Happy F---ing New Year

I don't suppose I expected anything out of the holidays except what I ended up getting; a long, dark descent into cold and depression, peppered with the separation from dear friends, both in the physical and emotional senses. The emotional part I won't burden you with, but the physical comes in the form of two members of local band Hurtbox, who were seriously injured in a head-on collision over the New Year's weekend. As both Julie Weaver and Shelley Lucksinger are members of the Chronicle family, she as an editor, and he until recently part of our distribution staff, I can point you to "Page Two" for more details about the accident. Julie is also a former roommate of mine and Shelley has always seemed to pretty much remain that young kid that I always used to see at the punk shows all the way back into the Big Boys days. Details about their condition remain evasive as I write this; all I can do is hope for the best for both.

'Tis the Season...

Of, course, the Christmas spirit was in full evidence even before the holidays, as someone broke into a car containing the 1/4" master of the new Bedhead album (entitled Beheaded) and ran off with it. In all likelihood, the thief had no idea what they'd grabbed and it probably is landfill by now, but if you have any leads on the tape's whereabouts, you should call Trance Syndicate. Keep in mind that the real 2" master tape remains safe, so this isn't a total tragedy, but still is a large pain in the ass; they now have to remix the album again. Also, on the day before Christmas, 101X gave their morning crew the boot instead of filling their stockings. That brings them up to three morning crews in seven months; for those keeping score, that's Rachel in, Ernie & Jane out, and Gibby & Robbie lo-o-ong gone.

Reissues and Renewals

Details are still being hammered out, but it looks as though the reissueing of the old Hickoids material is going to be through local Sector 2 Records, and that new recordings are on the way as well. Oh, yeah, I know that such claims have been made more than once before, but Hickoids vocalist Jeff Smith confirms that a reassembling of the band from among the members of its various previous lineups is indeed in the works. Also, with the tapes of previous, poorly-distributed albums recently returned to him after a long battle with the group's former label, Toxic Shock, it looks like the Hickoids may finally reach the boundaries of glory they were destined for.

Meanwhile, Brian Curley says that he doesn't know all the particulars yet, but it appears safe to say that Fort Apache, a subsidiary of MCA Records, will be rereleasing the old Lester Bangs & the Delinquents album. The deal has been under way for awhile, but slow delivery of contacts and such has delayed the completion of the agreement. Curley's current band, Altamont 69, has also hit a temporary snag and is actively seeking a new drummer to make them whole again.

International SXSW News

The first news regarding the lineup possibilities for this year's SXSW is starting to trickle in, with the following international acts on the invited list: Nick Heyward (the man behind Haircut One Hundred), The Stranglers (now minus original singer Hugh Cornwell), Alt, Blur, Billy Bragg, Black Eyed Susans, Banco de Gaia, Tinder Sticks and the Boo Radleys. Keep in mind that this definition of "invited" means that the bands applied and SXSW has responded to them with letters of interest. This process has only been started with overseas acts, I might add, to give them extra time to prepare their schedules, and SXSW's Brent Grulke is quick to point out that no domestic invitations will be going out for "at least two weeks," so don't start calling the SXSW office wondering why you haven't gotten a letter. One interesting point to add, though, is that Joan Osborne has been arranging her touring schedule to accommodate Texas appearances at the time of SXSW, and it's not surprising that the young, rising star might like to be a centerpiece of the Fest.

Registration, Please

Austin, this is your first notice of that which makes the musical world turn: a free meal. The Chron's annual Musicians' Register is up and running, and for your submission into the Yellow Pages of local music there's our annual free Threadgill's dinner. (For the complete details check out the ad on pg. 13.) Also, this issue marks the first run of the Music Poll ballot, which runs throughout the month. Vote now or risk being deported to Branson, Missouri, the other Live Music Capital of the World. Speaking of... I've just been handed the list of Lone Star musicians who were nominated for Grammys. Here are some highlights: Junior Brown ("Best Country Album"); Doug Sahm ("Best Traditional Blues Album"); James McMurtry ("Best Music Video, Long Form"); Steve Earle ("Best Contemporary Folk Album"); Asleep at the Wheel ("Best Country Instrumental"); Flaco Jimenez ("Best Mexican-American Performance and "Best Country Instrumental"); and Brave Combo ("Best Polka Album").

Dueling Elvii

Watch out, Ted Roddy. Dale Watson has Austin's All-Star Elvis Presley Birthday Benefit for the Homeless going on at Babes Stageside on the Mon., Jan. 8. You got Chris Wall, both of those Robisons, Alvin Crow, Derailers and a load more playing the benefit for H.O.B.O. Meanwhile, the "real" Elvis (Roddy) is anchoring a two-night Elvis B-Day weekend at the Continental Club. Sunday, everyone's favorite South-of-the-Border Elvis, "El Vez," goes Vegas, while Monday finds Roddy taking back the crown. Did I also mention that on the Sat., Jan. 6, Borders Books and Music at 10225 Research will be having an Elvis birthday party? No wonder he died. All those birthdays will kill you.

