South Carolina is teeming with fresh, exciting and unique art. We’ve seen Main Street, a former district of wasted opportunity, turn into a vibrant street filled with businesses that promote art. First Thursday is one of the greatest events in Columbia, a monthly gathering of art lovers for wine, music and gallery openings. In many ways the historical under-appreciation of the artists within South Carolina has led to where we are today. The fight has made us stronger, and I think it will all be worth it. Perhaps it is arrogance, but I believe we are surrounded with some of the greatest artists that ever lived. Rather than wallow in the fact that the national view of South Carolina is not that of a progressive community when we can take to the streets and go on the national campaign to tell the world. With enough people spreading the word about South Carolina’s artistic merit, we will start to see the bigger changes Columbia needs that national recognition can help facilitate.
We have the foundation. With publications like Jasper, Free Times, SceneSC and Stereofly, artists have the opportunity for exposure and attention from a variety of viewpoints. We have great venues like Art Bar, New Brookland Tavern, Conundrum Music Hall, Tapp’s Art Center, Foxfield and great house shows happening at Queen Punx Palace. Radio stations such as WUSC 90.5FM, The Palm 92.1FM and WXRY 99.3FM are constantly spinning local music. Columbia Arts Academy has two schools now teaching the younger generation guitar, piano, bass, voice and drums. Jam Room Studio is hosting a yearly free music festival on Main Street. With more attention on a national scale, we know that Columbia and the state of South Carolina can start building something more sustainable. More attention leads to more opportunities, and Columbia is ready to grow.
One of the steps we are taking to champion the musicians of South Carolina is featuring them at the Stereofly SXShowcase 2014 on March 11th and 12th in Austin, TX during SXSW at Javelina Bar. Tastemakers and music lovers from around the globe gather in Austin for one week in March to find new artists, and we have 22 bands from South Carolina (14 from Columbia) we’re showing off.
The Restoration – FatRat Da Czar – Rachel Kate – Say Brother – Carnaval – Megan Jean & The KFB – Mason Jar Menagerie – Shallow Palace – Stagbriar – Cole Connor – Grand Royal – Ran Bruce – Ned & The Dirt – Abacus – Sein zum Tode – Zonaea – Cancellieri – Signs of Iris – Slick – We Roll Like Madmen – Dear Blanca – Chadd Downing
We are hosting a Kickstarter to raise money to promote the showcase and make sure our message is heard. The more we raise, the more promotional campaigns we will be able to roll out to reach the 25,000 SXSW patrons. We have the talent; we need to make sure they’re heard.
We have split the two days and two stages into four categories of sound: Rustic, Fluid, Saturated and Aggressive. Pigeonholing artists into genres and subgenres is not what we have in mind, and these adjectives serve as an identifier in the most basic sense, leaving the listener the choice to further connect and identify with the artist.
If you’re interested in checking out the complete lineup of artists performing, you can visit HTTP://KICKSTARTER.THESTEREOFLY.COM to read more about each artist and to preview music from each stage.