Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Day four was by far the busiest day for me. The first official day of music was jam packed with more panel discussions, meetups and conventions. I caught a discussion about how music drives film marketing, and I learned a lot. I learned that movies usually have specific purpose driven trailers, usually in numbers of three. Say for instance, there is an ad campaign for a movie coming up. There will probably be three trailers, and each one showing a bit more than the last. The information was really valuable, and I was happy to attend. I also caught an artist meetup, where I networked with a number of folks who are artists, writers, filmmakers, and people from advertising. I walked so much on this trip, I’m pretty sore right now. All of the venues are spread apart around Austin, and it can be a hike going all around town. I would say that I’m finally getting used to the pandemonium that has been happening on 6th street. Strange how at first it was overwhelming, but now that I’m about to leave; I’ve gotten used to it. I’m going to miss this place with all its crazy shows and crowds of people. It is quite an experience to go somewhere you’ve never been before. Everything is so new, and every street corner is a blank slate. As the night drew on, I wanted to see a few bands and artists. I first caught a rock and roll band from France called Hooka Hey. Their set was punchy, and his vocal style reminded me of Jim Morrison. I was jamming out to their songs I then went to a music venue called Cheer up Charlies, and caught a number of interesting electronic projects. I met A DJ named Thought Tempo, and he was really cool. His set had great visual effects, and great beat variation. He told me that he was from L.A, and that he makes music that; if he was the last person on earth, he would still enjoy. I thought this was pretty interesting. I decided to stay at Cheer Up Charlies, because there were two groups following that caught my attention. I walked around and met people from all around the world, including the U.K. The first band was The Moonlandingz. This group was unique sounding and their stage presence was awesome. Their style was a bit like neo-psychedelic rock. All the way from the U.K, they sounded great. After the set I met the bassist and he also told me about his band members’ side project named Fat White Family. I also caught a set by The Octopus Project, and I was impressed. The group also had a neo-psychedelic rock feel with state of the art visual stage tools. At this point, I was so tired, so I walked back to the hotel for a little rest. Tuesday the 15th was a non-stop day, and I’ll never forget it!
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
As day three started, I was happy to finally get a music badge. The process was fast, and I was on to some sessions. I walked over to a hotel nearby that was holding many meet ups for music; and having worked conventions before, I was happy to find a convention type setting that really fits my vocational direction. The first panel discussion was about protestors in the present age, and comparing the effects of social media with the age of the 1960s. The man consensus I got from it was that social media has made protest movements spread out faster, but possibly die out quicker. This has to do with the seriously far reaching arm of social media in the world, but also the lack of personal connection. The larger media also usually has more of a chance now (as opposed to the 1960s) to distort images of protest to fit their agenda. After this convention I walked around and saw the many events already happening around the hotel. I knew I was to work the CU tradeshow booth later in the day, so I wanted to catch as many events as possible. The next discussion I caught was about the importance of storytelling in the current age. I learned that storytelling is big business for brands today. If one can tell a great story, chances are that that story will easily help sell a product. The speaker talked about advisory ground rules for collaborating with other artists. There was also a portion of the talk directed at how to end a story well, in a way that connects the audience with the main character. After that, I caught a panel discussion about music in television, and film. I learned a lot about how to approach getting into the industry of film scoring and composing for film. More than ever I appreciated that I was in the very same college of arts and media as many other film students. I am excited to get back and try to compose music for as many film projects as I possibly can. I was glad to have learned so much in such a small amount of time. I then worked the CU Denver trade show booth, and continued to meet many people from all around the world. During those three to four hours, I exchanged many business cards and visited other booths that sparked my interest. The South by Southwest trade show convention is a showcase of many of the world’s cutting edge ideas, business startups and people working to make it happen. As the night rolled on, I caught a screening of an animated film by Seth Rogan called “Sausage Party.” The movie was definitely funny. After I saw the movie and laughed, day three came to a close and I walked back to the hotel for a great nights rest. With the music just starting up, I was eager to rest, wakeup the next day and see as many musical artists as possible. Thanks to all the readers, and all who made this possible. There’s no way I could have done this without you!!
