March 15th, 2012
07:12 PM ET
At 10 p.m. on Tuesday night, we didn't even have a Twitter account for CNN Music. But we DID have an idea.
The plan, conceived over dinner, was to first actually create @CNN_Music, and then ask bands playing in Austin for SXSW to reply to us by noon Wednesday to be considered for a special one-song feature on CNN.com. Our tweet read:
Thus, we sent out a few email requests to friends and colleagues to follow @CNN_Music and retweet our call to bands to see if we could somehow generate a buzz. This experiment could either fail miserably or be an out-of-control trending success.
Or it could be something far in-between. Which it was.
By 2 p.m. the next day (we extended the deadline), we had a handful of band submissions and over 100 followers. Nick and I checked out each of the bands who got back to us and narrowed it down to three: Royal Teeth, Soft Swells and Cheyenne Marie Mize.
Then, in an attempt to be fairly democratic, we asked the office manager at uShip (where we had been gratefully using their work space as a makeshift studio) to choose one.
She chose Royal Teeth.
We contacted the band's booking agent, Alex, and told him where to show up. By 3 p.m. we were hauling in their gear through the loading dock. It was all really happening.
As the band set up, I asked Alex how he found us on Twitter. It turns out that he was having trouble sleeping that night and, being in Austin with the band for the festival, decided just to log onto Twitter and check the hashtag #sxsw to see what was happening in town. Our post popped up on the screen and he figured, "why not?"
The band didn't even know that he'd submitted to our contest, and learned the news as they were finishing up a gig - only an hour before they were set to show up. It was literally: Get in the van... we're going to play for CNN.
Due to our available space and equipment, Royal Teeth performed a stripped down version of their song "Wild," which they hastily re-worked acoustically as Nick and I set up the cameras.
The staff of uShip gathered around to watch two takes of the song, and just as quickly as Royal Teeth arrived they were back in the van for another show.
So THIS is Royal Teeth. We hope you enjoy their music.
Please share this story on Twitter... @CNN_Music needs more followers.
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