After a Fashion

This week, Stephen manages to connect Barbara K, the Shangri-Las, and Joey Buttafuoco. Go figure.

After a Fashion
Photo By Roberta Bayley

SOPHISTICATED BOOM BOOM I'm almost peeing on myself I'm so excited about Mary Weiss' appearance at South by Southwest. I discovered The Golden Hits of the Shangri-Las as a young teenager in 1972. Even by then, the world had changed so much since the album had been released – hippiedom ruled the scene, and bad-girl biker chicks like the Shangri-Las were an anachronism. But I was besotted with them. Her. Especially her, with her long hair sweeping over one eye and her tough-as-nails boots. Suddenly, I no longer cared about peasant skirts, macramé purses, and hippie hair. I wanted everyone to wear shell tops, black leather, and towering hair-dos. My fashion sensibility had been changed forever, as had my sense of what music should sound like. These street-side angels were alternately tough and tender and sang about a world of loneliness and love, where parents didn't understand that their little girls were becoming worldly women. Tragedy ("Leader of the Pack" and "Give Us Your Blessings") and drama ("Dressed in Black" and "I Can Never Go Home Anymore") ruled alongside innocent kisses under moonlit skies ("Remember (Walking in the Sand)" and "Past, Present, and Future") and teenage capriciousness ("Sophisticated Boom Boom" and "Give Him a Great Big Kiss"), and a generation of pop listeners was enchanted with them. Weiss last appeared on a recording in 1965, but her new album, Dangerous Game, (available March 6 through www.nortonrecords.com) promises to be a knockout, with the voice and the attitude we remember so well. And could that be bad? Mmmm, she's good-bad, but she's not evil.

BARBARA'S PLAN Gathered around a table in the bar at the Clay Pit shortly before Christmas, the legendary Barbara K, Jo Carol Pierce, my sister Margaret, and myself met for a little holiday get-together – all great ladies of the Austin music scene (well, except for me, of course). Barbara (of Timbuk 3 fame) had distributed her Christmas gifts to each of us – little resin horny toads with their heads on springs – and we were mesmerized by what she was saying. With her dusty drawl and laconic delivery, at first I thought I was dealing with the possessed ramblings of a mad woman. But soon it was evident that she was crazy like a fox, with a diabolically simple plan to revolutionize the sale of independent music and give back to the community at the same time. She was telling us about Texamericana, a nonprofit that she co-founded to create funding for charitable and community organizations by supporting musical and cultural diversity. Texamericana (www.texamericana.org) is a nonprofit Internet record store that generates $1-5 from every CD sold for a nonprofit radio station or community organization. As more artists join the program, the power of the music and the dollar will make this a better place for all of us.

FASHION NIGHTMARE I won't say at which party, but I saw a guy wearing Joey Buttafuoco pants. Remember the horrid Eighties printed peg-leg pants that were baggy at the top and crossed over in front, held together with Velcro? Dear God, did he just buy them somewhere? Or was he saving them all these years for this special occasion? Needless to say, I had him arrested.

AGENDA Tuesday, March 6, in Dallas, and Thursday, March 8, in Houston, industry giant IMG brings Naomi Campbell and Gemma Ward (along with a bevy of other international beauties) to model the collections of America's top designers. IMG produces major fashion events around the world, including the premier Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York's Bryant Park. See www.fashionweeklive.com for more info… Saturday, March 24, at the Renaissance Hotel, the Austin Lyric Opera Guild presents the Opera Ball 2007: Memoirs of a Diva, celebrating 20 years in Austin. With divine food, an auction, and music by Beto & the Fairlanes, ALO is also offering a less-expensive alternative to the ball – an afterparty that includes drinks, dancing, and dessert. Go to www.austinlyricopera.org for more info… The Octopus Club is soliciting erotic art for their March 24 ArtErotica event, which, I can tell you from having attended for several years, is a pretty fabulous party full of eye-popping art, beautiful people, and breathtaking desserts. All proceeds benefit people living with AIDS in Central Texas. If you'd like to donate a work of art or other item, go to www.octopusclub.org for info.

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.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More After a Fashion
After a Fashion: A Stitch In Time
After a Fashion: A Stitch In Time
Fort Lonesome will not be lonely for long

Stephen MacMillan Moser, July 5, 2013

After a Fashion: The Main Event
After a Fashion: The Main Event
Your Style Avatar would look great sporting these parasols

Stephen MacMillan Moser, June 28, 2013

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin fashion, Austin style, gossip, Sophisticated Boom Boom, Mary Weiss, Shangri-Las, Barbara K, Texamericana, Joey Buttafuoco

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle