Crosstalk: The American Analog Set Due for Numero Group Reissue Treatment, and More Music News

Blaze Foley’s Outhouse online & Broken Spoke's historic marker

The American Analog Set on the cover on Sept. 16, 2005 (Photo by Mary Sledd)

The American Analog Set’s reissue campaign is starting to hum, as is fitting for Austin’s slowcore pioneers. Numero Group, arguably the world’s best reissue label, is planning a box set for early 2024 focused on AmAnSet’s late Nineties trifecta on Austin’s Emperor Jones – 1996’s The Fun of Watching Fireworks, 1997’s From Our Living Room to Yours, and 1999’s The Golden Band – complete with singles and unissued tracks. “Numero has asked for whatever is under the rug,” shares frontman Andrew Kenny. “They’re sitting on a ton of old photographs and posters and demo versions.” AmAnSet isn’t actively planning a reunion, but the band’s Know By Heart-era lineup – Kenny, drummer Mark Smith, bassist Lee Gillespie, keyboardist Craig McCaffrey, percussionist Sean Ripple – has been quietly playing and recording in Kenny’s garage on Monday nights for years now. “It’s kind of a cool uncle’s club – a subset of dad rock,” laughs Kenny. “We just really enjoy getting together and sharing that language we spent years developing together. We’re not in a rush to complicate it.” – Austin Powell

Of Blaze Foley, the recently passed artist Mandy Mercier once said: “I really can’t imagine a higher form of evolution than what he was, which is a wild thing to say about a drunk, belligerent, homeless, confrontational guy.” (Read Mercier's Chronicle obituary here.) Foley, the often contradictory, always legendary Austin songwriter, played two shows over two nights at the Austin Outhouse a mere 34 days before he was shot to death while sticking up for an elderly friend on February 1, 1989. The recordings of the performances, made by his longtime friend Lost John Casner, were condensed to 12 songs and originally released on cassette to cover the cost of his burial – with $1 from every $5 copy sold going to an Austin homeless shelter, per Blaze’s request. Lost Art Records’ Tom Tobin and Craig McDonald released the Live at the Austin Outhouse CD in November 1999. Now, for the first time ever, the complete, unedited, four-hour recordings of both shows are available on major streaming platforms as well as a USB card as The Complete Outhouse Sessions. Lost Art still donates 10% of sales to Central Texas Food Bank and Sunshine Church Homeless Project. – Hank Erwin

Broken Spoke will celebrate the installation of a Texas Historical Marker on its building front on Wednesday, April 12 at 5:30pm. The free, public event will include live music from Alvin Crow and Ian Stewart and welcome political speakers and guests, including Mayor Kirk Watson, Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott, and Council Member Ann Kitchen. The family-run business, hub of country culture with two-stepping lessons and chicken-fried foods since its 1964 opening, endured the passing of owner James White in 2021. Alongside the state designation, according to a Chronicle report last year, the venue is also headed towards a city-level historic landmark status that “would open the Spoke up to a series of helpful financial and planning tools at the city level” and protect the beloved venue from demolition. – Katie Karp

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