Dancing About Architecture

Shameless Self-Promotion

That's what the Austin music scene is all about, right? So take a taste of this: This Sunday is The Austin Chronicle's 14th Anniversary Party at the Austin Museum of Art at Laguna Gloria. Between the magic hours of 2-8pm, there'll be music from Leeann Atherton, Jimmy LaFave, Kris McKay, Marcia Ball, Butch Hancock, and Alvin Crow (in that order) and meat and puppets for the kids. Um, that's food and children's entertainment, sorry. Admission is $5, the aforementioned kids are free if under 12. Good enough?

Compound Fractures

It's national news by now, of course, but yep, two members of Ministry have been arrested for possession (but not sale) of heroin out in the Marble Falls/Horseshoe Bay area where the Ministry studio/home/compound has been located for a couple of years. Al Jourgensen was popped by the Texas 33rd Judicial District Narcotics Enforcement Division at the compound last Tuesday night; guitarist Mike Scaccia had been stopped and arrested earlier that day by a Marble Falls police officer. The timing on this couldn't be worse for the band (not that there's ever a particularly good time to be busted for hard drugs, I suppose), as their long-in-the-works new album was finally nearing completion. Jourgensen had also sold the studio and was in the process of moving back up to Chicago. Coupling this with the crippling and extremely expensive flood damage that the compound received last year, Texas has just not been kind to Al Jourgensen.

Sexton Sacks 'em?

Charlie Sexton's manager Tim Neece categorically denies rumors that Sexton has dumped his current band due to poor tour support from MCA. In fact, Neece calls the band a "mutual admiration society" and says that the bonds between Charlie and company are "totally solid" on the heels of two and a half months of touring. They're keeping their eyes and ears open for a larger tour to jump on and give the band a chance to be more theatrical, and have talked to Bob Dylan's people among others (Neece is quick to point out that it's "just talk" at this point). The band has been touring behind the struggling single "Sunday Clothes" (album sales don't look too phenomenal from this desk, either), so you can expect a different track to be offered to radio when any future touring does occur. The Sexton band certainly won't be getting a lot of mileage out of the movie DFW that Charlie made with Mickey Rourke - it's been renamed and dumped STV (straight to video).

Sexton might be advised to watch closely any Soulhat fans he finds in his camp; his drummer Rafael Gayol was the leading contender to replace Frosty in that band if he had been free at the time. There are those who think that Gayol becoming available could be the most likely catalyst for a reformation of that late band.

Roger and Out

In my feature last week on local videos, I didn't get to mention the slew of area acts who are on their way to visualizing their musical works. Over at Unclean Records, you can include Sons of Hercules and the Dropouts on that list. You can also add the Sons to the list of bands that are being looked at by a major label. And you can prepare to see Morgan's activities center more around his management of the favorite Sons. Alejandro Escovedo, meanwhile, has taken Dumptruck (who also may have video activity on the way) under his wing; he'll be taking them with him on a West Coast tour and hopefully give them (if I may risk sounding too much like Yogi Berra) the second chance that they never got the first time around.

Give It Up, Guys

Okay, so you suspect that your days as a musician are over, but you just can't admit it. Somehow, your heart is just not in it anymore. Is it just a wave of depression, or is it really time for you to pack it in? Here's a handy list of indicators that it's time to go back to the night shift at the Schlitz factory.

1. The bag for your earplugs, Visine, etc., is bigger than the one for your cords and pedals.

2. You think it's the end of the world when your band fails to get a Miller Genuine Draft sponsorship.

3. You think it's the end of the world when your band gets a bad review in Texas Beat.

4. You decide to blow off a gig because there's a really good bowling tournament showing at the sports bar next door.

5. You voluntarily cut off your set at the Hole in the Wall before 2am.

(Of course, I could make a comment to Cattleguard about actually ending their set at the Hole so early on Monday night that the drunken Wannabes had time to get on stage and do a half-hour set of bad cover tunes (and they never did play "Silly Love Songs" for my sweetie...).

