Dancing About Architecture

The Double Whammy

Yes, this time it's for real. Austin Outhouse owner Chuck Lamb doesn't hide his emotion when discussing it, either: the Outhouse is out of business as of the last day of this month. Now do you want to compound that bad news? Try this: Laura at the Blue Flamingo says that day also marks the closing of her unique venue as well. And neither club has any clear hopes of a new location in the near future.

The Outhouse's problems you probably already know, as they've been dragging on for months now, with several temporary reprieves dotting the way. Simply put, the building's owner wants the club out so another business (Flamingo Auto Parts, ironically) can expand into the space that the low-key club has occupied for 15 years. Lamb has been searching for a new Outhouse location in the meantime, but has been dogged with the usual problems of high rent and city bureaucracy.

The Blue Flamingo's closing comes as more of a shock. When clubowner Laura paid the rent late this month, she was informed that she'd broken the lease and that the landlord intended to come out of retirement and open a place of his own ("It's gonna be a shitkicker bar," says Laura) to make more money. Laura has decided not to fight the decision, opting instead to take this opportunity to rest and recuperate from some heart problems before looking for another location. "The music scene will go on without me," she says, "It's too big to stop - but I hope to be a part of it again." And that's a sentiment that could no doubt be attributed to Lamb just as easily.

Yep, the music scene will go on. Among other things, Power Tools and the Poodle Dog Lounge are stepping into the live music ring. And then there's that new La Zona Rosa place....

Poster-Mortem

Eric "Emo" Hartman says that over the weekend, his and other clubs in town received fines for posters that bands had posted promoting shows at said clubs. Hartman says that Emo's had received a notice a few months ago indicating that the city was preparing to crack down on postering, but points out that the club itself had nothing to do with the flyer in question (for a Sangre de Toro show) that was found on "a street I've never even heard of." Hartman says that according to his lawyer the law is "probably not enforceable," then disgustedly adds "It's just another day in court in Austin: the Live Music Capital of the World, as long as you don't advertise your shows or turn the music up too loud!"

Munikkendam Groothandel
Is Coming to Town...

When you think of good old American roots music, naturally you think of Holland. Well, Dutch record company Munich Records (those long funny words in the subhead are the original name the company was formed under in 1946), specializes in such music, and is opening a U.S. office in Austin. Local producer/former Poi Dog Pondering right hand man Mike Stewart will be running the marketing and promotion for the company's North American branch. The first batch of recordings from Munich America include albums from Albert Collins & Barrelhouse, Rory Block, Liz Meyer, Hugh Mundell, a reggae collection, and Sunday Morning Coming Down, a compilation featuring Calvin Russell, Loose Diamonds, John Gorka, and other Austin and non-Austin musicians. Next year (Munich's 50th anniversary) should see at least 10 more releases from the label.

Go-Go Girls and
Eager Beavers

Two new bands featuring familiar names are springing up in the same place at the same time this week. Former Go-Go's guitarist Kathy Valentine has put out her first album since the Go-Go's days with the Delphines (on Delphine Records) and that band, which also features ex-Bluebonnets bassist Dominique Davalos and drummer Paul Crowder, will be playing on Saturday with Will Sexton at Steamboat, and Sunday at the Continental Club. Opening the latter show will be Lucky, a new band featuring former Cobra and Eager Beaver Boy Alex Napier plus Thierry LeCoz and Sherri McGee rockin' the roots ("originals and everything from Merle Haggard to T. Rex," says Napier).

