Where's Lucinda?

Wasn't Lucinda Williams' new album for American Records supposed to be out by now? I seem to recall that it was set for a fall '95 release. A rep for American says that "we don't have any info" as to when the album is going to appear, but adds that "there's no such thing at this label as running behind. Rick [Rubin, head of the label] says that no record is released before its time." If Rubin's Orson Welles-like statement is to be trusted, we can only hope that the album's working title hasn't been changed to It's All True. In any case, you'll have plenty of chances to ask Williams about the matter herself; she'll be playing a marathon five-day stretch at the Electric Lounge starting next Tuesday (see "Recommendeds"). Oh, and did you catch her original version of "Passionate Kisses" being used at the tag for one of MTV's Sex in the '90s programs?

Out on Patrol

Is the name Red Simpson familiar to you, by any chance? He's the fella who wrote "Highway Patrol" back in 1966, and thanks to Junior Brown, he's got checks coming in from it again. Ol' Red showed up at Brown's Continental Club show last Sunday night and sang a couple of songs with him (including "Highway Patrol," of course) and the two have since gone into the studio to record a pair of songs, one written by each. The name Chris Isaak might ring a bell, too. He and his band dropped into the Continental that night as well, and Isaak's drummer Kenny Dale Johnson, ex of Extreme Heat (née Steam Heat), got to hobnob with some old buddies.

So Who Gives a Whit?

I'm not hearing much to indicate that the big ad campaign for Reese Whitley is turning the man into an overnight sensation. In fact, Steamboat's Danny Crooks recently called to say that Whitley, the fellow who was supposed to "reinvent rock & roll," drew a grand total of 38 paid customers to his show at the 'boat last week. Says Crooks (who apparently won't be booking Whitley into the Steamboat again anytime soon), "He did reinvent rock & roll -- it used to be good." One musician he's slightly more enthusiastic about is his son, Sean, who got up to play guitar last week with Vallejo.

Still More Back Rumors

Okay, this is the last time we're gonna update the Back Room situation unless the venue mysteriously ends up blasting off to Mars or something, but contrary to last week's column, Mark Olivarez will indeed be continuing to book the club. As far as the renovations I mentioned, those will begin this week and probably continue through mid-January, progressing slowly so that the club can remain open during the work. Olivarez says that when the new look is complete, there will be a new sound, as well. He says he won't be booking any local metal acts at the club anymore and plans to move the Back Room "more into the mainstream." He'll also definitely be bringing in roadshows by bands who play the type of music he considers a "personal favorite": industrial. All right, that's it. No more Back Room updates. (Wait a minute, do I smell rocket fuel burning?)

Shopped Liver

Hope you Bad Livers fans have patience, because the band does. They've finished up work on their latest album (working title: Hogs on the Highway) and, says Liver Mark Rubin, they've "got a lot of offers" from record companies, but rather than rush it out on Touch and Go, who released their three previous efforts, they'll be taking their sweet time and waiting it out until they get a satisfactory deal. In the meantime, though, you needn't worry about getting enough Liver; there's never a shortage of live appearances by the guys.

