Otis Hart

Public radio hosts from around the country, along with thousands of other music lovers, descended on Austin, Texas, this week to stand in long lines and eat breakfast tacos. And when they're not complaining about the former or posting Instagrams of the latter, they attend an ungodly number of concerts in the hopes of stumbling upon the next big band. Each day this week, All Songs Considered and hosts from our partner stations will report back on the best thing they saw the day prior.

But that's just the beginning of our SXSW coverage. Here's what else we have in store:

The last Scottish monarch died more than 300 years ago, but if England's departure from the European Union goes through, a wary Scotland just might be in the business for a new king. And as luck would have it for scotophilic aesthetes, Alasdair Roberts appears up for the job.

We at NPR Music love a big, flashy rock 'n' roll concert as much as the next person. But we're especially fans of those moments when our favorite artists bring their music into smaller spaces, when singers and guitarists and producers and drummers reckon with the particular intimacy and joy that go along with performing in close quarters.

The U.S. isn't the only country making stark political choices in 2016. In Scandinavia, ostensibly one of the most progressive regions on the planet (then again, maybe not), a conservative movement is picking up speed in the form of the counterintuitively named Sweden Democrats.

Recalcitrant singer-songwriter Cass McCombs has never cared for The Man. The quiet iconoclast is about to release his eighth studio album, Mangy Love, and not once has he caved to the whims of labels, critics or fans. That's not to say his music is confrontational; in fact, his '70s AM vibe might go down too smoothly for some. But McCombs' dedication to craft and distaste for compromise is unwavering.

Let's hear it for part-time punks: the musicians who go to work by day so they can get to work at night, and who give the man 40 hours a week rather than let him dictate the terms of their art. It's a sacrifice most of us won't make to pursue our passions, especially when it's so much easier to consume than create.