This year marked my sixth trip to Austin for SXSW, and once again, these five days in the middle of March will likely be remembered forever. Since 2005 I've been fortunate enough to take the trip gratis, given that I work in the "music business". The past few years, I had to listen to one person after another declaring the music business dead, which ultimately put a minor damper on the events. This year I steered clear of the panels and focused on the music. This was a very good decision.

Ya know what folks: The music industry is indeed in major trouble and it will likely never reap the financial rewards that it has in the past. Well, at least for the people working in the business. And this is a shame for the folks who got into the business due to a true love for the art. On the flipside, the bigwigs at the majors responsible for attempting to slow progress can all finally go away. They were never good for music in the first place.

The South By Southwest Music Conference is ultimately about the music. And enjoying such a plethora of music with your friends and fellow music lovers. Each year, three of my closest friends from New York make the trip, and we usually spend a large portion of the festival together. I won't forget Scott's look when The Drams closed their set with "Pinball Song". The moment Sue and I spotted Miami walking towards us has me laughing as I type. Shana's adoration for rock n'roll log had us all hysterical.

Today the four of us made a commitment to keep going, not just next year, but many years to come. Music is what initially introduced us. SXSW now brings us together every year.

See you in March 09, Austin...