Hey! That's My Song

Conference Panel

Hey! That's My Song

Austin Convention Center, Wednesday 13 With only a few scraps of commercial radio not bought and sold by high-dollar independent promoters on behalf of the five major labels, stations to the left of the dial represent the last, best hope for non-affiliated artists seeking airplay. This panel brought together a potluck crew of noncommercial programmers for the purpose of showing artists how to get to them. Moderator John Rosenfelder, AAA/College promotion man for Island/Def Jam, allowed for plenty of questions from artists in the audience. Sifting through hundreds of incoming albums is daunting, but every programmer wants to be the first to break something. "We've all had that great feeling of taking a risk on a new artist and getting a great reaction," said WFUV New York's Rita Houston. "That's the high. That's what we live for." But there's a right way and a wrong way to go about it. First off, gauge reaction to your music beyond your pals. "You're not doing anyone a favor by putting a record on the radio by a band that's not ready," said Sybil Augustine of Madison, Wisc.'s WORT. And you're definitely not doing yourself a favor by being a pain in the arse. "If the music director says no, don't say, 'Why the fuck not?'" said Nic Harcourt of KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif. With a finite amount of resources, arduous research geared toward "matching" your music with the right stations is crucial. But don't think you can save postage by spamming every station with mp3 attachments in an age of viruses. As Augustine gently but succinctly summarized, "Don't waste my time. I don't have a lot of it."

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