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This year’s gathering stands as a much-needed getaway for numerous label reps. It’s back to the basics for most—several days with a bunch of industry yahoos drinking, schmoozing, gossiping, eating, shopping, doubting, laughing, crying and scouting.

WHEELS & DEALS SPECIAL:
R U READY FOR SOME SOUTH BY?

Ladies and Gentlement, Start Your Bar Tabs.
Let the Ultimate Weaselfest Begin

By Rodel "Tinseltown Celeb" Delfin

South by Southwest ’03 is now in full effect. By now, you’re either be freezing your ass off in NYC, looking forward to a weasel-free show at the Viper Room in L.A. (even the club’s Dayle Gloria is in Austin) or cozying up to a nice martini at the Four Seasons prior to an evening of buzz bands. And, unlike past years—where there was a definite shortlist of acts with a pre-confab buzz—this year’s lengthy list of weasel-worthy talent has thrown the playing field wide-open.

We give an early Big Ups to the talent bookers for maintaining the confab’s status as the one-stop source for up-and-coming artists. This year’s gathering, indeed, stands as a much-needed getaway for numerous label reps. It’s back to the basics for most—several days with a bunch of industry yahoos drinking, schmoozing, gossiping, eating, shopping, doubting, laughing, crying and scouting. So, let those expense accounts rip and, most importantly, have some FUN!

Also, support your cohorts at conference panels: Tomorrow, Roadrunner’s Ron “I’m really the dude who signed NickelbackBurman will moderate “When Should You Sign With  Major?” Scheduled panel members include Epic’s Pete Giberga, Maverick’s Berko, the Gary Gersh label’s Will Langolf and Virgin’s David Wolter. Friday’s “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” panel sees our own Prexy Karen Glauber sharing the dais with Hollywood SVP/GM Abbey Konowitch, Virgin promo exec Jennifer Sperandeo, artists Matthew Sweet and Bleu, MTV’s David Cohn and radio’s Lynn Barstow (KMYZ) and Tim Richards (Q101). Meanwhile, on Saturday, barrister Peter Lewit will moderate “A&R in the Big Picture,” featuring the stellar weasel lineup of Lost Highway’s Frank Callari, Capitol’s Ron Laf-fitte, Warner Bros.Perry Watts-Russell and Epic’s Jim Welch. Watch these players philosophize, take bets on who gets stuck with the most demos and endeavor to answer the proverbial question, “How much do you guys make?”

Some picks: The Break, Electric Eel Shock, Yakuza, VauxGrayson Manor, Code-seven, Open Hand, This Day Forward, Goldspot, The Turn-Ons, Kinski, Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, the Tenants, the Belles, Jet City Fix, Rocking Horse Winner, School for Heroes and Ultrasonic

Wheels Online subscribers can log on for more info. Meanwhile, we apologize in advance for anything we say or do while in a drunken Texas stupor. We’ll give our post-confab report next week—if we make it back in one piece.

Ed. Note: Our pal David Simutis will try his darndest to log daily reports from the scene. Feel free to inform us of any booze-induced typos we may have overlooked.

AN ASTRONOMICAL
HITS LIST
Things are looking up. (5/13a)
IS WEATHERLY RETURNING TO KROQ?
Bingenheimer won't be part of the deal, sources say. (5/13a)
SONG REVENUE:
SPRING FEVER
A cash clash of the titans (5/13a)
SPOTIFY WAVES THE ITALIANO FLAG
He does a touching karaoke rendition of "Volare." (5/13a)
SPIRIT OF LIFE CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF (UPDATE)
Choice of lox, whitefish or baked salmon (5/13a)
SUPERSTAR RELEASES
Who's next?
MUSIC BIZ SPECIAL
It's Comic-Con for numbers geeks.
THE BIG CHEESE
Theories of evolution from 30,000 feet.
THE NEXT GIANT DEAL
A&R in overdrive.
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