A Small World After All
Fri., Sept. 20, 1996
ZZ's StopsBilly Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard are on the road with their new Rhythmeen tour (or, as they're calling it, the "Continental Safari"), and will be hitting Texas in December, with Austin specifically slated for the Erwin Center on December 10. That doesn't mean it'll be their only gig hereabouts, though. Lone Wolf Management's Bob Small says that small "secret" gigs are "still being talked about" and several markets have been discussed. He goes on to say that should they happen, they may be during the tour. Since the dates surrounding Austin are Amarillo on Dec. 7 and Dallas on the Dec. 12, that leaves a healthy three days for the band to make a club appearance somewhere nearby. May I suggest Sunday night at Hut's? Small adds that the club gigs would be announced the day before the show at the very earliest, if at all.
The band is further going back to its roots this year by not shooting a video at this time (if that doesn't seem like a big deal, think where they'd be today without MTV and "Legs"!). Small, when asked if this is because MTV isn't expected to take to the bluesier Top, cites a number of reasons, emphasizing the need to get on the road. The band will do that starting October 28, but you get a preview October 2 when they make an appearance on the David Letterman show.
Mending the Net(work)Tim Hamblin at the Austin Music Network is mighty busy these days, as the station has gone to full 24-hour a day status, and is in the process of fine-tuning its new live music news show, On The Air, on Fridays at 6:30pm. The end of October marks the beginning of changes at the network's popular Check This Action, as co-host
Margaret Moser is leaving the show. "We're grateful to her for doing it this long," says Hamblin, "but the show must go on." He encourages potential hosts to sent a videotape of themselves to the network at 309 W. Second St., Austin, TX 78701. Since editor/cohost Tara Veneruso has plans for a short trip to New York soon after Moser's departure, expect at least one week of CTA without any familiar faces. Moser, fresh out of the dentist's chair, said only "Mmmpppphh."
Not Entranced By VoodooThe Voodoo Lounge is continuing to increase its presence in the Sixth Street entertainment district. It's on Third, just a couple blocks down the bogus Walk of Stars on Trinity, and if you've never managed to find it, you're not alone. Even with a bit more publicity these days, I've never seen more than a handful of people inside (though there's a regular crowd that seems to hang around out front -- maybe they should shut the big "freebie" window out there), but booker Rob Walker promises bigger shows and more publicity for them starting next month. The Trance Syndicate show last Wednesday with the Mountain Goats and Alastair Galbraith taught a few people the way to the Voodoo, with over 100 paid attendees, but don't expect a repeat appearance from the Trance folks. While from an audience perspective, things went well (one Trance employee says "If you weren't there, you should have been"), but Craig Stewart claims that the club reneged on the payment agreement for the bands and that he got in quite a shouting match with Walker after the show. "I couldn't threaten them with anymore bad publicity than they've already gotten," says Stewart, and adds he won't be booking any of the Trance roster there again. In the end, he says, the bands got "what they needed," though less than what they were promised.
