Daily Music
Liner Notes
If Bob Wills is still the King of Texas, then longtime drummer Johnny Cuviello remains a prince. The Texas Playboy celebrates his 92nd birthday at Patsy’s Cowgirl Café Friday, with help from fellow Playboy Herb Remington, Billy Dee, Maryann Price, Floyd Domino, Justin Trevino, and Bert Rivera, among others.

Recalling the record store’s notorious in-store performances, Snake Eyes Vinyl hosts a benefit tomorrow at Room 710 with the Roller, Maelstrom, Spittin' Bullets, Split Hoof, Fuck Work, and Voidland. While the hardcore outlet continues its search for a new location, the oft-forgotten Encore Video (1745 W. Anderson Ln.), which recently expanded its vinyl selection, is by default the best place in town to for all your death, black, and classic metal needs.

12:59PM Wed. Oct. 17, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

Help Out Lance Hahn
Update: It was reported Sunday that Lance Hahn passed away after a long battle with kidney disease. As a writer, musician, and human being, he will be missed.

J-Church guitarist Lance Hahn was back in the hospital as of Friday, making the Beerland benefit held last Sunday an especially crucial one. Hahn had undergone surgery for ongoing heart and kidney problems and eventually will need a kidney transplant but, like many Austin musicians, he doesn't have reliable health insurance and medical bills are mounting. His No Idea Records label has put out a benefit album, and you can also donate at various Vulcan Videos around town.

10:55AM Wed. Oct. 17, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Tuesday's Not Gone
Hardcore Country is back at the Broken Spoke. This homey little aggregation of local and national legends has been around since 2004, but they took a hiatus for a few months last year and earlier this year.

Alvin Crow leads the pack on fiddle and vocals, with Jason Crow on bass, Neil Flanz (Gram Parsons) on steel, and Pete Mitchell (Ernest Tubb) on guitar. Sometimes Pinetop Perkins shuffles in and plays a little piano. Spoke owner James White is always on hand to do numbers like “Mr. Honkytonk and Mr. Barstool,” Buck Owens’ “Cinderella,” and “Mountain Dew.” This show was a personal favorite of Clifford Antone.

Tuesday is shaping up for us older folks as a hot night for seeing music, even with the departure of the queen of Tuesday, Toni Price. Dale Watson returns from Europe and picks up his Tuesdays at the Belmont Oct. 23 at 7pm. That’s an opportunity to not only catch his new “Ameripolitan” style, but see the legendary Gene Kurtz, co-writer of “Treat Her Right,” on bass.

2:49PM Tue. Oct. 16, 2007, Margaret Moser Read More | Comment »

When Tomorrow Comes
Policemen ticketing a guy for bathing in the fountain across from The Dallas Morning News at least signals life. On game day Sunday, “The Big D” stands for desolate. Amtrak empties into the heart of downtown, one way only, six-and-a-half hours, and $30 outta Austin, 4pm.

Southern Methodist University thespians histrionic at the Greer Garson Theatre, the grand English actress and her oilman onetime patrons of the centrally located school. Half a mile up Hillcrest, a stately brick building matching the township's other red edifices bangs from the inside. No one stands guard in the marble foyer of McFarlin Memorial Auditorium, but the will call windows are open and taking ID. Soundchecking through the double doors to the theatre, Annie Lennox and her band pound out “When Tomorrow Comes” like God herself down from the mount.

11:41AM Tue. Oct. 16, 2007, Raoul Hernandez Read More | Comment »

Synth Party!
Have you hugged your analog synth today? Saturday at the Salvage Vanguard Theatre, the third annual Austin Analog Synth Party goes down. Organized by former Zom Zom Chad A., synth-heads are encouraged to bring their own vintage or homemade synths, or just come and listen to the cacophony. Headphones with a 1/4" plug are highly recommended.

3:28PM Thu. Oct. 11, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

The Mystic's Dream
If you're a fan of Loreena McKennitt, you've most likely only heard her albums or watched her DVDs. She seldom tours and when she does it's rarely in this part of the country. Her show Tuesday night at Grand Prairie's Nokia Theatre outside Dallas - only her third performance ever in Texas - was a revelation to fans seeing her live for the first time. That voice, so crystalline on album, is even more gorgeous live.

Bathed in stagelights of rich jewel tones amid a set that suggested the Alhambra or perhaps a Gothic chapel, the Canadian-born performer captivated the audience of approximately 1,000 with her divine vocals and playing. Cherry picking songs from her recent CD, An Ancient Muse, and her back catalog, the concert was sublime, an event by a performer of unparalleled talent and vision.

