All the Action From Behind the Tequila Curtain. Oh, and Some Bands Were Good, Too.
CHECKING INTO REHAB: The 2005 South by Southwest Music Conference is done, and your humble roving weasel’s liver couldn’t take another day. It’s safe to say that we’re all feeling a little bit better after spending a few days in Texas with thousands of industry yahoos. The confab proved itself once again to be the premier music festival for showcasing domestic and international talent, as well as serving some of the best BBQ this country has to offer. The European music biz really took over Austin this year. We certainly ran into enough Swedes, Brits and Norwegians to make it seem so, anyway. Some highlights for yours truly: Running into Joe Simpson and discussing the finer points of Ashlee’s album, stumbling over some of the Kaiser Chiefs in my early morning drunken stupor at the Red Bull House and being mistaken for Pedro from Napolean Dynamite yet again. The A&R panel entitled “A&R and Artist Development in a Hit-Driven Business” packed the house, with industry pros Anthony Wilson, Luke Wood, Berko and James Cerreta all preaching the gospel of the DIY ethic for unsigned talent. Tony Wilson, in his usual humorous but straightforward way, emphasized to the audience that the music business has always been hit-driven, and if you’re an act that is not interested in making hit songs, then the major label world is not interested in you... BANDS THE WEASELS WERE WEASELING ABOUT: We Are Scientist kicked off the first night of the confab at the ASCAP showcase. The group had two offers prior to their Austin show, but as the week progressed, other suitors came to the party. This deal will probably be done by the time you read this... The derby for Nashville-based Be Your Own Pet kicked into super high gear, with strong weasel attendance for the band’s two conference performances. Who will close?... Lots of buzz over The Go! Team. The U.K.-based, six-piece, mixed-gender ensemble wowed the crowed with their unique mish-mash of musical styles. They have a completed debut LP, titled Thunder, Lightning, Strike. Has a U.S. label already cut a deal to release the album Stateside?... Talk about taking it to the next level—the Brian Sirgutz/Peter Lewit-repped Classic Case rocked the SESAC showcase at the Co-Op Bar in front of a bevy of label reps... The Jason Reynolds-repped Every Move A Picture continued to please old and new label fans. Looks like the U.K. buzz for the group is now migrating over to the States... BMI’s showcase, featuring Norwegian buzz band Silver had a packed house as the group brought back some rockin’ metal. And judging from various responses, you either loved it or left early... And while lots of weasels left Austin on Saturday, the remaining A&R reps in town checked out Australia’s Wolf Mother and UK band Maximo Park, among others. Other acts garnering rave reviews: Trevor Hall, Boy, Diamond Nights, Mainline, Simon Dawes, Deportees, Dolour, The Frames, Smoosh, Firekills, Murder By Death, Armor For Sleep, Open Hand, Army of Me, University, Delegate, Upwelling, America Is Waiting, Benzos, Biffy ClyroBUZZIN’: Bamboozle... Hit me up: [email protected]


Sat., April 2, 9 p.m., House of Blues, Chicago, IL

Sat., April 2, time TBD, Gotham Hall, Ft. Myers, FL

Mon., April 4, 8 p.m., Sin-e, NYC