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SXSW – Music’s Spring Solstice
 
After the final set of my SXSW this year, an engrossing requests-only set from Iron & Wine from a storied church pew, Operation Every Band once again went into a half-year hibernation.  Taking time to fall further for new musical discoveries and getting to the backlog of responsibilities of real life, the creeping anticipation slowly grew of that first announcement to set the scene for SXSW 2014.  A few weeks ago, that moment arrived ahead of schedule as the first round of artists found their home on the SXSW roster.  With that, a new season sets to commence in the world of music discovery and beyond.
The term ‘season’ brings about thoughts of growth, of change, of rebirth.  With the advent of yearly festivals and cyclical album releases, the music industry and community has inevitably created a yearly cycle.  January and February are traditionally slow months that yield an explosion of activity in March that carries into the summer festival season.  For a week at the advent of spring, all ears and eyes point towards Austin, Texas as over 2,000 bands prime to be noticed by a mob of tastemakers, journalists and dedicated fans.  Amid clashing sounds of overblown amps and thumping bass rumbles, the aural sun rises over Sixth Street year after year – again, musical spring has begun.
That’s where we come in.  Among those 2,000 artists are the next ‘buzz bands of 2014’, but more importantly, artists that will fit directly in your tastes and should move into your record collection.  For Operation Every Band, the goal is to listen and review every artist on the roster.  For anyone who cares to do the math, that’s a lot of listening and writing, but the payoff is exponential with sounds from the past, present and future.  Over the next five months, the OEB team (Kevin, Alison, Nate and Lucas) will be posting write-ups, videos, a slew of artist interviews and other SXSW goodies.  Our bread and butter comes with The Spreadsheet, an all-encompassing look at the SXSW roster with descriptions and micro-reviews along with our subjective rating.  I’ll follow up with a series of posts detailing out the process and what to expect for this year’s OEB season over the next week, but above all, it’s great to be back!
We love thoughts and feedback, so send anything you got to operationeveryband@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you.  For industry folks, writers and SXSW-obsessed fans live ourselves, we collaborate as much as we can both in Austin and within the months prior, so please reach out if you’re interested.  Happy listening – enjoy the year!
 
Kevin, Alison, Nate & Lucas   

SXSW – Music’s Spring Solstice

 

After the final set of my SXSW this year, an engrossing requests-only set from Iron & Wine from a storied church pew, Operation Every Band once again went into a half-year hibernation.  Taking time to fall further for new musical discoveries and getting to the backlog of responsibilities of real life, the creeping anticipation slowly grew of that first announcement to set the scene for SXSW 2014.  A few weeks ago, that moment arrived ahead of schedule as the first round of artists found their home on the SXSW roster.  With that, a new season sets to commence in the world of music discovery and beyond.

The term ‘season’ brings about thoughts of growth, of change, of rebirth.  With the advent of yearly festivals and cyclical album releases, the music industry and community has inevitably created a yearly cycle.  January and February are traditionally slow months that yield an explosion of activity in March that carries into the summer festival season.  For a week at the advent of spring, all ears and eyes point towards Austin, Texas as over 2,000 bands prime to be noticed by a mob of tastemakers, journalists and dedicated fans.  Amid clashing sounds of overblown amps and thumping bass rumbles, the aural sun rises over Sixth Street year after year – again, musical spring has begun.

That’s where we come in.  Among those 2,000 artists are the next ‘buzz bands of 2014’, but more importantly, artists that will fit directly in your tastes and should move into your record collection.  For Operation Every Band, the goal is to listen and review every artist on the roster.  For anyone who cares to do the math, that’s a lot of listening and writing, but the payoff is exponential with sounds from the past, present and future.  Over the next five months, the OEB team (Kevin, Alison, Nate and Lucas) will be posting write-ups, videos, a slew of artist interviews and other SXSW goodies.  Our bread and butter comes with The Spreadsheet, an all-encompassing look at the SXSW roster with descriptions and micro-reviews along with our subjective rating.  I’ll follow up with a series of posts detailing out the process and what to expect for this year’s OEB season over the next week, but above all, it’s great to be back!

We love thoughts and feedback, so send anything you got to operationeveryband@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you.  For industry folks, writers and SXSW-obsessed fans live ourselves, we collaborate as much as we can both in Austin and within the months prior, so please reach out if you’re interested.  Happy listening – enjoy the year!

