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Anyone have any idea what’s going on?

Just a couple of years ago, weren’t we all clamoring for badges to South by Southwest? Lots of Fort Worth homeboys and -girls were playing sanctioned showcases, and we wanted to be there to luxuriate first-hand in all the credit the world owed us, the world owed me, specifically, for spreading the Fort Worth music gospel at least twice a week every month of every year since 2002. (You’re welcome.) I didn’t go. Something to do with being a “responsible father!” and “not getting another DUI!” and whatnot. (Whatevs, wifey wife.) (Just kidding!) But I was real sore about it, and I’m even sorer about it now that everything’s changed.

The Fort Worth bands that played back then and earlier –– Pinkish Black, Burning Hotels, Quaker City Night Hawks, War Party, and The Cush are ones I can remember off the top of my head — had earned their invitations by working the biz angle hard (good clips included, natch), performing often enough, here and beyond, and, best of all, pumping out quality tuneage. Now, with the exception of The Unlikely Candidates, none of the Fort Worth artists selected to play sanctioned gigs this year — Doug Funnie, Go Yayo, Melissa Polinar, DJ She Real, and, yes, Complete — is what you’d call a genuine Fort Worth product. Though Doug Funnie is identified as from Fort Worth, he claims Dallas in his bio. Go Yayo is a teenage YouTube sensation (his most recent video has more than 80,000 views), just like Polinar, who lives in Los Angeles. DJ She Real is a DJ, so she doesn’t count — nothing against DJs, but Fort Worth doesn’t have any EDM or pure hip-hop clubs. At least that I know of. And Complete. Don’t get me started. As much as I love them for the outré stars that they are, they have no business representing Fort Worth at this international platform for emerging artists. I should say, “… this alleged platform for emerging artists.” I can’t remember the last time a local band from anywhere was plucked from obscurity and offered a big, fat recording contract by a major label. Had to have been Fastball, circa 2003.

I wonder, do premier Fort Worth acts like Bulls, Siberian Traps, The Hendersons, Vodeo, Steve Gnash, Mean Motor Scooter, Duell, Bitch Bricks, FOGG, Joe Gorgeous, Starbass Laboratories, Movie the Band, Heater, and Dead Vinyl feel somewhat slighted that a spot that could have gone to them is instead going to a novelty band? Specifically, that that 7pm Saturday slot at BD Riley’s is going to Complete? And it will be the ninth eighth sanctioned showcase over the past 10 years for frontman Curt Low and the boys. I guess at some point in 2006, someone from Fort Worth pissed off SXSW’s president, and booking Complete every year is his way of flipping us off. #smallminds

Also on Saturday, Doug Funnie is playing at 8:25pm at Karma Lounge, while at 11:30pm DJ She Real will spin at Bungalow.

On Thursday, The Unlikely Candidates are playing at 11pm at Javelina and Polinar at midnight at Lamberts. Go Yayo has already performed.

Feel like sitting out SXSW this year? I don’t blame ya.

Editor’s note: This version has been corrected from print to reflect the proper number of times Complete has played a sanctioned showcase at South by Southwest. Its eight, not nine, though by next year, nine will be correct.

 

4 COMMENTS

    • That’s good news, Cam. Sorry, I was working from the list published on SXSW.com. Either your name isn’t on there, or I overlooked it. In any case, my bad. Break a leg.

  1. I think not as many bands are actually applying. My 3 bands did not apply. We have watched local and other bands get asked to play without applying when we have paid the outrageous fees to just apply. Understandable if you are Neil Young or Prince. The application process seems to be a bit of a scam. My two cents

    • Thanks, Jennifer. I’ve heard similar stories. Good luck getting info from SXSW, though. For an organization whose bosses claim to be hip and underground, they are the least transparent of any I’ve ever dealt with. I’ve been trying for years to get them to provide me with some very basic information — how many Fort Worth bands applied this year? who is in charge of the selection process? why is Complete given a sanctioned showcase every year? — and have never even been afforded the common courtesy of a “Fuck off.” Someday soon, though, some whistleblower is going to come forward. And I’ll be waiting.

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