Chris and Amy Dickman of Jersey Shore Indie label Little Dickman Records have been taking good care of bands in Austin for five years now. Their unofficial events showcase badass touring bands from all over the country as well as the bands with releases on their label. We talked to them about how the festival has changed over the years, the challenges of being a promoter at SXSW and why they keep coming back.
AF: Tell us about your showcases and some of the bands you’re most excited to see this year.
LD: This year is our 5th year in Austin throwing unofficial SXSW Rock or Die showcases and we can’t believe it! We have two unofficial showcases and six bands we have worked with are OFFICIAL SXSW showcasing artists this year! That’s huge.
We are stoked for Wednesday 3/15, Hard Luck Lounge, nine bands, including Stuyedeyed, Grim Streaker, Pink Mexico, Ex-Girlfriends, Dentist, Gustaf, Old Lady, John Wesley Coleman III, and Shred Flinstone.
Saturday we are teaming up with our favorite friends over at CoolDad Music and Garden State Beardos to bring a killer Day party to Valhalla w/ The Gloomies, Dentist, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, BOYTOY, Kino Kimino, High Waisted, Sharkmuffin, Honduras & Fruit & Flowers.
AF: What’s your favorite food truck at SXSW?
LD: This is gonna sound very lazy, but every year I find one I like, and I either forget the name of it or I remember and when I come back the next year it’s in a totally different place (maybe ’cause its a food TRUCK?) so I don’t make it back. But at least we are finding a new one every year. Just a few I remember: Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, Tapas Bravas, the killer breakfast taco truck that used to be on East 6th but now I can’t find….
AF: How did you get started booking showcases at SXSW? Why do you keep coming back?
LD: We just decided to go for it and take the chance. Even though no one really knew us yet, we didn’t care – we wanted to get out and be a part of something, so we said F-it and it paid off! We met many wonderful people down there. If we hadn’t started going our lives would be much different.
AF: What are your favorite and least favorite SXSW memories? Does it get easier or more difficult booking and taking care of so many bands each year at SXSW?
LD: My least favorite memory is showing up to a venue and them not having a sound system when we were told they had a top of the line system, so the fall out that happened after that wasn’t my fav.
A great memory was asking INVSN with Dennis Lyxzen of Refused to play and they showed up and put on a hell of a surprise show! Also, getting to meet the Mrs. Magician dudes. I think just getting to hang and see people we’ve worked with play great shows is the best feeling ever.
AF: How has the festival changed over the years and what would you like to see more or less of this year or in the future?
LD: The first year we were there it had HUGE acts – I think it was the year Lady Gaga, Kanye, etc. were there. I think it had gotten out of hand. There was also a bad accident that killed someone. Since then I have seen it become a little more more up-and-coming acts instead of trying to pack in the big names, which obviously feels better to us. It also gotten warmer each year….we will see what happens this year!