stage-shaking energy.

Wearing paint-splattered clothes, the Venezuelan dance-rock band La Vida Boheme kicked off NPR Music's day party at The Parish in Austin, Texas with chant-along songs and stage-shaking energy.

Polica's stage show was a welcome jolt of beauty and power in contrast to the shimmery debut album, Give You the Ghost.

Polica's stage show was a welcome jolt of beauty and power in contrast to the shimmery debut album, Give You the Ghost.

Mixing songs from 2010's majestic Twin Hand Movement with some new material from the hotly anticipated Nootropics, Lower Dens seethed through a gorgeous, brooding set at NPR Music's SXSW day party.

Mixing songs from 2010's majestic Twin Hand Movement with some new material from the hotly anticipated Nootropics, Lower Dens seethed through a gorgeous, brooding set at NPR Music's SXSW day party.

"No greens till Brooklyn, am I right?!"

"No greens till Brooklyn, am I right?!"

Free metal from what? FREE METAL FROM WHAT, I ASK.

Free metal from what? FREE METAL FROM WHAT, I ASK.

Thomas Wesley Stern performs on 6th Street at SXSW in Austin, Texas on Tuesday night. You wouldn't know it, but they play acoustic grindcore. (Not really.)

Thomas Wesley Stern performs on 6th Street at SXSW in Austin, Texas on Tuesday night. You wouldn't know it, but they play acoustic grindcore. (Not really.)

SXSW: Where glow-in-the-dark hula-hooping is considered sport.

SXSW: Where glow-in-the-dark hula-hooping is considered sport.

New York City's Naked Cowboy has a little-known cousin in Austin. We didn't catch his name, but we'd like to think it's The Naked Guy Who, For Reasons Of Pure Geography, Could More Likely Be Called An Actual Cowboy.

New York City's Naked Cowboy has a little-known cousin in Austin. We didn't catch his name, but we'd like to think it's The Naked Guy Who, For Reasons Of Pure Geography, Could More Likely Be Called An Actual Cowboy.

Late Thursday night, Bruce Springsteen and the retooled E Street Band ripped through a nearly three-hour "secret" concert at the Moody Theater, the new home of Austin City Limits. Ever the showman, Springsteen crowd-surfed.

Late Thursday night, Bruce Springsteen and the retooled E Street Band ripped through a nearly three-hour "secret" concert at the Moody Theater, the new home of Austin City Limits. Ever the showman, Springsteen crowd-surfed.

Dude just off-center was all agape at the awesome Sugar Tongue Slim show.

Dude just off-center was all agape at the awesome Sugar Tongue Slim show.

Comedian and This American Life contributor Mike Birbiglia introduces Sharon Van Etten at NPR Music's SXSW showcase at Stubb's.

Comedian and This American Life contributor Mike Birbiglia introduces Sharon Van Etten at NPR Music's SXSW showcase at Stubb's.

When Sharon Van Etten sings, it's like she's singing just to you, and then maybe you awkwardly sing back.

When Sharon Van Etten sings, it's like she's singing just to you, and then maybe you awkwardly sing back.

Untrue fact: The Stubb's bandshell doubled as an alien spacecraft in The X-Files episode "Invasion of the Fuzzy Boots."

Untrue fact: The Stubb's bandshell doubled as an alien spacecraft in The X-Files episode "Invasion of the Fuzzy Boots."

Travis Sethman from Denver, freestyles with his group The FAMM.

Travis Sethman from Denver, freestyles with his group The FAMM.

Start 'em young: Christian Brothers, from L.A., plays in the middle of the street during SXSW.

Start 'em young: Christian Brothers, from L.A., plays in the middle of the street during SXSW.

"Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me. Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me. Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me. Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me."

"Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me. Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me. Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me. Can't stop unloading or the van will eat me."

Our day party poster for The Parish in its natural habitat: An over-stapled bulletin board.

Our day party poster for The Parish in its natural habitat: An over-stapled bulletin board.

Can't tell if line to NPR Music's day party at The Parish or SXSW fashion show.

Can't tell if line to NPR Music's day party at The Parish or SXSW fashion show.

It's always quite the occasion when Stephin Merritt takes The Magnetic Fields on the road, and he certainly rewarded fans with old favorites as well as new songs in a laid-back set that closed out NPR Music's SXSW day party.

