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SXSW Music Panel Highlights: Stars and CEOs On The Art and Business Of Music

Sxsw-music-2014SXSW Music 2014 may be as full of people talking as there are making music. Sometimes that's a good thing especially when artists and business people have something insightful to say. Here's a cross-section of interesting quotes from a variety of panels that included the members of Blondie, Melissa Etheridge, Neil Young and multiple startup CEOs.

Blondie's Drummer on Dance Music

Blondie's Clem Burke:

"Dance was as subversive as punk to me. Us doing 'Heart of Glass' was our way of pissing off people in our own circles."

Discovery is a Human Thing

TastemakerX CEO Mark Ruxin:

“People turn people on to music...I don’t think it matters whether it’s a DJ at XMU or David Fricke at Rolling Stone.”

The Value of Music

Thievery Corporation's Eric Hilton:

“People have to be reminded that music is art.”

Lawyer Leslie Frank:

“The fact that we call ‘art’ ‘content’ drives me insane.”

On Licensing Music for Commercials

Melissa Etheridge:

"They [her kids] liked the song [from a commercial], so they took out their (phone), Shazammed it and then bought it...I thought, 'What? Wait a minute.' The middle can be bypassed if I reach the right people."

"Kids don't think using your art in a commercial is a bad thing. It's a good thing ... It can be part of my artistry, too."

Speaking of Pono Music

Neil Young on working with the major labels:

"I know it took us a long time to get this stuff, but in the end they gave it to us. We didn’t have to pay a fortune for this. We talked to them, and they know we are them."

"We’re not a tech company. We’re a music company. That’s a huge difference. We are music. That’s all we’re here for. And we want music to be as good as it can be."

After dodging a question about Pono's take, CEO John Hamm to moderator:

"We can end it."


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is currently relaunching All World Dance. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.