Dancing About Architecture

Do the Chili Mac

The Texas Tornados may just be on the verge of having the biggest hit of their career(s). A dance remix of their latest single, "A Little Bit Is Better Than Nada," has clubs in San Antonio really hopping, and the dancing itch has started to spread. Reprise Records' Bill Bentley says the label is "working on replacing the `Macarena' with the `Enchilada'" by rush-releasing a new single of remixes by the Chavez Brothers. There's the disco remix, of which Bentley says, "You can recognize [the song], but just barely," a country line-dance version, and several others. And in another parallel to the big "Mac," in Germany, there's already a cover version of "Nada" hiking up the charts -- and selling better than the original! Pity poor Ian Moore. Moore spent a good portion of his formative years in Mexico, and has been heard to lament that he didn't come up with the idea of recording the "Macarena" for a mass audience, since it's been stuck in his head since he was five. Well, Ian, maybe you can jump on the "Nada" bandwagon instead: I hear that Roy Head's spot in the Tornados is open.

Things Fall ApArt

The situation is looking grim for yet another haven for local art, music, and camaraderie. Green Room owner Brad Massengill, who only recently converted the long-time unofficial gallery and venue into a "real" business, is finding himself with the possibility of being tossed out by his landlord. Ironically, the reason for his ejection might be the improvements he's made to the space. Massengill says that he and the landlord had agreed upon a five-year lease, and thus set about getting the Green Room up to official standards to open as a coffeehouse and club, spending a great deal of time and money in the process. The landlord, seeing the new, improved space, "got dollar signs in his eyes," according to Massengill, and announced that he intended to toss Massengill out and put a nice restaurant in the building. Two days after the completion of this year's successful Austin Acoustic Music Festival at the Green Room, Massengill received notice that, "Our relationship as landlord and tenant is over." This Saturday, the Green Room is having a benefit for itself with Tammy Gomez, Big Game Hunters, SXIP, Stevenson Ford, Brian Cutean, and Mariachi Estrelle, with the hopes of raising money towards Massengill either throwing enough money at the landlord to keep him from reneging on their agreement or hiring a lawyer to achieve the same goal.

The Green Room isn't the only entity worried about staying put. On Friday, there's another benefit there, this time for Robot Group and Liquid Mice founder Brooks Coleman. Coleman has apparently been so involved in charity work of late that he's neglected to keep up with certain important payments. He's in danger of losing the property outside of town where he lives, holds art shows, builds robots, and generally keeps the neighbors nervous. Friday's benefit will feature a fashion show spotlighting Coleman's line of steel bikinis and hats (or, as Massengill puts it, "Madonna-wear"), as well as performances by the Topless Baboon Orchestra, the Real Dixons, and Fred Mitchim.

The Outer Limits

Those of you jonesing for a chance to see Eric Johnson here in town will be tearing your hair out upon hearing that you probably missed his only solo performance in Austin this year. Turns out the Johnson taped an Austin City Limits performance on Monday (his second), playing two solid hours as if it were his last performance ever. Mixing old and new material, including B.B. King's "Rock Me, Baby" and Jimi Hendrix's "Red House," Johnson also debuted a couple of tunes yet to be recorded: a Wes Montgomery-type instrumental, "Hesitant," and a Cream-y stomper called "Good to Me." Far from taking all the limelight, however, Johnson let bassist Roscoe Beck do a solo number, as well as drummer Brannen Temple, who did two solos (okay, one was a retake) and almost stole the show. Management says Johnson is currently in town doing some overdubs on a G3 live album (you'll remember that's Johnson, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai), which should be out next summer, and that there are no local appearances currently planned. Capitol, it seems, wants Johnson to do some overseas promotional work early next year, before he heads back out on the road.

Give 'em a Change-Up

The worst thing you can say about Fastball's "Are You Ready for the Fallout?" is "I can't get it out of my head," but as we all know, radio just doesn't play that bar-band stuff. The Fast ones may be getting another chance at a hit, though, with their song on the upcoming Loungapalooza compilation, which also features tracks from P.J. Harvey, Pizzicato Five, and Combustible Edison with Esquivel. Hollywood Records' Sharrin Summers says that the choice is still tentative, but that the label would "very, very, very much" like to release Fastball's version of "This Guy's in Love With You" as the lead single. A partial reason is that the label isn't cleared to release songs by the heavier hitters as singles, but mainly, says Summers, "We think it's very worthy of being there as a single."

Beat of a Different...

