South By Southwest showcases new voices and new quandaries over compensation

March 23, 2015 8:37 PM

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One of the multitude of horn players in the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble was pretty pumped up one morning at the South by Southwest Music Conference, which concluded over the weekend - and who could blame him? The veteran Chicago band had just roused a sleepy audience of several thousand out of its seats and started a dance party before Snoop Dogg's keynote presentation. But instead of capitalizing on the moment by promoting an album, a gig or even a band website, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble urged it newfound fans to "get on YouTube, get on Twitter" to find out more about the band.

For the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, it wasn't about getting paid but acquiring fans and drawing attention to its music any way the band members could. As veteran punk provocateur Henry Rollins said earlier in the week, "I'd rather be heard than paid, because that's my option these days." And so he has ...

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