Critics Poll

Best Roadshow

Beets: The Makers, Emo's/Neil Diamond, Erwin Center

Cohen: Ben Folds Five, Electric Lounge

Gray: Joan Jett, Electric Lounge

Hernandez: Bruce Springsteen, Austin Music Hall/Sponge, Liberty Lunch

Langer: Ben Harper, Liberty Lunch

Messer: Evil Stig, Liberty Lunch

Moser: Cowboy Junkies, Paramount Theatre

Nichols: El Vez, Continental Club

Stegall: D Generation, Liberty Lunch

Trachtenberg: Terence Blanchard, Elephant Room/Bunny Wailer, One World Festival


Best Local Show

Beets: The Primadonnas, Comet, The American Analog Set, Furry Things, Liberty Lunch

Cohen: Craig Ross, Electric Lounge

Gray: Phantom Creeps, Emo's

Hernandez: Butthole Surfers, Liberty Lunch

Langer: The Bon Bons, Electric Lounge

Messer: Jon Langford w/ Big Foot Chester, Hole in the Wall

Moser: Butthole Surfers, Liberty Lunch

Nichols: Derailers, Don Walser, Rod Moag, Cornell Hurd, KOOP Benefit, Continental Club

Stegall: The Soulbenders' set at the Ramones Hoot Night, Hole In The Wall

Trachtenberg: Root 1, Liberty Lunch


Local Act You Saw the Most

Beets: Stretford

Cohen: Texas Instruments

Gray: Superego/81/2 Souvenirs/Ted Roddy's Tearjoint Troubadors

Hernandez: Alejandro Escovedo

Langer: Fastball/Shat Records

Messer: Horsies

Moser: Butthole Surfers

Stegall: Tallboy

Trachtenberg: Creative Opportunity Orchestra


Venue Visited the Most

Beets: Hole in the Wall

Cohen: Electric Lounge/Hole in the Wall

Gray: Hole in the Wall

Hernandez: Liberty Lunch/Electric Lounge/Emo's

Langer: Antone's

Messer: Electric Lounge/Hole in the Wall

Moser: Liberty Lunch

Nichols: Continental Club

Stegall: Hole in Wall

Trachtenberg: Continental Club/Liberty Lunch


Local Bummer

Beets: No place to park; Police harassment of bands loading in/out downtown

Gray: Ed Hall broke up

Hernandez: 101X

Langer: Clubs close, musicians are poor, and I again have to spend 5,000 words on the relative failure of Austin's major-label contingency.

Messer: Gretchen Phillips gone, no Kathy McCarty, no Meg Hentges, and where's Biscuit?

Moser: Roadshows eclipsed local bands

Nichols: Dejadisc moving to Nashville

Stegall: Shitty crowd reaction to D Generation

Trachtenberg: Still no ongoing venue for touring jazz


National Bummer

Beets: Election year pin-the-blame-on-youth-culture posturing.

Cohen: The lack of success of Austin bands nationally -- though that's nothing new.

Gray: Tupac/David Lee Roth

Hernandez: Sex Pistols/KISS reunions/Canonization of Cheap Trick.

Langer: Michael Jackson is going to be a father before there's a new Guns `N' Roses album.

Messer: Ambivalence toward Austin music.

Moser: It was a good year for music.

Nichols: Faron Young's suicide.

Stegall: The Ramones' career ended with Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell pushing their way onstage.

Trachtenberg: Jerry Garcia is still dead.


Best Thing to Happen Locally

Beets: Plethora of solid local releases; Development of Red River corridor

Cohen: We don't have to put up with that cheeky Mindy LaBernz person anymore.

Gray: Butthole-mania

Hernandez: Stubb's

Langer: Howard Stern

Messer: PeACh, SXIP, and Terri Lord's posters

Moser: The Butthole Surfers got hot.

Nichols: Gospel brunch with the Asylum Street Spankers at La Zona Rosa

Trachtenberg: 9am-4pm Fridays on KOOP


Best Thing to Happen Nationally

Beets: The continuing proliferation of enlightening, minutiae-riddled fan pages on the World Wide Web

Cohen: On his new album, Prince covers one song written by a member of the Hooters and one song written by a former Penn State defensive linemen. This amuses me.

Gray: Houston, Atlanta, and Chicago emerge as hip-hop capitals while New York and L.A. succumb to the East Coast-West Coast foolishness.

Hernandez: Sixteen Deluxe gets signed to Warner Bros.

Langer: The Web finally lives up to its promise as an accessible home for band bios, labels, clubs, radio stations, live events, and daily news.

Messer: The blessed chaos of the World Wide Web

Moser: The Butthole Surfers got hot.

Nichols: "Alternative Country" finally hit its stride.

Stegall: Resurgence of interest in Cheap Trick


Best Reissue

Beets: The Romantics, Recorded Live in San Antonio, Texas, October 30, 1983 (King Biscuit Flower Hour)

Cohen: Mary Margaret O'Hara, Miss America

Gray: Emmylou Harris, Portraits/The Drifters box set

Hernandez: Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings

Langer: People Get Ready, The Curtis Mayfield Story

Messer: Scamp's Sound Gallery BBC soundtrack series/Makers of Smooth Music (MSR Madness)

Moser: The Patti Smith catalogue.

Nichols: Ronnie Dawson, Rockin' Bones: The Legendary Masters/ Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin with Canray Fontenot, La Musique Creole

Stegall: Cheap Trick, Sex, America, Cheap Trick box set

Trachtenberg: Amos Milburn, Blues, Barrelhouse & Boogie Woogie -- 1946-55


Music in 1996 Was...

Beets: ...complacent enough to be in dire need of a messenger bearing the edict "Let's Get Stupid!"

Gray: ... not nearly as bad as 1995, especially if you're that strange kind of person who likes both kinds of dance music: Euro-electronica and Western Swing.

Hernandez: ...very strong musically thanks to major and indie labels signing any musician/band with an instrument. No one heard these albums, mind you, but they were good anyway.

Langer: ...the same year I found less to do at night, gave greatest thought to leaving town, and also wound up loving my 10 local records more than my 10 national records.

Messer: Nationally, any year that sees new Raincoats and Patti Smith albums is going to be better than most. Locally, greed could kill Austin music.

Moser: ...was way better locally than the glut of roadshows and concerts would have you believe.

Stegall: ...whatever you got out of it. Figure it out for yourself, as any rock critic's thoughts on this subject are irrelevant, at best.

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