Mixed Notes

I'm hearing January 16 as the real, final, official release date for that long-delayed Ministry album. You may have already heard advance tracks like "The Fall" being played on KNACK and elsewhere... So when did CDs get so tricky? First a friend tells me that he stuck Sugar's Besides in a computer -- cuz it was the only thing he had handy to play it on -- and he found a video on it. Now Jo Carol Pierce's Bad Girls Upset by the Truth comes out and has a note on it saying "To access the soundtrack only, program tracks 1,22,3,5,7,23,9,11,13,15,
17,19,21." Jeez, with vinyl, all you had to worry about was some joker putting a locked groove on the end... Oh, and along with Pierce's album, Monkey Hill Records has just issued the first "solo" album from former part-time Austinite Dan Stuart. The Green on Red leader is joined on the disc by former True Believers guitarist Jon Dee Graham, Poi Dog/Silos drummer Daren Hess, and everyone's producer, J D Foster... The big (re)release of Hamell on Trial's Big as Life album on Mercury Records was this week (I like how the advance cassette points out with an asterisk that "Folsom Prison Blues" is a "Hidden Bonus Track." No tricky CD deception here!) and Ed will be "coming home" to the Electric Lounge on Friday. So, how'd the Bill Hicks tribute song go over in Europe, Ed?... Paul Minor's Superego is taking a break after this Sunday's Free-for-All to get some work done on an album, but the Free-for-Alls will be continuing with guest hosts taking the stage until the band's return... Country night on Mondays at the "Emo-dillo" will be moving to the Electric Lounge in January. I guess that makes it the "Electro-dillo," though that sounds a bit too much like a "personal massaging device," if you know what I mean... Mr. Groper will be hosting the third annual pot luck supper at the Flamingo Cantina tonight (Thursday). If you bring some "cooked vittles," say the band, you can "get in for free, eat all you can, and throw the rest"... Out now from local Pinche Gringo Records is a new CD from Houston band the Suspects. They'll be playing at Emo's "Ska Fest" this Saturday... I just got handed the 101X-mas CD of local and not-so-local troublemakers having their way with the songs of the season and my, my, there's some scary stuff listed here. I'm not sure which I'm most afraid of listening to, Sixteen Deluxe doing "Away in a Manger" or the Wannabes' "One Note Solo Christmas," but considering the contents of the new Fear album, I'm not surprised by the title of Lee Ving's track: "Another Christmas Beer"... Think that stuff was scary? Right behind it, I got handed an advance tape of the Twisted Willie comp of weird Willie Nelson covers. I've already told you of Johnny Cash/Krist Novoselic/Kim Thayil/Sean Kinney teaming up on "Time of the Preacher," but how about the pairing of L7 and Waylon Jennings on "Three Days" or Kelley Deal and Kris Kristofferson doing "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground"? You'll have to satisfy your need for twisted tunes with the 101X comp for now, though; Twisted Willie doesn't have its commercial release until January 30... Have I mentioned that Jerry Finn, producer of such big names Pennywise and Rancid and who mixed Green Day's Dookie, is helming Magneto USA's debut, currently being recorded in L.A.? Didn't think so. I did already tell you it was coming out on Hollywood Records, though, so just consider this a reminder... Some in-store appearances: Dash Rip Rock will play a set at MusicMania this Sunday at 5pm and, hey, is that really the only in-store this week? Weird. There're some CD and tape release parties this week, though, like Ellen Todd & Ike Eichenberg, formerly of Zizzer Zazzer Zuzz, for their new disc Take Me Places at Rivendale's Restaurant in San Marcos on Saturday, and Amberjack Rice at the Hole in the Wall next Thursday with his new cassette Doug... Dewey Decibel of the Chumps had a red Fender Mustang with an Iron Cross sticker on it stolen from the Blue Flamingo last Wednesday. If you see it, let the band know. If you took it, return it and they say there'll be no questions asked... Next Wednesday's Asylum Street Spankers show at the Electric Lounge doubles as a party for Guy Forsyth, so when you show up there, be sure to tell him "Happy Birthday." Unless he's singing, of course, because then he'd have to ask you to be quiet or leave the room... I suspect Guy would be more polite about it than Natalie Merchant would, though. I'm told that she didn't want alcohol sold during her Austin Music Hall show last week, so the only bar open was the small lobby bar in the front of the building. Merchant apparently objected to alcohol sales because it would detract from the intimacy of the performance. Funny, even if you could legitimately call the Hall "intimate," ensuring that there is a steady stream of people constantly shoving their way from one end of the building would hardly be my first suggestion for improving the atmosphere there... The big Devo Hoot Night at the Hole in the Wall is coming up this Wednesday, with a "no `Whip It'" rule and a stellar lineup of spuds including the Wannabes, Hormones, Tallboy, Gomez, Paranoids, Xanna Don't, Altamont '69, Peglegasus, Spot (the multi-instrumentalist Hüsker Dü prodücer, not the Dallas power pop band), and perhaps a certain opening act at Liberty Lunch if they finish up their set there in time. Finally, I'll have an excuse to wear my New Traditionalist Man Sleeveless Maxi-Turtleneck (made to be uncomfortably cold and hot at the same time!) in public... The Paranoids seem to be trying to keep the vinyl industry alive single-handedly. They've got a new 7-inch out on Bunkhouse Records and say they have more on the way through Rise, No Lie, and Seattle's Rat City Records... Strange press release of the week is a three-way tie this week, and don't ask me how these things always manage to find their way into my box: One concerns a sculpture commemorating the music of Frank Zappa, which is being unveiled in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, and is entitled "Zappa Honored With Lithuanian Erection." The second, a three-page treatise on farting by one Dr. Stuart Dobbs, comes from the Methodist Hospital System. In it, Dr. Dobbs pronounces that "The healthy individual may make around 17 ounces of gas in one day, although, it's normal to have more." In case you were questioning Dr. Dobbs' expertise, the release insists that he's a man "who wouldn't pull your leg. Or your finger." Finally, David E. Cooper of Tempe, Arizona has blessed us with the announcement of an inventor's discovery of "a way to use an eyelid muscle up by the brow. When the eyelid closes, a wand in the groove of the muscle triggers a micro switch to start a small clock. If the eye opens right away, the signal stops so it was just a blink. If the eye stays closed, the clock keeps running and starts the alarm in 21/2 seconds, which is soon enough to wake the driver before he can crash." Mr. Cooper, are you by any chance a distant relative of Alice Kennedy Spooner?

-- Contributors: Chris Gray, Raoul Hernandez, Andy Langer, Margaret Moser

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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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