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Spoon played SXSW with DJ Windows 98 aka Win Butler (pics) who talked “Celebrity Economy in Music” on a panel

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Spoon / DJ Windows 98 @ SXSW FloodFest, 3/18/2015
Spoon
DJ Windows 98

As the static from the modem faded, Butler played about five seconds of Shania Twain’s 1999 hit “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” before launching into Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation,” during which time he he fussed despondently with his levels and repeatedly yelled to the stage managers, “Cut the lights. Cut the lights PLEASE.” The house finally obliged, drenching the stage and audience in darkroom red. Then it was time to worry about sound. “Turn up the monitors,” Butler intoned, calmly at first, then loudly, “TURN UP THE MONITORS, I BELIEVE IN YOU.”

To be fair to Butler, the FLOOD fest stage was kind of a shitshow. The sound was mostly unintelligible, and the entire evening was about an hour behind schedule. But the sense that on some level this performance was a joke to Butler didn’t help the vibe, especially during the first half of the set, during which I could see several girls up in the VIP section side-eyeing the stage. – [The Verge]

Win Butler‘s DJ Windows 98 persona has gone from being something he did while on tour with Arcade Fire to becoming a well paid attraction in his own right. He’s in Austin for SXSW and played right before headliners Spoon at Wednesday night’s FLoodFest, the takeover of Cedar St Courtyard by Flood (the magazine from the people who brought us Filter [who had SXSW parties in the same spot for years]). On Thursday (3/19), Butler and his brother Will as well as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman at a panel titled “Celebrity Economy in Music.” Stereogum was there:

Although current topics like the unique opportunities provided by the the internet, the rise of streaming, and the utility of data were all addressed, much of the discussion returned to some very familiar themes — concerns and debates about “selling out” are hardly new. When Simonian spoke about corporate sponsorship as a crucial source of revenue for emerging bands, arguing that it shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as “selling out,” Win was quick to set her straight: “It is selling out, though, just for the record.” Although the importance of brands over labels may be on the rise, he wryly stated that “artists have been getting screwed over at pretty much the same rate, but now slightly different people are screwing us over.”

Spoon, meanwhile, played a big SXSW show last night at Auditorium Shores which was broadcast live via SXSW’s 24-hour streaming service. More pics of Spoon and DJ Windows 98 at FloodFest below…

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