At SXSW, with hundreds of bands, singer / songwriters, DJ / producers, playing across the city, I was reminded of why record labels are important. You need them for the curation and aggregation of the music. Otherwise, in a sea of music, there are less avenues to find a good group of similar artists you may like. Last year at the Bandwidth Conference in San Francisco, we heard music industry luminary and Elektra Records founder, Jac Holzman, opine on the importance of labels as curators (watch video here).
I attended many record label showcases at SXSW 2011 that proved this point – including two showcases enabled by Cisco Eos: The Killers Lasers Papers showcase which was hip hop / R&B focused (link to our review), and the primarily indie rock driven Chop Shop Records / Atlantic Records SXSW Party.
If you are reading this post before March 27th and you register at several of the artist sites of the bands who played the Chop Shop / Atlantic showcase including – kittentheband.com, scarson45.com, republictigers.com, thejoyformidable.com – you’ll be entered to win a custom designed Flip MinoHD™. The custom artwork on the Flip reflects the talents of Portugal The Man lead singer, John Gourley, who created the painting for the showcase poster.
I had not heard any of the Chop Shop Records bands before the event, and I was pleasantly surprised once the showcase got going. All the bands put on monster performances. I thought to myself again, “great curation at work”. The showcase started off with Kitten The Band, led by vocalist / guitarist Chloe Chaidez. Chloe was thrashing about during the 5 song set with a powerful voice and a confident stage presence. The music reminded me of early years of The Cure.
When Chloe of Kitten got off stage, I got to talk with her briefly about how she uses social media to connect with fans. The Atlantic Records team kindly let me know she’s only 16 years old. You would need to get up close to the stage to even guess Chloe’s age because she performs so confidently, yet sure enough she’s a soft spoken fresh faced teen when not singing. Each of the bands I talked with during the showcase have a specific social media channel that they like to use as their primary means of communication with fans. Chloe of Kitten’s social media platform of choice to talk to fans is Facebook; I guess like you would expect of a teenage girl. John Gourley of Portugal The Man emphasized he’s all about Twitter. For the U.K.’s Scars on 45, video blogging is the primary way they communicate to fans. In the clip, they talk about the video they shoot and other methods they use to communicate with fans, including via their Cisco Eos powered web site – Scarson45.com.
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