Outside the Box

SXSW panels

Outside the Box

Austin Convention Center, Saturday, March 18

Although lightly attended, this was a panel for record geeks. Yet it wasn't until raconteur Andy Schwartz threw out the idea that the 1990 Robert Johnson box marked a turning point in how both record labels and music consumers thought about such packages that the panel came alive. In fact, although writers Sylvie Simmons and Jaan Uhelszki were the moderators, it was Schwartz, an 11-year veteran at Sony Music, who kept things interesting with facts and questions. James Austin of Rhino Records explained that Germany's Bear Family label manages to release elaborate, megadisc collections of folks like Wynn Stewart and still stay afloat because of a business model that's drastically different from anything found here in the U.S. While a couple questioned the need for artists to have several box sets, Shawn Amos of Shout! Factory spoke about the balancing act reissue labels face. "How do you keep something alive and make it commercially viable?" he asked. He also claimed that there are artists who deserve such collections – mentioning Herb Alpert – yet have no interest in doing one. Austin also revealed that he's working on a box for Gram Parsons with the assistance of Emmylou Harris. In the end, this was just a fun conversation among music freaks that could have gone on for hours and is something SXSW needs to do a lot more often.

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  

Thursday Interview
Thursday Interview

Nina Hernandez, March 20, 2015

Thursday Picks & Sleepers
Thursday Picks & Sleepers
SXSW Thursday handicapping by the blurb

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Austin Music Awards Went Off Without a Hitch in a Show of Communal Strength and Support
Austin Music Awards Went Off Without a Hitch in a Show of Communal Strength and Support
The night everything cancelled in the capitol

Doug Freeman, March 20, 2020

<i>Me & Mr. Cigar</i>
Me & Mr. Cigar
Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes debuts a deeply weird and wonderful young adult novel.

Alyssa Quiles, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

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

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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