The North Door
"...Dreams like Wayne's are the bread and butter of musical-instrument manufacturers and retailers, thousands of whom converge on the Austin Convention Center this weekend for the (Inter)National Association of Music Merchants' (NAMM) 2006 Summer Session, a slightly smaller version of the trade show held every January in Anaheim, Calif. But it's a lot more than guitars: More than 500 companies will show off the latest in everything from band instruments to PA systems to stage lighting equipment, hoping to entice the retailers on hand to order their wares..."
"...Scott Robertson, director of marketing and communications for NAMM, attributes the decrease to slower sales throughout the music industry and the increased popularity of NAMM's January session in Anaheim, Calif. "Right now we're taking the pulse of the members to see who wants and needs this show," admits Robertson...."
"...That's right; on Sept. 6, Spider-Man creator Stan Lee chose Crippen – err, the Defuser – as the winner of the Sci Fi Channel's reality show Who Wants to Be a Superhero, earning Crippen the title of the "world's next great superhero." Crippen, a 14-year APD veteran assigned to the department's training academy, beat out nine other contestants on the second season of the reality show hosted by Lee..."
"...Collings banks on the idea that the real benefit of handcrafting is a degree of accuracy and consistency machines can't replicate. Wood for a guitar that'll be made tomorrow most likely showed up at the shop to begin an extensive preparation process nearly a year ago..."
"...• The music industry's shift in emphasis toward the business of touring was reflected in the most-talked-about new products on display at the 2007 Summer NAMM trade show this past weekend at the Austin Convention Center. Notable products at the conference, which featured 340 manufacturers and was expected to generate $14 million for Austin, included Stage Ninja's retractable guitar-cable systems and Musician's Extension Cord, with power sources every five feet and built-in circuit breakers; Voyage-air Guitar's collapsible instruments; and the Timbaland Special Edition MiKo, an all-in-one portable studio produced by Austin's Open Labs...."
"...Maybe even more than Antone's death, the Back Room's demise officially closes the book on the Seventies ideal that placed a higher premium on musical kinship than box-office receipts, back when artists and venues could afford to operate in the red. The new model is Stubb's (site of James Brown's final local performance in May), where a band's first sold-out show is just the first step along the path to a prime spot at the Austin City Limits Music Festival or Lollapalooza, and money pours in all around..."