Michael Katzif

In addition to being a musician and music writer, Michael Katzif is a producer and keeper of all things podcast at NPR. He came to NPR as the intern for All Songs Considered, where he obsessively picked over the onslaught of music and wrote about unsigned artists for the site's daily Open Mic (now Second Stage) feature. He currently produces a handful of podcasts and music content for NPR Music and is a frequent contributor to NPR's Song of the Day and NPR's jazz blog, A Blog Supreme.

When not at NPR, Katzif stays distracted with various creative endeavors and musical exploits, documented on his Web site, Hello Come In. He recently finished a long-distance collaboration with friends on a year-long project that produced an EP of original music every month.

The blues may come in myriad shapes and sizes, but on the eve of 2012's South By Southwest music festival, it took the form of two sisters from Los Angeles: Jennifer and Jessica Clavin, who make up the core of Bleached. A rough-and-tumble garage-rock band, Bleached is one of many young punk-infused acts playing three-minute, three-chord bashers with sneering, unraveled immediacy. When played on stage, the band's music takes on a messy-but-fun live-wire buoyancy.

The transporting music of Exitmusic is so grandiose, so romantically rich, it could easily envelop a concert hall or cavernous church. It's a beautifully buzzing mix of distorted guitars, synth pads and sparse electronic beats, all of which intermingle around Aleksa Palladino's alluring, heartsick voice like a swarm of bees in your chest.

Man, talk about a dream team pairing. After some enticing rumors and teases of a potential collaboration between David Byrne and St.