HITS Daily Double
"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"
—-Rodel Delfin


HITS’ Erstwhile A&R Editor Finds Himself in the Midst of Shiner Bock Heaven in Austin

Did you miss me? C’mon now, I’ve only been gone for a couple weeks. I send this dispatch from my lovely room at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. Yes, I’m in early at SXSW to check out the Interactive Conference just prior to the music confab shenanigans that are about to transpire in the next couple days. I was somewhat cherishing the fact that I didn’t have to write anything during my drunken stupor this year, but then I realized, hey, I could use the extra cizash. Then I found out what I was getting—nada… But hey, old habits never die. And just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in! (I always wanted to say that).

I arrived on Sunday to hang with the tech geeks. I attended panels just like a civilian, went to tech parties sponsored by companies like Facebook, imeem and LimeWire, etc… We met up with some old film and technology friends who were attending the Interactive and Film Conferences were running concurrently. We noticed a big divide between the music and technology patrons, reminiscent of the late ’90s dot-com era. We heard differing, yet enlightening, viewpoints about where the music biz is headed as well as different opinions about music revenue models, such as ad-supported downloads.

The Interactive conference is still in its development phase and that’s the sweetness about it. There was no sensory overload of parties and events during the day and night. It felt like the early days of the music conference with registered conference goers making new friends and networking. The night time parties sponsored by the tech companies need some work, but we guess the entertainment factor will be stepped up in the coming years.

Otherwise, the Interactive Conference gets our thumbs up. Kudos as well to South-by Panels Director Andy Flynn for assembling a fantastic list of participants and subjects. As Tuesday rolled around, the Austin Convention Center was already filled with early music attendees. And the action at the Driskill Hotel bar later that night was already swarming with A&R yahoos ordering plenty of drinks (including yours truly). We tried to pace ourselves over the past couple of nights, but the booze kept us going during some of the lackluster tech parties, where the male-to-female ratio was about 5:1. Meanwhile, last night’s schedule already included some unofficial artist showcases. We’ll share more in the coming days, including our run-in with the ghost at the Driskill. That place is definitely haunted. Stay tuned…