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Top 10 Events That Defined the Decade in Austin Music

1) UP IN SMOKE

The most visible example of Austin's backhanded support of the live music scene, the smoking ban prohibited the use of a perfectly legal substance in private businesses (see "Smoke Signals," April 15, 2005), resulting in a lot more outdoor patios and the closure of at least one music venue. "The fact that I didn't shut down during the smoking ban gave people the belief that we weren't scarred by it," bemoaned Room 710 owner Asher Garber to the Chronicle in June, shortly before the club shuttered. "We lost half of our business to that."

2) CLIFFORD ANTONE DIES

In the same way that the loss of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Doug Sahm bookended the previous decade, the passing of Austin's blues godfather and chief ambassador left a hole in the soul of the local music community (see "Okie Dokie Stomp," May 26, 2006).

3) AUSTIN CITY LIMITS MUSIC FESTIVAL

Arc Angels, Wilco, Robert Randolph, and Ryan Adams, among others, help establish this first-class annual festival at Zilker Park, elevating the local scene and promoter C3 Presents to national prominence (see "A2K Meets 'ACL,'" Sept. 20, 2002).

4) THE LEVEE BREAKS

"What happened during Katrina was not an evacuation as much as a roundup and a forced displacement," Cyril Neville fumed to the Chronicle (see "Tell It Like It Is," April 28, 2006). "It was the height of arrogance, greed, conceit, and disdain for a people who you think are less human than you." Thankfully, countless New Orleans musicians found comfort and redemption here.

5) THE ROLLING STONES PAINT ZILKER PARK BLACK

The show of the decade, the World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band's first and presumably last local appearance proved worth the wait and paid dues to Waylon Jennings' "Bob Wills Is Still the King" and Buddy Holly's "Learning the Game." Relive the circus on the immaculate 4-DVD set, The Biggest Bang.

6) BEGIN TRANSMISSION (ENTERTAINMENT)

When Graham Williams left Emo's in June 2005 and formed Transmission Entertainment – a booking and promotion enterprise with Mohawk owner James Moody and Club de Ville's Michael Terrazas – it caused a seismic power struggle on Red River, heightened by the promotion's expansion to Red 7 and fostering of Fun Fun Fun Fest.

7) METALLICA RIDES THE LIGHTNING AT STUBB'S

Dubbed by James Hetfield as "the worst kept secret in rock & roll history" (sorry about that), thrash metal's Four Horsemen evinced the promotional magnitude of the South by South-west Music Conference with 80 minutes of apocalyptic ecstasy (see "Off the Record," March 20, 2009).

8) RED RIVER SHOOT-UP

This time it wasn't "fireworks." At 2:15am, on May 29, Crips affiliates Brandon and LaBaaron Hutchison of the Central Texas hip-hop outfit LG Allstarz opened fire outside Spiros, wounding eight patrons and exemplifying the upswing in violence Downtown (see "Crime and the City Solution," June 26, 2009).

9) ROKY ERICKSON'S RESURRECTION

The 13th Floor Elevators' howler's long, strange downward spiral – painfully detailed in the 2005 documentary You're Gonna Miss Me – led to the most miraculous rock & roll triumph in recent memory (see "Starry Eyes," Dec. 30, 2005), a feat that continues this year via a full-length collaboration with Okkervil River.

10) X MARKS THE SPOT

More than a decade after similar legislation passed in the UK, the Ecstasy Prevention Act of 2001, coupled with a crackdown by the Austin Police Department on venue owners and promoters, kills the last traces of the nascent local rave scene (see "The Agony of the Ecstasy," Nov. 16, 2001).


Top 10 Austin Albums of the Decade

1) EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place (Temporary Residence) [2003]

2) SPOON Gimme Fiction (Merge) [2005]

3) ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO Real Animal (Back Porch) [2008]

4) OKKERVIL RIVER Down the River of Golden Dreams (Jagjaguwar) [2003]

5) THE FLATLANDERS Hills and Valleys (New West) [2009]

6) ELIZA GILKYSON Paradise Hotel (Red House) [2005]

7) RAPID RIC Whut It Dew (Mixtape Mechanic) [2004]

8) THE SWORD Gods of the Earth (Kemado) [2008]

9) WHITE DENIM Let's Talk About It [2007]

10) LOS LONELY BOYS (Or Music) [2003]


PAINT BY NUMBERS

OTR's Top 9 National

Off the Record

1) THE FLAMING LIPS Embryonic (Warner Bros.)

