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Artists to Watch: A SXSW Preview

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Detail from cover of the David Mead CD 'Wherever You Are'closemore
Detail from cover of the David Mead CD 'Wherever You Are'

If you're a music fan, the place to be this week is Austin, Texas. The annual South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival -- known by many as SXSW -- has been a staple of the music-festival circuit since 1987. It's a two-week celebration of independent sounds by both up-and-coming bands and established acts, as well as interactive media and film.

This year promises to be the biggest SXSW yet; more than 1,300 bands and artists will perform in just about every venue the Texas capital has to offer. Stephen Thompson, editor of the new NPR.org feature Song of the Day is one of the hundreds of music journalists descending on the city, looking for the hottest new acts. Here's a short list of some of his favorites:

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