Thursday, April 2, 2009

SXSW Part 5 - Day 3

So Day 3 started off with another "Quickie Session," this one on the topic of live shows. Still enjoyed this format more than the panel discussions. Spoke with Jordan Burger, the booking agent for one of my favorite songwriters, Angie Aparo. Also had the drummer from Blondie, Clem Burke and the talent buyer for Central Park SummerStage sit at our table.

Next was a panel called, "Artist Development meets Economic Reality." More with the speakers going off on tangents, broad discussion bringing up points we could, for the most part, figure out ourselves - more managers are serving capacities traditionally filled by labels, major label support budgets are lower these days, working as an indie artist does not provide for a glamorous lifestyle, money is in touring not selling CD's, etc. Heard a lot of it before.

Next panel was on licensing music. A few more potentially useful were Web sites thrown out here, but again, I don't think the moderator was really doing his job. They did not touch upon all the different kinds of rights that they mentioned at the outset.

Late that afternoon, I finally got to walk the Trade show. Collected some business cards. A lot of the exhibitors were Web-based businesses with sites geared towards being one-stop shops for "baby" or developing acts. Offering a variety of services including help with development of e-marketing campaigns, ticketing, manufacturing, digital retail. One in particular, has been around since 1997, which generated a little more interest on my part, since many of the others were just launching and who knows if they'll be around 6 months from now? It was good to talk to some folks and see some reinforcement that indie musicians and labels have a plethora of resources at their disposal.

That night, the original plan was to see Margaret Cho at 9pm, but it turned out to be a littany of back-to-back comedians doing 15-minute sets, plus there was no shuttle at that time, so I skipped it. Headed over to The Ale House to see Rocco DeLuca and The Burden at 1130pm, but got there at 11. That turned out to be my best move of the festival. L.A.-based singer-songwriter, Tyrone Wells was going on just as I arrived. Very brief 20-minute set, but far and away the best performance I saw in Austin. Great to discover a "new" musician, albeit one who has apparently been releasing material for a decade. The guy can sing his head off. Grade: A+. Downloaded many of the songs from his latest album, "Remain" when I got home. Check him out. Rocco DeLuca turned out not to be my cup of tea, but oh well. I thought I was going to be sneaky and try to listen to the "surprise" Metallica show from outside Stubbs. No chance of actually getting in, as people had been lined up since the afternoon. Turns out, there was no chance of hearing it either, as the information I had heard - that they were going on around 1230am - was faulty. I got there around 1145pm and they had already been and gone. Not a big deal. Supposedly, some other big name acts showed up for unannounced sets throughout the festival, including Blondie, Kanye West and Jane's Addiction. Anyway, I had planned to catch a couple other late night shows, but once again, my energy reserves betrayed me, and I found myself heading back to the motel.

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