Imagine There's No Majors

Starfish have just returned from a six-week tour with the proud announcement that they have not signed with Atlantic Records. Furthermore, adds a beaming Jason Morales, the band has not reached an agreement with either American or Touch and Go, while a guy from Island records was told that he could pay for a CD just like everybody else. Of the offer from Atlantic, Morales says that "we basically told him we had more faith in Trance," the band's current label. The band isn't closed to dealing with the business end of music, however, and is very interested following talks they had with Billions Booking (who represent Jon Spencer, among others), and may form a deal with that company.

On the pleasure side of the trip, Starfish did their best to work themselves into the midst of the current rash of Beatlemania. While in New York City, the band stayed at Sean Lennon's pad (Sean was out of town), thanks to their friend Timmo Ellis. Ellis is in a band with the youngest Lennon called Ima, who can be heard on Yoko Ono's new album. While Sean was away, says Morales, the Starfish gang "slept in his bed, smoked out of his bong" and got to fuck around and jam on a lot of his dad's old equipment (So, Sean, if any knobs are missing off of your amps...). Oh, and they say they got a Polaroid shot of Bryan Bowden puking in an alley, but the flash didn't go off so it won't reproduce well enough for the column. Sorry. If you want to see the picture, however, you might ask Morales at the band's Emo's gig this Saturday.

Magneto-ic Personalities

Magneto USA update: the band should be finishing overdubs for their Hollywood album by the end of the week, after which mixing will ensue. Seventeen tracks have been recorded for the album, which has a tentative early April release planned. The band's been having some adventures while out in L.A. as well, including Miles Zuniga hobnobbing with Green Day, seeing Slash join Iggy Pop onstage and noting that for better or worse, nobody decided to turn on his guitar. Finally, Miles was told by one of his label's publicity flaks that he should "always wear his glasses" because "the nerd look is in"...

Keep the Set Short -- It's My Nickel...

The joke going around newspaper circles lately has been "What's the difference between Michael Corcoran and Chris Riemenschneider? About three hours and $50,000." Since Corcoran moved to Dallas, The American-Statesman has continued to tout him as the big star of their music department, while former Daily Texan editor Riemenschneider does most of Corcoran's former duties -- for what is commonly assumed to be a fraction of the pay Corcoran still receives. Certainly, Riemenschneider owes Corcoran a great deal for the tricks the master has taught him; for instance, the young lad pulled an old patented Corky trick last week when he commented on Echobelly's appearance at the 101X-mas party at La Zona Rosa -- even though the band didn't actually play. Corcoran's tricks, meanwhile, are the ones you would expect from a long-distance affair; his recent Green Day review in the Statesman, rather than concerning their performance in San Antonio an hour up the highway from Austin, instead covered their Dallas show, just up the road from his house. Sputtered Corcoran (over the long distance telephone lines) when asked to comment, "Whaddaya mean I'm not in touch with Austin music? I just did a phoner with the Wannabes!" Meanwhile, his radio gig is in jeopardy as 101X Program Director Sara Trexler opened last week's show calling it "The Talk Show" with nary a McLeese or Corky in sight, and the Chronicle's Andy Langer guest-hosting. Trexler says that in the future the show will be a revolving door for local critics, and does not know what part either Corcoran or McLeese will play. When asked about the absence of star deejay Gibby Haynes, Trexler confirmed that the lead Butthole was officially out as of Dec. 5.

Mojo's B-side Himself

Mojo Nixon is preparing to cut three or four new songs to add to an upcoming collection of B-sides, flexis, and compilation cuts from over the course of his career. "There [are] 25 tracks we're looking at," says Sector Two boss Ron Goudie, and about 15 to 20 of those will be picked for the comp. The release is slated for March, and no title has been chosen. Things are on an up note at Sector Two Records, with Dash Rip Rock's "(Let's Go) Smoke Some Pot" aka "The Pot Song" easing its way onto playlists up the West Coast, and things are far from quiet there as the Christmas season approaches.

Christmas Is Coming (to a TV Screen Near You)

I was mystified to flip on the TV a moment ago and see the Asylum Street Spankers on Cablevision channel 44 (I think -- the Chronicle VCR is kinda wacky about things like this) in the middle of the day. Then suddenly, mid-song, they were gone again. Kent Benjamin at the Austin Music Network tells me that he wasn't behind it, but that Cablevision may well be doing some testing, as the date for AMN to expand its hours is coming up fast. That date is January 3, when AMN will begin programming at 8pm, rather than 10. Plans are still under way for the station to eventually achieve 24-hour-a-day status. Meanwhile, as the holidays approach, Benjamin wants me to remind you that this Friday you can get a jump on your holiday entertainment by setting the VCR for the music Network at midnight, when they'll be running a special 90-minute all-Christmas edition of New Vids on the Block, with a lot of offbeat holiday video gems ranging from Tony Bennett to the Flaming Lips. For instance, though everybody knows about the classic Bing Crosby/David Bowie duet of "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy," did you know there's a Christmas duet by Bing's boffo buddy Bob Hope and Reba McEntire?

