Network Live, a joint venture of AOL, XM and concert promoter AEG, has created a platform for emerging acts that will launch at the SXSW Music Festival this week.
The first recording under the Standing Room Only umbrella will be made Thursday at a Capitol Records party in Austin, Texas, featuring the Magic Numbers, Morningwood and Sound Team. Performances will be available via XM’s live channel, on DirecTV and on demand at AOLmusic.com/sxsw.
Artists will own masters of the live tracks recorded for Network Live’s platforms and will be able to use them as they see fit.
Network Live has recorded shows previously by KT Tunstall and Hawthorne Heights and made those recordings available via the company’s platforms. Aaron Grosky, VP of music programming for Network Live, said that from the company’s inception, it’s been geared toward increasing the exposure of newer acts, regardless of the type of label for which they record.
SXSW is a “fertile breeding ground for indies and unsigned acts,” Grosky said. “From a pure programming point of view, this is where the excitement emanates, where a sense of ownership comes in for fans.”
That philosophy drives much of the SXSW Music Festival, which opens Wednesday and will feature about 1,350 bands, its largest roster ever.
Neil Young will deliver the keynote Thursday. Other speakers include Morrissey, Kris Kristofferson, k.d. lang, Sam Moore, the Pretenders, Judy Collins and Ray Davies. Among the buzz bands and solo acts performing are Arctic Monkeys, New Pornographers, Gogol Bordello, Art Brut, Beth Orton, Editors, Chamillionaire, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Pink Spiders, Go! Team, Susan Caigle, Wolfmother and Nico Vega. Veteran acts include Kristofferson, Pretenders, World Party, Jay Bennett (formerly of Wilco), Rhett Miller, Belle & Sebastian, Peter Case, the Silos, Gomez and Echo and the Bunnymen.
Among the labels and companies throwing parties are Island Records U.K., New West Records, Yahoo! Music, Lionsgate, Blender and eMusic. Warner Bros. Records, Verve Forecast, Anti- and Bar/None are among the labels holding nightlong showcases.