Ronna Era of Starfish says the band is continuing their search for a new drummer, following Scott Marcus' departure. In the next few weeks, they plan to try out skinbeaters from Florida, Baltimore, and possibly Washington. Of Bryan Bowden, who came down recently from New York to play a few gigs with the band, Era says he was good, but "not the one." This Friday, Starfish's blues spin-off, the FuckAntone's will be playing Charlie's Attic (see "Recommended"), along with PG-13 and the Damnations. This could be dangerous because, as everybody knows, if you say the F-word in Charlie's Attic, you have to buy the bar a round of brews. As such, the band is playing it safe by billing themselves as the "FHAntone's" for the gig. "Charlie thinks we're called the "Fantones," chuckles Era.

Mixed Notes

Just as Dejadisc owner Steve Wilkison was leaving town (headed to Nashville) in came one of his artists, Michael Hall, who was spotted at his old stomping grounds, the Hole in the Wall. Confirming what Wilkison has said about not leaving anyone in the lurch, Hall says that he didn't really have a contract with the label, they just put out his albums. Hall adds that he doesn't have any current plans to move to another label any time soon, citing that "my career is dead in the water"...

In response to a recent blitz of e-mail to Survival Research Laboratories founder Mark Pauline, SRL's Flynn Mauthey called to ask me to tell you people to knock it off! Actually, the frustrated SRLers hope to have a firm statement to make by the end of December regarding where and when their show of clanging metal, rattling robots, and flaming animal corpses will grace our area. "We have the money, we have the equipment -- we have everything but a site," says Mauthey of the current situation. Among the places the show won't be held are Lockheed, South Park Meadows, and the Heritage Center...

There's another benefit toward Rob Gaines' medical bills this Saturday at the Electric Lounge with Dumptruck, Pork (hey, didn't they break up?), Good, Andrew Duplantis, Mike Nicolai, and "The Glenn Benavidez Orchestra featuring Aljandro Escobar." Will that last one be Buick MacKane or something altogether new and different? You got me...

So what is it with all the big Christmas parties in town being held on Friday the 13th? This doesn't bode well for the holidays, I fear...

The Hole in the Wall reports that the Ramones Hoot Night exceeded even the expectations set by the previous Devo hoot. A grand total of $842 was raised for charity at the event, which included a recorded announcement from Joey Ramone himself...

Haven't seen D'Jalma Garnier around lately? Well, he's back in town with Filé, but they're not playing any shows for the public. They can be heard on KUT tonight (Thursday), though, where they're in the studio, 9pm-midnight...

The good news is that the Geezinslaws' new enhanced CD has a whopper amount of stuff on it, including two music videos, an interview with Willie Nelson, and clips from a number of the band's TV appearances. The bad news is there's room for all that 'cuz they didn't bother to include a Mac version of all those things. Whatever. A CD's fer listenin' to, not starin' at, and this one,titled Blah...Blah...Blah, has songs written by the likes of Kinky Friedman, Alex Harvey, and the Austin Lounge Lizards. The Geezers will be signing copies at Blockbuster Music's south store (naturally), 6-8pm, Friday...

Poor Yorick have a release party for their Caucasia CD Friday at the Waterloo Ice House 6th. It may be a farewell show, too, as one of the members is deciding whether to move out of town...

Some of these rumors that go around are really weird, lemme tell ya. Spotted on the internet was a question about whether Daniel Johnston had been arrested for burning a black church, with USA Today being the supposed source for the tale. While some might be tempted to believe such a tale, given Johnston's history of mental problems, the answer is "No." Johnston's father says that Daniel is indeed back in the hospital having his medication adjusted, though there was no particular incident that landed him there -- certainly not one with a level of seriousness approaching that of the rumored situation...

Quote of the week: "You tell your boss, Mr. Casino, that I know every band in town, and if you throw me out, none of them will ever play here again!!!" (unidentified intoxicated patron at Casino el Camino)...

Oops!: As soon as I left the office last week, a certain internationally known rock critic told my editor that The Ugly Americans had a song in the trailer of Richard Gere's new flick. Well, that's actually Tom Cruise's new movie (Jerry MacGuire), but unfortunately "Vulcan Death Grip" doesn't appear on the soundtrack. Given writer/director and former Rolling Stone scribe Cameron Crowe's impressive track record with previous soundtracks (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Say Anything, Singles), that's too bad. Also, I don't know how this happens, but there was a reference last week to Jack O'Fire when I meant to mention its current spin-off Lord High Fixers...

-- Contributors: Christopher Gray, 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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