March 17, 2011
Vic Masters and Dave Sutton partied online last night. Here's how that worked:
Heading into this week, there was an endless number of trails to consider. On paper, each day could go thousand ways. And yet one night represented a potential intersection, where paths might collectively cross on a single plane for one brief moment in Austin time: #MEGABLAAG. As a blogger, the communal idea of this night resonated with me immediately. And based on the turnout, it did with many, many others too. Billed as a “private party for music bloggers, tastemakers, move-makers, artists and friends to kick off the festivities of our favorite gathering of music nerds on earth”, #MEGABLAAG was essentially an unprecedented rally of the minds. And we had two organizing blogs to thank for it, yvynyl and Ears of the Beholder.
Sure enough, as the sun set over The Brixton’s rooftop, our community slowly became less and less faceless. Early attendees enjoyed an eclectic DJ set from Pittsburgh’s Wise Blood. By dusk, both rooms were full of positive vibes and a growing anticipation for the evening’s big finale: Canadian thrillwave pioneers Gobble Gobble.
Like most folks there, Victoria and I knew what to expect from a GBL set, and that’s perhaps why the place felt like it might implode at their first note. After a quick and well-received “hello”, the shirtless clan pounded their props into wild coordination while loving leader Cecil Frena steered the ship into an abyss of neon percussion. We all responded in proper frenzied form, letting go of any doubt that our own online personas might not translate well live. No better band could have captured the #MEGA spirit.
Even with such a spectacle, the overall vision could not be missed. I pulled Mark Schoneveld of Yvynyl aside to ask exactly what he and Peter Arko had set out to do with this:
“People are really looking for new ways to find music. I think there’s a bunch of us who are really obsessive about music… we’re the ones who are kind of on the forefronts of discovering new stuff, and are doing what we can to foster creativity and community amongst people from the music world. There’s a certain kind of person who is keyed into the social media world, that knows how to use the tools and is teaching others how to use those tools…we can really help launch independent music careers if we work together. As we move forward into this amorphic social media thing, we can really inform the direction in which we go, we can take people and say okay, if we are the trendsetters and the curators, the more of us that know each other, the more of us who are friends with each other, the stronger those bonds become and the better work we do.”
I hope the event’s immediate success can carry on through the channels Mark mentions there. If last night’s energy is any indication, then it certainly will.