Dancing About Architecture

You're jammin' me! Pearl Jam, that is. And you can bet that no matter how mad you are about the last minute cancellation of the megastadium "alternative" act's Austin (and only Texas) show, Abel Theriot was more upset when he picked up his daily paper on Monday and read the wire service story about the no-show. You see, nobody had bothered to pass the news on to him, even though he's the owner of Southpark Meadows, where the show was to be held. As of Tuesday, Theriot said he still knew little more than what he read in the papers. He hadn't been able to get through to Pace concerts, the promoter of the event, much less the band. By Wednesday things were still foggy, with the band announcing that some shows (Chicago and Milwaukee) were back on and giving a general nod toward the possibility of rescheduling others in the fall.

ETM, the national ticket agency handling the Pearl Jam (non) tour, says they'll have new information on Friday, but at this point Theriot isn't hoping for the band to miraculously appear. With Southpark Meadows' old light tower torn down to please the band, the new one unfinished, and thousands of people already having cancelled the hotel reservations and plane flights they had made for the weekend (to see a "grunge" band!), if PJ decided to play after all it would simply make the catastrophe bigger. As far as the financial results of Pearl Jam's retreat, Theriot says "I imagine we'll take a beating like everybody else." Southpark Meadows received an unrefundable deposit for the show but even that "won't cover the damn expenses." Besides the obviously large undertaking of preparing an area for a concert of this magnitude, there's one expense you might not have known about: Says Theriot, "Pace was having to build a tunnel for [PJ front man Eddie Vedder] to go all the way between the dressing room and the stage." Theriot's not sure whether the purpose was to keep fans away or because he "didn't want to get his hair messed up."

Of course, Vedder doesn't hold the only tickets to The Star Trip. Current hitmakers Filter showed their true colors (and little else) at Emo's Monday night when, after about a half-minute of sound check performance, and a few more of bitching about the monitors (and their own manager), they left the club - only to have said manager call back sometime later claiming that group mastermind Richard Patrick had "strep." Apparently, Eric "Emo" Hartman had told the band from the beginning that they'd probably be better off at Liberty Lunch, but they'd hear none of it. Sure enough though, when the band got to the club and realized that it was just that - a club, with a low stage, trashy atmosphere, and fewer creature comforts than the group was accustomed to (remember Patrick has spent the better part of his career with NIN) - the show soon became a no-show. A shame, too, since along with the throngs of expectant teens, a passel of Warner Bros. brass (including former Austinite and current WB V.P. Bill Bentley), who had flown down for the show, were left to find other diversions. That's some sharp self-promotion, Filter - or should I say "Hey, guys, nice shot!"

Corn Again!

After literally years of negotiation and record company politics, Hickoids singer Jeff Smith says he has finally gotten back all of that band's master tapes back from Toxic Shock Records, the label that put out most of the Hickoids vinyl, and not long ago made all that material available on CD without the band's approval. Now, says Smith, "it's time to cash in on the popularity of the Rednex!" He has no intention of repeating what Toxic Shock did and smash all the material on to one disc, planning instead to do a nice repackaging job and releasing smaller doses of the material on his Only Boy label (making your copy of the Toxic Shock comp a valuable collectors' item in the process!). Before that appears though, there just might even be a new Hickoids album, as Smith and co-conspirator Davy Jones are in the talking stages of making some new Hickoids recordings. Currently in the finishing stages at Only Boy is T.Tex Edwards' Up Against the Floor album, due in August. Maybe.

A Blizzard in Texas? And in August, No Less?

The bat-biting Black Sabbath begetter Ozzy Osbourne will be in town for two weeks in the middle of August, rehearsing at the Austin Music Hall for his upcoming tour. Expect a lot of traffic from San Antonio during that time as all the metalheads come to gawk and hope for a glimpse of their god. There's talk of Osbourne possibly doing a tour kick-off show there as well. There was no word at press time on whether the AMH's urinals are being renovated to resemble the Alamo.

High on the Hog

Sarah Brown is on the wing to the recording studio in August to record new material for Blind Pig Records. Brown signed a three-album deal with the company, with the first album of original material tentatively slated for release around the first of the year. This brings Brown's song cycle with Blind Pig full circle, in a way; among her first appearances on vinyl was a 45rpm single for the label in the early Seventies as a member of the Vipers, which also included Fabulous Thunderbird-to-be Fran Christina.

A Swarm of Wannabees

General Foods was the first to raise the wrath of the Wannabes this year, when they put a new set of marshmallow characters in their Lucky Charms called (you guessed it), the "Wanna-be's." As the band puts it, "We're bitter, we're not young, and we have [a lawyer]." They also say that they've got the legal copyright on the name, so the next to feel the wrath of the band's litigation are two similarly-spelled bands, each called the "Wanna-Bees." Guitarist Kevin Carney says that the Austin Wannabes are ready to take action against their near-namesakes from Chicago and Finland, especially now that the latter have released an album on U.S. label Pravda, home to locals Javelin Boot among others. For the time being though, the band will be dealing with the more immediate matters of recording their next album for DejaDisc, and their upcoming tour, a "tag team" match with Sincola. That band will be returning from a tour this weekend and playing a gig with the 'bes, who will head off on their own tour the next day. After that, says Carney, "We're suing Sincola for being more popular than us."

