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Years ago, when the Chronicle was still bi-weekly, it was easy to shut down over the holidays. Even when we first went weekly, it was possible to do a special double issue for the holiday period and close for a week. This is no longer possible. There is too much going on, too much to cover, too much to report. The Chronicle has to be weekly to fulfill its mission. This year we closed for consecutive Mondays and Tuesdays and finished the issue on a Wednesday. Essentially, this meant that for two weeks in a row, we finished the production of the issue in one day (rather than three). This with at least some of the staff on vacation most of the time. We won't be back to our full strength until next Monday. Yet it has gone relatively smoothly. The issues show no evidence of the strain of their births.

We greet the new millennium, as is appropriate Chronicle-style, a little out of whack and running behind. What better team than this staff to operate under storm conditions? Which, I fear, reflects more than just the atmosphere at this paper. There will be many, many stories to cover in this coming year. Not the least of which is that the current president of the United States is from Austin.

The one thing I predict is that 2001, in its volatility and activity, will make the last tumultuous decade look tame. Paraphrasing the great Bette Davis in All About Eve: "Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy year."

What better way to start off than with the Chronicle staff's top 10s of the last year?


Over most of the last two decades, The Austin Chronicle's Musicians Register has been the annual detailing of the local music scene. Inserted in the Chronicle, at one time the Musicians Register was one of our biggest annual issues. It used to be published in November, but we moved it to February so it would be more timely when we inserted it in the SXSW bag. But timeliness has always been a problem. There is so much change during the year -- new bands form, old bands break up, new folks move to town -- that often within months, the Register is somewhat out of date. Producing the Register is no small feat, from the original 150 bands or so, it has grown to over 1,200.

In 2001, the Musicians Register will be the first aspect of the Chronicle that will only be available online (auschron.com/musicreg). We've instituted a mechanism for more regular updating and feel the Register will be more valuable than ever. We will be publishing a supplement in the Chronicle, but it will be an index of the acts listed online. The Register will go from being a once-a-year catalog to a regularly updated, accurate guide that can be used on a daily basis. See a band playing at a club whose name you don't recognize? Go online and check them out. We're beginning to accumulate information. Check the Musician's Register ads this issue. end story

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

musicians register, top 10s

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