The Austin Chronicle

Hootie and the Reivers?

February 9, 1996, Music

You didn't know that Hootie & the Blowfish recorded a Reivers song? Well, neither did the song's author, John Croslin, until Spoon's Britt Daniel happened to run Croslin's name through an Internet search and found himself directed to the Hootie page. Daniel then called Croslin and Croslin called Bug International, his publisher, only to find them clueless as well. Bug called Hootie's label Atlantic Records, and they said that they had just plain forgotten to pass the word along to Bug about the inclusion of "Almost Home" on the Blowfish CD single "Let Her Cry."

Croslin says he got a call from the members of Hootie & the Blowfish about three months ago in which they complimented him and told him how much they liked the Reivers. At the time he was mystified, but now realizes "they must've thought I knew [they'd recorded the song]" and that they were probably equally mystified that he didn't shoot a friendly line back about their version. He also wonders if he'd ever have found out about the year-old recording if it hadn't been for Daniel's fiddling at the computer. What he does know is that the single has sold around 50,000 copies (only a drop in the bucket compared to Hootie's Cracked Rear View album), and the royalty check is, as they say, in the mail.


While everyone was watching Antone's Records, wondering if and when that company would fall apart, Sector 2 Records, the local label and home to Fear, Dash Rip Rock, Mumbleskinny, Mojo Nixon, and the Beat Farmers, quietly imploded last week. Owner Ron Goudie says that a sudden barrage of troubles "all hit at once, and it surprised me big time." Mechanical and manufacturing payments came due, he says, at the same time as the arrival of returned albums in the five-figure range. "I went back to the bank," he continues, "and they said `No'." There are some who don't find the shutdown surprising, noting that Sector 2 has repeatedly downsized over the years, starting while the label was still based in Houston and continuing when it was relocated here -- though apparently not enough to make money. Goudie admits that he was "one of the last to accept reality," and says he hopes to re-open Sector 2 as a one-man, home-based operation, perhaps within a month, depending on some factors he doesn't wish to speak about yet (maybe Hootie & the Blowfish recorded a song he wrote).

For now, though, there are casualties. Left in the lurch are Peglegasus, whose Sector 2 album just came out last week, and Dash Rip Rock, whose novelty hit "Let's Go Smoke Some Pot" is now without promotion. (As far as money coming in from the Dash record, Goudie mourns that "it looks like it's moving tonnage, but it's not. Novelty doesn't usually translate into sales." He estimates that it's sold around 10,000 copies). The label's in-the-works roster of South-based rap acts like Seeds of Soul is dead in the water. "Rap is on permanent hold," says Goudie, though he points out that that area of the company's interests was mostly the domain of now ex-employee Matt Sonzala, who may continue to work with those bands through some other label. As far as the albums already released by the label, Goudie says he has plenty of stock of all titles and that distribution of the discs will not be interrupted by the shutdown. Promotion is out of the question, though, without employees to do the work or money to pay for postage. And speaking of employees, I expect there's a few of them right now wondering if a final paycheck is going to be part of Sector 2's "reality."

ZZ Toppled by Tassels

I've heard of songs becoming hits thanks to their video, but a song being written because of the video? That's exactly what happened in the case of ZZ Top's latest. The story is that Robert Rodriguez wanted to use "Mexican Blackbird" in From Dusk Till Dawn and was interested in including another song that he could direct a video for. Rodriguez then screened some FDTD footage and when the band saw Salma Hayek's exotic dance scene, they immediately ran off to write a new song, "She's Just Killing Me," for the film (and for Hayek).

A little more background: the video storyline (which includes both footage from the film and special appearances by stars Hayek and George Clooney) is based on an anecdote from early in the band's career, when they were doing a photo shoot in Acuna, Mexico. The crowd in the bar persuaded the Top to play an impromptu set, using the house band's instruments since they hadn't brought their own. After the set, the band was greeted with cheering, hooting, and a demand from the club owner to pay for the use of the instruments.

Hype Springs Eternal

"This is the time of year when there's a lot of posturing," says SXSW's Brent Grulke of the reports appearing in various newspapers and magazines claiming to know who's playing when and where during the music conference. "Everything's in flux and anyone who says something else is only trying to create hype." The anyones are sometimes journalists, but just as often record companies who offer up unconfirmed information faster than SXSW can deny it. Grulke says that SXSW will be ready to really start revealing information on the 14th. "It'll be our Valentine's present," he grins. Until then, he sums up the situation quite eloquently with this statement: "Everybody's talking to everybody but us, and we're telling everybody that we're not telling anyone anything." Less tight-lipped than the SXSW crew is Margaret Moser, who's announced the confirmed acts on the Austin Music Awards show roster. Besides Sixteen Deluxe, Asylum Street Spankers, and Dale Watson, look for Kris McKay to host "Too Many Girls," with Abra Moore and Kelly Willis in tow, and, of course, the usual special guests, musical surprises, and Moore names to be added.

