Dancing About Architecture

Hatfield Takes a Rest

Lisa Mednick has found touring as keyboardist for Juliana Hatfield to be less than a whirlwind adventure. Oh, sure, they did MTV's 120 Minutes, the Conan O'Brien show, and David Letterman and all, but the latest I hear is that after only five live gigs, Hatfield has called a halt to her planned European tour, claiming that she's just plain exhausted. Ergo, the band is currently holed up in apartments in Boston courtesy of Hatfield's record company, awaiting further instructions. Mednick, who apparently has a bit more spunk than Hatfield, has arranged some solo gigs and made some radio show appearances promoting her own album.

Bad Breaks and the Blues

Things are touch and go right now among several members of the old Austin blues community. The recent benefit for ailing BBQ king Stubbs brought in a very helpful $3,000, though unfortunately Stubbs himself was not, as had been hoped, able to attend. Legendary pianist Grey Ghost has been in Seton Hospital getting some general care, but I've heard a report that he broke his hip while in the hospital. Meanwhile, Erbie Bowser has been very ill and has just gotten out of the hospital. His doctor, who has had him on an oxygen tank, is none too fond of the idea of him being in nightclubs in the first place, so when I tell you that this Friday's 6-8 happy hour show with Erbie is a no-smoking show, I mean it very seriously. By the way, that date also marks his 77th birthday.

Terri Lord's Back!

Well, actually, she's back in bed recovering from back surgery. The Sincola drummer and repeat Austin Music Awards winner was in the hospital getting a lumbar laminectomy, which she describes as an operation where the doctor "cuts through the muscle in your back and makes steak fingers with it." Actually, the doc cuts away the part of a spinal disc that's pressing against a nerve. Lord says that this is "hopefully the end" of a long history of back trouble, and that in three weeks to a month she should be able to get back behind her drum kit. If not, I suppose she could always join the Juliana Hatfield band.

Friction at Tower Records

As interactive technology continues to grow in leaps and bounds, it's finding its way everywhere. Tower Records now has a new setup called "Friction" in their store that enables the user to hear music, check out bios, and even watch videos from new bands. Among the labels involved in the display are locals like Watermelon and Antone's, and a special Austin edition of the program is planned for later this year. The Friction people brag about how fast their system works (they had bands' SXSW stuff on it by the morning after their showcases), and are setting up trial home use for people with PCs. Mind you, there's some dumb parts: Click on one of several bad stand-up comedians and he appears in a big empty theatre telling lame jokes without the benefit of an audience. It kinda gives you the same feeling as watching one of those Death Scenes films.

