Dancing About Architecture

Rumors are on the fly about the potential fate of Antone's Records' hard rock subsidiary DMZ, and even of sister label dos. Following on the heels of a series of "personnel changes," as owner Harry Friedman puts it, there's a buzz going around regarding the closing or possible sale of the Antone's subsidiaries. Friedman vehemently denies any such thing, saying "Oh, no, Lord, no. There's no truth to the rumors," beyond some talk about distribution deals and recently expressed interest from a label regarding DMZ act Billy White. Friedman says he has no intention in selling off White either, and says also that he and his partner have just purchased land at Sixth and Guadalupe, with plans to build a "complete entertainment center" there. Hmmm. I wish I had the kind of money rolling in to embark on such a project...

Unstable Labels

Don't think that Antone's is the only label with things a-goin' on. The ongoing shake-up at Warner Bros. has so far been kind to Austin-friendly WB VP Bill Bentley, who has been promoted to Vice President/Director of Media Relations at Warners' Reprise label. Looks like it's time for me to ask for free stuff yet again, as well as the correct pronunciation of "Reprise." Former Pariah vocalist Dave Derrick has gone "biz" on us now, taking a post as the new regional promotions guy for the Scotti Brothers label (their Truck Stop Love will be playing Emo's tonight, Thursday 20).

Capricorn Records has announced that Paula Donner, formerly of Austin's Sector 2 Records, has relocated to Nashville and taken a position as Capricorn publicist. Continuing the shuffle, Sharon Calcote has switched from DejaDisc to Sector 2, and Deja (new releases July 25: Michael Elwood and Beth Galiger - Rolling Valentine and the Live at Raul's reissue) is looking for a replacement.

Unclean Records' Roger Morgan is talking with a couple of European labels about releasing Unclean's Dumptruck album in Germany and the Sons of Hercules' latest (expect a new one this fall) in England and France. As is wise in the world of international commerce, Morgan says he is proceeding with caution.

Farewell to "Briz"

Jimmie Vaughan is no stranger to tragedy, which struck again this weekend, when it was learned that one of Vaughan's back-up singers, Reginald "Briz" Brisbon died suddenly on Saturday in New York. According to Vaughan's manager Marc Proct, the 38-year-old singer was out in the New York heat all day ("dancin' and having fun - you know how Briz was"), and upon returning home, complained about a shortness of breath before passing out. Paramedics were called onto the scene, but Brisbon could not be revived. Proct is still waiting for a confirmed cause of death. Brisbon was to have come to Austin in a couple of weeks to begin rehearsals for the B.B. King Blues tour, which Vaughan is set to embark on at the beginning of August with the likes of King and Etta James, and which should roll through Austin in September. Proct's office also confirms that Soulhat, in Louisiana to record their second Epic album, broke up during the sessions.

One-Eyed Jacks

Despite the fact that he's still being paid, and you can still hear him sometimes on the air, Robbie Jacks, the Robin Quivers to Gibby Haynes' Howard Stern, is indeed no longer working at 101X. How's that work? Well, his contract says that he gets a few more weeks' pay, and he's been showing up on Gibby's evening show to make it clear he has no animosity towards his former partner. Despite early talk that homophobia on the part of the station's program director played a role in his dismissal, Jacks says that the PD has since called him and made it clear that he might well be rehired, and that if so, he "would not be censored in any way" as far as his sexual preference. Jacks (who laughs for incredibly long periods during normal conversation, in case you thought his character on the radio was a put-on) makes no secret of his bitterness about being removed from the radio broadcast and from an upcoming Jo Carol Pierce album. He shouldn't have any worries when it comes to keeping busy, though, as opportunities continue to drop into his lap. Jacks currently has his sights set on the great one-eyed monster (no, not that one! I'm talking about television!). Almost immediately following his dismissal from the radio, he was called upon by Roseanne to write a pilot show starring their mutual friends Sandra Bernhard and Deborah Harry. And no, this isn't the American version of Absolutely Fabulous that you've been reading about, it's a proposed series for HBO that's as yet untitled (Jacks says he doesn't want it to end up called Sandra!). Jacks has been chatting up another pal, Exene Cervenka, for further inspiration, and you may see her in the show, along with music from Jacks and from Kay Turner's Girls in the Nose, as well. No, this won't be a musical, as such. Jacks loosely refers to the work in progress as a "Larry Sanders type of thing."

