Rock journalist Christopher Weingarten came to SXSW with the goal of seeing 100 bands. When I caught up with him, he was up to 27 bands. Then again, this is a guy who once reviewed 1,000 albums on Twitter. You can follow him via Twitter and watch him in action at last year’s 140 Characters Conference where he discusses state of music writing.
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I attended two panels. The first was “The Convergence of Music on TV and Online”, and the second was on social networking and music. Both tended to repeat the general themes of viral marketing and branding, regardless of product. But the special case or problem of music as a cultural product and commodity did pop up from time to time. It featured marketers from major labels as well as branders and promoters. It’s all about bands having a “project” said Mark Shimmel of Turner Entertainment Networks. “It’s no longer about a band that comes to you and says, ‘Listen to my single.’” Now, one needs to have a vision of all sorts of tie-ins and long-term mileage: associating oneself with brands, cars, films, clothing, lifestyles, TV shows, websites, and just demographics in general. In addition, an often repeated, and accepted, marketing mantra was heard: These days no one wants email lists and Facebook bands/friends that constantly bombard you with calls to buy their album—fans want to be part of a community. One should let them participate and embed your music and identity, your brand, in their community. Tell them about films you like as well as music. It should be “check this out,” not “buy this, please!”
Alan Palomo of Neon Indian
For nearly two decades, the Muffs have been one of LA punk’s best-kept secrets: a band that makes wonderfully catchy punk-pop that makes you smile. Frontwoman Kim Shattuck has one of the greatest screams this side of Roger Daltrey. I caught up with Shattuck following the Muffs’ spunky St. Patrick’s Day show at Beerland.
At 2am Wednesday night/Thursday morning, I am utterly exhausted. Between the music industry panels, wonkish talk about the industry’s alleged health and sickness, official and unofficial showcases, label and press parties, there is so much music in Austin right now. It’s at once dizzying, blissful, and nearly suffocating.