Scott Schumaker, of Bright Antenna Records, SXSW Diary: Look at That Foo Fighters Line!
Scott Schumaker, of Bright Antenna Records, SXSW Diary: Look at That Foo Fighters Line!



(Scott Schumaker is managing Jedi for Bright Antenna Records. Tweet him: @brightantenna)

Wednesday 3.16.11

The 16-passenger white van and trailer invasion began last night. It was a noticeable shift. Until 6:00 pm the Austin Conference Center was still full of film fiends and tech talent. QR codes and hash tags were the must-have items. People dressed as the xtra normal characters from the viral iphone4 vs HTC Evo video -- Dogs? Panda bears? Humanoid loris? What are they? -- stood on a street corner for pictures. The panels began at a sleep-crushing 9:30 am. 6th Street, though busy, could still be traversed in almost a straight line.

Check out all of our 2011 South by Southwest coverage here!

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Double Fisting: Scott Schumaker of Bright Antenna goes platinum at this year's SXSW


I've been in Austin since Saturday, relegated to a hotel that seemed closer to San Antonio than Austin after a late decision to attend SxSW Interactive. It's the first year Bright Antenna has sent an advance scout into Interactive's terrain, a decision based on the belief that we need the strongest, most forward-thinking backend to support the front end, ie - our bands.

Today, I'm looking forward to the arrival of back up from Bright Antenna. There are too many damn panels for one person to attend.

Check out all of Billboard.biz's South by Southwest coverage here!


The panels are hit and miss and often have misleading titles. Intriguing, pertinent-sounding titles like "Profiting from Technology: Online, Offline and On Tour" should have had a "101" tagged to the end. Collect emails! Use Facebook analytics! The artist's online presence needs to be authentic! No kidding.

Meanwhile, the mundanely dubbed "Music & Metadata" proved much more lively when a lawyer on the panel more or less asserted copyright should never have been applied to songs in the first place. A verbal smack down ensued.

"Love, Music & API," on the other hand, should have been titled "Learn About Music Hack Day." Music Hack Day, in turn, is really just an edgy tag for a coding event that should be called "Create a Music App in 24-Hours Day." Check out citysounds.fm.

The true value in being here, of course, is networking, which I suck at in general. Still, I forced myself to sit at a table near the main entrance of the conference center and strike up conversations with anyone who sat down, which has proven to be the most useful thing I've done since arriving. A mobile apps girl talked about the ins and out of cross-platform capability (I can't do it but I need to be able to talk to people who can). A venture capitalist from Salt Lake doesn't have any music-specific projects in the pipe, but he'll contact me when he does. And an art designer from New York City who did not have any direct opportunities for Bright Antenna nonetheless provided this entertaining quote, "I don't think I've paid for a drink all week!"

Yep. From the StumbleUpon party to the Gowalla to Zynga fetes, the free booze have been flowing, with a Tito's Vodka/Sweet Leaf tea mix making a big push to be everywhere. And the tech companies aren't fooling around when it comes to music either. The likes of No Age, Matt and Kim, TV on the Radio, Sleigh Bells had badge holders jammed into venues. The Lonely Forest also had lines snaking out the door of the Pure Volume/Syndicate bash. (The Lonely Forest, though not on our label, will also be playing the official SxSW Bright Antenna/ILG showcase Thursday night at Maggie Mae's with Geographer, The Chain Gang of 1974, The Hours, Jimmy Gnecco, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Middle Class Rut.) Capping it all off, Foo Fighters pounced on Stubb's to celebrate the release of their documentary, "Foo Fighters: Back and Forth" (Oh, right. There's that film part of SXSW too).

Today, the number of sexy Tina Fey types and hot Andy Samberg-ish guys (is he hot?) are dwindling. The panels are now starting at 10:30 am. The jeans are getting skinnier; scarves and vintage rock tees look to be self-populating. I'll be skipping most of the panels, but you'll probably be able to find me at a table near the main entrance of the conference center. I'm the one with the white Bright Antenna sticker on my MacBook.

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Part of Tito's Vodka/Sweet Leaf tea mix's big push to be everywhere at SXSW


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A little local color, or perhaps a lot.


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The QR Codes of SXSW Interactive are mostly gone but not forgotten

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