Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

POP MUSIC | POP EYE

Texas Twists

March 23, 1997|Chris Reimenschneider, from Austin

If you were looking for tangible evidence of the current slump in record sales, the recent South by Southwest Music and Media Conference in Austin would do the job. Though about 750 acts played the conference--an all-time high--the lineup wasn't as stellar as in past years. And the once-lavish spending of record labels to promote their acts was virtually absent.

In 1996, for instance, Mercury and Virgin paid $15,000 each to showcase their acts, Joan Osborne and Iggy Pop, on the outdoor stage in downtown Austin. Mercury also paid for a catered party in the bar of the four-star Driskill Hotel. This time around, the underground Seattle rock band Supersuckers headlined the same stage one night, and local regular Jimmie Dale Gilmore performed the next. SxSW organizers recruited outside sponsors Dr. Martens and the Celis Brewery to help pay for the shows. And Mercury's party? At a small Mexican restaurant, featuring chips and salsa.

"It's no secret the music industry had a bad year in 1996," says SxSW managing director Roland Swenson. "It affected us. It's affected everything. But that makes the conference all the more important, I think."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|