It's always quite the occasion when Stephin Merritt takes The Magnetic Fields on the road, and he certainly rewarded fans with old favorites as well as new songs in a laid-back set that closed out NPR Music's SXSW day party.

"This side of the room dances like Avatar was actually good. This side of the room dances like the mom in the movie Big." OK, Dan Deacon!

"This side of the room dances like Avatar was actually good. This side of the room dances like the mom in the movie Big." OK, Dan Deacon!

Surrounded by a lively and crackling band, Sugar Tongue Slim cut a smiling and conspiratorial figure on stage at NPR Music's SXSW day party.

Surrounded by a lively and crackling band, Sugar Tongue Slim cut a smiling and conspiratorial figure on stage at NPR Music's SXSW day party.

 Sharon Van Etten, a singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, built a brooding set on stealthy rock underpinnings at NPR Music's SXSW Showcase. Her new album is called Tramp.

Sharon Van Etten, a singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, built a brooding set on stealthy rock underpinnings at NPR Music's SXSW Showcase. Her new album is called Tramp.

 Brittany Howard, the charismatic lead singer for the rock/soul outfit Alabama Shakes, told Bob Boilen and Ann Powers that she had never traveled outside the American Southeast prior to playing NPR Music's SXSW Showcase.

Brittany Howard, the charismatic lead singer for the rock/soul outfit Alabama Shakes, told Bob Boilen and Ann Powers that she had never traveled outside the American Southeast prior to playing NPR Music's SXSW Showcase.

 Backed by two drummers, electronic pop artist Dan Deacon needed only a table full of electronics and a ringleader's personality to launch a wild dance party at NPR Music's SXSW Showcase.

Backed by two drummers, electronic pop artist Dan Deacon needed only a table full of electronics and a ringleader's personality to launch a wild dance party at NPR Music's SXSW Showcase.

 Toward the end of Dan Deacon's set, a collaborator led the audience in a choreographed dance-off.

Toward the end of Dan Deacon's set, a collaborator led the audience in a choreographed dance-off.

 The violinist Andrew Bird — also a composer, and singer and accomplished whistler — headlined NPR Music's SXSW Showcase. He performed largely from his new album, Break It Yourself, but also found space for older classics.

The violinist Andrew Bird — also a composer, and singer and accomplished whistler — headlined NPR Music's SXSW Showcase. He performed largely from his new album, Break It Yourself, but also found space for older classics.

We don't really know what poi dancing is, but it makes sense that a dude in dreadlocks has taken to bright, swirling lights.

We don't really know what poi dancing is, but it makes sense that a dude in dreadlocks has taken to bright, swirling lights.

Nighttime bicycling in Austin.

Nighttime bicycling in Austin.

We don't know what's happening here either.

We don't know what's happening here either.

The reunited Jesus and Mary Chain played the Paste Party at the Belmont on Thursday, washing over fans with feedback-drenched pop.

The reunited Jesus and Mary Chain played the Paste Party at the Belmont on Thursday, washing over fans with feedback-drenched pop.

Fiona Apple opened NPR Music's SXSW Showcase with her first concert outside Los Angeles in five years. The singer-songwriter is preparing to release a new album.

Fiona Apple opened NPR Music's SXSW Showcase with her first concert outside Los Angeles in five years. The singer-songwriter is preparing to release a new album.

Tarrence Cowherd: DJ, beefcake.

Tarrence Cowherd: DJ, beefcake.

"Really, it's more of a queue than a line."

"Really, it's more of a queue than a line."

At Uncorked on Friday night, Kishi Bashi used violin and vocals plus loops to create a sound that seems bigger than the single person making it.

At Uncorked on Friday night, Kishi Bashi used violin and vocals plus loops to create a sound that seems bigger than the single person making it.

THEESatisfaction, the female rap duo from Seattle, gives a sneak peek of its Sub Pop debut at Red 7 on Friday night.

THEESatisfaction, the female rap duo from Seattle, gives a sneak peek of its Sub Pop debut at Red 7 on Friday night.

This poor guy really wanted to premiere his solo piece for violin and wolf mask, 'Lycanthropic Tendencies,' at an official SXSW showcase, but settled for the spot where A$AP Rocky marked his territory the night before.

