Page Two

Page Two
Margaret Moser comes down the hall with that gleam in her eye, a special exuberant bounce to her step. Immediately, I know she is bringing good news about the Awards show line-up, that 81/2 Souvenirs and the Sexton Brothers have said yes, that the Jimmie Dale Gilmore-hosted tribute to Townes Van Zandt (one is tempted to say the late, great Townes Van Zandt, among the greatest of all Texas songwriters) would include almost everyone we had talked about at first: Champ Hood and Joe Ely, and probably the Sexton Brothers, too. This time the news is that we have Lou Ann Barton, and that Jimmie Vaughan is going to be a special guest. Moser explodes with glee. This is going to be fun! This is going to be a night of music, of Austin music, a night to remember.

Over the years I've seen Moser get this excited about everyone from Don Walser, the True Believers, and Toni Price to Sixteen Deluxe, Flaco Jimenez, and P. Every time, as if she can't believe her good luck, that this much-loved musician or band was agreeing to play the Chronicle's Music Awards show. I don't know whether it was just so magical all those years ago at the One Knite, Soap Creek, and the Rome Inn with Storm, Paul Ray & the Cobras, Southern Feeling, etc. but Moser's had the warmest spot in her heart for two sets of brothers, the Sextons, whom she's known since they were children, and the Vaughans, whom she'd met when they were still teenagers.

In March 1984 at the second Music Awards at the Austin Opera House, the Fabulous Thunderbirds already headlined the bill (along with the Angela Strehli band, Leroi Brothers, and Big Boys), and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble showed up unannounced and premiered much of what was to become Couldn't Stand the Weather. The brothers Vaughan played together that night, a rare occurrence at the time. It was stone-cold magic, a musical moment you knew you were going to remember forever. It was the night we figured out the Chronicle had a show.

This year, to have Lou Ann Barton (one of Moser's all-time favorite singers) backed by a band that includes Jimmie Vaughan on the same bill with the Sexton brothers... hell, Moser is grinning so much she looks dangerous. This Awards show is at the Austin Music Hall, and begins at 7:55pm sharp. The emcee (emcee-for-life, we tease him) will be Mr. Paul Ray (who, we hope, will join Lou Ann for a song) with popular funnyman Kerry Awn. The lineup is "the King of Sixth Street," Gerry Van King (providing between-set music by the bar); 81/2 Souvenirs; the Sexton Brothers Sextet; the Texas Tornados with guest Roy Head; the Townes Van Zandt tribute hosted by Jimmie Dale Gilmore and featuring Joe Ely, Kimmie Rhodes, Champ Hood, Mickey White, and J.T. Van Zandt and more; and Lou Ann Barton featuring Jimmie Vaughan. Tickets are $13 in advance ($10 ticket, $3 tax and service charge) and $18 day of show ($15 ticket, co-sponsored by 107.1 KGSR and 101X.

We talk about the performers of the evening but the highlight of the show is, of course, the dozens upon dozens of Austin musicians who will be honored throughout the night as a result of the Music Poll. This is one night out of the year but the reason for it may be heard around this town each one of the 364 nights around it.

It was a few months before that 1984 Awards show, in late 1983, that Senior Account Executive Carolyn Phillips talked us into doing the first Austin Chronicle Musicians Register. The idea was to let every band in town have some space to describe themselves. Not only that, this would be the first directory of Austin talent. 160 bands and individuals responded, which we thought was pretty overwhelming. Production took days and days with little sleep and everything in chaos. The issue was 40 pages -- probably the largest we had produced until that point (the Readers Poll issue was also 40 pages -- most issues back then were 24-32 pages). Last year, the count was over 800 bands; this year it surpasses 1,100 entries.

All this tabulating and compiling has been conducted by an army of interns who have skillfully and professionally handled all challenges. Moser and cohort Kate Messer may be almost demonic in double-checking and verifying the Music Poll results, with Messer heading up a crack team of interns to prepare the entries. This gang is looking exhausted from their collective jobs of tabulating the music poll (which had its highest turnout ever) and compiling this year's edition of the 107.1 KGSR-sponsored Musicians Register, our largest ever. Many thanks and much appreciation to Amy Baldwin, Mark Gates, Leslie Hill, Elin Kaulfus, and Jeff Keyton for their work on the register, and to Melissa Nichols and Nicki Schneider for photo coordination. For their work on the Music Poll, we offer extra thanks to Hill, Baldwin, Gates, Keyton, and Leah Welborn.

There is a special four-page SXSW insert this issue filled with information and highlighting all the great stuff from Tony Bennett and Dave Alvin & the Skeletons to screenings of Full Tilt Boogie and Traveller. There is a special executive pass for the SXSW Interactive Trade Show that is only $25 and your Music Festival wristband (which goes off sale on March 1) will get you into the this year's Austin Music Awards. SXSW Film's cup runneth over with Richard Linklater, Quentin Tarantino, Amy Taubin, Robert Rodriguez, John Pierson, Kevin Smith, Kit Carson, Susan Bodine, Steven Soderbergh, and Mike Judge among others in attendance. The line-up for SXSW Multimedia/Interactive is equally stellar, including Jaron Lanier, Mark Pauline, Bruce Sterling, Jan Bozarth, Thomas Dolby Robertson, R.U. Sirius, Bill Barminski, and Rev. Ivan Stang. All this and much more, so check the supplement and this space will offer lots of detail next week.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 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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