10 Signs Your Band Won't Make It at SXSW

Being a successful musician really has to be a slice of heaven. And of course the chicks are great.

It's why from the beginning of time, men (and women) have taken up instruments, for the chance that they will be played in front of many, many others, some of whom could possibly want to have sex with them. Oh, and money is a factor, too.

Even guys like Bon Iver get mad tail, and he basically weeps for two hours onstage.

But alas, not everyone will make it in the cruel music biz, that slurring, drunken sea-bitch of an industry.

Here are a few signs that perhaps your band or act won't be leaving SXSW with a handful of licensing and label offers. Time to go back to college, learn 50 cover tunes and find a steady bar gig.

I am crying a single tear for you tonight, tinny, ragtag band playing Godsmack covers somewhere in Clear Lake.

10. You have told the crowd "Hello" three times in 30 minutes. HI! Hello! Yes, we see you! We are happy that you are here, too! Do you want me to e-mail these pictures to your parents at home?

9. No one has Instagram-ed any pictures of your set. If your band plays for an hour and the set is not immortalized on Instagram in a beautiful Hudson, Valencia or Willow filter, then you just wasted a week of your life in Texas. Congrats. Couldn't you have eaten a cigarette or something, like the Foxy Shazam guy?

8. You are still handing out burned discs. What are these? Holographic, mirrored coasters? The only holographic anything I wanna see at SXSW is Hologram Keith Moon playing drums for Dave Grohl. Maybe invest in a stack of download cards that fit easily in a pocket, and not a disc, which does not.

7. You handed ME a flyer. I hate flyers, and they clog up the streets by Saturday night, and homeless people use them as toilet paper and someone has to clean that up, but not you. You are in a van on the way back to Michigan talking about the drunk UT chick you think you almost banged. No flyers, folks. Killing Mother Earth? Is that what you want your Christian prog-metal band's legacy to be?

6. You don't believe in social media at all as a promo tool. You aren't Jandek. You probably need a BandCamp site. And a Twitter. And a Facebook page, and whatever ReverbNation is.

5. You called the sound guy a dick while onstage and treated the venue like servants. Was it hard to get the human feces smell off of your bass guitar; did you just have to buy a new one?

4. You have a really bad official SXSW bio. Remember, less is more...

3. You went to score stepped-on cocaine instead of sound-checking at the venue. Everyone knows standard SX coke is basically BC Powder and table salt.

2. You are from Houston. I keeding.

1. You sound like everyone else. The world at large only needs one Black Lips, one throwback AC/DC ripoff, one Kanye, one Arcade Fire, one No Age, one Gaslight Anthem and one Jack White, and that is it. Sell banal someplace else -- we're all stocked up here. Find a new niche and carve it out with hard work and ingenuity. I mean it about the Black Lips thing.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.