Dancing About Architecture

Now I'm finally starting to figure out how noise ordinances work. You see, you can't play amplified music in a residential area unless you can prove that it'scommercially viable! That's why the cops can bust a perfectly cool set by a really hot band at your party, but they let Don "Mister Environment" Henley and company blast for miles around central Austin when he wants to put on a show! Considering how far flung the people who tell me they got an earful of Eagles last Sunday were, I can't believe how many doofuses paid good money for tickets... What's that? Oh, bad news, folks. I've just been informed that due to new advances in technology, the Eagles can tell who heard the show illegally, and will be charging $21 on your next telephone bill. Hey, don't bitch. That's still cheaper than what you'd have paid for a shitty seat in the end zone.

Coming Next:
Euro-Walker World

Is the Jerry Jeff Walker family loading up the truck and moving to Bélize? Nope, but they are building a house there. JJW "fell in love with the country down there" during fan-club trips southward in recent years, according to Tried and True Music's John T. Davis. Currently out from Walker and Tried and True is a new live album called Night After Night; on the way in June is The Old Fart in the Mirror, the first Steven Fromholz album in longer than you should admit being able to remember.

Green With Envy

The Green Onion is a new club that just opened last Friday to a packed house and a clogged toilet. Of course, the Onion is located in San Antonio, so why am I mentioning it here? Why, because the club, which is basically owned and run by the Sons of Hercules, provides another location near Austin for cool bands to play. Last Friday's opening night featured a lovely blend of Austin and S.A. acts: The Hormones, Dropouts, Inhalants, and, of course, the Sons. One performer at the downtown area club that night describes the venue as Hole in the Wall-sized, with a decor that suggests a "TV version of a Sixties cocktail lounge." He adds happily that "there's no need to go to Wacky's anymore."

So We Gotta Say Goodbye (For the Summer)

Gretchen Phillips says that she's "been here too many summers," and beginning this year is starting a strict regimen of annual out-of-state vacations. The New Gretchen Phillips Xperience gig tonight (Thursday) at Liberty Lunch is the last before she takes off for a veritable tour of the U.S.A. over the next few months (No fool, she will be returning briefly for her birthday on July 19 and "expecting a big party"). Tonight's show also features Miss Xanna Don't & the Wanted and Laurie Freelove. This marks the first time Phillips and Freelove will have shared the stage in years. The two won't be performing any songs together, though. Phillips also hints that she'd like to put out a new single in time for the Michigan Women's Music Festival in August, and that if any indie singles labels are interested, they should introduce themselves.

For the Benefit of...

You'd think it was Christmas instead of nearly summer from all the giving that's been going on lately. SoCo Rocks fest and Evan Johns among others have donated some of their recent proceeds to victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, and pianist Van Cliburn did some charity work both in promoting eye care, and supporting youth education in the arts while in Austin recently. On Mother's Day and beyond, the benefits just keep on coming. The Austin Group of the Leukemia Society is hosting an outdoor concert on Mother's Day with Duck Soup, 47 Indians, Buck-49, and the Brew with Karan Chavis playing at Shady Springs (9401 Sherman Road) between noon and 6pm. There's a big benefit this Sunday at Emo's, starting at 7pm sharp, to pay legal fees for an employee who was busted by the TABC, and to get some things back up to snuff at the club as well, like the sound system and the VCR (before Brad First decides that the Duckman videotape I made for the club is his own personal property). The hefty lineup includes Ed Hall, Sixteen Deluxe, Lee Ving, Gals Panic, Wookie, Buzzcrusher, and special guests. The Electric Lounge is also having a benefit that night for Salvage Vanguard theatre with Gut, Enduro, Noodle, and Andromeda Strain and in solidarity with Emo's, the E-Lounge will knock a buck off their cover if you show up with an Emo's stamp. Squid's annual MS benefit at the Hole in the Wall is this Monday, starting at 7pm. Horse Wreck, Poontwang, Sleestacks, Terraplanes (that's Carey Bowman from the Coffee Sergeants' new group), Michael Fracasso, Javelin Boot, Wannabes, and Buick MacKane will play.

CDs, Records, and Tapes

Magneto USA (who maintain they're trying to set up a show with their south-of-the-border counterparts) have a release party on Saturday at the Blue Flamingo for their new 7-inch on El Diablo Musica records. After their show at Hole in the Wall on the 16th, they'll be off for a bit of a tour. The Million Sellers have a release party coming up Friday at the Hole in the Wall, with Hyperfluff and Death Valley surrounding them. And the collection of David Bowie covers on Jeff Smith's Only Boy Records, entitled of course Only Bowie, comes out this week with a two-day bash (Thursday and Friday) at the Electric Lounge. Check the listings to see who's playing and, not coincidentally, who's on the album. And next Thursday (5/18) is the tape release for Dan Israel's solo cassette at the Outhouse.

