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The All Songs Considered SXSW Preview, 2019

Clockwise from upper left: CHAI, Boy Scouts, Moritz Simon Geist, Blushh, Jojo Abot, Odette
Courtesy of the artists
Clockwise from upper left: CHAI, Boy Scouts, Moritz Simon Geist, Blushh, Jojo Abot, Odette

The annual South by Southwest music festival is our personal endurance challenge to discover as many great unknown and often unsigned bands as possible in just one week. To train for the event, Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson and I listen to more than a thousand songs by bands playing the festival, from all over the world, and try to map out a calendar to see our favorites.

On this edition of All Songs Considered we play some of the standout songs ahead of the 2019 festival, including the Ghanian artist Jojo Abot, garage rock from Blushh, the Japanese pop group CHAI, music made by robots (I'm not making that up) and much, much more. -- Robin Hilton

This preview show is just a small part of NPR Music's SXSW coverage.

  • Subscribe to the All Songs Considered podcast for in-the-moment exclamations of joy and bleary-eyed, late-night dispatches from the All Songs Considered team.
  • Listen to the Austin 100, a playlist of songs from 100 bands playing the festival.
  • On this page, we'll post concert videos from our first-ever Tiny Desk Family hour, daily discoveries, including a playlist of things to hear as we discover them — and keep an eye on our social media.
  • To get you started: here's All Songs Considered, Bob, Robin and Stephen on Twitter, plus Bob on Instagram, where he posts photos of many of the shows he sees.
  • Lastly, subscribe to the NPR Music newsletter for updates not only about the festival but other features available, including Tiny Desks, interviews and more.
  • Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit

    Robin Hilton
    Robin Hilton is the Senior Podcast Producer for NPR Music and hosts the New Music Friday episodes of All Songs Considered. He is also a composer and multi-instrumentalist whose original scores have appeared in podcasts, films, radio programs and other works. He arranged and performed the theme for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and composed and performed its elections coverage theme. You can hear more of his music here.
    Bob Boilen
    In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.
    Stephen Thompson
    Stephen Thompson is a host, writer and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist and guest host on All Songs Considered. Thompson also co-hosts the daily NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created with NPR's Linda Holmes in 2010. 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.)