Police Blotter

Larry Manale with the Lubbock Police called the Chronicle this week in hopes of finding some information about a Mr. Paul Wilkins. Well, indeed you can, Officer. Wilkins, you may recall, was the man who ruffled feathers with his "Best of Texas" and Bob Marley music festivals a few of years back. He's apparently up to his old stunts yet again, as Manale says the Lubbock district attorney's office is in the process of filing felony theft charges against Wilkins after he "reportedly absconded with money" following a Marley Fest in Lubbock, which left vendors and others unpaid. Manale requested the material from the Chron towards establishing that Wilkins has a history of such activity.

If that scenario brings to mind a more recent situation in Austin, don't jump to conclusions. A staff member from the One World Music Festival (who also worked "Best of Texas") tells me that while many of the staff from One World remain unpaid, Willie Nelson is now scheduled to perform a show on November 10 to help the fest pay off its debts. The staffer further describes One World producer Judd Schwartz as a "nice guy" who got into a troublesome situation, compared to Wilkins, whom she described as a "swine." That Nelson show will likely be held at Resort Ranch, the same site as the One World Fest. Now, just don't charge too much and you should be able to get out of this yet, guys.

Sixth Street walkers got a tragic eyeful just before 2am, September 24, when a young man fell off the outside deck of the recently opened Iron Cactus at 606 Trinity. The Cactus' owners are maintaining a blanket "no comment" policy regarding the matter, and Mike Burgess with the Austin Police says that witnesses to the fall were intoxicated and "not very cooperative." Apparently, says Burgess, the victim was a minor who was running "to build up speed so that he could spit on top of the bus parked outside" and sailed right over the railing, falling two floors to the concrete. Lt. David Ferraro with the TABC says that the victim, who was seriously injured, apparently was intoxicated and that they are "concerned with where he would have obtained any alcoholic beverages." Andy Langer tells me that, while investigating a story on the entertainment district, he may have run across some very interesting answers to that question, but you'll have to wait until next week to find out what they are.

"A" Is for Austin, "A" Is for Americana!

If you're one of those grumpy types who bitches about how Austin musicians ought to be topping the charts, maybe you haven't see the Americana chart, a creation of Gavin, the radio and music trade magazine. Created specifically for that type of non-Nashville roots music that we seem to do so well, the airplay chart (determined by 72 stations, compared with the 200 or so that report to their country chart) is often dominated by Austin and/or Texas artists. The most recent chart finds the Texas Tornados' 4 Aces at Number One, with placings by Lyle Lovett (Number Six), Sue Foley (Number 11), Shaver (Number 12), Junior Brown (Number 16 -- down from Number One a few weeks ago), Johnny Rodriguez (Number 17), and Leann Rimes (Number 20). Even Cornell Hurd, with no label or decent distribution behind him, has managed to hit Number 30. Also, the Austin-heavy Rig Rock Deluxe compilation (profiled in the Chron two weeks ago, Vol. 16, No. 3) has shot up to Number 3, while Dave Alvin's Interstate City, which was recorded live at the Continental Club, is at Number 7. If you don't have a Gavin subscription, you can check it out at http://www.gavin.com/issues/current/charts/am.shtml. Make room for one more soon, seeing as The Gourds have their debut just out (see "Texas Platters").

Pot Is a Four-letter Word

Prior to their Steamboat show last Friday, Dash Rip Rock dropped by AM15's new Friday night entertainment show only to find they already had an audience. Seems the band's hit "(Let's Go) Smoke Some Pot" had worried some the City-types, who, fearful of the drug reference, visited the set to make sure no nefarious endorsements were made. The band, who prefer Bud to bud themselves, were amenable to avoiding the title and completed the segment without incident. As the went out live, however, their squeaky clean interview was preceded by a video of the Austin Lounge Lizards singing "Teenage Welfare Mothers on Drugs." No, you figure it out!

The Toni Awards

Oops! Last year we didn't give enough attention to the Buck Owens tribute (we gave it to Kelly Willis instead), so Toni Price sent us a missive saying the entire Chronicle music staff was "fired." This year, we didn't give much play to the Continental's Hank Williams tribute, and now I'm afraid she's gonna repossess our cars!! Here's a tribute we didn't forget, though: The Texas Branch of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS, or in layman's terms the Grammys) will be honoring Lyle Lovett at their upcoming Governor's Award Tribute Dinner on October 22 (which probably explains Lovett's anchoring the Walter Hyatt tribute at the Paramount the next night). Hosted by Ray Benson and Ann Richards, the dinner and accompanying Silent Auction will benefit MusiCares, a financial assistance program for musicians. No word on whether there'll be a roast ("Actually, we had to seat Lyle up here because anywhere else we put him people were bitching that they couldn't see the podium through his hair!")

