March 17, 2005
The Last Public Execution
SXSW Music offers five Demo Listening sessions where attendees can submit their demos for three industry bigwigs to rip apart in front of an attentive audience of aspiring artists.
Attendees drop CD's in a box at the entrance to the Listening room. CD's are later selected from the box at random, a minute of one track is played, and then the panelists have a short dialogue with the artists and audience about what was wrong with the song. Sometimes they even acknowledge what was right.
The best song played at each session goes off to a final round of listening by a "Jukebox Jury" on Friday. The winner of the Jury gets a week of free promotion on the iTunes website.
I burned a draft of one of my best drum & bass songs onto CD last night and dropped it into the box before walking into the Demo Listening session today. It was the first CD selected at random from the box.
The panelists asked me what I had in mind, told me to put my best track forward, and said to know my audience. It's their job to tear me a new asshole, and it's mine to retaliate with better music.