Twigs in the Garden

Lon Friend, Vice President of A&R at Arista Records, finally got a chance to see a proper performance by the Twigs a couple of weeks ago. Good thing, too, as during SXSW Friend took a liking to the young Austin band after seeing their unofficial acoustic showcase in a little burger hut on Sixth Street. As you may recall reading in this column at the time, Friend brought Led Zep alum John Paul Jones in to see the band. They also received the attention of Susan Silver, wife of Chris Cornell and manager of his band Soundgarden, who has since been giving the band advice. With the recent Arista showcase finally came a demo deal with the label, and the band will be recording said demo next month. The Twigs are hoping to hear positive results from the session around October. Meanwhile, if you want to hear the band for yourself, you can check them out at Aqua Fest on the 29th. (This reminds me, the fest starts next Thursday (7/27) with Radney Foster, Asleep at the Wheel, Jerry Giddens, Wayne Toups, Toby Anderson, Greenstreet, and the Kraze).

Moore Movies

Ian Moore's off mixing his version of "Magic Bus" with co-producer Dave McNair for the soundtrack of the upcoming National Lampoon's Senior Trip, featuring Tommy Chong. The film will also include bits from Moore's songs "Barline 99," "Stain," and "Train Tracks"; the Who cover will feature in scenes of Chong as a bus driver named "Red." Whether a soundtrack album will be released depends on the movie's success, but if Chong didn't write and Amy Heckerling doesn't direct, I give it a chance. Moore's version of the Muddy Waters tune "Champagne and Reefer" will appear on the label's upcoming Hempilation album, starring the Black Crowes, Blues Traveller, and other noted stoners.

Mixed Notes

Shanachie Records have confirmed an interest in the dulcet tones of Kris McKay, but these's no done deal yet between the two. McKay says that "things look really good," but that nothing has been inked yet. Her "Too Many Guitars" night, by the way, continues as a monthly event at different clubs. This month's is the 27th at the Electric Lounge... Bret Domrose, former bandmate to Alejandro Escovedo in his old punk band the Nuns, has started a new band featuring Speed freak Keanu Reeves, according to a story in the Dallas Morning News. If you're thinking that Dallas has found its own answer to P, keep in mind that Reeves' role in the group, called Dogstar (Hmmm, didn't Reeves star as the dog boy in Freaked?) is not to show off his famous face, but to shut up and play the bass... It's two birthdays in one this Sunday at 2pm, when the Victory Grill celebrates its 50th anniversary and proprietor Johnny Holmes celebrates his 78th b-day. The Eastside establishment has in its long existence been home to performances by Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Tina Turner, B.B. King, and James Brown... Now here's an idea too long in coming! The Swap and Bop flea market extravaganza is this Sunday from 11am-6pm. What's that? It's a combination of your two favorite things: live music and tacky clothing/knickknacks. That's in the parking lot of the Waterloo Brewing Company, and playing are Wayne "The Train" Hancock, Happy Days+2, Marti Brom & Her Jet-Tone Boys, Phantom Creeps, and the Inhalants (in that order)... Expect to see Stretford guitarist Dan Carney sitting in with the Hormones for a while, as the 'mones have lost their guitarist Arman Mabry to the Fuck Emos, where he'll play bass and Mike Belyea will switch to guitar. The Fuck Emos' guitarist has meanwhile gone, well, wherever it is that former Fuck Emos go... Jimmie Dale Gilmore got a nice four-page spread in the New York Times Magazine not long ago. The piece covered his emergence from follower of a teenage Maharishi to a world-class songsinger... For those of you who've been wondering why I didn't pick your Web site to mention in that feature I wrote last week on bands and the Internet, Casey Monahan at the Texas Music Office just sent me a 10-page fax, single spaced, of nothing but Texas music related Web sites. Maybe I'll run some here in the old column in the coming weeks... Couple o' swell in-store performances this week. Monte Warden plays Waterloo Records this Friday at 5pm, and Don Walser performs at MusicMania on Saturday at 3pm... I didn't mean to make it look like I was calling Jordan Silber of the White Rabbit a liar last week, but I got a number of calls countering his claim about Crash Worship being involved in trouble outside the club a few weeks ago. Silber is sticking to his guns, saying that he knows damn well what the Crash Worshippers look like, and he's sure he saw some of them. Tell you what, everybody, let's just drop the whole thing. 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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