Mixed Notes

From the Los Angeles Times online: "As part of a `Rock `n' Reel' auction of celebrity memorabilia on Saturday and next Sunday, Executive Collectibles in Newport Beach is offering such [Kurt] Cobain detritus as a pimple-medication bottle he used (expected price range: $300-$500) and a piece of Publishers Clearing House junk mail sent to the rocker's Los Angeles house (range: $200-$300). Stevie Ray Vaughan, who died in 1990, is also rapidly climbing on the collectibles market, with an even more personal, historical and, of course, pricey item featured in this sale: a set list from his very final performance, autographed to a friend just minutes before Vaughan climbed aboard the helicopter that then crashed on a Wisconsin hillside. The official estimated value: $8,000-$10,000." Hmmm. Run across any longtime local musicians who've suddenly run into a bunch of really good heroin lately?... Speaking of which, we've heard that the reason a certain hot local drummer left the band of a certain whiz local guitarist is that the guitarist in question was fond of a Certain Substance and the drummer was fearful of rekindling his own former fondness for the substance. Jeez, if everybody starts dropping out of bands for that reason, we're really gonna see a big jump in singer-songwriter acts... I mentioned Missile Command last week, but I don't believe I informed you that MC is one-half of the old Gals Panic, the half fronted by Jerm Pollet. The other half is Lance Fever's Playdoh Squad. Together or separately, it seems like these guys just can't get away from those already copyrighted product names... Javelin Boot have now got a "full-blown record deal" with Pravda, the label that's been distributing the band's indie releases for some time. Two songs from theforthcoming Fundamentally Sound album have been played during recent episodes of Fox's Party of Five program. Look for the album itself on the first Tuesday in November... The Flametrick Subs have got a deal going with the Teen Rebel label and are in the process of finishing up a Mike McLaughlin/Brian Anderton-produced album. They're hoping to have the 14-song disc ready by the end of the month... Craig Ross is back in town, following his tour with Throwing Muses. Incredibly, Ross says he didn't write or record any songs with the Muses during their time together. Currently he's waiting to figure out where his next tour will take him. He's also just returned from Toronto and a gig with Malcolm Burn, celebrating the Canadian release of a new album by their group Pregnant. Listen for "Mudslide" off Ross' current album Dead Spy Report in Steve Buscemi's movie Trees Lounge. The song was originally slated for The Long Kiss Goodbye, but when the choice came up, Ross nixed that deal in favor of Trees because, as he says, "I like Steve Buscemi."... KUT is now on the verge of announcing the name of their new General Manager. In fact, they'll probably call the very second after this issue goes off to press. Meanwhile, a source at the station says the matter is currently "lost in the great bureaucracy of the universe." Boy, do radio people talk funny or what?... More changes for the Ugly Americans, with Sean McCarthy splitting the band. Bruce Hughes, who will be taking over the bass chores, says, "I don't know what's in the guy's head, but sayo nara." Asked how this would affect the band in his view, Hughes replied, "I'm definitely gonna miss my guitar playing. But if I start sucking at the bass I'll hire someone and go back to guitar." Meanwhile, the McCarthy-less band is scheduled to begin a fall tour with Big Head Todd... The contents of Doyle Bramhall II's touring band have been announced, with ex-Soulhat/current Papa Mailist Bill Cassis taking second guitar duties, Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman (or just "Wendy & Lisa" if you will) on bass and keys, respectively, and Abe Laborial, Jr., on drums. You can see the band at Stubb's, October 17 and at Steamboat the following two nights. Bramhall's rumored tour with Me'shell Ndegeocello is now official, but has been whittled down to a few dates on the West Coast as she's entering the tail end of her trek... In-stores this week find The Gourds at Waterloo Records this Friday at 5pm, and the Queers at Tower Records on Monday at 4pm... Sorry all you Cheap Trick fans, but it's KISS tickets that go on sale this Saturday for the band's November 5 date at the Erwin Center... Today (Thursday) is your last chance to mail off your submission to the Austin Acoustic Music Festival, to be held in mid-November at the Green Room (which is now a real club, if you haven't checked by there lately). Send your tape, bio, and photo to: AAMF, PO Box 4865, Austin, TX 78765. Include your address and phone number, and if you can't manage all this before midnight, that explains why you can't get a band together...

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

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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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