News from 3/2007

Sat, MAR 17, 2007 at 6:43 PM

SXSW Interactive: Part 1


I’ve spent several hours sifting through my notes, photos, and pickled memories of this years’ conference, trying to distill them into a few (somewhat) coherent posts and I’m beginning to realize that I’m a bit overwhelmed. For those of us involved in both the music and interactive side of things (which, at this point, should be everyone involved with music, but that’s another rant ) south by southwest is nothing if not really, really long. I arrived in Austin on a Thursday night and didn’t get home ’til late the following Friday. And there were still 2 days of music left that I skipped out on.

Since I spent so much time there this year (and since my note taking got less and less diligent as the week wore on), I’m just going to post a mish-mash of semi-chronological, semi-thematic notes. I hope that they make some sense to someone, somewhere.

A few short observations from the first few days of Interactive:

  • Interactive keeps growing and growing — while it wasn’t too big this year, it was definitely straining a bit under its size. Wifi in the convention center was a challenge and some of the talks were in strange, faraway corners of the convention center.
  • The conference still manages to attract really smart and fun people, in any case. The pleasure of getting to meet so many of them definitely outweighed any and all of the hassles.
  • I didn’t really have any trouble getting in to Las Manitas, so maybe all those people weren’t quite as smart as I thought. (My delicious vegetarian tamal is featured above…)
  • Speaking of delicious: SXSW ripped off the This Delicious cover in their marketing materials!
  • Maybe I just got lucky with the talks that I chose (or I’m old?) but the business track seemed better to me than the technical talks this year.
  • Under the pretense “automating admissions and preventing counterfeiting” they had RFID chips in the wristbands and badges this year. Creepy.
  • Bruce Sterling’s rant was great.

More later.

Posted by Harry Dean Hudson

FRI, MAR 16, 2007 at 8:24 AM

Attention Art Bitches: Here’s Your Chance to Make a CSS Video


The ingenious people behind QOOB in Italy are currently running a CSS video contest, for the song “Alcohol,” from their international smash-hit-like record Cansei de Ser Sexy! The basic deal is, prospective directors go to the QOOB site, download green-screen footage of the band shucking and jiving and carrying on, and edit that together with the song (also available for download on the QOOB site) and whatever background imagery they’d like. CSS will watch all of the entries, pick their favorite (or least disliked) and to the winner goes the spoils! In this case, the spoils are the not-at-all-insubstantial sum of 2,000 euros (to say nothing of the far more ephemeral, though un-freakin-deniable, fame that might accompany such a victory!).

All of the necessary material, instructions, etc. are provided here. And, the text of the QOOB press release follows…

CSS are the most innovative and overwhelming Brasilian band to be spotted on screen, one of the musical revelations of 2006. For their new video, “Alcohol”, they’re addressing the QOOB online community to come up with a groundbreaking promo and in order to do this, QOOB is giving its users access to an all new means of production.

All wannabe directors of QOOB will be able to use footage of the band shot in greenscreen (downloadable at this URL: CSS members have been filmed by a QOOB team on a green set, which allows users-directors to replace the background with those images that most fit with their creative impulse. It won’t be just another user generated video, then, but it will also give the chance to manipulate the image of the band by placing the members in any kind of context, situation, landscape.

All entries will have to be submitted by 15 April. The winning video, chosen by CSS themselves, will be awarded with a prize of 2,000 euros, kindly put at stake by Sub Pop Records and Audioglobe Italia

After similar successful partnerships with German dj and producer Ellen Allien & Apparat, Italian indie-gods Giardini di MirĂ² and British electronic outfit Four Tet, QOOB takes one step further, proving to be at the cutting-edge of truly innovative user-generated videomaking.

And the imagination on the net goes on.

If you have questions on any of this please email QOOB, not us!

The deadline for submissions is April 15th, 2007.

Posted by Chris Jacobs

TUE, MAR 27, 2007 at 5:55 AM

Dntel Remix Contest!

Dear the people who know how to make remixes that are not unbearably shitty:

Have we got a deal for you!

Starting right now, and running until May 29th, 2007, we are having a Dntel remix contest. The idea here is pretty simple and goes something like this:

  1. You download the vocal track for the song Dumb Luck from Dntel’s forthcoming, really-pretty-terrific -if-we-do-say-so-ourselves album Dumb Luck right here
  2. You remix it.
  3. You send it to us. To do so, you can email an MP3 or AAC to, so long as the attached file is 8Mb or less and you write “Dntel Remix Contest!” in the subject line.
    Or, you can mail your remix to us on a cd-r at this address:
    Sub Pop Records
    Dntel Remix Contest!
    2013 4th Ave., 3rd Floor
    Seattle, WA 98121
  4. We pick which one we like the best.

We’ll give the winner not only the not-insignificant-though -not-necessarily-life-changing-we’ll-grant-you sum of $500 but also include the track on an upcoming Dntel remix release! Minor fame and even more minor fortune await!

There are some rules, and so far the ones that we can think of are these:

  • Sub Pop owns all submissions.
  • All entrants are allowed to make cd-rs, download and stream their remixes wherever they want (no other uses), so long as they’re given away for free, without any charge, and licensed under Creative Commons. We can do the same.
  • We will, however, solely own and control all rights to the winning entry. We can use and sell it in any way we like (including the Dntel remix release) without payment other than the $500 paid to the winner.

It’s worth mentioning that the use of uncleared samples in your remix would pretty much disqualify you from winning.

Also evidently worth mentioning: the BPM for the song is 110.5.

Posted by Chris Jacobs

TUE, MAR 27, 2007 at 9:27 AM

Shins on mtvU’s “Campus Invasion Music Festival ‘07”


The Shins, The Rapture, and a whole bunch of other bands are going to be playing the Austin, TX stop of the mtvU Campus Invasion Music Festival ’07! And (!), the whole shebang, shindig, clambake, or whatever you want to call it (though, we’re betting “lollapalooza” is out of the question) is designed to generate awareness of the ongoing genocide in Darfur and funding to help end the bloodshed in the region. The folks behind this festival have partnered up with the Save Darfur Coalition – check their site out for more info.

The show is April 22nd at The Backyard in Austin. And, tickets go on sale Saturday, March 31 at 10am (through Ticketmaster).

You can read the full mtvU press release on the festival here.

Posted by Chris Jacobs

Sat, MAR 24, 2007 at 3:57 AM

Sweatshirts are finally here just in time for spring


We’ve been talking about making these sweatshirts for about as long as I’ve been working at Sub Pop and now they are finally a living, breathing (not really) reality and I am so excited I could crap myself. Without further ado—I give you the SUB POP SWEATSHIRT, available in sizes small through extra large in zip-up or pull-over.

Posted by Lacey Swain