Twang Twang Shocker!

Well, it's not that big a shocker yet, but look for one in the future. Dah-Veed Garza (oh, why didn't I copyright that name when I had a chance!) is getting "more interest than he's ever had" from record labels who have heard his newest album. Of course, that's what publicists are supposed to say, but he's got some facts to back it up. For one thing, G. Love producer Stiff Johnson has expressed major interest in producing an album for Dah-veed, and Epic Records will get "first pass" on that project if it gets done. For another, well, it's a little too early to reveal who else is interested in the former Twang Twang Shock-a-Boomer.

Mixed Notes

"I wish something was happening," says manager Jeff Tartakov, in response to the rumors that Pork will soon be signing to Capitol. For now, however, the trio, who recently did "something no Austin band has done before" - divorced themselves from a potentially rotten Elektra deal - remain without a label. Pork fans will find a nice pic of Edith from the band in the new Option to stare at wistfully in the meantime. You may want to keep a close eye on the careers of those locals who are on any of the many Warner/Elektra/Asylum associated labels, as a big shake-up is currently coming down from owners Time Warner (Hang in there, Bill!)... Spoon have joined the list of third-stage acts at Lollapalooza (assuming that it doesn't go up in flames before the scheduled Austin stop). Spoon remain unsigned to Matador Records... Retarted Elf may find that their latest endeavor is a bit, um, thinking impaired. The Elves were so eager to lure Mr. Groper back to the stage to open their show at Liberty Lunch Saturday that they offered to buy the Gropers all the chicken they need for one of their big chicken fests. One side effect of this act of kindness will naturally be a nasty, greasy mess of a stage waiting for the headliners... Keep America Beautiful's wacky mascot Woody Woodpecker will be attending the Governor's Community Achievement Awards this Friday at 10:45am. One assumes that security will be tight; just imagine the kind of damage that that rascally woodpecker could do to the Bushes... Thora-Zine music magazine has not gone under, according to head honcho Brent Comiskey (he answers the phone "Thora-Zine" which is a good sign).Don't hold your breath waiting for the next issue though, as things are definitely unstable behind the scenes at the mag at this time... Look for a Buick MacKane cut on the upcoming Resurrection of the Warlock, a T. Rex tribute album coming out from Old School Records in September... Texan Dan Rather continues to show off his Roky Erickson side. Last week he joined R.E.M. onstage for a verse of their song "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" Despite the number's personal meaning for Rather, he couldn't manage to remember all the words... Sometime-Austinite Tonio K.'s debut album Life in the Foodchain, considered by many to be an offbeat classic, is finally being released on CD. The 1979 album should appear on disc from the Gadfly Records label in mid to late August... Dave Thomson out of Emo's? Seems so. The former club manager, who was demoted to bartender when Emo decided to run the club himself, apparently resigned over the weekend... Doyle Bramhall, Jr., was mighty secretive when he was in town last week, but we do know that he was seen at the ARC doing some songwriting with David Grissom. I also know that if he uses the same words in his songs that he uses with reporters who want to know what he's up to, they won't get played on the radio... Is Joe Newman of the Rudy Schwartz Project forming a new band with certain local (and not-so-local) Subgeniuses? Could be. Meanwhile, check out Sonic Outlaws, playing at the Dobie Theatre on Sunday at 9:30pm. That film focuses on cut-and-paste musical sociologists like Emergency Broadcast Network, the Tape Beatles, and lawsuit magnets Negativland, who, coincidentally, put out the most recent Rudy Schwartz CD on their Seeland Records label. See the film section for more info...Stephen Bruton has a release party and performance at Waterloo Records this Friday at 5pm. Los Straight Jackets have an instore at ABCD's this Friday at 6pm. If you drive fast you can catch both... Visual imagery, anyone? James McMurtry's new album Where Do You Hide the Body (due next week) also sees the light of the camera as a long-form video. Besides its commercial release, the vid may serve as catalyst for a PBS special in which both James and his father, novelist Larry McMurtry, are profiled... Aztec Pimps (playing at Emo's next Monday) drummer Hunt Sales is trying to get some gigs in town for his dad Soupy, who recently stole the show as Moses in the movie And God Spoke, a This Is Spinal Tap-styled "mockumentary." He's checking out comedy clubs and army bases (speaking of Spinal Tap!), but I think the elder Sales could win over the Emo's crowd; how about you?... Tonight's (Thursday) Continental Club tribute to Esquivel, the father of "space age bachelor pad music" (forget that Stereolab junk), includes one of the last appearances of Euripides Pants in their current incarnation. Former Sin City Disciples/current Pants guitarist Bret Engle is movin' back to Kansas City next month. Plans call for more Pants in your future, but there's no word yet on a replacement... Worthy Causes Dept.: The show next Monday at the Continental Club, with Guy Forsyth, 81/2 Souvenirs, and others will be a benefit for Kristina Mars of the Asylum Street Spankers, to help pay some hefty hospital bills for her family... Confidential to James Gunther: Okay, you won a pair of Ty Herndon suspenders. But you have to come to the office to pick them up, and I want to make it clear that I cannot be held responsible for the actions of any of the staff.... n

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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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