The Austin Chronicle

Dancing About Architecture

By Ken Lieck, August 11, 1995, Music

I'm bracing myself as I type this, preparing to head for what Steven Wright (as "K-Billy" in Reservoir Dogs) would call a "bowhemoth" - that monster in a meadow called Lollapalooza. There's good reason for my apprehension, besides the fact that this'll be my first time at the big Loll (well, who wanted to drive to Dallas?!), as Ms. Courtney Love apparently wasn't capable of lasting even a couple of hours in Austin before getting in the middle of a ruckus: At Monday night's "secret" L-7 show at Emo's (where the band announced they weren't really L-7 or even the infamous Camel Lips, but actually an L-7 cover act called K-9) Courtney's inner beast was kept reigned in until the band had left the stage. At that point, however, Love joined Jennifer Finch, Hole drummer Patti Schemel, and bandmates on the sidewalk for a chat (Finch's father passed away a couple of days before, and old friend Love was apparently seeing if she was doing okay). When rubberneckers began to cluster, Love ended up jumping up and growling at a group of young men who were staring at her, then started swinging her purse to get everyone to "spread out." One witness says she managed to (unintentionally?) smack one person across the face with her purse, but unlike the recent Bikini Kill incident, the smackee appeared to be amused and happy to have a story to tell his friends. Chronicle writer Jason Cohen, who had reportedly been on Love's shit list over his recent Rolling Stone piece on Hole, was in attendance at the show but kept a low profile, despite the best efforts of other members of the Chron staff to shove him into a Love fest (or is that fist?). Love didn't get much shut-eye in her Sheraton digs, either, judging from the numerous Austin-datelined posts in her America Online Hole folder, and she showed it the next day at the oh-so-exclusive (but hardly interesting) private pre-palooza party, where Cohen managed to briefly turn her semi-serious wrath my way ("He's the one who wrote that you wanted to punch me!") before her friends urged her out the door. The last I saw of her, she was surrounded by a flock of shrieking drag queens, who we all know aren't shy about getting in anybody's face. Meanwhile, on the non-Holapalooza front, Elastica have parted ways with their bass player (due to "secret reasons" according to one of Love's posts) and spent the early part of the week in the Austin Rehearsal Complex working with Beck's bassist, who will take over for the remainder of the tour. As I write this, it looks like they won't be ready to play the Austin show, however (Moby is the scheduled replacement). That means tears for Tim Stegall (rumors claim he had sex with Sinead [shudder!] just to get Elastica on the bill). Well, at least I got to hang out with Elastica's Justine Frischmann, who, like Love, repeatedly displayed "plumber's crack" throughout the evening. Also, while sitting around and drinking Pavement's tequila, I got to see Frischmann dis Brent Grulke's huge record/CD collection for not having "the basics," which turned out to apparently mean the complete works of Wire.

Mercury Curlywolf

One person who wasn't at the Emo's bash was Rob Bernard of Prescott Curlywolf, who had been turned away by the Lollapalooza door goons. Instead, he found himself at the Electric Lounge leading a charge against the bass player for the Muffs, who had decided that he didn't like the club's neon "Electric" sign (which took Best Sign in our last issue, by the way) and that the punk thing to do would be to smash it to bits with his bass, which he proceeded to do. (E-Lounge co-owner Mark Shuman says the band's management agreed to pay for repairs, and the long Muff/Bernard confrontation ended in a hug.) The next morning, Bernard tended to a less physically strenuous but no less mentally draining task - meeting with his bandmates to sign a deal with Mercury Records. Afterwards, a weary Rob left me the following voice-mail confirmation: "We only just now signed this motherfucker, and fucking Jerry Garcia died, and now we're going to Lollapalooza, so it's been a fucking full day already." Sources close to the band add that Prescott are set to record their Mercury debut in Austin in October and will likely be mixing it in L.A.

Ticket Wars Continue

The battle on scalpers and counterfeiters escalated this week when Liberty Lunch pulled all Alanis Morissette advance tickets from stores. They got a call from Waterloo Records saying that a scalper was lining up homeless people to buy the $8 tix and jack up the prices, and the club, store, and Morissette all agreed that this defeated the whole purpose of her playing for a reasonably low ticket price. The club plans to sell tickets at the door for $9, with no decision made yet on whether advance sales will be handled another way.

More Video, More Music

The city council made it official last Thursday; they've voted in a request to Austin CableVision to expand the Austin Music Network (Cable 15, broadcast 9) to a 24-hour operation. The station will first expand its hours to 8pm-2am weekdays, 8pm-4am weekends, then work its way up to full-time status. Country Music Television, for you shitkickers and line-dancers out there, will also most likely end up once again with its own 24-hour channel, elsewhere on the dial.

Another Radio Station?!?

