Ballroom Dancing

SXSW panels

Ballroom Dancing
Photo By Gary Miller

When Indies Attack!

Austin Convention Center, Thursday, March 16

"I dream of being pirated," Cooking Vinyl managing director Martin Goldschmidt half jests. "Being pirated would mean I have a successful record." It's old hat by now: Labels are threatened by technology, but the argument has transformed from "How do we stop this?" to "How do we make this work in our favor?" Music lovers have gone from having 100 CDs to having 10,000 songs on their iPods and hard drives, so why isn't there a new business model? "Music has always been used as a vehicle for selling things," Sub Pop CEO Jonathan Poneman suggests. His label, like many others of the same stature, has become synonymous with quality, a key when it comes to winning customers. "I'm doing this because I love music," he says. It's common knowledge that indie labels aren't in it for the money, but even when faced with a huge band – as Barsuk owner Josh Rosenfeld learned from Death Cab for Cutie – the indies always come in second. As the demise of the major label continues, indie labels increase in both clout and prosperity. Until a new business model comes along where both Bar/None president Glenn Morrow and Apple CEO Steve Jobs receive fatter wallets, the indies will continue doing it for the love of music. "So please, everybody," Rosenfeld pleads, "stop signing terrible bands."

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

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
Friday Picks & Sleepers
Friday Picks & Sleepers
Obvious Picks and loads of not-so-obvious Sleepers!

March 20, 2015

Thursday Showcases
Thursday Showcases
International hip-hop, or domestic, Modern Outsider sounds?

March 20, 2015

More by Darcie Stevens
Phases & Stages
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
It's Blitz! (Record Review)

April 3, 2009

Spotlight: The Wooden Birds
Spotlight: The Wooden Birds
9pm, the Parish

March 20, 2009

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