For the last five days, we shared artists’ Memories of SXSW. Today, we have the Podcasters’ Edition, where we get insights of the business side and how those in the media experience the Mecca of music. Some of the stories aren’t too different from the escapades of the artists, showing that no one is immune to the entices of Austin.
Chuck, Metal Sucks team
1. Possibly losing a PR friend to some ladies of the night. We didn’t find him with a note attached whilst missing a kidney, but we never found him
2. The Great Discord – Disturbing, erotic, intense and epic all in one moment. I had no expectations, and they were one of the best things I saw all week.
3. The First Lady of Country Music, Loretta Lynn – she may be 83, but still spits fire at giants!
Tom Mullen, Washed Up Emo
Beach Slang played 10 times during SXSW. I was happy to see them perform three times. Not bad when it’s one of the few records that doesn’t get skipped and listened to on a daily basis.
Topshelf/Polyvinyl/Flower Booking showcase was great seeing an old label and new label working together with the same ideals alongside a quality booking agency. Solid night of tunes and good people.
I got asked by Jimmy Eat Wednesday, the local Austin emo night, to DJ for a couple hours at their night. It was a blast to play tunes for the crowd, and it was such a great group of people running the local night and can’t say enough great things about how it was run. Can’t wait for next year!
It pays to be straight-edge sometimes. At the Topshelf/Polyvinyl showcase, it was pretty packed toward the end of the evening, and there was a cap to both the indoor and outdoor stage. The only bathroom was inside, and there was a huge line to get back outside. I took my chances with hoping to get back in for Beach Slang. As I sit in the line, I notice a friend with a beer and soda. He hands me the soda and says, “Follow me.” I walk behind him right back outside with security nodding us along in front of everyone. I ask him how he did that. He said, “I just told security you were my designated driver, and they didn’t have soda at the outdoor bar.” Quick thinking friends are the best!
Unrelated to the bands but while hanging at the Brooklyn Vegan showcase on Saturday, I saw Bill Murray and met a guy that started up an emo DJ night in Monterrey, Mexico! The first in the country and wanted to meet me to say hello and chat music.
Mike Mowery, Founder, Jabber Jaw Podcast Network
1) Artist Showcases
I had two, totally different artists down there, and it was great to have each of them showcase. Night Argent is anthemic rock from Pasco, Washington, and they were on the Third String/Catalyst PR showcase. They sounded great and put on a fantastic performance on the tiny stage at the Aquarium. We were able to all go out to dinner afterwards. Good food and great people.
Toothgrinder, a frenetic metal band from Asbury Park, New Jersey, played Thursday night on the EOne records showcase (the band is signed to Spinefarm, but EOne was kind enough to give them a spot!). Toothgrinder was originally scheduled to perform at the Metal Sucks showcase on Wednesday, but when we confirmed them on the Killswitch Engage tour this Spring we had to move the date. We had a great lunch with the band and label and then watched them unleash their fury on the Austin crowd later that night.
What a treat to be on two panels this year. The first was about the “Busiest People in Show Business”, which was hosted by Godless and included Deb Klein (Hands on Management/Primary Wave) and Steve Hutton (Uppercut Management). The room was full, and it was an honor to discuss the current state of management affairs with two, well-respected managers. The crowd was eager for insight and all three of us on the panel shot it to them straight. The hour flew by, and we spent a bunch of time answering questions afterwards.
The second panel I did this year was “Discovering the Next Great Metal band”. This Friday afternoon panel was a bit slower paced, mainly due to everyone’s hangover. The panel was chock full of industry veterans, and I was honored just to be a part of it. Panel moderator Eric German did a great job of keeping all of us loudmouths focused and on-track. Mike Gitter (A&R Century Media), James Cassells (Drummer of Asking Alexandria), Scott Givens (VP metal at Eone), and Jose Mangin (Sirius XM). It was a pleasure to be able to talk openly and freely about the challenges of discovering the next big metal band in the age of the internet and talk about how we develop artists that will eventually grow to replace those existing bands.
I love the networking component of SXSW. Whether it directly impacts my business or it’s more of an an indirect nature, I like chatting with people who have exciting things going on. I spent a lot of time dealing with people are are developing solutions of how to handle the myriad of responsibilities that managers and bands have to deal with in the ever changing music business. I got a ton of insight and was able to bounce ideas off of people. I was able to talk about some of the newer things I’m developing, like our podcast network, and really explain it to people in person. What I love about doing this in Austin is that you can link up with people multiple times over the course of a few days. I ended up having lunch of dinner with a couple of people more than once and we were able to further our initial discussions each time we sat down. By the end of the week, we’d really flushed out some ideas and I’ve already been able to follow up with them in the short time that has passed. That’s the true gem of SXSW to me!
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