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SXSW: Austin's Citywide Block Party

Everything's gotten smaller in the new economy — especially the music industry, which was struggling even before the stock market began to tank last fall.

Right now, everyone could use an excuse to let loose, so it's perfect timing that the industry's citywide block party kicks off Wednesday night. That's when the 23rd annual South by Southwest music festival gets under way in Austin, Texas. Some 1,800 bands will be there, all hoping to bend the right ears, though the festival is less of a showcase for undiscovered talent than it was in the beginning.

In fact, one of the most widely anticipated shows this year comes from a well-known band: The Decemberists. The band will perform its new album, The Hazards of Love, in its entirety. That show, which takes place Wednesday night at 1 a.m. ET, will be streamed in its entirety here.

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