Dah-Veed Savings Time

Dah-Veed (that's David Garza, for you new to town) confirms that he's put his Jo-Hn Hancock on a major label record deal. He'd been debating for quite some time whether to go with Capitol or Atlantic, and in the end, the big "A" won him over. Dah is currently in Philadelphia working on his first album for the label with producer Stiff Johnson (known for his work with G. Love & Special Sauce), and more details are expected to come soon. For now, what I've been hearing about the deal bodes well for Dah, in that he's said to have been signed by the president of the label, rather than just any A&R person. (As one local musician recently sighed, "They come and go faster than the bands!") On the local front, Mark Pratz at Liberty Lunch confirms that he's got Dah-veed lined up to play New Year's Eve at that venue. Look's like Dah will be ushering in a very busy 1997 for himself.

Asleep at the Deal

Just because Ray Benson received the "Lifetime Achievement Award" at Monday night's Texas Music Association dinner (see item below), don't think that there's any shortage of life left in the Tall Man With One Big Hat. Since Capitol Records dropped Asleep at the Wheel (and since 14-year Wheel veteran Tim Alexander retired from the band), Benson's been anything but asleep. "He's talked to everybody from Shanachie to Sony," says Susan Griswold at Bismeaux Productions. "Nothing's been inked," she adds, but, referring to the sort of arrangement that has served Jerry Jeff Walker very well, she adds that, "He'd be happy if he could have his own record label." Benson's hardly twiddling his thumbs in the meantime; he's got the Manhattan Transfer (!) coming to Bismeaux Studios at the end of November to record with the Wheel, and is talking about possibly recording a live album later this fall.

Mickey Mouse's Willie

The world's most famous mouse may have gotten his start in the cartoon Steamboat Willie, but who ever thought he'd be associated with another Willie by the last name of Nelson? Well, the Red-Headed Stranger will be shooting part of his Disney special, Going Home, not at Steamboat, but at Antone's later this month. Susan Antone says that details are still fuzzy, but that the producers called and said Nelson was shooting half of the special at his place and "wanted to do the rest at his favorite nightclub." Nelson's publicist says the taping will not be open to the public. That won't be the only chance you get to see him, though. Sunday, November 10 finds Willie and friends, along with the Killer Bees, and
Bill Oliver, all "Playin' by the Pool" at Lake Travis' Resort Ranch. All three acts have volunteered their services to help pay the outstanding debts of Camp Chautauqua, which exceed $200,000 following last month's underattended One World Music Festival. General tickets for the event are $15 advance and kids under 12 are free with parent. Tickets are available at Antone's Record Store, Lee's Almost by the Lake, and Pedernales Country Store.

It's Junior's World...

Whoa! Just when you thought Junior Brown had gotten too big for Austin, he's back. First, he showed up at last week's Walter Hyatt tribute (and subsequent Austin City Limits taping) and now he's actually doing two nights at his old stomping grounds, The Continental Club, this Saturday and Sunday. And he'll be returning there next Sunday, too. Seems the Mavericks tour, which Brown's been on since April, took a short break after the Mavs' recent show at the Paramount. This probably explains the incredible news Steve Wertheimer heard from one of the Mavs; that after their tour ends in January, Brown will be joining the Metallica tour. "Not true," says Brown's booking agent, Bobby Cudd of Monterey Artists in Nashville. "They approached us last year, but Junior was already committed to the Mavericks." But wait, let's go back to the point where your jaw dropped: Metallica? "Sure," says Cudd, "I get a lot of inquires by rock bands about Junior. Yesterday, I got a call from the Stone Temple Pilots." Seems they wanted Brown for their upcoming San Antonio show, but he'll be back touring with you-know-who-by then.

The Bands Who Came to Dinner

Less than a week after NARAS had its big Lyle Lovett shindig in the Four Seasons ballroom, the Texas Music Association had their own fiesta there, this one honoring our local music industry. Tim O'Connor's Direct Events won "Outstanding Business," The Austin Music Network won the "Townsend Miller Media Award," and Austin punk godfather Joseph Gonzales was honored posthumously as were Walter Hyatt, Grey Ghost, Laveda Durst (aka Dr. Hepcat), and Erbie Bowser. "Outstanding Artist" went to the Butthole Surfers, and, as I said above, Ray Benson won the "Lifetime Achievement" award. The most surprising moment was the awarding of the Roger Sovine Award to ZZ Top manager Bill Ham, who by his own admission probably did more for Texas mystique with a little ol' catch phrase for his band than any tourist bureau ad campaign has done in the past 27 years. I say the moment was surprising because the notoriously reclusive Ham was actually there to receive the award. Sovine himself presented the plaque to the publishing magnate, who he termed "not a photo-op type of guy." Long rumored to be either dead or dying, Ham looked more than fit, with the Chron's Raoul Hernandez observing, "He's got a pretty good grip for a dead guy" -- sentiments to which Ham responded, naturally enough, "I don't get out as much as I used to."

