Resolutely focused on young talent with little-to-no previously recorded material, Sniper finds artists for Captured Tracks by keeping an ear to the ground and a sense of open-mindedness. "If a label is to maintain any esteem or credibility, it should maintain a 50 percent homegrown talent base," he wrote in that January blog post. "If you can't maintain that meager ratio, you're probably not a record label, you're a manufacturing plant with a cool logo."

If South By Southwest wants to maintain its relevance, it might want to take heed of Sniper's advice. And continue booking his excellent label's showcase.

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