(above : talented, experienced media manipulators, ready to take the Venus Illuminato to the next level)

It was with considerable patience I tried to listen to a program on KOOP yesterday in which a local music blogger (whose work I am mostly unfamiliar with) opined that the big thing holding Austin back as a genuine musical hotspot was the city’s lack of qualified publicists. There’s a plethora of boutique labels (though he was careful not to mention most of the good ones) and some recording studios (though none were cited) but what Austin really needs is the promo/PR machinery required to really elevate these fledgling talents to the superstar level of, fuck, I don’t know. Imagine Dragons?

Just to make sure we’re all perfectly clear on the message, here are things Austin apparently does not require : cheap housing and affordable rehearsal spaces for musicians. An arts weekly or dedicated music website that was remotely conversant with the town’s best music. A 24/7 listener supported radio station that emulated, say, WFMU instead of established NPR monoliths. Club patrons willing to shell out $5 for 4 fucking bands without objection or negotiation.

Nope. What Austin apparently cannot survive without is a firm gracious enough to charge local labels $2000 to mail records or download codes to the same people who’ve previously ignored direct inquires from the very same labels. Y’know, the sort of careful, relationship-cultivating stuff that makes journalists feel a tad less lonely (and reduces the chances of breaking even from slim to none). As noted above, the rest of the infrastructure is in totally awesome shape, so PLEASE, America’s legion of PR companies, consider moving to Austin ASAP. Unless, of course, you’re the rebranded Strange Fruit P.R., in which case you’re already here and I simply need to know where to mail the blank check.