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Icy roads, busted pipes, extra blankets; sure, everybody had to deal with those situations over the last weekend after a massive cold front hit the area. Local clubs and bands, however, had another problem to deal with: canceled gigs. Storyville was perhaps the hardest hit by the temperature drop, as the band had to cancel the first of two pre-album recording shows at Antone's on Thursday (though according to manager Mark Proct, their Saturday show with the Killer Bees went on as planned and was "jam-packed"). They managed to get the Thursday show rescheduled for the following Tuesday, and the band plans to board the plane to Memphis on Friday.

Daniel Johnston's recording session with the Rhythm Rats was also canceled last Saturday due to poor traveling conditions. Johnston and the Rats will get together to record material for his next Atlantic album later in the month. And that night's show at Liberty Lunch featuring Dallas' Spot, Funland, and Sixty-Six, was cancelled by the club, due to road conditions. Finally, Diane Scott's Birthday Bash at the Continental had to be put off until the February 19.

Mixed Notes

The date of the benefit for Julie Weaver and Shelley Lucksinger has been set for the 17th of this month, with Ed Hall, Sincola, Swine King, Tallboy, and Jesus Christ Superfly replacing Moist Fist, who had to pull out (insert unpleasant sound effect here). That big show will be at Liberty Lunch... Another big show worth mentioning is the Kerrville Folk Festival, which has just announced the line-up for this year's 25th anniversary celebration. You can pick up a complete schedule and brochure at Whole Foods right now (they should be all over town soon enough), for the 25-day festival, happening May 23--June 16 in, you know, Kerrville... Been looking all over this "Crazy World" for an Arthur Brown show? Look no further than the Casa de Luz Community Center at 1701 Toomey. Brown, J.P. Allen, and friends will be playing there on the 14th of this month... Looks like things are on schedule for the new Stubbs Barbecue food and indoor/outdoor music venue. I'm told they'll be open in time for SXSW and have their real Grand Opening later in April... Doyle Bramhall's being covered up a bit: his song "Too Sorry" was recently recorded by Rick Derringer, and Brian Setzer cut a version of "The House is Rockin'," which Bramhall co-wrote with Stevie Ray Vaughan. Meanwhile, did I hear that Wendy & Lisa are producing Doyle, Jr.'s next album?... Denny Brown's new album Got the Whole Night is out now. Performing on the disc are such luminaries as Booker T. Jones, David Grissom, and Flaco Jimenez... Kirt Kempter & Southern Lights are doing a live recording at the Cactus Cafe next Tuesday at 8pm... Guerilla poet Wammo found himself in a real war in late January when he won the Southwest Regional Poetry Slam. Returning to the stage for his "victory poem," Wammo produced from his backpack a bottle of liquor that was a prop for the poem. The stage manager tried to grab it from him (this being a non-drinking establishment) resulting in a tussle and brief, frenzied game of "keep-away" before the show was declared quite over. (While telling me this story, Wammo kept claiming I stole the Cannibal Club shirt I was wearing from him, since the sleeves and collar were sliced out and he recognized "his cut." Well, I gotta admit, no one "cuts 'em" like Wammo)... Don Walser's not the only Austinite going to the summer Olympics. The Derailers will also be playing the event. When asked where they would be performing, Tony Villanueva replied "Right in the middle of the whole thing"... Joe Ely, Robert Earl Keen, and Hal Ketchum will be the performers at next Thursday's annual Austin City Limits celebration and KLRU benefit show at the Travis County Exposition Center. Tickets are available through UTTM outlets...Former Tall Tops guitarist Joe Dickens debuts his new band the Double Shots Saturday at the recently debuted Split Rail. Along with Dickens, the band features Wayne Buckner, aka Rev. Otis Moon, Bill Nadeau, and Clovis Roblaine... Former Chickadiesel Jeri Arsenault premieres her new act, Enchanted Rock, at the Steamboat at 8pm on the 14th... Confidential to the creators of The Stalker, the anti-Urge Overkill zine, whose operations are now based outta Austin: Paul Minor used to be in a band called the Urge, so you should harass him, too.

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

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