2) GRIZZLY BEAR Veckatimest (Warp)

3) GIRLS Album (True Panther Sounds)

4) DINOSAUR JR. Farm (Jagjaguwar)

5) SLAYER World Painted Blood (American)

6) PHOENIX Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Glassnote)

7) THE LOVE LANGUAGE (Bladen County)

8) DAN AUERBACH Keep It Hid (Nonesuch)

9) BLAKROC (V2)

OTR's Top 9 Austin

Off the Record

1) THE FLATLANDERS Hills and Valleys (New West)

2) WHITE DENIM Fits (Downtown Music)

3) BROWNOUT Aguilas and Cobras (Six Degrees)

4) THE STRANGE BOYS ... And Girls Club (In the Red)

5) BRAZOS Phosphorescent Blues (Autobus)

6) JEFF LOFTON QUARTET Jazz to the People

7) SAM BAKER Cotton (Music Road)

8) SCOTT H. BIRAM Something's Wrong/Lost Forever (Bloodshot)

9) BALMORHEA All Is Wild, All Is Silent (Western Vinyl)


10 Locals to Watch in 2010

Dikes of Holland, Smoke & Feathers, the Downtown Rulers Club, Way No Way, the No No No Hopes, Edison Chair, the White White Lights, Los Bad Apples, Legs Against Arms, Fingaar Bangaar


FILL IN THE BLANKS

In lieu of any New Year's resolutions, OTR has the honor of casting the first ballot in the Chronicle Music Poll. There's some consolidation (Hip-Hop/DJ, Country/Bluegrass), but the DJ category is still up for grabs in the annual "Best of Austin" issue. Cast your ballot before Jan. 31. Here are some choice recommendations:

AUSTIN BAND OF THE YEAR: White Denim

AUSTIN MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR: Scott H. Biram

AUSTIN SONG OF THE YEAR: "I'm Broke," Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

AUSTIN ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Hills and Valleys, the Flatlanders

BEST NEW AUSTIN BAND: Followed by Static

ROCK: Tia Carrera

PUNK: The Hex Dispensers

METAL: Iron Age

INDUSTRIAL/GOTH: Lucid Dementia

HIP-HOP/DJ: Zeale

INDIE: White Denim

JAZZ: Jeff Lofton

BLUES: Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

INSTRUMENTAL: Balmorhea

EXPERIMENTAL: Cory Allen

COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS: James Hand

ROOTS ROCK: Uncle Lucius

FOLK: Sam Baker

LATIN TRADITIONAL: Hector Ward & the Big Time

LATIN ROCK: Brownout

WORLD MUSIC: Rattletree Marimba

COVER BAND: In Dudero

U18: Chief Rival

NONE OF THE ABOVE: The Invincible Czars

FEMALE VOCALS: Erika Wennerstrom, Heartless Bastards

MALE VOCALS: Martin Crane, Brazos

ELECTRIC GUITAR: Jason Morales, Tia Carrera

ACOUSTIC GUITAR: Michael Muller, Balmorhea

BASS: Steve Terebecki, White Denim

DRUMS/PERCUSSION: Josh Block, White Denim

KEYBOARDS: Pinetop Perkins

MISCELLANEOUS INSTRUMENT: Sarah Jarosz, mandolin

SONGWRITER: Scott H. Biram

PRODUCER: Jim Eno, Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!

NEW CLUB: The HighBall

LIVE MUSIC VENUE: The Parish

ACOUSTIC VENUE: St. David's Episcopal Church

ALL-AGES VENUE: Mohawk

RECORD STORE: Waterloo

RADIO STATION: Woxy

RADIO MUSIC PROGRAM: No Control, Chuck Loesch, 101X

RADIO PERSONALITY: Music With Jay Trachtenberg, Jay Trachtenberg, KUT 90.5FM

LOCAL LABEL: Western Vinyl

TEXAS MUSIC HALL OF FAME: Cherubs


9 Locals From Off the Beaten Path

1) LITTLE JOE WASHINGTON Texas Fire Line (Dialtone)

2) HEX DISPENSERS Winchester Mystery House

3) SOME SAY LELAND Fifty Miles Into the Main

4) ZEALE Haterz and Robotz Mixtape

5) THE STRANGE ATTRACTORS Sleep & You Will See (Past/Futures)

6) IRON AGE The Sleeping Eye (Tee Pee)

7) OLA PODRIDA Belly of the Lion (Western Vinyl)

8) THE SOUR NOTES Received in Bitterness

9) MANIKIN Stop the Sirens (Super Secret)

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Chronicle Music Poll, Top 10s, the Flatlanders, smoking ban, White Denim, Explosions in the Sky, Metallica, Rolling Stones

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