The Daily Chord began with a CompuServe dial-up account and a primitive Powerbook with a tiny black and white screen used by SXSW Panels chief, Andy Flynn. He began collecting stories on the web every day that he cut and pasted into emails which were distributed internally among SXSW Music Conference staff. Roland Swenson, Managing Director of SXSW explains; “The staff began to complain if Andy took a day off and there was no email with the hot stories of the day. We realized that this would also be useful for our participants, so we began formulating the concept that became the Daily Chord. It’s definitely been a labor of love for Andy, spending every morning scouring the web for news that we think is interesting for our readers.” As SXSW developed its website, the Daily Chord went online and in email form on July 1, 1999 with the following stories.
* Jesus Lizard break up
No more records with four letter titles from the Chicago stalwarts.
Story from allstar/CDNow.
* Limp Bizkit’s first week-634,000
Backstreet Boys fall from #1.
Chart story from Wall of Sound.
* Madonna sues former business managers, accountant
New York tax dispute is at the center of $2 mil lawsuit.
Story from Yahoo/Reuters.
* Strippers onstage at a Motley Crue show draw fire
The Crue will never play at the Merriweather Post Arena again.
Story from Columbia MD Sunspot.
* ASCAP web licensing policies criticized
Declaring sites “unauthorized” even if they are only linking to music files, not hosting, is seen as a “shakedown.”
Story from Wired News.
* Issues raised by the SDMI standards
A speculative piece on how the digital downloading business will progress.
Story from NY Times (Site reg required).
The Jesus Lizard have reformed, and Limp Bizkit are still around. The SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative) is long dead, and licensing music for online distribution remains a work in progress. The music industry is fundamentally different in 2009. The Daily Chord web page had 250,000 visitors in the last year, and the listserv has over 3000 subscribers. The Daily Chord has steadily built a readership which values the mix of stories which include news, commentary and profiles about art and business. The Daily Chord is now distributing stories via Twitter and Facebook. Visit the Chord’s home page at http://sxsw.com/music/news/daily_chord and stay current. Stories in the news today will be discussed at the SXSW Music Conference next March 17 - 20.
The 2010 South By Southwest Music Conference & Festival opens for business on Monday August 3. On that day, the new website will go live. Registrations and hotel reservations will be accepted. Bands can apply for showcase consideration. The Daily Chord will appear with a new design, ready for decade number two.