Hotspur Win NMS Artist on the Verge Competition

I’ve been attending the New Music Seminar in New York this week. Three nights of artist showcases and two days of panels, the seminar has featured talks with industry leaders who have provided endless advice to up-and-coming musicians as well as those interested in making it in the music business.

I’ll be providing full recaps in the next few days, but I first wanted to congratulate D.C. based-band Hotspur for winning the “Artist on the Verge” competition! You may remember them as Band of the Week a few months ago or one of the acts featured on my TWLOHA benefit concert (before the blizzard of 2009 hit).

Hotspur were selected as finalists from over 500 bands on OurStage based on “the criteria of rising above the noise ceiling and doing it on their own without the help of a major or major independent label.” Tuesday night, Hotspur competed against Brooklyn-based hip-hop group Yonas and Pennsylvanian rockers Comic Book Heroes to win $75,000 in musical equipment, services and consultations from the new leaders of the music industry and other valuable prizes to take their career to the next level.

Here’s what some of the panelists had to say about Hotspur:

Bill Werde, Editorial Director, Billboard: “We’re all talking about managing your own careers. I went down to use the men’s room and this was the only band that had anything on the merch table.” When introducing the video, “The people with the tightest pants on the lead singer, Hotspur.”

Kelly Cutrone, Founder, People’s Revolution PR and Marketing: “They looked the most comfortable.  There used to be this term we used, FQ which means fuckability quotient. I’m not into seeing them in that way but I think that any 18-30 year-old chick in America, in a bar late at night would want to go home with one of those boys.”

Werde: “I was talking to a couple of people in the business watching that show and everyone said the same thing. There was no question that that was the band that was the most polished, the most ready for prime time.”

Cutrone: “They looked like rock stars. You should changed your name to Looks Like Rock Stars because you look like rock stars. You know what, Rolling Stone, GQ, Details they all like to put hot dudes with leather pants on their magazines and girls like to buy records with hot dudes. Go do a study of rock and roll. Guys like Bono, he has a really good FQ.”

Tom Jackson, live music producer: “Lots of potential. Definitely the most polished. Mr. Frontman, you can be a star. You gotta find those things inside your songs and let stuff breathe. There’s nothing wrong with rocking, but tell us a story. A great record takes us places. You guys are what I call Chinese water torture. The pressure never changed. You’ve got to let your stuff breathe.”

For more on Hotspur, be sure to visit them on MySpace and stay tuned for my interview with their music video director Josh Eisenberg.


Related Links:
Band of the Week: Hotspur
Song of the Week: “Heads/Tails”
What Would You Ask a Music Video Director?
You Sing, I Write + The Jew Spot Present A Benefit For TWLOHA