[Dixielandjazz] Musical Spirit in Austin TX was pepper spray 2nd liners.

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Mar 22 16:00:38 PST 2004

I wasn't going to post this because it is not about OKOM. However, then
folks started saying that Austin Texas was not music friendly and the
police pepper sprayed 2nd liners in the streets. Hey, maybe they were
music critics? Doesn't look like any other Rocker's had any problems in
Austin TX, other than that band mentioned in the 2nd to last paragraph.

The below article points out the "rest of the story" around the incident
in Austin. Two members of Ozomatli, a Latin rock band, were arrested
when they led the audience into the streets. The rest of the 7200
musicians in1261 performances over 4 days seemed to love it and have a
great time there. One minor incident seems a small price to pay when you
have that many musos in town.

Not OKOM so be forewarned. However, playing in these guitar based rock
bands can teach you how to get around your axe in all those sharp,
guitar friendly, keys. Blues in E anyone? ;-) VBG

Got to hand it to these musos, they are really into self help to make
the genre profitable. A very different scene.

Steve Barbone

March 22, 2004 - NY Times

Bands From the World Over Come to Sing and Schmooze


       AUSTIN, Tex., March 20 — "Everybody wants to be in the rock
scene," the British pop-rock band Athlete sang wistfully sometime after
midnight on Thursday. No one would have dreamed of denying it here at
the 18th annual South by Southwest Music and Media Conference. From
Wednesday through Saturday about 7,200 musicians and associates swarmed
the convention center in Austin and this city's club-lined streets. They
were trading business cards and visiting showcases where musicians
played audition-length sets from morning to just before dawn.

At a time when sales are dropping and jobs are disappearing at the major
recording companies, South by Southwest testified to the vitality of the
other music business: the nonblockbuster realm of live shows and
independent labels, where careers don't hinge on Top 10 hits.

"There are major companies who are trying to keep their businesses
afloat," said Jay Boberg, president of MCA Records, in one of the
conference's panel discussions. "And there's everybody else. Everybody
else is doing great."

It was possible to spend the entire conference listening to nothing but
country or hip-hop or Latin rock or solo songwriters or punk or Texas
bands. There were also reunions of bands whose reputations had grown
after they broke up, like the 1980's Boston post-punk band Mission of
Burma and the 1970's Memphis pop-rock band Big Star, both now on the
verge of releasing new albums. And there were hardy, nonstop-touring
musicians like the honky-tonk singer Delbert McClinton and the reggae
band Toots and the Maytals.

The conference's keynote was a conversation with Little Richard, the
rock 'n' roll pioneer who is now 70 and still has his falsetto holler.
He said that he was no longer interested in recording albums. "I'm alive
tonight!" he proclaimed.

While few of the 1,261 acts booked to perform during the conference's
four nights of showcases would object to selling a million albums, the
festival's tone was one of modesty and realism as participants shared
advice on how to sustain a career with CD sales in the thousands, not
the millions, and with a full calendar of performances rather then video
shoots. Most bands were more concerned with having gas money to get to
the next show than they were with the major labels' bugaboo, Internet
downloading. Many of them placed free downloadable songs on the
conference's Web site, www.sxsw.com.

The performers included a handful of nationally known bands, among them
N.E.R.D., the rock band led by the hitmaking hip-hop producers the
Neptunes. But most bands performed their unpaid showcases at South by
Southwest simply to reach the next career rung. Fledgling bands were
trying to move from local shows to regional ones or to find a company to
distribute a homemade album; familiar names were reminding club bookers
that they were still ready to work.

Contingents of bands from Australia, Britain, Denmark and Sweden, and
even a traditional-music group from Uzbekistan, Uzbegim Taronasi, hoped
to gain a foothold in the United States. Nearly a third of the acts at
South by Southwest had no recording contracts; more than 60 percent were
on independent labels
or had released albums on their own. "It's not even a fringe," said
Celia Hirschman, managing director for North America of the British
independent label One Little Indian. "The mainstream is do-it-yourself."

In Australia this week's No. 1 album was a do-it-yourself effort:
"Sunrise Over Sea" by the John Butler Trio, which released it
independently on Mr. Butler's label, Jarrah. Mr. Butler, a guitarist and
singer, took his genial love songs and virtuosic blend of Celtic, jazz
and funk vamps to the conference in search of an
American deal.

The conference, like current college-radio playlists, was full of
revivalists: garage-rock from the Von Bondies and the Greenhornes,
elaborate 1960's pop from the Silent League and All Night Radio,
folk-rock from the Thrills and Preston School of Industry, perky new
wave from Los Abandoned, dissonant and
danceable post-punk from Franz Ferdinand.

In an unscientific sampling of bands at South by Southwest,
strategically surging guitars were everywhere. The Sleepy Jackson, from
Perth, Australia, brought eruptions of noise and feedback to songs
steeped in 60's rock. Broken Social Scene, from Toronto, had a
four-guitar front line that brought a triumphant optimism to Kevin
Drew's high, yearning vocals. South San Gabriel, from St. Louis, played
pensive, country-tinged songs that unfurled gorgeously majestic

Clearlake, from Brighton, England, let its guitars lend an ominous power
to terse, troubled love songs. Frank Jordan, a band from Sacramento,
worked its songs into a molten tremolo frenzy. The Reputation charged
through Elizabeth Elmore's feisty power-pop songs. Experimental
Aircraft, from Austin, expanded romantic plaints into echoing, pealing
instrumentals that grew all-encompassing. And the Wrens, from Secaucus,
N.J., carried songs from quiet picked patterns to scrabbling punk

Dynamics and textures like those, which had the South by Southwest
crowds cheering, can't be prefabricated. They are clear indicators that
a band has spent time honing its music in rehearsal and testing it
onstage in club after club, a painstaking process that South by
Southwest nurtures.

There were gentler sounds, too: from Aqualung, a British duo whose
plaintive vocals and rippling arpeggios mesmerized the usually talkative
South by Southwest crowd; from Sufjan Stevens, picking a banjo and
singing with wide-eyed mock innocence; and from Carmen Consoli, an
Italian singer and acoustic guitarist whose volatile songs signaled
passion across the language barrier.

And there were raucous groups that didn't need guitars, like the Dresden
Dolls, a piano-and-drums duo that unleashed Amanda Palmer's gutsy voice
and gallows humor; and Atmosphere, a rapper who seesawed articulately
between self-doubt and righteousness.

Ozomatli, a Latin rock band that often leads its audience dancing into
the street, had two members and their manager arrested early Thursday
when it did so this time.

The Mekons, a British band that started 26 years ago in the punk era,
were living proof that an independent rock spirit can keep rowdy
iconoclasm intact for a generation. At a 1 a.m. set Jon Langford of the
Mekons said his group was the greatest punk band because it was the only
punk band. "All the rest have jobs," he declared, and charged into the
next song.

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