The Austin Chronicle

Luv Doc Recommends: Rude Mechanicals' Black Eye Ball

The Off Center, Saturday, August 20, 2005

By The Luv Doc, August 19, 2005, Columns

You’re right, you should feel nervous about attending an event called the Black Eye Ball. Sounds like something held at a biker bar in Baytown instead of a trendy performance art warehouse in East Austin. You’ll find colorful people in both places, no doubt, but in the Off Center you’re much more likely to meet people with a full head of teeth and a college degree (albeit in the impoverished liberal or fine arts). Baytown has its share of eligible singles too, but generally they’re the kind of people who have nicknames like “Stumpy” or “Tulips” – real red-state salt-of-the-earthers with too much joie de vivre to let a teen pregnancy or a parole meeting spoil a good time on a Saturday night. Liberal and fine artists like to get their swerve on too, and while you may not find anyone at the Off Center with the chops to lift a silver dollar off a barstool sans appendages, you’ll certainly be exposed to a roomful of talent nonetheless. For instance, the Black Eye Ball starts out with music from Glover Gill, a veteran keyboardist/accordionist who has played with D-Day, Charlie Sexton, and 8-1/2 Souvenirs. Gill also did the film score for Waking Life and has impressive array of arm tattoos – enough to make a Baytown biker envious. Saturday night he’ll be holding forth with the Tosca String Quartet, a talented group of well-strung women who are recently back from a two-year tour with David Byrne. Later, Golden Arm Trio frontman and acclaimed composer Graham Reynolds will be manning the DJ booth, spinning an eclectic mix of dance tunes as the revelers get rowdier from the free beer and the specially concocted “Black Magic” cocktails from the cash bar. If you’re not the kind of person who appreciates talent, don’t sweat it. The Black Eye Ball’s silent/live auction features items and services from some of Austin’s best artists, restaurants, and retailers. Bring a fat wallet because the money you spend goes entirely to charity: That being the Rude Mechanicals’ upcoming 10th Anniversary season. Dress is punk rock black tie – which pretty much sums up any artsy event in Austin that tries to go formal. What it means to you is that you can kick it in just about anything short of lederhosen and not look out of place. Hint: You may want to incorporate the color black into your wardrobe – just to be safe. Tickets are $35; $15 for starving artists.

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