Mixed Notes

The picture at the top of this week's column is of the Seemen, former Austinites turned Californian (didn't they get that backwards) and performance artists to the extreme. And that's about all I have to say about that... Watermelon Records and the Derailers have got a handshake deal going. No papers have been signed yet, but for all intents and purposes it appears the band will be making records for Watermelon... Jeff Cole at Doolittle Records tells me that Mercury Records flew Ed Hamell out to Orange County for a big Polygram shindig last week. They drove him out to the gig in a stretch limo and he "knocked 'em dead," says Cole. Up next, the Mercs are trying to arrange some gigs in England, where they'll truly appreciate Hamell's Bill Hicks tribute song... Alright, Ian, that's enough!: Didja notice that Mr. Moore was the only act on the H.O.R.D.E. show to have the end of his set eclipsed by the beginning of the next set on the opposite stage (Sheryl Crow, if you're counting)? Apparently, one of the stage managers told the well-received Moore to go ahead and do an encore, but failed to communicate what was going on to the other SM. The sound bleed-over between the two stages wasn't really significant, though, and I doubt if anybody got too upset about it... Morphine fans who didn't want to sit through the rest of H.O.R.D.E. will want to know this: during their set, singer Mark Sandman announced that it's "been too long" since they've played Austin and that they plan to be back for a series of dates in December... One more H.O.R.D.E. bit and then we move on, I promise: Spotted at the Continental Club post-gig were Sheryl Crow and the members of Blues Traveler... plum got the final copies of their new video for "48 Cards" in last week. I just took a look at it and it's a nice, sharp, uncluttered effort that you'll no doubt be seeing on AM15 and elsewhere soon. You won't be seeing the band until the 20th, though, as they're off on the road through the Southwest until then... The Walking Dead have their first CD out, and are playing around at places like the Emodillo, er, I mean Emo's. (If Eddie Muñoz joined the band and started hanging around at Lovejoy's, would he have to change his nickname to "Fez Eddie"?)... Interactivity junkies may want to take a byte out of The Remembering, part of Microsoft's new CD Plus series, featuring the music of Tish Hinojosa, Sara Hickman, Fabu, Dah-veed Garza, and a host of other Austin and Texas acts. They've also worked with Houston-based Justice Records on an interactive Willie Nelson disc for the series, but hell, Willie's such a nice guy, he'll interact with just about anybody... Fans of the "Steve Vai Groupie Tape" will no doubt be happy to know that, according to Frank Zappa's synclavier engineer (who was spotted in town recently), the late, great Mr. Z did get to see a copy of this fine adult party item before his passing. Makes you feel warm inside, doesn't it?... The official date on that big ABC Prime Time feature on Don Walser (with a viewership estimated at 16 million people, I'm informed) is September 13. That's next Wednesday, y'know... Can I go a week here without mentioning the Hormones? Or two without mentioning their possible new guitarists? Well, after this I can: Lisa Wickware (also with Meg Hentges' band) is officially in. Do me a favor, Lisa, and keep that job for awhile, okay?... Former Potter's Field member Dan Israel has received good words from producer Bobby Z., former drummer for the artist formerly known as Prince. Z. saw Israel performing in Minneapolis and dug what he heard. That could come in handy for Israel, who's moving back home to that city in November... Just because I can't get up early enough on a Friday morning (10-11am) to check out the Austin Music Tour on KOOP 91.7FM doesn't mean you can't (unless you were planning on using my radio). This week's guests are Rashah Amen, producer of the International Music Extravaganza that night at Casa de Luz, and Orange Marmalade, who also will be performing at the Extravaganza... Trance Syndicate's five year anniversary party and CD release for their compilation disc Cinco Años (which means either "fifth anniversary" or "five buttholes") is this Saturday at Liberty Lunch. Starfish, My Dad Is Dead, Sixteen Deluxe and Bedhead provide the music. What? No Vietnamese karaoke?... There was a production snag last week that resulted in the letter from Toni Price I referred to not getting run in that issue. It's in the "Postmarks" this time, though, if you're really interested in the endless dragging out of the "I haven't gotten any of your jokes in the past five years, but when you make one about Buck Owens, that's the last straw!" saga.... 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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