I love the SXSW Music Conference. In the last 200 years (okay, 24) I've seen amazingness like George Avakian and Quincy Jones trading Miles Davis tales; Ice Cube, cute as a teddy bear, telling stories about NWA life; and one of the guys in GWAR peeing off the back of the stage.
I've learned interesting things about the industry and watched the discussion grow and change as the model dismantled and put itself back together again with the advent of digital downloads. It's always great to see talent buyers, A&R peeps, managers and the like eager to share their knowledge with artists, peers and up-and-comers in a sincere and unjaded way.
This year you can catch sessions as varied as 50 Years of the Beatles, a profile of the Fab Four, in collaboration with the Grammy Museum, featuring the groovy Robyn Hitchcock; Girls and Tech: Why Young Women Rule in Music, a look at female culture and why women and teen girls are actually buying music; and The Promise Land: Can Africa Save The Music Biz?, a conversation about Africa as the next big music market.
If you're looking for a more personalized experience, Demo Listenings and Mentor Sessions are a swell way to get instant feedback and one-on-one information from industry professionals.
As you can see above, Paul Williams serenaded us all with his song last year, and he was funny, humble and sweet. There are more goodies coming next month and my advices is don't wish you were there, be there!
You can catch more SXSW videostuffs at sxsw.com/video.