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Bram highlights SX17 moments | IHM charting artist spotlight

Posted By : IHM, Posted On : March 22, 2017

Bram highlights moments from SXSW 2017Featured Panelists Kevin Breuner, Bram Bessoff, Vanessa Ferrer and Kristin Wesctott-Grant

IHM’s founder & president, Bram Bessoff, spent the week in Austin supporting ATL artists, moderating an official SXSW panel and meeting up with the industry’s leading pros & artists. Here’s some of the highlights from his adventures at SXSW 2017.

3/13 – Day one: ChooseATL House Disrupts SX17

Ludacris featured at ChooseATL House SXSW 2017

My week started with a quick exit from AUS airport to get to the #ChooseATL house in time for brunch and a much needed first SX bloody mary. With no time to check-in and luggage in hand, I arrived when Ludacris took the stage for an in-depth interview with ChooseATL Executive Director Kate Atwood.

The day was followed by insightful panels and ended with a fully catered party open to the public featuring a DJ set by Atlanta’s own Jermaine Dupree. ChooseATL had a mission to disrupt SXSW. See it in action, watch the video above featuring Atlanta artist Kick The Robot.

3/14 – Day Two: Off-site Eats & Chicken Ranch Showcase

Fonda San Miguel is Austin's secret spot for elevated Mexican food

When at SX, take a moment to get off the beaten path as there are many incredible places to eat like this gem, Fonda San Miguel. Try the Torre De Botanas appetizer tower for an elevated taste of mexican! We quickly split to catch Athens, GA favs, Five Eight headline the Chicken Ranch Records Showcase with their perfect blend of Southern punk rock.

3/15 – Day Three: Official SX Panel & Sleigh Bells Destroy Bangers

SXSW 2017 Direct to fan engagement panel and merch gallery

Early to bed, early to rise. Our panel, The Power of Direct to Fan Engagement, was packed with artists, managers, labels and industry service providers. Panel topics included using data to find your fans, tools to build your audience, and conecting with fans both online and onstage. The hour rounded out with discussing how merch can be used to drive revenues, engage fans and sell more music. Attendees presented their best merch items and browsed the gallery of samples collected from touring artists across the country. Download the panel tip sheet here for more insights from the panel.

Badges of SXSW 2017

Some of the best sound at SX is at the day tents between the Hilton and Austin Convention Center. Badge holders should be sure to stop by for one of the many day parties usually hosted by cities across the globe featuring their best artists. We caught fantastic sounding showcases from Memphis artist Marcella & Her Lovers and the entire roster from the always satisfying Canadian Blast BBQ.

Sleigh Bells kill SXSW 2017

Later that evening, after catching a few lack luster showcases and bad sound, I was in search of something great. I took off for Rainey Street, Sleigh Bells was slotted to headline Bangers. Needing a cab, I throw my arm up and next thing I now a passenger van pulls up and I’ve jumped into the RocknRoll taxi from hell. The driver, who graciously gives me a free ride, takes the moment to rant and rave about his epic adventures promoting the Beatles and the book he is going to write. All while cutting through traffic, he thumbs through a 3 ring binder of old pub photos as proof to his story. None the less he gets me there on time. Production was top notch at the StubHub stage and the beer choices were out of this world.

Bangers Beer Selection

Sleigh Bells is by far the loudest band I ever saw. They tore the roof off with a flawless set of pure noise pop despite being just a three piece consisting of two guitars, front woman Alexis Krauss and four Marshall double stacks. Pure power doesn’t always require a drummer.

The real SXSW 2017

SXSW is the great artist homogenizer of artists. Whether you are emerging, established or breaking out, every artist deals with the same issues of load in and load it – it ain’t pretty, but sure is fun.

3/16 – Day Four: Day Parties & Edison Quietly Rock Maggie Maes

Edison close out night 4 of SXSW 2017

Thursday was jam packed with industry meetups starting with SESAC brunch at the famous Driskell Hotel and quickly moved on to BandsInTown Music Tech Meet Up, Square Developers party, Toasted Almonds at the delightful Ah Sing Den, Speaker Reception at Cooper’s BBQ (another must stop for the BBQ Gourmand in you), and the Texas Grammy Block Party. The last set of the night was performed by from Denver’s own Edison, a lively and energetic acoustic act that features a mandolin playing drummer and vibrant front woman Sarah Slaton. As true road warriors, this Merch Cat artist lives on the road and is most likely coming to your town soon.

3/17 – Day Five: Hard Rock & Heavy Metal Surge Upon SX

Georgia Supergroup Gorilla Tongue Orchestra perform debut show SXSW 2017

SX is usually filled with artists that fit the lighter sound of alternative pop, but this year rock was prevalent across many showcases. Perhaps a sign that Rock is not dead, we bumped into Mastodon frontman Brent Hinds on the street who was debuting his Georgia Supergroup, Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, featuring members of Dethklok, The Mars Volta, Alice in Chains and The Dillinger Escape Plan.

Otep performs at SXSW 2017

It was then a mad dash to catch Mastodon play a set at The Mazda Studio. Grabbing a quiet moment to rest my ears, I stopped by the St. David’s church to catch past IHM artist Lighthouse and the Whaler.  Ringing is gone… with ears clear I went back into the thick of it at 6th street – so packed you couldn’t move through the crowd. Took an alley slip and peeked in for a quick dose of Otep crushing the Dirty Dog Pub.

Revel In Romance ChooseAtl Artist Ambassador

I finished my evening with #ChooseATL artist ambassadors Revel in Romance who despite a packed van, graciously drove me to the airport after the traditional stop at Whataburger. 

Chelsea Shag ChooseATL Artist Ambassador Minus Gravity ChooseATL Artist Ambassador

My SX also featured two other artists chosen to represent ChooseATL across music week. Be sure to check out Atlanta’s own Minus Gravity and Chelsea Shag social media sites and hashtag #chooseatl for other gems across the week.

The Chive Car at SXSW Cars of SXSW a well packed SXSW van 

The cars of SX – there’s something for everyone here and everyone gets along. Keep Austin weird, come hang out at the live music capital of the world. See you next year.

– Bram

Charting Artist Spotlight

IHM New Artist: Brady Toops

Brady Toops, a Folk/Americana artist from Nashville via Minnesota, has been up to a lot lately. 2 million spins on Spotify, extensive touring, RELEVANT Magazine “fav artist of the year” and a quick stint as the only guy to vote himself off the Bachelorette. Brady joined IHM to report presales putting him on four different billboard charts the week of his second album release Tried & True. Read Brady Toops full story and send him some love and congrats on facebook, instagram or twitter

“It felt amazing to chart on Billboard! For a first time user who didn’t know anything about the official charts, Indie Hit Maker made that process smooth and easy. Couldn’t have done it without them!”

– Brady Toops
Singer/Songwriter, Nashville, TN

Brady Toops debuts on Billboard

Festival season is almost upon us and a perfect time to hit the charts – sometimes from playing a single show. Register for one of IHM’s Dropkick plans and schedule your free Kick-Off session where IHM experts will help you #makeitcount. Get Started

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