Yep, you can add one more radio station to the Austin airwaves this week. Fortunately, though, Sam Hill Radio won't be broadcasting any big contests, blowhard talk show hosts, or claims of being cutting edge while playing the same five songs over and over. Nope, the folks at the Sam Hill Waterfront Grill, working with Atlantic Records and the Ross Agency, Inc., just got a bee in their bonnet to start up a low-power station at the restaurant and they're going on the air with it this Friday. The short-range station, located at 89.9FM, should be audible to those boating and otherwise enjoying the Lake Travis, and best of all, they'll broadcast live concerts from the Grill on Thursdays through Sundays, so any exhibitionists with tendencies towards aural voyeurism can hang around Hippie Hollow and listen in.

Mixed Notes

Okay, the Austin Outhouse has gotten yet another reprieve, and won't be closing until the end of September. This time, they say "we're definitely gonna be out then." There's still no word on a new location. Are there any bands out there who haven't played a 'house farewell show yet? Better book it now... Let's see, Swim's first gig was at Lollapalooza, their second is at Paul Minor's Free-For-All. Makes you wonder where their third gig will be, doesn't it? Well you can add the group (current and former members of Stoic Chinese Waiters, Room By River, and Jon Geiger Band) to the list of Austin acts invited to play New Orleans' Cutting Edge Music Festival at the beginning of September. Others include Brown Hornet, Wheeler, Susan Colton, Black Pearl, Will Tyler, Liquid Mice, Teddy D., Mumbleskinny, Dan Gato, Bill Harvey, Carol Howell, Panic Choir, Seeds of Soul, Sidehackers, Spoon, and Sunflower... The omnipresent Sincola say that they've "all but sold" a good chunk of their signature song "Bitch" to the makers of Basic Instinct, to be used in their controversial upcoming skin flick Showgirls. Sounds like an appropriate ditty for the film... You just can't keep Louis Jay Meyers out of Austin music. The former SXSW co-director has boogied on over to Antone's (the club) and Antone's (the record company). He'll be in charge of booking at the former and artist development at the latter. Maybe Meyers should also be put in charge of procuring new letters for their sign, or maybe giving the rest of the staff spelling lessons, it seems to me. Or is "Derik O'Brine" trying to stay out of trouble by going under an assumed name?... Look for the next batch of albums from Dejadisc in about a month. The buzz is already hot on Wayne Hancock's drumless disc, according to those with coveted advance copies. Also up is a reissue of Sarah Elizabeth Campbell's A Little Tenderness and the Wannabes' second CD, entitled Pop Sucker, which encompasses in its 19 tracks everything from lost basement tapes to "Aquadance," a theme written "in case there's ever an Aquaman movie." All three hit the record racks on September 17... Speaking of cartoon heroes, former Public Bulletin/Hey Zeus/Black Irish bassist Rob Thomas has a new career as a ghost writer. That's right; following a stint in children's television, Thomas is currently writing material for the Cartoon Network's Space Ghost Coast to Coast series (And you thought that show didn't have writers!). Thomas' first writing credit accompanies the addle-pated superhero's interview with ex-Python Terry Jones and Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket with a planned Sept. 8 airdate that's still subject to change. An episode featuring General Public, the Smithereens, and Bill Carter's buddy Brian Setzer is next in the works. Thomas says he's toying with the idea of a coolness-impaired Space Ghost trying to put on his own version of Live Aid... It's been brought to my attention that there's another good reason that Dan Rather was seen at a recent Monte Warden show: Guitarist Dave Murray, I'm told, has been dating Rather's daughter... I'm hearing good word on the upcoming album from the Dangerous Toys. I hear it has a "prince" of a cover, as well... Kathy Murray & the Kilowatts have a new single out on San Antonio label Atomic Jukebox Records. The two tracks were recorded live last year at Gulf Coast juke joint King Bee's Blues Crib... Ted Roddy's Hightone debut comes out on the 15th, one day before the big Annual Elvis Memorial Tribute at the Continental Club (see "Recommendeds"). Among the myriad players on the album, entitled Full Circle, are Lloyd Maines, Stephen Bruton, and Champ Hood. The disc features no Elvis Presley songs (although old El was pretty close to a full circle when he died)... Next Tuesday's Christmas in August show at the Electric Lounge is also a live recording for 101X-mas, a holiday compilation CD from the new music radio station. The disc will feature both local and national acts, and if they get half the bands they're talking to, it should be a real snow-stopper... AIDS Services of Austin and the Helping Hands Food Pantry are having a Reggae Roadblock Festival at Aussie's this Saturday, with the Twinkle Bros., Della Grant, and the Pacesetters Band... So, MTV, in their pursuit of the lost bands of the Eighties, discovered among other things that one of the Men at Work guys is now a lounge musician. It's too bad for Gilligan's that they didn't pursue the careers of the members of Duke ("This Is Japan") Jupiter... Word is out that Pearl Jam's opening act on their "make-up" tour is the Ramones, but I don't have time to confirm that - I am outta here and Lolla bound!

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