Mixed Notes

We've got the advance CD of that new Alejandro Escovedo album With These Hands sittin' right here in the office, so we know it's not far from reaching your grubby hands. Well, there's still a bit of a wait to go, since the street date is March 19, but I wouldn't be surprised if you get a few advance tastes of the disc on local radio before then... With this week's icy weather, I can't possibly get by without mentioning Frosty the showman, now can I? Well, the current Chris Duarte Band drummer had a lovely Christmas gift to himself in the form of a shiny new $5G drum kit, but on the first night of a two-night stand at Steamboat, a member of openers Sunflower managed to do a fine job of tripping into the drums, knocking the set up, down, around, and over before the Frostmeister even got to play a gig on it. No apology was forthcoming, and Sunflower were noticably missing from the bill for the next day's show... Well, this week is our Top Ten issue, but isn't it everybody's? The current Rolling Stone features their big end-of-the-year picks, with a cover story by the Chron's Jason Cohen, who follows his previous Stone cover story on Hole with one on yet another four-letter word band: Live. (You'll remember the Hole story he wrote prompted Courtney Love to offer to tear him a new one -- see "The Year in Music" -- and somehow managing to get me briefly stuck in the middle of the whole ordeal.) Cohen's picks for the 10 best records you didn't hear in 1995 are elsewhere in this issue. (Other Austin types among the Stone's pickers include Peter Blackstock, Don McLeese, and not even a bit of Ed Ward.) Request magazine, meanwhile, in their Top Ten list of the best live shows of 1995, give the Alejandro Escovedo Orchestra top honors for their appearance at La Zona Rosa on March 19 as part of SXSW. The second and third spots are occupied by SXSW showcases as well, Fantella Bass at the St. James Baptist Church, and Junior Kimbrough at Antone's, respectively... Speaking of 10s, no less than that number of new Austin/Texas-related artists' CDs have just been dropped in front of me. They are: Pain Teens Beast of Dreams (Trance), Carolyn Wonderland & the Imperial Monkeys Play With Matches (Big Mo), The Suspects Ninety Nine Paid (Pinche Gringo), Omar & the Howlers World Wide Open (Watermelon), Teisco Del Rey Plays Music for Lovers (Upstart), Tailgators It's a Hog Groove! (Upstart), Mason Ruffner Evolution (Archer), Seela Probably Lucy (Seelasongs), Bedhead The Dark Ages 3-song EP (Trance), and Tish Hinojosa Cada Niño (Every Child) (Rounder). Apart from the Hinojosa CD, which hits the streets on the January 30, I believe all the rest are available for your pleasure right now. Oh, and one thing I don't currently have handy but am aware of is the new album Buried Life from the Shivers on Restless Records, featuring Carey Kemper and Kelly Bell, former members of Go Dog Go... Speedy Sparks' recent birthday party drew the caliber of performers you might have expected, with Jimmie Vaughan, both Sexton brothers, and all the Texas Tornadoes onstage -- and Dianne Scott reading Tarot cards at the back door... Well, you missed Euripides Pants for good, and I mean it for real this time. Their sizzling New Year's show last Sunday at Emo's was el finito. This time guitarist Brett Engel really is moving to Kansas. Their Paul Leary-produced CD will be out on Sweatbox Records in February, though... The new Shanachie CD compilation of spoken word tales by David Isay, entitled Holding On, includes a track about and featuring Rev. Lavada Durst aka Dr. Hepcat, originally broadcast in 1992 on All Things Considered... Did I say Shanachie? Well, Shanachie recording artist Kris McKay spent Christmas in the studio recording some bonus tracks for her upcoming Shanachie CD... Jon Dee Graham has moved back to Austin, for the time being at least... The Austin Music Network has started its new earlier schedule by the time you read this. From now on, the local music champions hit the air every night at 8pm, rather than 10... Okay, this is a real fax I got: "MTV News and Specials is looking for couples between the ages of 18 and 30 who are either planning to move in together or are already living together to be featured in an upcoming special. Couples must be living together romantically, as opposed to just being roommates, and enthusiastic about us spending some time with you." Call 212/258-7248. Oops: At one point last issue, I referred to the upcoming Bob Mould album as an acoustic album. It is a solo album, but not an acoustic project. n

-- Contributors: Raoul Hernandez, Andy Langer, Maragaret 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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