Thursday, August 27, 2009

SXSW 2010 Panel: What Borders? International Music in the Modern World

Vote for my PanelPicker Idea!

SXSW has added a voting component to the selection process for panels at next year's music conference. We have proposed a panel for the 2010 SXSW music conference entitled "What Borders? International Music in the Modern World". Please take a look at our description, register with the SXSW site, and vote for our panel. Voting counts for 30% of the selection process, so vote early and vote often!

Confirmed panelists:
Maryelizabeth Carter, The Underground Management
Matthew Covey, Tamizdat
Dave Dart, Dart Music International
Alan Holt, New Zealand Music Commission
Alan Mackey, New Direction Music
Derek Woodgate, The Futures Lab, Plutopia, and Dart Music International

Description: Rock & Roll has become the common language for young people across the globe. Panelists explore how touring, festivals, nonprofit organizations, and the internet are used to overcome borders to make rock music the market place of intercultural exchange for students, young professionals, and working class people the world over.

We will address the following questions:
1. What kinds of unique issues do artists face when touring outside their home countries (logistics, visas, day-to-day costs, etc)?
2. Are specialized work visas always required for all performances outside one's home country?
3. To what degree should bands be involved with international issues-based benefit performances?
4. What is the right "mix" of international festival performances, international benefits, and non-festival touring?
5. How much time is adequate to plan a tour to the US from other countries? What about multi-national touring (Europe, Latin America, etc.)?
6. How much should a band emphasize the socio-political impact of their "foreignness" versus their artistic ability when touring the US or other countries?
7. Given current demographic trends in the US and other parts of the world (as well as international superstardom for polyglot artists like Manu Chao), are we likely to see greater mainstream acceptance of languages other than English in rock/pop music?
8. What are the realistic expectations of a band's return on investment for an international tour/appearance (direct income, exposure, new sponsors, building new fan bases, etc.)?
9. What emerging technological resources - social media, virtual touring, video performances, online concerts, etc - should bands use to enhance their international presence?
10. While festivals like SXSW include lesser known international artists, what other resources exist to help up-and-coming artists reach international markets?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Little League World Series Rocks

Jacob Ramos
International sports events are cultural activities that whose importance is often overlooked. Most people think of sports as nothing more than entertainment, but large-scale international tournaments take on a role much greater than mere diversion. The Little League World Series, airing right now on ESPN, is the perfect example of this. The annual LLWS is such a great celebration of the goodwill and promotion of international cultures. Baseball is one of the great exports of US culture that has taken root around the world. This year has a local connection for DMI. Jacob "The Rocket" Ramos, nephew of our friend Christy Gray, is one of the players on the LLWS team from San Antonio. They won their first game Friday and play again today at 3:00pm EST.

Besides the great coincidence of sharing a name with one of our interns, the team's second baseman Kyle Pollard is posting a blog during the week on the WOAI website.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Woody Allen to play Austin

In a rare appearance outside their standing gig every Monday night at Manhattan's Carlyle Hotel, Woody Allen and his New Orleans Jazz Band take the stage for a once-in-a-lifetime performance. As a musician, he innovatively plays the clarinet and replicates to perfection the sounds of jazz from its origins, supported by an encyclopedic musical knowledge that is evident in the colors of his identifiable musical selections. A can't miss evening at the Paramount Theatre on December 28, 2009.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Croatian band Kries mixes the traditional with 'ethno-rock' (and bagpipes)

Eastern European music has been making a starring role in Western pop in recent years. Take Beirut, or Gogol Bordello and to an extent Arcade FIre. But if you want the real thing, we might suggest the Croatian band Kries. The band draws from traditional Croatian music, an merges it with dark rock elements and, on their latest album, bagpipes and the fiddle work of the always eclectic Martin Swan.

Kries recently performed at Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival (August 14-16.)

The band has a new album and has also been working on film music a lot. They have also been working on music for theatre for Croatian director Rene Medvesek's new play.

Andor Vegh joined the band after their first CD 'Ivo i Mara'. Along with leader Mojmir Novakovic, Andor is a big fan of the diple, gahde, dude (different types of bagpipes in Croatia). Croatian wind instruments especially the 'bagpipes" are part of old Mediterranean tradition.

Spring is in the air...

Even though it's 100 degrees outside, Spring-time is dominating at the DMI office. We're planning for the Spring 2010 festival and touring season now. The visa application and planning processes take several months for each international band, so we begin work 6 months ahead of expected arrival dates. Right now we are working on plans for two great Chilean bands, Intimate Stranger and the Ganjas. We're also talking with several other bands from all over the world and will have more information out about them soon.

The biggest attraction for international bands during the spring is the South by Southwest festival in Austin. Each year they provide the opportunity for hundreds of international bands to gain exposure with the world's music industry and media. This year I have proposed a panel, What Borders? International Music in the Modern World that addresses many of the questions concerning international artists. Please click on that title to read more about it and cast your vote to have it accepted as an official SXSW panel.

This is also the time of year when we can really use donations to help us with our programs through the spring. For perspective, an international band that comes here to the US for a month-long tour without our help can spend nearly $1,000 per day with all the costs of visas, transportation, logistics, and everything else. With your support we are able to dramatically reduce that cost. Any contribution helps! Please see our Support Page for a link to the Network for Good credit card donation page (where you can make a monthly contribution) and other avenues for support.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Tornado Roosters: German Rockabilly

I just got off Skype a few minutes ago with AJ, the leader of the German Roackabilly band The Tornado Roosters. It turns out they are not only a really good, fun band, but they are also really cool guys. They live in and around Giessen, Germany, which is very near the little village of Pohlheim GrĂ¼ningen, where I lived for four years.

Dart Music International is going to help them come to Texas next summer for a small tour starting on July 4th. There will be more information posted soon. Until then, they promise to torture me with thoughts of cold Licher Bier (which I can't get in the US) and temperatures below 100 degrees. Prost!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

July Happy Hour

The July Happy Hour benefiting Dart Music International was at Mother Egan's Irish Pub on July 27. For those you that missed out, here are a few photos from the event.

One of many volunteers, Lauren

The DJs

Dart Drawing

The Prizes

Cool Merchandise

The crowd

Oh, and it was Dave Dart's birthday...

Thanks to everyone for a great turn out. It was a fun evening!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Zero Point Five video from We Should Be Dead

I just recently came across the video for Zero Point Five again. It really shows off the playful side of the band. Can't wait to have them here for our Meet & Greet and Benefit Show at Scoot Inn next Friday. Sadly, Gary has decided to leave the band and I'm bummed that he won't be able to come with the band this week. You can read a bit more about it on the WSBD Myspace blog. I'm looking forward to meeting the new bass player when the band arrives this week.

Voodoo Cowboy is bringing them in for their big party on Saturday, and they are graciously lending a ton of support for WSBD while they're here, including a lot of help for Dart Music International's Meet & Greet at our office and the benefit show at Scoot Inn with Black Panda and DJ's Alan B & Freddie E on Friday.