Super Secret Mixed Notes

I know one band in town that I won't be taking any checks from any time soon. A certain fivesome who were to receive $10,000 for having one of their songs used in the soundtrack to the movie Showgirls did a whole lot o' spending - and then were informed that the scene containing the song had been cut from the film at the very last moment. No "Wendel," I won't take an I.O.U... A certain former Austin drummer who's known for his digestive tract as much as his hi-hat was spotted in his new home of New York recently by the members of Spoon. Frontman Britt Daniel gives a full update, saying the drummer in question is still on crutches (see recent columns), is almost out of money, has had his car impounded, and "by the end of the night he had managed to throw up on the shoes of everybody in my band as well as this A&R guy from Slash Records and the manager of Weezer"... If you were at Kris McKay's "Too Many Guitars" show last Wednesday at the Continental Club, you saw a "once in a lifetime" guest join McKay, Will and Charlie Sexton and the gang. None other than David Byrne, ex-Talking Head and renegade former Subgenius, hopped up and performed with the band. Byrne, it turns out, was in town helping Terry Allen out by lending his musical talents to his new album... Mineral have just signed with California-based Crank Records and will have an album coming out in October. There'll be a Crank showcase with Mineral and two of the label's other bands, Boys Life and Boilermaker, at the Flamingo Cantina on Monday. Don't expect to see any posters for the show... I already told you it was happening, but yes, we have received the official notice that Sarah Brown has signed with Blind Pig Records. Look for an album in January... Baffling Voicemail of the Week comes from what sounds like a 14-year-old boy who found the following worth making a long distance call to the Chron from San Marcos: "Just on TV I heard that Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers is a Republican and he has a tattoo of elephants forming a chain around his left arm!" Wow, thanks for the information. We'll get a reporter on that right away!... Actually, that reminds me: Jesse Tobias, former Austinite and Chili-Pepper-for-a-day, is in Alanis "I used to be on Nickelodeon but now I talk dirty" Morissette's touring band these days. Didja see the two of them on 120 Minutes last Sunday? And did you see former Steam Heat drummer Kenny Dale Johnson on The Larry Sanders Show with Chris Isaak?... Will someone please tell Will Sexton to give David ("Welcome to the Boomtown") Baerwald a call? The poor fella's been posting on the Internet for, like, months now looking for him... Gibby-wise, there's good news and bad. The P album has been delayed until late October but - shock of shocks - the Butthole Surfers are scheduled to go into the studio during the first half of that month, and the resulting new album is scheduled for release in March of next year... Hollowbody have a single release at Emo's on the 25th, while bo bud greene will be doing the full-on instore thing at Waterloo Records this Friday at 5pm and a release party at Flamingo Cantina next Thursday. And there's a big No Lie showcase at Emo's next Wednesday with Blue Meanies, Jesus Christ Superfly (with their new drummer Steve from the American Psycho Band), and the Chumps... I hear there was a fire in the Texas Union during Peter Case's Cactus Cafe show, so Pete set up the monitors outside and played his set on the steps outside... Supporters of the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue may not appreciate the Motards' new single "King of Blues (one song for $3.49 on the aptly named Ripoff Records). Then again, fans of SRV's statue probably wouldn't want either of the Motards' new singles... "We'll give you, uh, gum," say Squat Thrust, if I plug their Friday show at Emo's. Good enough... Seattlite Peter "Texas Pete" Blackstock, besides playing tour guide to the R.E.M. guys, is also plugging his new magazine No Depression: The Alternative Country Quarterly. You'll see the work of some current and former Chronicle writers therein...That's Chron photog Michael Crawford's photo of L7 at Emo's in the new Rolling Stone (Foo Fighters cover)but they not only identified Donita Sparks as Jennifer Finch, the band is quoted as calling themselves "Canine." Uh, folks, believe that's K9, as in L7 - get it? Also in the issue is Chronicle writer Jason Cohen's piece on Garbage - but no bands from here. Maybe that slogan should be changed to "Live Music Journalist Capital of the World..." Wish You Were There: This week's photo of what you're missing by living in Austin is "the 6'x3' plexiglass armadillo [that] hangs above the dancefloor in the Armadillo Honky Tonk Lounge" at the Texas Gambling Hall and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hmmpph! I'll bet even Branson, Missouri doesn't have anything as impressive as that! 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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