National Midnight Stars

Is Kelly Willis just chompin' at the bit to get back into the National Enquirer? If so, she put in her best shot at her bachelorette party last Thursday. She and a dozen gals were seen resplendent in boas and frilly dresses at Doyle Bramhall II's performance at Stubb's that night (prompting queries as to whether they were there to mock Bramhall, who was also sporting a boa). It was afterwards, however, when the group piled into their Sixties-era bus that they proved they were no Partridge Family.

According to a source within the group, they all managed to get into the packed Merle Haggard show at Hang 'Em High, where one of the gals -- an ex-stripper who now fronts her own band -- dropped her top, raised her bottom, and began doing a table dance for Willis. Though the source describes the dance as "not lewd, just provocative," the Hang 'Em High bouncers didn't take too kindly to the display of flesh (this is TABC sting month, don't forget!), and escorted the partiers out. On their way out, our source says most men in the club couldn't resist asking the musical question: "So, where are you gals going next?"

Discover Canada!

I can tell you where that gal Sue Foley is going next -- at least eventually. With a baby on the way, the local guitarist is planing a trip back to her native Ottawa so that her offspring will be a Canadian citizen like mom. Foley says the move "might be temporary," but of course that statement implies that it might not. Cary Baker at Discovery, the label that along with Antone's issued Foley's recent album, Walk in the Sun, sounded noticably nervous about the timing of the move and the baby, saying. "We'd like her on the road... we thought this could be the record..." He didn't quite finish his thought, but the implication was clear: this album, with strong touring, could be the one that really breaks Foley nationally.

Here Comes the New Boss

...but he's not like the old boss, according to sources at KUT radio. The University of Texas has finally named a new General Manager to the station, a gentleman by name of Phil Corriveau, who comes to the station from KXPR/KXJZ in Sacramento, California, where he held the same post at California State University. The question of credentials, however, was never the focus of the buzz at KUT while a decision was being awaited. Given the recent history of grumblings between the management and airstaff, the question was one of compatibility. KUT's Jay Trachtenberg is happy to announce that he forsees no such battles in the future. "Everyone across the board feels positive about Corriveau," he says, relieved.

Chicago By Night

You're gonna need to keep that Chicago House Hotline number handy (444-0777) since things there are pretty random these days. Between the Austin Film Society and various roadshows, the new ChiHouse, in its Austin Music Hall home, has had only a few nights available for shows lately. "It's gonna vary for awhile, says owner Peg Miller, "and then I could have seven days in a row in November." Right now she's plugging a big, multi-act night October 30 with Stevenson Ford, Diana Jones, ThaMusement, and Kevin Gant. And, adds Miller, now that she's in a place with a late-night license, "There's no reason I can't have early shows with sensitive singer-songwriters and [later] shows with multiple bands."

CDs, Records and Tapes

Whew! New stuff, not so new stuff, and stuff so new it's not even out has been piling up again. Here's a few things I've managed to dig up out of the piles: Radio Jihad's CD has been out for a few months now, actually, and though I really don't think phone pranks (in this case to Christian radio stations) generally merit CD release, this is a pretty funny batch of collar-looseners. Especially amusing is a pair of calls to Eric Blumberg (so the Jihad went secular for a bit -- so did Amy Grant!) that cracked me up when I first heard them live on the air... Michael Nesmith may not be seen much in these parts anymore, but he's been keeping busy defending the new Monkees album, Justus, all over the place. His best line so far comes from a response to a savage Entertainment Weekly review wherein he finally asks, "What do you mean, or does anybody mean for that matter, `Play their own instruments'? Whose instruments do you suggest we play?" For the record, Justus is just that; Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork writing, playing, and producing a whole album unassisted. And yes, they do a couple of grunge songs!... Wammo's Fat Headed Stranger comes out this week on Mercury's spoken word imprint, Mouth Almighty. The big question so far is, "Did they make you overdo the accent or were you just feeling extra-Texan during the sessions?"... Frank Kozik sent along another batch of pretty, colored-vinyl discs in fancy packages from his Man's Ruin label. Among 'em are some new stuff from Brutal Juice and Helios Creed. (What? No Daddy Longhead yet?)... A couple other discs I haven't mentioned yet: Some former Deep Ellum types now living in Austin as Twin Freaks have a Kyle Ellison-produced 7-inch out on Mind and Eye Records. Also, Yuckmouth's CD is out on Sick Sick Sick Songs, Phil Pritchett's Philworld CD is out on Spitune Records, and Denton's Brave Combo have two new releases, Mood Swing Music and a collaboration with Lauren Agnelli called Kiss of Fire. Chris Wall's Any Saturday Night in Texas hits stores next week, Breedlove have a new one coming out on November 8, and the soundtrack to Trees Lounge is out with that Craig Ross song on it. Which reminds me, the Butthole Surfers have a song on the upcoming soundtrack to Romeo and Juliet, and you can read more about that in this week's music feature, "Pascal's Wager."

