More Hot Butts!
Censorship continues on the Surfers front, even if the Branson Daily News is hip to them: Billboard also reports this week that Capitol Records has released an alternative Larryland cover featuring a cute prairie dog (with the band apellated "B***h*** Surfers"). The "harmless" cover is reportedly meant to appease four store chains that found it objectionable, including Circuit City, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Target. Wal-Mart, of course, has always shied away from any "controversial" product and since I'm currently having problems with Circuit City in the bill collection policies, I recommend you avoid them at all costs anyway. Tower Records makes a point of not carrying the censored version, and Waterloo carries both.
As for the Butties' recent show at the Austin Music Hall, Haynes is adamant that "We gotta do something to make up for that piece of shit." Yes, he says, there is a big light show that goes with the new tour and a "fucking amazing" film by Tom Stern (Alex Winter's partner in crime, who has had previous experience with the Surfers ranging from their "Cherub" video to his and Winter's feature film Freaked). Unfortunately, due to family tragedies for both the band and crew, there wasn't enough rehearsal time to get things up and running properly in time for the big show. (Haynes wonders aloud why they wanted to start the tour here even under ideal circumstances, as it takes around a week's worth of shows to get things running really smoothly). So what's the upshot of all this? Simple: look for a return engagement by the band, hopefully sometime in late August... if the band can find a suitable venue.
The Late Eric JohnsonYes, you heard right. Eric Johnson's album, now called Venus Isle, has been delayed yet again. Truth to tell, it's actually been delayed twice since I last mentioned it -- I missed one along the way. Not to worry though, the album is done, mixed, and has artwork. What it doesn't have, according to Johnson's manager Joe Priesnitz, is a fully-realized marketing plan by the label (What?!? Five years wasn't enough?!?). "Today, the release is set for early September," says Priesnitz. Capitol reports that the offical release date is actually September 3, and that the album's first single looks to be "Pavillion." Also in the works for Johnson is a major tour tentatively scheduled for October. When asked who Johnson would be hooking up with, however, or whether there would be pre-tour local shows, Priesnitz, wise beyond his years when it comes to announcing things prematurely, would only state; "I couldn't say... today."
For the Record...Here are the results of the Chronicle music staff's voting on this year's entries into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: We picked The Stooges, Parliament-Funkadelic, the Meters, Solomon Burke, Buffalo Springfield, the Dominoes, Mamas and the Papas, Lloyd Price, and the Bee Gees. We were allowed nine votes out of 17 candidates; the Jackson Five were blackballed because Andy Langer would've voted for them, but he refused to show up for the meeting, preferring instead to discuss the matter on his radio show (the Bee Gees eked in via the same reasoning). Black Sabbath would've made it in if Tony Iommi would just fucking give it up; Crosby, Stills and Nash we blew off 'cuz one Neil Young (via Buffalo Springfield) beats three old farts; Joni Mitchell we nixed in protest of the fact that she knows the judges and is gonna get in anyway; Gene Pitney we figured we'd just wait and vote for in the Country Music Hall of Fame voting; and the Moonglows fell short since we had already put too many "the" groups on the list. As for Lynyrd Skynyrd, see "Black Sabbath." Hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes glimpse into the process behind awards shows. Now ya know why the Grammys suck.
Burning Down the HouseDale Watson was lucky to escape with not only his life but also his guitar this week when the Rockin' Horse in Scottsdale, Arizona burned down between his sound check and showtime. The remainder of the band's equipment went up in flames, however. Approximately 100 people had showed up for the gig already when an adjoining bakery caught fire and the flames began spreading to the club, though no injuries were reported. Since the venue was part of a strip center, the band figures that the place was probably insured, but meanwhile, other bands of similar ilk are mourning the Horse, a vital tour stop on the hot, lonely road between here and California.
Christina Marrs is no stranger to the smell of smoke, either, and I'm not talking about "Pops" Bailess' "funny cigarettes." The first benefit for Marrs, her roommates, and other members of the Asylum Street Spankers who lost instruments and other valuables in her recent house fire comes this Monday at the Continental Club, where the Spankers, 81/2 Souvenirs and the Jubilettes will be performing. The cleaning bill for those items from Marrs' collection of antique clothing that may be salvageable is expected to run $1,000 alone.
