Daily Music
Many years ago, I made a trip to Graceland with the Joe Ely Band. It was before Graceland was open to the public so we stood around the graves, chatted up Uncle Vester Presley at the front gates, and wasted money on Elvis hotdogs at the Elvis Presley Eternal Flame souvenir shop across Elvis Presley Boulevard. TCB, baby!

Not long after, I tagged behind the Ely band to a gig in Corpus Christi. We stopped at a convenience store in Mathis, Texas on the way back and a poster caught my eye. “Duke Presley,” it read. A cousin of Elvis’, the poster boasted, along with a few other gassy claims. I stole the poster and when I got back to the Chronicle, shared it with Carolyn Phillips in our sales department. She shared it with Ted Roddy for the first Elvis show and he used that same poster – with a few changes – for his original Graceland Revue shows.

I’ve sat through more than a few of Roddy’s Elvis tributes at the Continental (one of which takes place Saturday). I’ve hoisted many a beer during “Viva Las Vegas” and coughed through the now-defunct Totally Smokin’ shows. I’ve oohed and aahed to Shaun Young’s Blue Moon Boys, swooned to Roddy’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” entrance, and sung loudly to “Suspicious Minds.” I’ve also seen Elvis tribute bands and imitators in places as far away as Hawaii and there’s no question that Ted Roddy is one of the best. His rich baritone is Elvis-like but he doesn’t seek to slavishly ape the King, just pay serious homage. And that’s good enough for me.

2:29PM Fri. Aug. 17, 2007, Margaret Moser Read More | Comment »

Saturday Brain Washing
Sheep-friendly sludge trio the Flood celebrate the release of their ferocious full-length debut, Power to the Sheeple, tomorrow night at Trophy's, a club they were allegedly "banned" from just last month. What you have to do to get banned from Trophy's is beyond me, but the live show is definitely worth catching. It's also a kick-off for their "Dirty South" tour, which will take them from San Antonio all the way to lovely Jackson, Mississippi. Good luck, boys.

Also down South tomorrow night, catch Black Angels guitarist Christian Bland's new project Pig Boat Blues, along with All in the Golden Afternoon and the Tunnels at the Rockin' Tomato, 3003 S. Lamar. Free!

Plus! Baby Robots celebrate the release of their new decade-spanning blur, 10-Year High, at End of an Ear with Horse + Donkey. 6pm. FREE BEER. GOOD RECORDS.

12:46PM Fri. Aug. 17, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Paint It Black
Saturday is the new Sabbath. At least that's the day Magilum Records, the label run by artist Bryce Isbell, chose for its freak-folk gathering in Denton this weekend. The New Sabbath Festival takes place at J&J's Pizza, two free stages in front of the Courthouse, and another free stage at Banter coffeehouse. OTR has no idea where any of these places are, and would probably not be in the best state of mind for figuring it out, but the lineup - kindred spirits Peter & the Wolf and Jana Hunter, Brothers & Sisters, Bill Baird, the Black, Denton favorites the Theater Fire and Doug Burr, and Houston's Listen Listen, among others - is certainly worth the trek. Full lineup here.

12:17PM Fri. Aug. 17, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

Jana Hunter: 'Feow!'
Jana Hunter may have left Texas for the balmy shores of Baltimore, but her heart (and ears) are still here. She recently launched a label, Feow! Records, along with friends/musicians Matthew Brownlie and Arthur Bates, who are in Houston bands Bring Back the Guns and Wicked Poseur, respectively. Upcoming releases include singer-songwriter Deer Tick's War Elephant September 2 and Bring Back the Guns' Dry Futures October 4.

"My main motivation was to get the Deer Tick and Wicked Poseur records out into the public," Hunter says. "Right now, things are a little tricky since I moved. As things progress, we'll see where it goes, but I think Matt at least is in it for the long haul and wants to focus mostly on Houston bands. I'd like to stick to things I'm most excited about, no matter where they make their home, and eventually expand into print and other media. I'm not sure whether or not these interests will keep us on the same page or lead us in different directions."

In the meantime, Hunter gears up for a fall tour with old friend Devendra Banhart, which hits La Zona Rosa October 7.

