By Christopher Gray, Fri., Dec. 12, 2003

Grammy Strikes Again

The Texas Grammy office got more than it bargained for when more than 800 Lone Star performers entered the Recording Academy's statewide demo contest. Judges whittled down the mountain of entries to 10, with finalists, including Austinites Matt the Electrician, Adam Garner & Liz Pappademas, and building g, converging on Houston's Engine Room this Sunday to see who takes home the $10,000 prize as part of an all-day music-biz seminar. Speaking of Grammys, the 2003-04 nominations were announced last week, and only about half of Texas artists' 28 nods went to Beyoncé and Ray Benson. Two guys named Lyle and Willie did pretty well, and congratulations to Marcia Ball for a nod in the Contemporary Blues album category for So Many Rivers. See www.grammy.com for the complete list.

Perfectly Frank

Frank Hendrix, whose stewardship has taken Emo's from death's door to packed houses for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Distillers, and Death Cab for Cutie, thinks the next musical hot spot is, of all places, Hot Springs, Ark. Seriously. "It's like Taos without all the adobe," he says. "It reminds me of Austin in the Seventies." Hendrix, already a Hot Springs homeowner, recently made an offer on a nearby lakefront eatery with visions of an outdoor amphitheatre -- an idea that came to him after talking to some kids who had driven 7 1/2 hours from Hot Springs to Emo's. "There's a lot of young people up there craving [music]," he says, pointing out that Hot Springs is only three hours from Dallas and four from Memphis. Closer to home, Hendrix recently received an offer to buy a nearby local club, but declines to name names as the current tenants aren't yet aware that their establishment is on the market.

Lead Poisoning

Max Dropout, editor and publisher of online zine Let Them Eat Lead, isn't one to mince words; for instance, he calls the White Stripes' universally adored Elephant "a regurgitated piece of shit" that recycles Jack White's work in earlier bands like the Upholsterers. Born Max Fuller 26 years ago in Venice, Calif., Dropout moved to Austin earlier this year after becoming disenchanted with the "poisonous" NYC scene and simultaneously falling in love with the Crack Pipes, whose frontman Ray Pride told him, "If you want to see us play, you're going to have to move to Austin." Though the first thing he did was break an ankle at the Motards reunion, Fuller has nothing but good things to say about his adopted home. "It's scary how large the talent pool is here," he says, citing Scott H. Biram, Walter Daniels, John Schooley, and the Kodiaks as local must-sees. Look for a new issue this month at www.letthemeatlead.com.

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