Friday, March 20, 2009

SxSWm - Wednesday

I managed a fairly early start to the first day of the music segment of SxSW. Of course, the most interesting panels are always the first couple of days.


Annoying Things that Bands Do

This was an entertaining panel of Club Owners and Bookers giving their collective horror stories. Nothing surprising here really, and I noticed that the group was predominantly people from the Chicago area. I wish there had been a few Texans on this panel, although I guess there were some universal aspects to what was being said on this panel.

Artist as Entrepreneur

A fantastic panel involving one artist, Rachael Sage (who I had seen at SxSW several years ago), along with Panos Panay (CEO Sonic Bids), Jeff Price (CEO Tunecore), and Derek Sivers (of CD Baby Fame). Jeff and Derek are fountains of information, and seem to really care about their fellow artists. Like Martin's panel later, repeated attendance may be required to catch the gems presented.

Loudness Wars with Bob Ludwig

A very interesting session with legendary Mastering Engineer, Bob Ludwig. This talk worked on several levels, and was very engaging because he spent considerable time A-B'ing mixes off of his laptop. The whole talk got of to a good start when he chose Frank Zappa's, Dumb All Over, the first listening.

This session was also fun because I ran into old friend, Scott Hull. I recorded a 4 song demo project over in Scott's parent's garage in Poughkeepsie, NY in 1985. He's now one of the giants in the NYC Mastering scene. Scott informed me that he had bought Masterdisk this past year.

Martin Atkins

This was essentially a repeat of Martin's talk from last year. Regardless, repetition is needed to fully absorb the jewels that Martin leaves on the table. He is truly a champion for the DIY crowd.



I started out the night at the Copa on Congress. I had never been in this club prior to tonight. It apparently is a Latin, Salsa Dansing club having a fairly large dance floor and a stage big enough to hold an 8 or 9 piece band.

El Tule

A very good local Latin dance band. The dance floor was packed, I'm sure Little Steven would have approved, given what he said during his talk.

Invincible Czars

The Czars were the main reason I went to this venue. Helping to support my good friend, Josh Robbins, from AMF. Their set was good, but the sound suffered because their Keyboard player is out of commission for a while.

Contra Coup

A local Dub band. I listened to the first 3 songs, but was not really that engaged with their material, so I ventured onwards.

Monster Big Band at the Elephant Room

I walked up the street to Austin's main Jazz Club, the Elephant Room. There was a local big band with about 14 members. I was impressed that they managed to fit into such a small space. I enjoyed to a degree, however, my preference has always been for my improvisational, small Jazz combos over Big Bands. There is however, a certain sonic strength to Big Bands that you have to like.

Del Castillo at Antones

I stopped in here to hopefully hear some of the new material from Del Castillo's new album to be released, next month. I believe that I heard two new cuts. As always, they killed. I noticed several people with out of town badges, who appeared to be impressed.

La Zona Rosa

I trekked down to LZR just to see what was going on. Was very disappointed to see button pusher/DJ called Deadmau5. Given the size of some of the temporary venues in town during SxSW, why would you sacrifice a good large stage?

The Tap Room

This was the first time I had ever been in this venue either. There was band named Wild Moccasins from Houston. I listened to one song and wondered how the hell they got accepted for a showcase.

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