Mixed NotesThe Flamingo Cantina sure knows how to get your attention. The Chronicle atrium is currently crowded with plastic pink flamingos (makes us want to move to Westlake Hills). They gave us the birds in hopes their colorful plumage would attract our attention to the club's Flamingo Fest, set for September 29 at Fiesta Gardens, with Black Uhuru, Killer Bees, Billygoat and such. Don't worry about it, guys. We'll get to it next week. In the meantime, what do you feed these things?... Skrew spinoff 16Volt is listed in the latest Rolling Stone as the Number One Alternative Retail Seller, points out the group's manager, Austinite Corey Mitchell... Put Carson Vester, Jeff Pinkus, and Lance Farley together and you've got Honky, and guess who's coming to see them tonight (Thursday) at the Flamingo Cantina? Folks from Capricorn Records, that's who (and anyone else who wants to check out the band, of course). Could this mean they might end up as Ian Moore's label-mates?... Aside from Steeplejack's Kitchen Radio, the latest releases to come from DejaDisc seem strangely, er, familiar. There's Going Through Something, Elliott Murphy's new "best of" collection, the second Deja sampler of songs from existing albums, and the Wannabes' I Am God EP, featuring mostly previously released material. For now, it seems, the label is living up to its name... See you in the funny papers: Of all people to run across in a comic book, human cartoon Frank Kozik might be expected, but who have thought to see him alongside fellow ex-Austinite Naomi Shapiro? The two get the comic treatment in the latest issue of Peter Bagge's comic book Hate, in a backup strip/ad drawn by Love and Rockets cartoonist Jaime Hernandez. The reason? Shapiro's label Fluffer, formerly home to Balloonatic, has been putting out singles by Bagge's band the Action Swingers, as did Kozik's Man's Ruin label... At a recent gig in Iowa, Fastball followed Sin City -- an AC/DC cover band with a 6-foot Angus Young. The urge to jump into a phone booth and emerge as the Bon-Bons must have been nigh overwhelming. Currently, the 'ball boys have switched gears to record Burt Bacharach's "This Guy's in Love With You" for Hollywood Records' upcoming lounge compilation, tentatively called Lounge-a-palooza. Also slated for that early 1997 release are (get ready!) Glen Campbell and Michelle Shocked with the Texas Tornadoes featuring Sheila E. (and a bunch of mariachis) performing, of course, "Wichita Lineman"... Doyle Bramhall II apparently got more than production out of Wendy and Lisa, seeing as how he's now seeing Wendy's sister Susannah Melvoin (yes, also sister to the late Smashing Pumpkins keyboardist). Despite rumors of reluctance, Doyle is getting a band together in hopes of hitting the road by mid-October. Bramhall's management says several offers have been made regarding tour partners, and we hear that one of these offers may be a 10-day West Coast tour with Me'shell Ndegéocello (see "Recommended")... Chris Smithers is currently in town recording an album at the Hit Shack with Stephen Bruton producing. You can look for that album, Small Revolution, in late January, or check out Smither at Shady Grove next Thursday... Here's a couple of in-store performances, both at Waterloo Records; Lisa Tingle this Friday and Vitamade next Thursday, both at 5pm... Alejandro Escovedo, Jimmy LaFave, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore will be part of the big Woodie Guthrie Tribute at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland next weekend. They'll share the stage with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Woody's son Arlo... The Speed Queens are zooming off for a five-week tour as well, with a Tim Kerr-produced single and CD on the way in the next couple of months on Sympathy for the Record Industry... Scott Esbeck from Los Straitjackets has moved from Nashville to Austin. The band will play the Continental this Saturday... Meanwhile, Edith Frost, after signing to Chicago label Drag City, has moved to Brooklyn... And if you thought anything was safe from change anymore, after 11-plus years, the Hole in the Wall has changed the style of their ad in the Chronicle! Is nothing sacred?... Sarah Brown and Lisa Mednick recently co-wrote a song that's been cut by Irma Thomas. The song, "Cried Too Long," will appear on her next Rounder release scheduled for a mid-January release. Individually, supporting her own new release on Blind Pig Records, Brown has been a featured artist on Syl "Take Me to the River" Johnson's East Coast and Midwest festival tour this summer and is now on the road, playing several dates in L.A. and the Bay Area, including the Long Beach Festival, where she will perform as part of a Texas all-star revue. She returns to Austin tonight (Thursday) for a show at the Continental Club. Mednick, who recently played on Juliana Hatfield's upcoming album, is in the process of relocating back here from Los Angeles... A couple of weeks ago I reported Cassandra Wilson was the first confirmed act for Austin City Limits' next season. Well, now she's the first cancelled act as well. She's scrapped that gig and her Backyard show this weekend, though she is listed in UT's Performing Arts Center calendar as joining Wynton Marsalis' Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra revue next
-- Contributors: Christopher Gray, Raoul Hernandez, Andy Langer, Margaret Moser