In the seminal stages of local punk rock shit-talkers the Chumps’ now epic career, they used to hold band practice at the Blue Flamingo, which operated at the corner of Seventh and Red River, where Plush stands today.
“It was the most unusual place,” recalls singer Sean McGowan. “During the day it was a hustler bar. Businessmen would come walking in and sit down next to skinny boys with metal T-shirts. They’d have a chit-chat and then leave together.
“People would be smoking crack in the bathrooms with an inch of urine across the floor. When it got dark, the crowd would change, but there’d be an overlap when we’d arrive and the daytime patrons would still be there. That was weird.”
“We practiced there for six months,” adds bassist Frankie Nowhere. “And we didn’t learn a damn thing!”
For more on the Chumps’ final – and free – show, see “Playback.”– Kevin Curtin
Austin Music Awards sovereign preps for next SXSW with Tuaca-sponsored Burden of Proof.
Trumpeter Masekela and pianist Willis have been playing together for half a century. Masekela, 74, remains South Africa’s “world music” pioneer and global ambassador, fusing jazz and popular Western elements on trumpet, fluegelhorn, and cornet. Willis has appeared on countless recordings and played with the likes of Leonard Bernstein, Jackie McLean, Roy Hargrove, and Blood, Sweat & Tears, to name a very few. The pair, performing as a duo, released a 4-CD set last year appropriately titled Friends.– Jay Trachtenberg
ATX metal godfather screams for vengeance still.
Five years after a brief but celebrated initial run, 2005-2008, the Carrots sprout back up with a new full-length on Madrid, Spain’s Elefant Records. Rightfully, New Romance wastes no time on subtlety, opener “Baby, You Don’t Know” plucked straight from the spokes of “My Boyfriend’s Back.” A front line of Veronica Ortuño, Rose Russo, and Shelley McKann sidle up to Jason “Chef” Pittman, Christopher Lyons, and Jason Pearson for clapping, stomping, and doo-woping girl group goodness hatched out of local dives.– Raoul Hernandez