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RE: South X Southwest | from Seth HowardMar 04 2001 - 15:20

Well apparently I was a little foggy on the details, but it still sounds like a bit of a scam to me.

I guess the point I was trying to make is that the conventional wisdom has been that events like SXSW are a necessary evil for unsigned bands, but with the explosion of the internet, and the ever-dropping cost of recording and duplication is it really even necessary anymore?

I think Idaho is an excellent example of this trend. Jeff and company have taken over the production, distribution, and promotion of their music, and they're doing a great job with it. You could definitely argue that they could not have gotten to where they are without the support of labels (my first exposure to Idaho was on a free Caroline sampler disc.), and I suppose the fact that they have been recording themselves from the beginning helped make the transition easier, but it seems to me that "Hearts of Palm" is every bit as compelling as "Three Sheets to the Wind", and it seems to have been every bit as well received in the press.

I guess all I was trying to say is that bands can't count in their fairy godmothers showing up at SXSW. For the most part, everyone ends up scrubbing the chimmney again when they get home.

RE: South X Southwest | from brianMar 03 2001 - 22:30

to shed some light on the SXSW entries, let me
first say congrats to your friend's band for being accepted (my band wasn't).

all accepted bands have the choice of receiving $$$ (around 175-300 split among the band and % takers) OR a registration packet
that should include all wristbands for entry to all clubs and panels.
the giveaway bags are a little steep, i don't recall an exact amount, especially for a independent/DIY band to afford the cost to pay people to stuff their items in and then the cost of the product.
i actually helped stuff bags for a Wake Up Dallas/N. TX festival showcase my previous band was in, didn't get paid, just was there to help it out. of course at the time we didn't include anything in the bags either.

SXSW is a great opportunity still, word just has to get to some of the right people like anything else.
and this year i would think that all record companies would be really looking for bands to save the sorry state of popular music.
oh yeah, the walk up price to get in to all these events is the OUTRAGEOUS cost. to purchase wristbands to get in to just the music festival is $500, unless you're a student and can prove it, $175.

in dallas there has been/were a slew of "SCREW SXSW" shows for bands that didn't get in and for bands making the trek down to austin but those days are fleeting i believe.

yes it looks good in a press kit and the "glory" associated with it but it's just another show really.

once again my band will be sending an application to the NXNW festival when time comes. last year we didn't get the chance to but all i cared about anyway was trying to see Idaho.

RE: South X Southwest | from Seth HowardMar 03 2001 - 12:56

From what I understand, SXSW can be a real drag for bands. My friends are playing this year and they don't even get wristbands to get into the rest of the shows. You have to pay some ridiculous sum just to have your CD included in the little packages they hand out (not to mention coughing up the CDs). They'd even have to pay to get into any of the panels and other "industry" events.

In short, the whole affair sounds like a gigantic ripoff for just about any truly independant band. It might be great for an established band looking to jump to a new label, but otherwise it seems like a waste of time and effort.

Fortunately, my friends will be able to borrow gear from people in the area to play down there, but I can't even imagine having to line up rental equipment and fly down to play in some tiny club, hoping that some folks might trickle in to watch the show, and maybe it will lead to something.

I think the most important thing playing SXSW does for the majority of bands is look good in a promo kit. The perceived value seem to far outweigh the actual value.

Of course, for the fans that sometimes travel great distances to see the shows, it's great. The value in that should not be underestimated.

RE: South X Southwest | from danMar 01 2001 - 16:26

P.S. Jeff has some really cool video footage of the show as well.

RE: South X Southwest | from danMar 01 2001 - 16:24

Yes we played SXSW in 1996. We played an outdoor showcase with a bunch of other Caroline bands. It was our first real show of the Three Sheets to the Wind touring. Previously we had been holed-up in the studio making the Bayonet EP and TSTTW for about a year. To warm up for the evening show we played a disastrous show at Waterloo. The anti-theft device for the store was right next to the stage and was making everyone's tuners go haywire and introducing this very non-musical fuzz into all of the amplifiers. We must have been really pissed about the bad show because we came out screaming at the show that evening. The sound guy did a really weird thing with delay on the whole mix, but the tape from the board is pretty amazing. We played Austin three times that year if I am not mistaken. A great deal of fun was had by all.

austin | from ashleyFeb 28 2001 - 19:34


Have idaho ever played sxsw? This year brings a plethora of fabulous acts...although there are a few gaping holes in the music department...

i know some bands find this festival frustrating.

nonetheless, next time you are back and around austin, play in our record store: waterloo records. i think a good time would be had by all.

ashley 'if it swims, we have it' gillespie

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