Big Name Mixed Notes

Lest you think that Ian McLagan has been taking it easy since he's stopped hanging around in local clubs, take a look at Saturday Night Live this weekend to see him keying up with Rod Stewart. This may be an especially historic appearance as some rumor-mongers are insisting that this will be the last new live program in the ailing show's run. Also, I'm told that Mac and Kenny Jones are seeking the royalties they are due from reissues of the old Small Faces albums. Should they emerge victorious, the settlement would also benefit ex-Austinite Ronnie Lane and the estate of Steve Marriott. Luckily, Jones can use the money he got from suing the Who to afford a good lawyer... New Austin resident Terry Bozzio is hardly slouching around these days, either. The word is out that he'll be touring with Jeff Beck later this year, on a tour that teams the yardbird with Carlos Santana, and reportedly stops off at the Erwin Center at the end of September... Got enough Big Names running through your head yet? Well, try out Bruce Springsteen. The Boss guests on two tracks on the upcoming new Joe Ely album... And here's another: Big-time movie director Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law, Mystery Train) is said to be helming the first video for soon-to-be-superstars P. Of course, if P really takes off, Johnny Depp may find himself with only enough time left in his schedule to make eight or nine movies a year... Pearl Jam tickets, anyone? Call 800/225-5063 after 1pm on the 14th and have your credit card number ready. Tix are $23.95 including parking and service charge, and the show is July 2 at South Park Meadows with Bad Religion opening. Well that's what a local radio station is saying, anyway. After all the baiting and switching we've been getting from the production company and the band's management, I wouldn't be surprised if that number turns out to be for time and temperature in Bolivia ... If you don't think Rancid are really punk, consider this: they ripped off sometimes-local tattooist Rollo Banks for the tat design that you see on the inside of their album. Isn't that "punk"? (For a further catalog of Rollo designs, take off Michael Corcoran's shirt)... Everyone's a critic: Faith No More were seen walking into Steamboat during a recent Billy White set - and that's about it. Faithless Mike Patton was heard to shout "Too loud!" and off the band went back out onto the street... Chris Smith (Sixteen Deluxe) and Chris Chambers (ex-Skatenigs) are working on a recording project together. Look for that material to appear in some form later this summer... The city council has postponed their vote on the future site of City Hall for a month. As a result, any discussion of the fate of Liberty Lunch has been pushed back a month as well... Emo's plays host to independent filmmakers from UT next Wednesday, starting at 7pm, as the students have a showing of their recent video and film projects. Capitol Records will give away free stuff and Gals Panic, Wookie, and Houston's Wasteband are the musical guests (after the films, not during)... Hamell time is running out as the tressless troubadour nears his exodus from Austin. Next Monday at the Electric Lounge there's a Hamell Hoot, where folks like Paul Minor, Wammo, Can't Have Katherine, Russ Somers, Mike Henry, Mike Jasper, and others will be performing the songs of Hamell on Trial. The last show by Mr. Ed Hamell himself as an Austinite will be next Friday... plum has a new drummer, Trip Wiggins (ex-Beatsville, Plowman), since their old one has gone to Seed. Seed, meanwhile, are looking at producers - they've talked to Hunt Sales, among others - and are preparing to start recording for their next album in July... Press Release of the Week: Foodmaker, Inc., sent this invaluable information to the Chronicle, and I thought you might be interested. "Jack, the fun, whimsical clown who once took orders at Jack in the Box drive-thrus, disappeared from the chain's advertising in 1980 to show consumers that the restaurant chain had moved to adult tastes. In January 1995, [JitB] brought back Jack in its television commercials as the returning founder of its chain. Witty, urbane and charming - with his large spherical clown head and sporting a stylish business suit - the updated corporate icon has been a giant success." The release goes on to document the popularity of the witty, urbane clown by noting how many portraits of Jack have been stolen from the restaurants by vandals in recent months. I guess if you really want them to know you care, you should maybe smash a couple of windows the next time you "drive-thru."

Correction/Addition: When I mentioned the Too Much Coffee Man ad for Converse that I saw during MTV's The Maxx cartoon, and went on to discuss Austin's contributions to today's animation field, I failed to mention that an Austin company, Animated Alligator Ltd., produced an audio version of the Maxx comic book in 1993 that inspired the audio portion of the cartoon. Of course, my oversight is understandable, as the credits of the cartoon itself fail to mention this, a fact which AAL say they "aren't happy" about.

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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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