The Decemberists headline NPR showcase, debut album

NPR is jumping once again from radio waves to the main stage and taking The Decemberists with them. The Portland, Ore.,-based group has been tapped to headline the public radio's showcase the opening night (March 18) of the  SXSW Music Conference and Festival.

Perfect timing considering the Decemberists (who are slated to grace our May/June cover, by the way), are releasing The Hazards of Love on March 24. Word is that they'll debut their entire album (17 songs)  live during the NPR showcase. And in sequence!

The album, which was originally conceived as a musical, promises to be a little bit darker and heavier than 2006's The Crane Wife. "Without giving away too much, it's definitely mossy and evil," Colin Meloy told Paste last fall. "It's ambitious. It's pretty dense. There's lots and lots and lots of guitars."

If you can't get down to Austin, Texas NPR Music will live webcast and broadcast the entire concert on participating NPR member stations. It will also be streamed live, podcast and archived here. Whew, they really cover their bases, don't they?

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