McKennitt's love for Celtic culture found its way into traditional ballads such as "She Moved Through the Fair," "Bonny Portmore," and "The Bonny Swans," and poems set to music such as "The Lady of Shalott." Longtime favorites "The Mystic's Dream," "Raglan Road," and "Santiago" drew a rousing response from the audience, which consisted of a disproportionate number of women in Loreena McKennitt costumes and men with ponytails wearing puffy-sleeved shirts.

11:55AM Thu. Oct. 11, 2007, Margaret Moser Read More | Comment »

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Dumb but Pretty
Breakthrough follow-ups by Rilo Kiley and Devendra Banhart bring to mind Tommy Tutone’s rejoinder to his one-off hit scrawled across bathroom walls, a song called "Dumb But Pretty" Given that the former band's Under the Blacklight got snuffed in these pages for cheap concerns, while the latter performer's Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon sank in waters equally shallow, only the L.A. quartet’s and the L.A. hippie’s charisma seemed intact. Last night, they squared off across town from one another.

In true Venus vs. Mars fashion, the (young) ladies turned out en masse at Stubb’s for Jenny Lewis’ Rilo Kiley, while Tolkienesque beards swept the floor at La Zona Rosa for Devendra Banhart and his troupe of Sixties throwbacks. Say what you will about both acts’ recent platters – tawdry Black Light and spacey Smokey – but both discs eschew the accomplished polish of their immediate predecessors for simple good times. Live, they popped and rollicked with all the seriousness of the Spice Girls.

Seeing as these headlining sets began within minutes of each other – 9pm for RK, 9:15pm for DB – decisions had to be made. Assuming Black Light would take up the front half of Rilo Kiley’ shorter performance, while Banhart would most likely weave his much longer Thunder throughout a scheduled two-hour harmonic convergence, beginning the evening on Red River appeared a sound bet. Lewis and company were anything but safe, however.

1:28PM Mon. Oct. 8, 2007, Raoul Hernandez Read More | Comment »

Starving and Art in Marfa, Texas
Even in October, the late afternoon sun in West Texas shows no mercy. We zoom past a group of buzzards sitting on posts, casually staring at a fresh, flattened carcass. The endless rows of telephone poles all bend slightly to West, as if pointing at the looming clay-colored mountains dotted with Yucca. The whole desert seems to be saying, "Eh."

The sleepy, very David Lynchian town of Alpine (there’s even a Twin Peaks Liquors there) sets the mood for the drive into Marfa, a town that sneaks up on us, until we see the hordes of kids with tattooed arms and black shirts ambling down main street. Then the desert sky opens and it starts pouring.

Thousands descended upon the small town of Marfa, Texas this weekend, doubling its population for the yearly arts open house sponsored by the Chinati and Judd Foundations. But most of them – including a whole lot of Austin faces – were really there to see the free musical guest, Sonic Youth, perform Saturday night. This convergence of “underground art” types on the town, which supports a burgeoning art scene, but also has a Dairy Queen and cops who wear cowboy boots and ten-gallon hats, presented a great social experiment. Young people wandered the streets carrying 12-packs, because there was only one small bar open. Down in front of the Hotel Paisano, the historic filming headquarters for the 1955 James Dean movie Giant, free food was being doled out as the sun set, the soundtrack provided by a rousing mariachi band.

1:14PM Mon. Oct. 8, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Kick Out the McJams
I showed up at Stubb’s Saturday night at 7:45 for Outformation's 8pm start and they were already well into their blast of Southern boogie. This is how you know they're road dogs. Led by former Widespread Panic guitar tech Sam Holt, the quintet played for 30 minutes without taking their first break, winding through some loud, hard Americana. Comparisons to Panic are not unjustified, but Outformation took a more blue-collar approach. Lighter on the space jams and further into the blues a la fellow Georgians the Allman Brothers, they closed with a revved up take on the Marshall Tucker Band’s instrumental “Long Hard Ride,” which illustrated the point perfectly.

Though they could be described as a "jam band," headliner Umphrey’s McGee comes from a different direction than those emulating the Grateful Dead. This was obvious from a couple of speed metal/prog rock guitar excursions, especially second set (yes, there were two) opener, “Wizard Burial Ground,” on which guitarist Jake Cinninger set his guitar on stun. While they occasionally drifted into the realm of noodling, the Chicago sextet also mixed in techno beats, Steely Dan soul, and reggae, proving they're capable of almost any style, but two lengthy sets may have been a bit much for unfamiliar ears.

11:06AM Mon. Oct. 8, 2007, Jim Caligiuri Read More | Comment »

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