Managers as Adversaries

Conference Panel

Managers as Adversaries

Austin Convention Center, Friday 15 Nobody said the manager had it easy. After all, they have to ride herd on temperamental bands, deal with bottom-line record company types, mind the business aspect of things, and God knows what else. Panelist Jack Emerson, in particular, knows of what he speaks. He put in time as a member of Jason & the Scorchers, produced, managed acts like John Hiatt and the Georgia Satellites, then wound up as a partner in Steve Earle's E-Squared/Artemis label. With album sales off across the board and the industry in a state of transition, labels are even cagier about what they look for in a band. Hence, the manager's balancing act becomes tougher, between watching out for the band's interests and meeting the label's expectations. In line with the changes in the industry, many management companies are consolidating into outfits like the Firm, which represents mainstream acts ranging from Limp Bizkit to the Dixie Chicks. Sometimes, the only thing is to make a break for it; Earle split from Warner's when the label refused to release The Mountain, Earle's bluegrass effort with Del McCoury. Much of the discussion centered on a manager's need to make contacts at the label and to understand the inner workings of the company. Nods were given, though, to the DIY ethic that still prevails with many unsigned or indie bands. Unfortunately, the panelists present seemed to be mainly versed in dealing with bigger acts and major labels. A brief discussion on how all this translates for bands and managers several rungs down on the food chain would have been welcome, especially since that's where most SXSW acts find themselves.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Grupo Fantasma
American Music Vol. VII (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, April 19, 2019

Texas Platters
Daniel Francis Doyle & the Dreams
Unrecognizable (Record Review)

Kevin Curtin, April 19, 2019

More by Jerry Renshaw
SXSW Live Shots
Export Sweden Showcase

March 19, 2004

SXSW Live Shots
Amsterdam Calling

March 19, 2004

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle