Bringing the Music to GSD&M

From SXSW to the Austin City Limits Festival and every day in between, the number of musicians who pass through our beloved city is unbelievable. Every day there are great shows happening around town, and we do our best to bring those experiences into GSD&M.

In 2012, we hosted 14 bands from across the country—and even a few Brits. The shows have become a big part of life at the agency. We were even featured in Austin Monthly for it.

’Tis the season for year-end lists, so here’s a look at the best music-related moments at GSD&M in 2012.

Design: Dry The River/LP By Stephanie Hurtado

When any of these bands comes to the office, we ask one of our many talented designers and art directors to design a concert poster for the event. Before the Austin City Limits Music Festival, we had two bands stop by to play for us: Dry the River, an English folk-rock band with eerily beautiful voices, and LP, a singer/songwriter from New York who can whistle like no other. Stephanie Hurtado took on the poster design and decided to carve a linoleum stamp and ink it onto texturized stock—all right there in her little cubicle. The end result was truly a work of art; we almost didn’t want to ask the musicians to sign it (we still did).“Into the Wild” by LP

Embedly Powered

Acoustics: Ben Sollee

We met Ben back at SXSW 2011, and he hasn’t stopped creating great music since. While on tour for his newest album, Half-Made Man, he came to the agency to play for us. His voice is big—Texas big (even though he’s from Kentucky). But what really blew us away were the instruments. He switched between the cello and other stringed instruments while his very talented drummer, Jordan Ellis, provided the perfect accompaniment. It was hard to believe nothing was plugged in. Cellos are making a comeback, people!Collaboration: Big Star’s Third

All right, this one didn’t happen exactly at GSD&M. Sometimes when we want to do something big, we have to take it down the street to the historic Paramount Theatre. Bringing together artists such as R.E.M., Wilco, The Posies, Lucero, Guns N’ Roses, The Dunwells and more, we helped produce a tribute to one of rock and roll’s unsung hero bands, Big Star. More than 30 musicians participated in an orchestral performance of the band’s third album. Our very own Simon Walker designed the commemorative poster, and Mike Ferrer designed the program. The concert was a night we’ll never forget. Check out the recap of the night here: Who Rock: [TIE] The Royalty/Heartless Bastards

As a woman, it’s hard for me not to be completely overrun with jealousy when I come across a female musician who can take control of the crowd. While LP definitely did just that, I was prepared for her. It was Erika Wennerstrom from Heartless Bastards, during our Industry Party, and Nicole Boudreau from The Royalty who took me by surprise. Neither of them could be much taller than five feet, but they had voices bigger than any of the men who’ve played at GSD&M. Hats off, ladies. You rock!While I’d like to go on about all of the greatness of 2012, I won’t. You can check them all out on Spotify here: GSD&M 2012.

See all of our concert poster designs here:

Thanks to all of the bands that came to GSD&M this year: Vanaprasta, Taylor Thrash, Graham Parker, Red Wanting Blue, Opus Orange, The Royalty, Dry the River, LP, Rhett Miller, Wheeler Brothers, Ben Sollee, Heartless Bastards, Motopony, Apache Relay, and all the artists who participated in Big Star’s Third.

New memorabilia wall at GSD&M. Top row: Big Star’s Third, ACL Hometown Showcase, The Royalty, Matt Nathanson, Wheeler Brothers, Graham Parker, Moontower Comedy Festival, Jack’s Mannequin, Motopony

Bottom row: Dry the River/LP, Rhett Miller, Arcade Fire, The Industry Party 2012, J. Roddy Walston and the Business, Ben Sollee, Big Star, Star & Micey, Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, Steve Earle

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