Mixed NotesJack Hazard at Continental Records says that there's "almost no question" that a deal will be struck between 81/2 Souvenirs, the label, and one of five major labels interested in signing the band. Said deal isn't expected for at least a couple of months, so keep your eyes on this column for future news... Talk that Spoon had finally found a permanent bassist to replace moonlighting producer John Croslin still hasn't produced any living, breathing evidence of a replacement, and Croslin's off with the band again as they traverse Europe. That's not the Cros, or former Spoon bass player Andy Maguire or the next guy slapping the big strings in their expensive new video, though; It's one Hunter Darby, who apparently had some time off while waiting for the Diamond Smugglers' big Fourth of July show and tape release. The new product from the Neil Diamond tributers is called Hot August Shite. Cattleguard among others are waiting for Croslin's return to the states and the studio as they continue work on their recording sessions. Geez, with both Cros and Paul Leary out of town with their bands, there's a lot of quiet recording consoles out there. Don't even ask Dave McNair to join your touring act or somebody's likely to lynch ya... Speaking of looking for Replacements, I just got the CD in from Tommy Stinson's new band Perfect, featuring Marc Solomon of the late Austin band the Clowns... The long-promised Austin tribute album to the Replacements still has not made it on to disc, but fellow Minneapolis resident Prince is getting his, courtesy of fan John Riedie, who has got the likes of Spoon ("Party Up"), Fuckemos ("Controversy"), and Kris McKay ("When Doves Cry") doing their part for the diminutive one... Speaking of tributes, Jonell Mosser has assembled a collection of Townes Van Zandt covers -- all by Jonell Mosser (well, actually, Delbert McClinton duets with her on one number). The album started as demos she recorded for Van Zandt to help him shop his songs to likes of Bonnie Raitt and Wynonna Judd, but the folks at Winter Harvest Entertainment decided they liked the songs just fine the way Mosser did 'em, so the aptly-named Around Townes is in record stores around town right now... Add Gut to your list of bands that are kaput, according to one band member who says he found out about the breakup from audience members just before their last gig... Dong-Fest at the Blue Flamingo on July 2 marks the first fundraising gig towards a compilation CD of Austin psychedelic punk bands. Coz the Shroom, Kerthy Fix, 23 Aliens, and Dizzy Luna are among the performers... Now, if Austin's first psychedelic era is more your bag, take note that Moontower Records has released a Shiva's Headband CD entitled Classics Vol. 1 "Down in Texas." The band will be playing CD release parties for the album, one this Friday at the White Rabbit, and if you miss that you can take the opportunity to check out San Antonio's White Rabbit, where they'll be on Saturday. Coming up next from Moontower and Shiva's are a rerelease of 1984's In the Primo of Life, a Classics Vol. 2, an acoustic album from members Susan and Spencer Perskin, and an all-new release entitled Centaurs Arise!... Shiva fan and Reprise Records honcho Bill Bentley gets Music Consultant credit on that new Bill Paxton movie, Traveller, which I mentioned in a recent column, but it looks like Bentley may miss the premiere as I hear he and his appendix had a bit of a falling-out last week... Back to Moontowers, the Moontower Madness festival is indeed coming back in a big way this weekend, but now it's called the Capital Fest. They'll be filling the two stages with the likes of Doyle Bramhall I, the Sexton Sextet, and, well, just check the music listings... In-stores: Katy Moffatt and Tom Russell are at Waterloo Records today (Thursday) at 5pm; Will Taylor is there tomorrow at the same time. Lucky (ex-Wednesday Week members) are at Music Mania on Saturday at 3pm, and members of rap groups Trinity Garden Cartel and Street Military follow Sunday, signing autographs at 7pm... Wondering what happened to the Ray Price show in Manchaca that we recommended last week? Well, there was some confusion between the promoter and the past and present owners of the Country Music Showcase there, and to make a long story short, expect a rescheduled date -- and location -- to be announced soon...
-- Contributions: Christopher Gray, Raoul Hernandez, Andy Langer, Margaret Moser, Lee Nichols