SXSW's 2013 Panels: EDM, Nashville and Tony Bennett's Headphones
Since 2010 or so, while I am at SXSW in Austin, I have started to make the panels during the day a priority for my time at the conference. The trick is waking up by 10 a.m. most days.
Photo By Carl Robinson
They are usually filled with industry celebs I can geek out on (like singer-songwriter Paul Williams) and almost always help me with upcoming projects, like the panel I attended about the vinyl record explosion, which led to me writing a whole feature for the Houston Press.
It's always fun to see what is interesting people in the music business enough to submit a panel. One year things like Turntable.fm and Spotify were all the rage; before that it was Twitter and Facebook, and in 2011, I think, there were three panels on Juggalos.
Seeing cardigan-clad rock writers stroke their beards and talk about the significance of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope was a high point in my music-writing career.
Here are some of the panels I'm interested in attending this next week, in no particular listicle order.
615: Why Your Label, Publisher and Agent Have This Area Code
Any dum-dum worth his Google space phone knows that 615 is a Nashville area code and that the brains of the music industry are in Music City, not Austin, New York City or Los Angeles, or even Seattle. Slowly but surely, Nashville is becoming not just a country mecca, but a place for acts looking to be closer to the biz side to relocate to. Robert Ellis now makes his home in Nashville, natch.
Casual Music Fans: Behind the Trend and Proud
You mean to tell me there are people who aren't obsessed with music 30 hours a day and don't live for Pollstar and e-mails from labels and PR people? Weird.
The Explosion of EDM in America
Secrets of EDM Revealed
What Can Rock Learn from EDM?
Are these three EDM panels already behind the times? Maybe. Are there secrets to EDM that need to be uncovered? Snooze. What can rock learn from EDM? Probably a lot, but as long as millennials are lapping up the stuff, it is going to be a dominant part of the music scene, though it will have a short shelf life. Will Skrillex be on classic-EDM radio in 20 years?
Who's Ripping Me Off Now?
Cracker's David Lowery set off an Internet ruckus in 2012 after firing off an angry missive at an NPR intern who admitted to not having paid for the 11,000 tracks in her collection. For this panel, Lowery is joined by East Bay Ray from the Dead Kennedys and Daryl Friedman from The GRAMMY organization as they discuss the trickiness of music on the Web. I don't think Lowery will be performing "Low."
Guiltless Pleasures: Imagining a Post-Snob World
Each year I say I'm going to submit plans for a panel like this and I forget to, like, do all the work, and end up asking too many questions and walking out because someone talks shit about Nickelback, which is soooooo 2007.