SXSW In The Daylight- Friday

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Friday of SXSW, two days behind us and two days to go.  My feet hurt, but the SXSW music conference and festival are great.  We have met so many wonderful people.  We feel like One21music is starting to gain momentum.  Traffic is climbing, thank you. People in the music industry will leave Austin, with our business cards and fans will leave with our great stickers.

compressed-sticker

We started our SXSW day with an interview of Rootbeer, the LA hip hop duo of Pigeon John (see our artist profile on Pigeon John) and Flynn Adam.  For those of you who don’t know these guys, they were part of one of the seminal Christian hip hop groups, LA Symphony, in the late 90′s.  We will have the interview up soon but I want to share a couple of thoughts.  First, these guys are just nice people.  They were polite, outgoing and thoughtful.  I work the video while Ian interviews, so I get to watch.  It was fun to see these guys flow with the sounds of the street, always moving in small subtle ways and then breaking out in joy when they hear a really great beat.

After the interview, I went totally unprofessional and thanked them for their 10 years of artistry.  I told them that their music had a profound impact on our family.  They brought a lot of fun into our house while helping my sons grow in their faith.

We then rushed back to B.D. Riley’s Pub to catch Lisa Hannigan weave her Irish magic, but alas, we were too late to get into the Pub. We saw the last two songs standing on the street and then convinced  Lisa’s drummer to give us a copy of Lisa’s handwritten set list.  Very cool.

We dashed the opposite end of 6th Street to catch the Rootbeer show at The Troubador.  More on those guys in a minute.  Rootbeer was playing the “To Write Love on Her Arms” party and, once again, our mission to cover Christian music at SXSW led us discover a wonderful new happening in the Christian world.

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This is a suicide prevention organization ( read about the vision of To Write Love on Her Arm) that has been embraced by the Christian music industry.  I am going to write a full article in a few weeks.  I met Chris Youngblood of TWLOHA who explained the movement to me.  TWLOHA is dedicated to sharing love in the fog of addiction, depression, self-injury and suicide.  The movement was embraced early by Jon Foreman of Switchfoot and Fiction Family (see our profile of Fiction Family) and has rapidly grown into widely respected mission.

We went over to a book signing with Tom Moore, who wrote the great book 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die ( the gospel artists on 1000 Recordings and the Chrisitian artists profiled on 1000 Recordings).  I told Tom how much we enjoyed the book, asked how he put it together and discussed some of the music in the book.

Like Pigeon John and Flynn Adam, I told Tom thank you for creating something that enriched our lives.  No matter, how “famous” or successful someone has become, it is always nice to hear “thank you” and “I enjoy what you do”.  Never be hesitant to tell the most famous person you see or the humble grocery cashier “thank you, you made my life better”.

To end the day we walked over to the Asthmatic Kitty party in far east Austin.  After about a 10 block walk we stepped into the back yard of Okay Mountain gallery and enjoyed the free pizza (shared nicely, only took one piece) and cool shade of the oak trees.  We heard Dent May & His Magnificent Ukelele’s rousing folk music.  He was followed by DM Smith who performed a beautiful set of quiet, but intense, back woods music.  The afternoon ended with Bosque Brown (see our profile on Bosque Brown).  They performed their minimalist, soul, gothic gospel as the sun faded behind the rooftops and the breeze turned cool.  Very nice.

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I think I may have upset the band when I asked for an interview.  When I explained that One21music covers underground Christian music, the drummer quickly informed me that they do not make Christian Music.  He politely explained that they are Christians who make music.  I don’t know that they will agree to an interview, but we will see.

Their reaction caused me to think about what we do and I think we need to find a way to convey these two points more clearly:

  • More than Christian music, we cover “Christians who make music”.  We do want artists whose faith drives their music.  Can any serious Believer truly separate their faith form their work,  especially work as personal as music?
  • Our goal is to expand the definition of Christian music rather than try to force artists into today’s definition of Christian music.

So that is all for today.  The sun is going dark and the music is rocking.  We will give you all of the SXSW low down tonight, or really in the morning.

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