SXSW is rapidly fading in the rearview mirror, but this was too good to pass up. Emerald McLaughlin, daughter of Houston Press Publisher Stuart Folb, happened to be down front at Justin Timberlake's not-so-secret appearance last Sunday night at Austin's Coppertank Events Center, which was merely a humble brewpub when we lived there.
Timberlake, whose slick single "Suit & Tie" is currently No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, appeared at an event spornsored by MySpace, the proto-social-network Timberlake is currently trying to resurrect as part-owner. His SXSW appearance, as well as last-week's five-night stand on NBC's Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, served to stir up even more advance buzz for his first album in seven years, The 20/20 Experience, which was released this past Tuesday.
Rolling Stone projects Experience will sell in the 800K range its first week out of the gate, which would make it the biggest-selling debut since Taylor Swift's Red last fall, and still far, far beyond an average debut these days.
As for McLaughlin, who was front and center the whole time, "She loved it," says Folb.