The Austin Chronicle

Page Two

By Louis Black, March 15, 2002, Columns

This is always one of the strangest "Page Two"s to write all year. I could say that because, this being one of our biggest issues of the year, it always ends up on page 10 or 12, but I actually don't much care what page this baby ends up on. It's strange, because I write this on Tuesday morning. Earlier this morning I was at registration for SXSW at the Convention Center, taking care of some of the hundreds of details that putting on this event requires (the hundreds I take care of; there are tens of thousands that everyone else handles). Later this afternoon, both the Interactive and Film Conferences will be over, though the Film Festival runs through Saturday. Later tonight, the SXSW Film Awards will be announced at a ceremony at the Paramount, as will the election primary results, both of which are covered in this issue. Tomorrow the SXSW Music Conference begins (a day earlier than usual), and tomorrow night is the Austin Music Awards. Tomorrow as I write this, but not as you read it. This issue goes to press Tuesday night instead of the usual Wednesday, and there will be a first round of distribution Wednesday night instead of it all being done on Thursday. The rest of the distribution of this issue will take place on Thursday, which will also see the downtown distribution of the first of the three Chronicle SXSW dailies will be doing this year. Are we all confused now?

Okay, so it's that time of the year. The forest fire that is SXSW rages. By the time you read this, the woods will have been well-lit. This issue features the many, many winners of The Austin Chronicle's Austin Music Poll. This is the Music section written by you. Our editors and writers step aside, and the readers speak. Which is why, I think, if you look at the 21-year history of the Chronicle Music Poll results, you see the best history of Austin music during those two decades available. It's a people's history, not a critic's.

The winners will have been honored Wednesday night at the Austin Music Hall where everyone should have been entertained by a terrific bill emceed by Paul Ray and featuring the Snobs, female supergroup Supergirls, Sixpence None the Richer, Spoon, and a special tribute to Champ Hood featuring Toni Price, Warren Hood, Lyle Lovett, and the South Austin Jug Band. The show honored the remarkable Ray Benson with a set including Asleep at the Wheel, among the special guests Jimmie Vaughan, Johnny Gimble, and Lyle Lovett again. At least that is the plan.

What's left are hundreds and hundreds of bands and dozens of movies. Two highlights I must note. Robbie Robertson introducing a remixed and remastered print of The Last Waltz (one of the two best music rockumentaries of all time) at the Paramount on Friday night is first. This all-time classic will finally be seen with the sound quality worthy of it. Next is the world premiere of Guillermo del Toro's Blade 2 on Saturday night at the Paramount. Rumored to be a comic-book masterpiece, this is the new film by one of my favorite directors. Outside of these two, I leave you to decide from the many, many choices left on the music and movie menu.

The best way to keep track of what is going on is in the three Chronicle SXSW dailies. This year we'll be putting out special editions on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings. On Thursday you can pick up the weekly and the daily Chronicle for a double dose. Next week, we'll wrap everything up in our regular weekly edition.

By the way, SXSW Music wristbands, good for all music events, are still available at all Star Tickets outlets. SXSW Film Passes are now only $30 and are available at Waterloo Video and at the doors of some of the SXSW Film venues. Enjoy. end story

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