This poor guy really wanted to premiere his solo piece for violin and wolf mask, 'Lycanthropic Tendencies,' at an official SXSW showcase, but settled for the spot where A$AP Rocky marked his territory the night before.

Is it punk? Is it pop? Is it kraut? Is it twang? Who cares? It's just The Men, who killed it at Beerland on Saturday.

Is it punk? Is it pop? Is it kraut? Is it twang? Who cares? It's just The Men, who killed it at Beerland on Saturday.

Bleeding Knees Club? More like Hair Club for Men Success Stories, am I right?!

Bleeding Knees Club? More like Hair Club for Men Success Stories, am I right?!

Craft Spells was a nice surprise at the Captured Tracks showcase on Saturday night: Justin Paul Vallesteros's sunny bedroom pop opened up at The Parish with a mopey voice out of the '80s.

Craft Spells was a nice surprise at the Captured Tracks showcase on Saturday night: Justin Paul Vallesteros's sunny bedroom pop opened up at The Parish with a mopey voice out of the '80s.

Just moments away from NPR Music producer and photographer Mike Katzif getting a few blows to the head during Ceremony's set at Red 7's patio on Saturday night.

Just moments away from NPR Music producer and photographer Mike Katzif getting a few blows to the head during Ceremony's set at Red 7's patio on Saturday night.

Psychedelic Hors---'s Matt Whitehurst sports some TV Party shades on stage at Red 7 on Saturday Night.

Psychedelic Hors---'s Matt Whitehurst sports some TV Party shades on stage at Red 7 on Saturday Night.

Keepin' it simple: On Saturday night, Yellow Ostrich's minimalist drum kit and spare guitar effects put the focus on the songs at Baeblemusic's show at Knuckle Rambler Lounge.

Keepin' it simple: On Saturday night, Yellow Ostrich's minimalist drum kit and spare guitar effects put the focus on the songs at Baeblemusic's show at Knuckle Rambler Lounge.

Patrick Watson's performance at St. David's Episcopal Church on Thursday night brought All Songs Considered producer Robin Hilton to tears: "It was magical. ... That's the world that I want my kid to inherit.

Patrick Watson's performance at St. David's Episcopal Church on Thursday night brought All Songs Considered producer Robin Hilton to tears: "It was magical. ... That's the world that I want my kid to inherit.

Molly Hamilton's haunting croon enveloped the Captured Tracks showcase on Saturday with her band, Widowspeak.

Molly Hamilton's haunting croon enveloped the Captured Tracks showcase on Saturday with her band, Widowspeak.

Huichol jewelry.

Huichol jewelry.

We didn't know that King Diamond had a cyberpunk little brother either.

We didn't know that King Diamond had a cyberpunk little brother either.

Yes, yes, this old dude at SXSW has some righteous facial hair, but what about that Wolverine vs. Hulk hat?! So stylin'.

Yes, yes, this old dude at SXSW has some righteous facial hair, but what about that Wolverine vs. Hulk hat?! So stylin'.

Like Nero before his coliseum, if a band just wasn't cutting it, the giant vending machine doubling as a stage dispensed giant bags of Doritos on emaciated indie-rockers below.

Like Nero before his coliseum, if a band just wasn't cutting it, the giant vending machine doubling as a stage dispensed giant bags of Doritos on emaciated indie-rockers below.

Huichol artist at SXSW.

Huichol artist at SXSW.

Well, at least this food truck offers some vegetables.

Well, at least this food truck offers some vegetables.

Tim Gunn could not be reached for comment.

Tim Gunn could not be reached for comment.

Since Star Trek: The Next Generation's cancellation, Lt. Geordi La Forge has fallen on hard times.

Since Star Trek: The Next Generation's cancellation, Lt. Geordi La Forge has fallen on hard times.

Justin Townes Earle is a regular at SXSW by now. He played two shows on Saturday: an acoustic gig for KEXP at the Austin Convention Center and another with a full band at Stubb's.

Justin Townes Earle is a regular at SXSW by now. He played two shows on Saturday: an acoustic gig for KEXP at the Austin Convention Center and another with a full band at Stubb's.

Andrew Bird performs at SXSW.

Andrew Bird performs at SXSW.

Copyright NPR. View this article on npr.org.