Mixed Notes

Tuesday night's big NARAS shindig at the Four Seasons in honor of Lyle Lovett found more than 500 music industry big wigs paying tribute to the big-haired Texan (though his 'do was looked positively deflated) and enjoying short sets by Lisa Loeb, David Ball, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Asleep at the Wheel, and Willie Nelson (Lovett joined in for a song or two). Emcee Ann Richards, however, stole the show with between-set jokes, though we here at the Chronicle were more amused by the fact that the ex-Governor agreed to Margaret Moser's suggestion that she review the new Chuck D album, since the two seemed to hit it off so well on Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect"...

First everyone said they were ripping off Beck, now the Butthole Surfers are on the receiving end of a purported scam as MCI has a commercial running that clearly "borrows" its theme from "Pepper." What's next? A feminine hygiene spray ad using their classic "Lady Sniff"?...

One World Music, the vintage instrument store on South Congress, is starting up its own label by the name World Records. They'll be doing their first recordings live at the Voodoo Lounge, November 3 where Hanger 18 will be playing. Among the familiar faces you'll see in that group are members of Danny & the Hurricanes, Apaches of Paris, and Mojo Nixon's Toadliquors. That's not the only recording going on this week, of course. Loose Diamonds will be shooting a video November 2-3 and are looking for people to be in the shoot. They need to get casting, so you might want to call King Winter Productions at 474-1688 if you wanna get in on that action...

Other video works in progress come from El Flaco, who shot some footage at Emo's last week for various promotional uses, and Ian Moore, whose full-length concert video, I'm told, is just about ready to send to the reproducers...

The Country Music Association of Texas had its annual awards show and supper Wednesday at the Broken Spoke. Usual suspects Don Walser, Dale Watson, the Derailers and Christine Albert were all winners of the CMAT's Lone Star Spirit Award. Congratulations, folks...

It looks like Margaret Moser's replacement on Check This Action will be KVRX/101X's Jenn Garrison...

File this one under "Nixed Notes". The owner of the Mini Disc Walkman referred to in last week's column sent this picture of what happened when he tried to record Michelle Shocked at Liberty Lunch last week:

Yow! I'll leave it to you readers to make your own decision whether the unauthorized taper or the over-reactive manager was the bad guy, but damn! That thing looks like the black box out of a plane wreck!...

Kacy Crowley is currently recording a one-off for Carpe Diem with the intention of shopping it to majors. Look for that after the first of the year. Meanwhile, Dog Run, the flick that won the feature film prize at the Heart of Texas film festival, prominently features her song "Fire Engine Man"...

It may not really fall into the "live, original music" category, but take note of another closing in the Sixth Street area; piano bar Jellyrolls...

Doug Sahm's appearance at Hole in the Wall Monday was a notable for its enthusiastic crowd, but I wish I'd heard the latest Texas Tornados rumor before that show and not after, so I could've asked Doug about it: We're pretty sure he was pulling her leg, but Warner Bros. VP Bill Bentley told Margaret Moser in Portland at the NXNW conference that Freddy Fender is out of the band and Roy Head is in. All that stands in the way of this being a done deal is a few Spanish lessons. C'mon, everybody sing along! "You're gonna get a reputation as el hombre del amor, if you Treat Her Right!")...

-- Contributors: Raoul Hernandez, Andy Langer, Margaret 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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