Page Two

Page Two
Spent the morning getting lost in some folders of dusty papers, the all-too-clearly preserved past of the Chronicle. I was trying to find exactly when we published the first Musicians Register issue but as usual I got mired in the quicksand of the past, sucked into looking at too many back issues of the Chronicle. Still, they provided a context, so when I talk about the first Musicians Register published November 25, 1983, it is not just a date but a time. At 40 pages, it was one of the biggest issues we had ever published, and with 160 acts, one of our toughest typesetting and proofreading jobs (it still is). We were bi-weekly then, publishing every other week, but that meant we worked 12 days on and two days off (we worked through the weekend before publication). It was great to do a big issue but it was exhausting as well. We probably spent six or seven days straight, clocking in at the 20-hour mark on most of the last four, just preparing it. In that special Register section, we had special features by writers like Jesse Sublett, Jody Denberg, and Patrick Keel.

Back then, that first year of the Register, the Chronicle was still in the bottom half of a house on 12th Street, where Joe Nick Patoski and Roland Swenson shared office space with us in the back. Carolyn Phillips persuaded the Chronicle staff to offer a Musicians Register, a place where acts in Austin could list themselves. 160 replied.

This year, over 800 acts are listed. The Austin music scene has changed, as Austin has changed. The scene is bigger and more economically viable than ever (musicians rarely make money but then there are degrees to not making money). It has grown and prospered. This is both good and not-so-good but I forswore meditation in favor of reminiscence a long time ago. As it did almost 13 years ago, our staff devoted an enormous amount of time and energy towards getting this Register readable and accurate. The musicians submit descriptions, so the acts speak for themselves. In three weeks is the Music Awards show; in that issue the readers will have their say.

Tickets are now on sale for the Austin Music Awards show at Palmer Auditorium, Wednesday March 13, 7:55pm sharp. The lineup includes Don Walser's Pure Texas Band; Kris McKay's Too Many Girls featuring Abra Moore, Sara Hickman, and Kelly Willis; the Asylum Street Spankers; Sixteen Deluxe; and the Ian Moore Band. Special musical guests will include Dale Watson, Miss Lavelle White, and Wayne "The Train" Hancock. Paul Ray returns as emcee-for-life with guest comic Kerry Awn and a host of guest presenters.

Caught up in the swirl of SXSW, its many faces, and the Austin Music Awards, we sometimes lose sight of other issues, such as the upcoming elections and the A.I.S.D. bond vote, as well as food, books, sports, and the arts. Fortunately, the rest of the staff is watching out for all of us. Here, then, is this issue. n

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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