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The official Space City Rock Blog, featuring news on local Houston musical happenings and occurances, random venting about various things, and fervent ravings on the wonders of music, art, film, and anything else.
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H-Town Takes A-Town (Pt. 1): Bandcamp Preps You for SXSW (Show Up Today!) [3/01/2009 10:39:00 AM]:
Attention all band folk -- want to play South By Southwest this year, but you didn't get the coveted nod from the festival organizers? Well, don't get too down on yourself, 'cause relatively few (23 in total, I'm told; see the full list here) of your H-town compatriots are; not sure if that means fewer Houstonians put themselves in to the hat to play or if SXSW has reverted to its seeming anti-Houston bias from before the last few years. It's a damn shame, either way, because I honestly think there are more fucking incredible bands playing 'round town right now than any time since I first made this place my home 18(!) years or so ago.

But y'know what? Fuck 'em. One thing that defines Houston's scene more than anything else, to my mind, is its unwillingness to just shrug and take what it's given. If bands, labels, zines, and whatever else in this town don't get invited to the party, so to speak, they give 'em the finger and make their own.

So, with that in mind, it makes perfect sense that there're a bunch of SXSW Houston-centric showcases being set up right now for the Austin musical love-fest. I'll get to the others in a later post, but first and foremost (and most critically, the good people behind the Bandcamp series of workshops is busily booking three free daytime parties to showcase H-town talent -- two for music, I believe, and one for Houston filmmakers & tech folk.

They're giving any and all Houston-based bands to play at their parties, which is very cool, but there's a catch (albeit a relatively painless one): if you want to play, you have to show up to the Bandcamp: SXSW PREP workshop going on today, Sun., March 1st, from 1-3PM over at the Caroline Collective (4820 Caroline). This session of BC will focus on getting bands prepped for playing SXSW by creating a real-live press kit to promote themselves to all the hungry label- and media-type people who'll be meandering around Austin later this month.

And trust me, this is a good thing -- as I've ranted about before, there's nothing more frustrating to me as a writer about things musical to not be able to easily find info on a band or musician I'm interested in. The harder you make it to find out about yourself, folks -- who's in the band, your band's history, what you sound like, where you're headed next, etc. -- the more likely it is that press and record label folks won't bother, no matter how mind-blowingly awesome you might be.

Success in this business is one part talent, three parts hard-ass work marketing and playing out, and two parts pure blind luck. By promoting yourself well, you can tilt the odds in your favor considerably, and the Bandcamp crew is willing and able to help you with that. Take them up on it. And again, if you want to play any of the day parties, you have to get your ass on up to Midtown this afternoon. The Bandcamp folks will be selecting bands to play from the attendees...

(Oh, and if you'd be up for helping out with the press kits -- whether you're a writer, graphic designer, web developer, or whatnot -- please, please, please get on up there, too, and donate a few hours of your time, eh? It's for a darn good cause.)

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