Mixed Notes

The Wannabes will be heading off on a short tour here pretty soon. They've also been at work on their next DejaDisc album, with John Croslin producing again. Hopefully, the new album will appear before the end of the year, especially considering that their last, Mod Flower Cake, was assembled at a shall we say Eric Johnson pace... Black Pearl, who now have a permanent drummer in Cecilio Ruiz III, are at work on a new album, with hopes of a midsummer release. No title on that one yet... Breedlove, who opened for one of those secret Ian Moore shows last Sunday at the Billy White club, er, I mean Steamboat, contains White's brother Jason as well as Vaughan spawn (Jimmie's son) Tyrone Fullerton. (I wasn't there, but no doubt Andy Langer was, so ask him how it went.) Speaking of Moore, last week's secret name, "ICBM," standing for Ian, Chris, Bukka, and Mike, but announced as "Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile" (and thought up by Steamboat's Danny Crooks), was the best one I've heard so far. I think they should run with it... Velvet Hammer took first place in Houston's Most Original Song Contest (that's their words, not mine - "most original" sounds like a bit of a backhanded compliment to me) last week. After nearly a year of semi-finals and 120 bands, six bands competed at Millennium on the 17th. Velvet Hammer won $1,000, a 20-channel Tascam board, and 36 hours of studio time. The winning song was "Kansas," which will be included on the upcoming Velvet Hammer CD, due out in June... Bruce Hughes of the Ugly Americans says that in the course of seeking a "non-exclusive" clause in his contract with Giant Records, he sent a copy of his Teratoma CD to the label. Giant's reaction to the disc, he says, was that it was "so non-commercially viable and strange that they didn't give a fuck what I did with it." That's one way to get what you want, Bruce. Teratoma will be playing, along with Gretchen Phillips, Meg Hentges, and Hamell on Trial this Friday at the Electric Lounge... The Adults are releasing a single soon on local Fume label, with an accompanying video for the song "Powerbag"... Sarah Elizabeth Campbell, who as I previously announced has been nominated for a NAIRD award, has been asked to perform at the awards ceremony a week from this Saturday in San Francisco. That's not a guarantee that she's won or anything, but it's not a bad sign, either. If you've been looking for a copy of Campbell's out-of-print Kaleidoscope Records debut album, A Little Tenderness, DejaDisc has picked up the rights, and will be rereleasing that disc soon... Dem changes: Dah-Veed's new bassist is John Thomasson, ex of Little Sister. Former Dah-Veed bassman Clay Pendergrass has headed north and joined Jackopierce... Don't think I've mentioned the free downtown concerts on Tuesdays at noon at Sixth and Colorado, have I? The next one features the Austin Klezmorim and the series continues through June... The Austin Lounge Lizards have their 15th anniversary show this Saturday at the Texas Union Ballroom. Usually, the annual Lizards reunion show encompasses two performances, but this year, they graduated upstairs because there were just too many former members of the band to fit in the Cactus. Oh, wait, I'm sorry. It was because of high ticket demand... Sixth Street tends to become a verbal war zone when discussions start regarding festivals, but since it occurs before most nightclubs open, the Old Pecan Street Festival will probably not stir up too much furor (as opposed to the SoCo festival, which didn't stir up too much attendance; one member of a band who played SoCo says that "next year I'd rather play Eeyore's"). The Festival runs from 11am-8pm this Saturday and Sunday with a zillion craft booths and five live music stages; there's no admission charge... Special guest of the Dave Matthews Band last week was Patrice Pike, who got up and sang a song with the band at the Backyard... Picky, picky! Existential Vacuum Records say that they are not, as reported here last week, releasing a CD of Huns material. Instead, they are releasing an album (vinyl) of said material. That should be in about two weeks, they add... Speaking of corrections and such, a few things have remained a bit foggy in coverage of the slew of impending Jimmie Vaughan shows. Let's clarify: Tonight (May 4), Vaughan and his Tilt-a-Whirl band are playing the Austin Music Hall with Eric Johnson's Alien Love Child opening. Tickets are still available for this guitar-lover's wet dream. On May 11 at the Austin City Limits soundstage, a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan is being filmed, featuring Vaughan, Double Trouble, and guests Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, Dr. John, and Art Neville. This may or may not be an ACL or PBS show; it could also end up on cable or network. No tickets are available; don't even think about it. On Friday, May 12, Jimmie Vaughan & Friends at the Austin Music Hall will feature Clapton, Guy, Cray, and possibly Dr. John. Definitely not appearing are B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, and Art Neville. A combination of Double Trouble and the Tilt-a-Whirls will provide rhythm back-up for the show, whose proceeds will benefit Capitol Area Food Bank, a favorite charity of SRV. Sold out. Forget it. One more thing, the ticket snafu reported last week happened because the promoter and band management were attempting to keep tickets away from scalpers. Just file it in the "Best Laid Plans" folder. Oh, and we hear there's another JLV show at Antone's on the 9th... This just in: bo bud greene have signed to Backyard Records, a division of Scotti Brothers (remember John Cafferty and the Brown Beaver Band aka Eddie and the Cruisers)? Look for the bo debut on August 27...

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More Dancing About Architecture
Dancing About Architecture
Dancing About Architecture
The last installment of "Dancing About Architecture."

Ken Lieck, Jan. 3, 2003

So Long, Slug
So Long, Slug

Ken Lieck, Dec. 20, 2002

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