 

Kevin, Alison, Nate & Lucas   

New For 2013: SXSW Popularity Index

One of the more difficult elements of SXSW is gauging which venues will have lines and which ones will most likely be walk-up with cover all night long.  With over 2,000 artists in any and all genres, it’s given you’ll under- or overestimate a band’s draw.  In order to determine relative popularity, we’ve added a Popularity Index (PI) to the Spreadsheet this year.
This number is determined by one drawing factor: the number of views on the artist’s most popular video on YouTube.  With so many sources to find music these days, this seemed like the most equal playing field we could think of.  Nate Silver, I am not, but I think this really puts artists in perspective in terms of how far along in the journey they are.
As shown in the picture above, the YouTube views are converted into a 1-10 scale for a quick view.  Here’s the breakdown:
0 = 0
1 = 1-1,000
2 = 1,001-10,000
3 = 10,001-25,000
4 = 25,001-50,000
5 = 50,001-100,000
6 = 100,001-250,000
7 = 250,001-500,000
8 = 500,001-1,000,000
9 = 1,000,001-5,000,000
10 = 5,000,000+
As always, if you are a fan of what we’re doing here at Operation Every Band and want to see more come SXSW, check out the donate button to receive our SXSW 2013 OEB Package, including our extensive showcase recommendations by date and time including the new Popularity Index!

New For 2013: SXSW Popularity Index


One of the more difficult elements of SXSW is gauging which venues will have lines and which ones will most likely be walk-up with cover all night long.  With over 2,000 artists in any and all genres, it’s given you’ll under- or overestimate a band’s draw.  In order to determine relative popularity, we’ve added a Popularity Index (PI) to the Spreadsheet this year.

This number is determined by one drawing factor: the number of views on the artist’s most popular video on YouTube.  With so many sources to find music these days, this seemed like the most equal playing field we could think of.  Nate Silver, I am not, but I think this really puts artists in perspective in terms of how far along in the journey they are.

As shown in the picture above, the YouTube views are converted into a 1-10 scale for a quick view.  Here’s the breakdown:

0 = 0

1 = 1-1,000

2 = 1,001-10,000

3 = 10,001-25,000

4 = 25,001-50,000

5 = 50,001-100,000

6 = 100,001-250,000

7 = 250,001-500,000

8 = 500,001-1,000,000

9 = 1,000,001-5,000,000

10 = 5,000,000+

As always, if you are a fan of what we’re doing here at Operation Every Band and want to see more come SXSW, check out the donate button to receive our SXSW 2013 OEB Package, including our extensive showcase recommendations by date and time including the new Popularity Index!

The Rules

Throughout the years, we’ve developed a few rules to keep us honest with the ratings and such.  We don’t have the time to listen to every track, video and self-pressed vinyl, but it’s important to not snap to quick judgments within seconds of listening as well.
Tracking is done through “the spreadsheet”.  We manually add all the bands and categorize broadly.  From there, a reviewer is added:

Kevin McStravick – Rock, Pop, Folk and a whole bunch of Other
Nathan Headden – Hip Hop, R&B and Soul
Lucas Holl – Electronic-based artists
Alison McStravick – A little bit of everything

Every artist gets a two-track minimum.  Even you, John Mayer.  If we like what we hear, we’ll keep going.  In the spreadsheet, we’ll put three words or phrases best describing the qualities of what we’re hearing.  Lastly, the reviewer will give a totally subjective rating based on one criterion – how much would I want to see this artist at SXSW?  The scale is “tough” in order to keep a sense of comparison, so keep in mind that anything about a “4” is something we genuinely enjoyed.

10 – I’m going out to buy their entire discography immediately.
9 – Incredible.  Could be a life-long favorite.
8 – I’d go out of my way to see them.
7 – Very interested…potential greatness.
6 – Worth noting, would stick around for a set.
5 – Average, but some spark there.
4 – Just plain average.
3  - Not really feeling it at all.
2 – Oh boy.
1 – Unsure if this is actually music.

For every artist at a “7” or above, we’ll provide a full write-up and a recent video to get a real taste.  This is where the real heavy lifting comes in from the OEB crew.  This site purposely extenuates the positive; there’s no point in rambling on about things we don’t like.  
That’s about it for the meat of the project.  Though there isn’t much time for extracurriculars, don’t be surprised if we sneak in a few artist interviews and other treats.  As we get closer to SXSW, be on the lookout for showcase recommendations, relevant news and anything else we can think of.  Lastly, we always spend some quality time with our hometown conference, 35 Denton, the greatest SXSW pre-game ever imagined.

For any questions or comments, let us know at operationeveryband@gmail.com.     

The Rules


Throughout the years, we’ve developed a few rules to keep us honest with the ratings and such.  We don’t have the time to listen to every track, video and self-pressed vinyl, but it’s important to not snap to quick judgments within seconds of listening as well.

