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It seems like this year’s South by Southwest is off to a slow start. Perhaps that’s because the real panels and parties haven’t started yet.

SXSW 2003: WHERE'S THE BAR?

Business is Smaller; Beers are the Same Size
By David Simutis

After sharing a flight with HITS’ resident weasel Rodel Delfin and stepping into the muggy Austin air, it shouldn’t take much to impress, yet it seems like this year’s South by Southwest is off to a slow start. Perhaps that’s because the real panels and parties haven’t started yet.

Yes, the Fueled by Ramen showcase was packed and you had to sneak by the doorman to get into the ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead show, but even the well-attended Instruction showcase seemed to lack energy—from the weasels. Maybe it was premature jet-lag, but I bought more bottles of water than Shiner Bocks. Must be good in the long run.

Today promises Longwave, The Raveonettes, Washington Social Club and Death Cab for Cutie. And some panels that will surely enlighten us on how to save the record biz… as long as we’re all not too hung over.

Highlights/lowlights from the first evening:

  • A canceled B-52s show.
  • EMI Music Publishing’s Dan McCarroll waiting in line for registration while miming flossing.
  • The line at Emo’s for the Jucifer show.
  • Army of Freshmen getting jaded weasels to come to the front of the stage and almost dance.
  • Joe Fleischer refusing beer in favor of water while Instruction wailed behind him.
  • Patrick Park manager Jason Reynolds and barrister Les Watkins hustling to check out Austin’s Recover.
  • The ever-charming Wendy Higgs of Interscope.
  • Website companies claiming they could make bands money.
  • Girlie Action’s Heidi Anne-Noel bragging of her sneaking-in prowess.
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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