Sunday, March 13, 2016
I have arrived here in Austin, Texas for a very busy and chaotic week. I am in a hotel downtown, and there are so many people out there, it is intense! I am honored to be in a place where so many musicians are playing. This blog is about the two sides of Austin that I’ve experienced in the past two days. I landed around 4:00 pm central time on the night of spring daylight savings. This means that not only was I losing one hour of sleep from the time change for mountain to standard time, but I was losing an extra hour from daylight savings. Nonetheless, I still went out and explored the “lay of the land.” Never having experienced Austin, Texas before, I was happy to get a feel for the town itself. On historic 6th street, not only is there a rambunctious downtown area (with hundreds of people in the streets and bar after bar showcasing bands,) there are outskirts that are artful and full of history, and even more bars that showcase underground bands. The east side of 6th street may not be as pretty as downtown, but it sure seems authentic. I currently, as I write this blog, am listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn; a late prolific blues musician that was an Austin local. He was one of the first blues guitarists I ever heard growing up. I can almost guarantee that he walked that very same east side of 6th street. Words can’t express what it meant for me to see where he came from. I walked back to the downtown side of 6th street, but I was happy to have experienced the East side of Austin that holds its history dear. The older buildings and saloons have a distinct cowboy feel, and I realized that I was in the birthplace of the cowboy image that has permeated throughout the entire world. I walked back to the hotel for a short nights rest, and got myself ready for the first trade show day at the Austin Convention Center. I received a wakeup call at 7:30 AM, which as I said before was what felt like 5:30. Regardless, I was excited for the free hotel breakfast and ate as much as I could. After that, I got ready for my first day representing my day at the trade show. As I explored the tradeshow, I saw a booth about Texas born musicians; with their names printed on Texas license plates. I saw Stevie Ray Vaughn’s name, among many other legendary musicians. The booth was taking pictures, so I put on my cowboy hat and took a good photo with a guitar. The trade show experience was a great chance to try to meet possible contacts for my career. I met a good amount of people that could definitely influence my career. There were a whole lot of industry professionals, however, that seemed to have little time for networking. Working at a trade show booth can be daunting; surrounded by professionals in suits that at some times show a true indifference to you. At the same time, I felt that same indifference myself as I explored the booths on my free time. At the end of the day though, I believe that social interaction really boils down to two things: kindness and respect. If you have faith in these principles, it’s only a matter of time before you find someone with whom you can be mutually beneficial to each other. The trade show also featured an impromptu musical set by Lamar Williams Jr., who really sounded great. Everywhere you go in Austin, Texas during the week of South by Southwest, there are dedicated musicians playing. As the trade show experience was over, I couldn’t help but go back to the east side of 6th Street. The art scene and music of this side of town seemed the most underground of all Austin areas. I caught a set at Hotel Vegas by a band named Emily Wolfe. I’m pretty sure that’s the name of the lead singer and guitarist. Her music was all things rock and roll. I have to be honest here; (though gender shouldn’t matter) she is one of the best girl guitarists that I have experienced in my life. She’s definitely breaks the rock and roll gender norms. Girls can rock, and she is proof. She has amazing tone and great use of feedback during her solos. I was happy to be in the right place at the right time to catch Emily Wolfe rock out. I finally took a walk back to my hotel, but not before I tried one of the tastiest Cajun food trucks. Gumbo hit the spot, and as I got back to my hotel; I realized that two days were already gone. I have three days left here, and I am more than ready for them. This town is the place to be tonight, and I’ve never felt more connected to a music scene. It’s a beautiful thing: to find that people still love music enough to have a whole town rocking out at once. Here’s to the whole world from Austin, Texas. Till next time people; this is Soundluver signing off.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Here I am, at gate C26, about an hour early and waiting for my flight to Austin, Texas for the 2016 South by Southwest festival. Time couldn’t seem to go any slower at this moment, and I am growing with anticipation as each minute passes. I really don’t know too much of what to expect from this week. I know that SXSW is one of the biggest festivals of the year for up and coming artists, and I will also be making all my songs on soundcloud available for free download this week (soundcloud.com/tdtrackz.) I am glad to be a part of this amazing trip, and I plan on representing my college well. To be one of only two music students that were chosen to go to SXSW is a major honor that I am deeply grateful for. Words can’t really express how excited I am. I expect there to be so much going on that it will be absolutely impossible to see all the attractions, artists and conventions over the course of the next 5 days. After going over the official schedule and planning my days out, I know for a fact that there is just too much going on to catch everything. There are so many different types of events for all types of music and film lovers, also including business people and entrepreneurs. I aim to further my knowledge on sync licensing for film, blogging about hot new bands that catch my attention, and getting tips on DIY (do it yourself) musicianship. I also plan to experience Austin for the first time, and get a feel for the music culture that it is welcoming this upcoming week. In addition to this, I hope to network with as many people as I can. It is important to add value to other’s lives; and in this way I hope to meet people that will be able to use my music in their branding, projects, and films. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity; especially for someone like me who couldn’t usually be able to afford a trip like this. Business cards are ready, and I’m all packed to go. The only thing left to do is to avoid impulse buying at the airport.