My SXSW Experience: Day 3 (More Sessions and More Bands)

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Joran had been hiding most of the day, catching up on work that our partying had derailed. I met up with him at T McG's crib and from there we planned our evening. After catching a cab with the drum tech and tour manager for Smile Empty Soul, I got the pleasure of catching 3 songs from Little Thief (previously mentioned in Day 1 post). This is a good, fun band from whom I hope to hear more from. Then, we marched over to the Scottish showcase at La Vie Rose and caught The Proclaimers. After a few beers, we kicked into overdrive.

The whole time we were there, Joran and I wanted to make an NPR-style audio recording of the streets of Austin. So we did. From Congress until I-35, we walked E 6th street in 11 minutes, capturing street musicians, dozens of conversations, ambulances and a hodgepodge of randomness. It was the most scientific thing we had done.

After working up a bit of a sweat, we checked out a bunch of cool venues and ended up at the Red Eyed Fly, where we met Little Stevie van Zandt from the E Street Band. He was repping a great looking girl band called The Cocktail Slippers. Quite easy on the eyes. Then it was on to see Esser at Maggie Mae's rooftop, who were recommended by Little Thief. Then, we split and I went to catch Riverboat Gamblers (best punk band I have seen in YEARS) and Dredg. After almost 30 minutes of "dealing with a monitor issue", Dredg took the stage and rocked it. There, I saw Ian Montone again, who remembered me and introduced me to the drummer from Dredg as "the guy I told you about." Not sure if that is good, but I'll take it. Then, I struck up a conversation with Peter Orullian, Senior Global Marketing Manager for Xbox Live, whom I recognized from a panel earlier that day. We had a common love for Dream Theatre and a distaste for all things "too cool and too indie". By 2:30am, I was back on my way to catch the shuttle back to my hotel. While waiting, Joran and I met the drummer for Attack Attack UK, a Welsh band on Rock Ridge Music that will be featured on the next Guitar Hero...

Gnight Weird City.

Friday, March 20: Day 3 of this madness. Yesterday, Joran and I must have walked at least 5 miles trying to catch as many bands as we could, so my calves were a bit sore. Regardless of the bodily pain, today was the best day.

Taking advantage of all the free stuff you could get, I moseyed over to the Natural American Spirit cig table and got 2 free packs of smokes. I don't usually smoke, but today I felt like it. While I was lighting up, I met two French filmmakers, in town to make a documentary for the French Government (so they said). I thought they were cool enough, so I did a quick interview with them.

Afterwards, I went to a panel discussion about how to survive as a musician in the current economic recession. The panel featured big wigs from Sub Pop Records, Jive Records and Atlantic Records. Also, Ian Montone of Monotone Inc was on the panel. He is the manager for bands like The White Stripes, Cold Ward Kids and Dredg.  The discussions themselves were standard: times are tough, the internet killed the biz and everyone has to work hard to make it. The highlight for me was when I offered up an idea for a federated, regional music business model. After my statement/question, Montone and the guy from Atlantic looked at each other and I could read their lips, "That's a good idea." I hope they don't steal it, but oh well. After the panel I met Montone and an old friend of Soulfound's, producer David Eaton.

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