Saturday Morning Mania

Must keep repeating to myself: "Hanna-Barbera cartoons suck, but their theme songs were cool. Hanna-Barbera cartoons suck, but their theme songs were cool." Now, a deep breath and I can push the "play" button on the CD player and listen to the four Texas acts included on the comp: the Butthole Surfers, Toadies, Tripping Daisy, and Reverend Horton Heat. Daniel Johnston, meanwhile, was in town recently recording a track with the Rhythm Rats for the upcoming Schoolhouse Rock covers compilation. The combo recorded a version of "Unpack Your Adjectives," with Atlantic Records' Yves Beauvais overseeing, for the album. Will Indian of the Rats says he's not sure of the lineup for the album, but is pretty sure that "heavy hitters" Stone Temple Pilots and Sonic Youth are also on the comp, which should be out in a matter of weeks. The Rats, including original drummer Rusty Trapps, who has returned from a three-year hiatus, will soon be recording material with Johnston for his next Atlantic album.

Mixed Notes

One band who's been touring the same clubs that Sixteen Deluxe recently did tells me that they've found that the 'teens don't exactly have the best reputation among club managers. Apparently, the Deluxe ones live up to their names by being a bit demanding for a band so new to the biz. (Well, now that the Fuck Emos/16D "rivalry" has been resolved, I have to start up another feud for the guys, now don't I?) Whatever clubs think, the music fans of the world and their counterparts in the press have got a woody for the band, with the group's "Idea" single placing at number seven in SPIN magazine's Top 20 singles of 1995 list, with the description "Feedback as divine sugar shock." Sector 2's current Dash Rip Rock album rated a "heavy rotation" staff selection in the same issue (January), which should be on the stands when you read this... I didn't look at the picture that accompanied the Paul Leary piece in Billboard that I mentioned last week, but those who did wouldn't have seen Leary anyway. Turns out the magazine had taken a picture of Leary and Stuart Sullivan and cropped out the wrong producer. Sullivan got double publicity out of the deal: the new issue shows the whole picture in the interest of correcting their mistake... After John Cale's poorly attended albeit brilliant show at the Paramount, Tim Stegall and Margaret Moser were seen talking to Cale in the alley out back. Moser was complimenting Cale on his cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." "Though I like Jeff Buckley's version," she commented to the ex-Velvet. "So?" Cale shot back in good humor. "He used my arrangement!"... Los Pinkys' album has reportedly made it to what is basically the "semi-finals" towards a Grammy nomination. Good luck to the band on progressing further. Their new one, Esta Pasion, is due out on Rounder in January... Well, I didn't say which opening act for Rocket From the Crypt was gonna show up for the Devo hoot night, so both of 'em did. The Oblivians appeared on little (or no) notice and did a respectable job of fusing "Mr. Kamakazi/Mr. DNA" with Trio's "Sunday You Need Love, Monday Be Alone" (No, it's not a Jesus Lizard original!), but Clawhammer truly stole the show, playing damn near half of the Are We Not Men album as though they'd written it themselves. (My roommate tells me I should kick myself for getting there too late for Xanna Don't's countrified Devo set)... Gosh darn if I haven't mentioned the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar at the Austin Music Hall (maybe 'cuz I don't have a sweetie to lavish gifts on -- sob, sob!), but remember that live music goes on there every day. Check our listings... The Larry Seaman 3 has changed its name, as there are now four members in the band. The new name is Violet Crown (my understanding is that there's a new age band in Georgia called the Larry Seaman 4)... Speaking in Tongues (who can be seen at the White Rabbit on Monday) will be releasing their debut album next spring. Producing will be Arthur Brown guitarist Randall Ward... There's an in-store for Generation X-mas at MusicMania this Saturday at 3pm, with several bands from the compilation playing. Tallboy and Unhung Heroes will be on the bill for sure... KGSR will be broadcasting live from the Arboretum next Tuesday starting at 9am and collecting donations from the Christmas Bureau, if that givin' feeling has started hitting you... KOOP radio's big first anniversary bash is this Saturday at the Green Room starting at 7pm and going on all night. The music ranges from the Adults to Mariachi Estrella... Confidential to Dudley and Bob and company: No, I'm not up that early, but my informants are...

-- Contributors: 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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