Saturday, March 14, 2009

South by Southwest 2009 (SXSW) - Free Downloads, Music Player, and More

It's almost time for the 2009 edition of South by Southwest, the Austin festival of sensory overload. I'll concentrate here on the SXSW music festival (there are also film and interactive festivals), which runs from March 18th to 22th. In that short span there will be hundreds of bands playing on more than 80 stages. Here's some help in listening to what'll be featured at SXSW 2009, including some free downloads and other ways to sample the music.

At the SXSW music page there's a Music Player link, which will open a stream of continuous music from bands playing at the festival. In the past SXSW has offered free MP3 downloads of dozens of songs, but I don't see that option listed this time around. (UPDATE: Apparently there are SXSW downloads available, but they're being offering through BitTorrent, not through the SXSW site. An article on TorrentFreak says there is a full 6GB of songs from SXSW 2009 artists available for free download, featuring more than 1,200 tunes.)

Howver, NPR Music is offering a free 10-song sampler of tunes by SXSW 2009 artists that you can download from iTunes. Check their SXSW page for details on live concerts they'll be Webcasting from the festival, including The Decemberists on March 18th and Blitzen Trapper on March 19th.

For info straight from South by Southwest ground zero, head for the SXSW Web page of Austin radio station KUT. Check their page for their schedule of live performance broadcasts, breaking news from the festival, and more.

And if you're interested in what Canadian bands are playing the festival, you'll want to listen to the CBC Radio 3 podcast SXSW Survival Guide 2009.

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