Tracking is done through “the spreadsheet”.  We manually add all the bands and categorize broadly.  From there, a reviewer is added:



Every artist gets a two-track minimum.  Even you, John Mayer.  If we like what we hear, we’ll keep going.  In the spreadsheet, we’ll put three words or phrases best describing the qualities of what we’re hearing.  Lastly, the reviewer will give a totally subjective rating based on one criterion – how much would I want to see this artist at SXSW?  The scale is “tough” in order to keep a sense of comparison, so keep in mind that anything about a “4” is something we genuinely enjoyed.


  • 10 – I’m going out to buy their entire discography immediately.
  • 9 – Incredible.  Could be a life-long favorite.
  • 8 – I’d go out of my way to see them.
  • 7 – Very interested…potential greatness.
  • 6 – Worth noting, would stick around for a set.
  • 5 – Average, but some spark there.
  • 4 – Just plain average.
  • 3  - Not really feeling it at all.
  • 2 – Oh boy.
  • 1 – Unsure if this is actually music.


For every artist at a “7” or above, we’ll provide a full write-up and a recent video to get a real taste.  This is where the real heavy lifting comes in from the OEB crew.  This site purposely extenuates the positive; there’s no point in rambling on about things we don’t like. 

That’s about it for the meat of the project.  Though there isn’t much time for extracurriculars, don’t be surprised if we sneak in a few artist interviews and other treats.  As we get closer to SXSW, be on the lookout for showcase recommendations, relevant news and anything else we can think of.  Lastly, we always spend some quality time with our hometown conference, 35 Denton, the greatest SXSW pre-game ever imagined.


For any questions or comments, let us know at operationeveryband@gmail.com.     

SXSW 2013 – Operation Every Band

Earlier this month, the OEB school bell rang as SXSW released the initial round of artists for 2013.  In what is increasingly becoming the most important live music event of the year, SXSW represents a potential benchmark or pivot for artists both young and old.  Tastemakers, journalists and the industry all converge within a five-block area of bars, halls and anywhere else you can fit an amp and a mic.  That’s where we fit in.
Operation Every Band is entering its third year of existence with a central goal of reviewing every band showcasing at SXSW.  Though the mission sounds simple, the adventure ends up being as exhaustive as it is rewarding.  With about 2,200 bands comprising the final list (in addition to the hundreds who are announced to later be cancelled), the writing comes from a unique place.  What stands up above the rest and, more importantly, why?  What musical trends have entrenched themselves into the minds of emerging bands?  Even if you cannot attend next March, we hope to help you find your “new favorite band” or write-off the next indie darling.  Your call.
The first set of reviews will be arriving this week along with some new goodies for 2013.  Personally, I can’t be more excited to dig in.  We start at “A”…
As always, we love feedback, retorts and rotten-tomato-throwing from all our readers.  For any artists, we’re always open to interviews, meeting down in Austin or anything else you have up your sleeves.  Reach out at operationeveryband@gmail.com, Twitter, FB or authorized carrier pigeon.

Cheers,
Kevin McStravick
Founder – Operation Every Band  

SXSW 2013 – Operation Every Band


Earlier this month, the OEB school bell rang as SXSW released the initial round of artists for 2013.  In what is increasingly becoming the most important live music event of the year, SXSW represents a potential benchmark or pivot for artists both young and old.  Tastemakers, journalists and the industry all converge within a five-block area of bars, halls and anywhere else you can fit an amp and a mic.  That’s where we fit in.

Operation Every Band is entering its third year of existence with a central goal of reviewing every band showcasing at SXSW.  Though the mission sounds simple, the adventure ends up being as exhaustive as it is rewarding.  With about 2,200 bands comprising the final list (in addition to the hundreds who are announced to later be cancelled), the writing comes from a unique place.  What stands up above the rest and, more importantly, why?  What musical trends have entrenched themselves into the minds of emerging bands?  Even if you cannot attend next March, we hope to help you find your “new favorite band” or write-off the next indie darling.  Your call.

The first set of reviews will be arriving this week along with some new goodies for 2013.  Personally, I can’t be more excited to dig in.  We start at “A”…

As always, we love feedback, retorts and rotten-tomato-throwing from all our readers.  For any artists, we’re always open to interviews, meeting down in Austin or anything else you have up your sleeves.  Reach out at operationeveryband@gmail.com, Twitter, FB or authorized carrier pigeon.


Cheers,

Kevin McStravick

Founder – Operation Every Band