Mixed Notes

I hadn't even realized that James McMurtry was off Columbia Records until today, but his management confirms that it's so, and that negotiations are under way to get him onto another label. No specifics were available at press time, but other sources have mentioned Sugar Hill... Spoon's Telefono album is being given a second wind by Matador Records in the form of a second, promo-only single, "Plastic Mylar," which shipped off to radio stations (minus the word "fuck") a couple of weeks ago. Spoon boss Britt Daniel says he'd be "kinda surprised if anything happens" as far as the band receiving a significant boost from the single, and is instead focusing all his positive vibrations towards an all-new, five-song EP that Spoon plans to have out in January... The Butthole Surfers and Capitol Records will indeed be going with the Springsteen-flavored "TV Star" as the second single off Electriclarryland. The label also plans to service "Whatever (I Had A Dream)," the Surfers' new song on the just-released Romeo & Juliet soundtrack. As Butthole-mania continues, the band reportedly arrived at a big festival in Atlanta, only to find their gear had moved to Florida instead, and on another occasion an enraged Paul Leary called 101X to scream at the Whipping Boy ("author" of the Buttholes parody, "Paprika"), after which Gibby Haynes called back to apologize for his bandmate's behavior. Now there's a switch!... After another long dry spell, the November 14 Rolling Stone comes jam-packed with Austin and Texas references, and of course, you knew at least a couple would be Butthole-related. RS #747 takes off with a "Random Note" on Haynes' offstage tsimmis with conservative columnist Betsy Hart (she called him a "jerk" to which he replied "Oh, that's smart!") at their Politically Incorrect taping, then goes on to ask Evan Dando to recount his adventures in Gibby's "Nissan Crack Finder." The same page lists Billy Gibbons' "Raves," which include G. Love & Special Sauce, Long John Hunter, and the culinary treat known as Mopane Worms. There's also a feature on Larry King, and though the King in question is the talk radio host, not the Texas writer, the accompanying illustration gives you three opportunities to search for Austinite Nina Hirschfield's name. Finally, a review of a Bob Mould show (with Andrew Duplantis) in New York opens with the Sugar baron announcing to the crowd that "It's good to be home!" Fine, Bob. Just be that way... Mould is one of the judges in this year's Musician magazine "Best Unsigned Band" competition, which means the Superego just may have a chance. Also voting are Tori Amos, Joe Satriani, Vince Gill, and Buddy Guy (what a supergroup they would make!) and if you're interested in entering, call their toll-free line at 888/BUB-2WIN. By the way, Musician lists Sue Foley among their "Ten Bands You Need to Hear in '97"... If you're wondering why the Wallflowers cancelled their Liberty Lunch gig, wonder no more; the band managed to get the musical guest spot on Saturday Night Live, and as we all know, SNL's current viewership is nearly twice what they could've fit into the Lunch. Looks like they'll miss seeing Randy "Biscuit" Turner's in-progress, club-wide art display at the Lunch, which he says is dedicated to the memory of Michael Jay Ciasullo, and will be up through the holidays. "It's totally wailin'," says the artist... After only six weeks, Eric Johnson's long-anticipated Venus Isle has dropped off the Billboard Top 200 chart. We'll have to wait and see if his label has any plans to resuscitate the sinking Isle... A couple of in-stores: DJ Spooky haunts Waterloo Records at 5pm on Hallowe'en, then Chris Wall performs there on Friday at the same time... Just keep telling yourself, "It's a collector's item," if you finally broke down and bought 81/2 Souvenirs album, Happy Feet, recently. The disc has just been reissued in a new version that features three new songs and new singer Juliana Sheffield... The Mouth Almighty of Wammo may never be shut now that he's shown off in a large feature in the new Billboard. Oh, and he's in the new Texas Monthly, too, which I wouldn't have noticed if he hadn't called to boast... The recently formed, self-described "Celtic bubblegum" act Sugar Frost have completed their first album, entitled Smilebringer. That's scheduled for release "on the eve of the Yule." Okay, so I made that last one up. So sue me... -- 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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