12:41PM Wed. Aug. 15, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Come and Take It
A handful of Austin bands decamp to Lawrence, Kansas this weekend for the fourth annual North vs. South Music Festival. The three-day event, held in various venues across the city, begins with the Meat Purveyors, Xcella, and Ethan Azarian on Thursday. Friday it's Moonlight Towers, Militant Babies, Magnet School, Summer Wardrobe, and Til Were Blue or Destroy, while Grand Champeen, Crawling with Kings, the Service Industry, Cat Scientist, and Sally Crewe do battle on Saturday.

12:35PM Wed. Aug. 15, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

ACL: Countdown to Meltdown
With the Austin City Limits Music Festival exactly one month away, it may be time to start camping out at the ACL studios. The television series, now in its 33rd season, just announced its taping schedule for that weekend.

Crowded House kicks things off on Thursday, September 13, followed by the Arcade Fire on Friday, Wilco on Saturday, Regina Spektor and Bloc Party on Sunday, and Lucinda Williams on Monday. Call 475-9077 for more information.

In related news, the White Stripes and Queens of the Stone Age aftershows have sold out, and it appears more and more likely that Amy Winehouse will cancel her appearance due to "clinical exhaustion."

11:31AM Tue. Aug. 14, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

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One for the Girls
It was the long week that grew longer. After Uncle John Turner died six days before his tribute show, there was a faint sense of relief. Not that he was gone – that was terribly difficult in itself – but that the psychic weight of his illness and his pain were lifted from his wife, his loved ones, and his friends.

Antone’s was already buzzing late that Wednesday afternoon. Winter’s RV was parked in front of the club, just like the old days when Albert King would pull his bus up in front of the Sixth Street club. “I Play the Blues For You,” read the banner on the side of King’s bus. Winter’s vehicle had no such proclamation, but he didn’t need it. His presence alone said, “I’m here to play the blues for you, Unc.”

The bands were scurrying around loading equipment as Erin Jaimes began the monumental task of getting the show going. Veteran scenester and gal-about-town Emma Little organized the silent auction in her inimitable way, and I set up tables for the “health and education sector” that Kumi Shannon joked we were in charge of. As it was, the Liver Foundation of Central Texas, the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, the Texas Organ Sharing Association, and SIMS were all well-represented, thanks to the LFCT’s Ginger Busboom and Brandi Smith and SIMS’ Sandi Bruce and Catarina Sigerfoos. Club flack Jessica Jarrett buzzed around leaving guest list info for Ilsa Haynes at the door while Susan Antone dropped by to check on things. Things were good.

1:19PM Mon. Aug. 13, 2007, Margaret Moser Read More | Comment »

Helium Tea
Anyone who attended Soundcheck Magazine’s party in June at Emo’s must recall the Octopus Project’s rocket balloon experiment: Thousands of bright and shiny rubber objects shooting out in all directions like a batch of fireworks.

The instrumental visionaries, who release their third Peek-A-Boo full-length, Hello, Avalanche, on October 9, attempted to recreate the moment during their headlining performance at McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn, only this time with a little help from Japan’s Peelander-Z, and a little too much help from the wind.

The stunt, along with Yvonne Lambert’s kung-fu Theremin chops, Erase Errata, and Dan Deacon, are highlighted here.

Expect Ghostland Observatory to make similar waves this Sunday as part of the Park’s ongoing free summer concert series.

1:03PM Mon. Aug. 13, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

Ween: The New Grateful Dead?
Overheard at the Ween show last night:

Dude #1: I was getting somewhere with that chick.

Dude #2: No you weren't. She's like 50.

Dude #1: No she's not. 35 tops.

Dude #2: Those boobs have seen some breastfeeding, that's all.

Ah, Ween fans. They're a strange bunch. And Ween, well, I can't say they disappointed those fans last night. The sold-out show at Stubb's smelled like weed before Gene and Dean (Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo, respectively) even stepped onstage. And I couldn't really see it any other way.

Ween's career trajectory has been a curious one. They went from a lo-fi Shimmy Disc band in the early Nineties to releasing EPs on the more experimental Flying Nun Records, and eventually became most successful on Elektra. For the kind of music they do, it's a bit mind-boggling that they're still so popular, but they get props for still dressing the same way they did in 1991.

1:59PM Fri. Aug. 10, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

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