Here it is. The confirmed lineup for the Austin Music Awards, presented by
your own cute, cuddly Chronicle
(and cute, cuddly Margaret Moser). In
order of appearance, you'll see The King of Sixth Street Gerry Van King,
81/2 Souvenirs, Texas Tornados featuring Roy Head, Sexton Brothers
Sextet, Jimmie Dale Gilmore's
Tribute To Townes Van Zandt featuring Joe
Ely, Kimmie Rhodes, Champ Hood, J.T. Van Zandt, Mickey White and more. Topping
the evening off in grand style is Lou Ann Barton
That's all at the Austin Music Hall on March 12.
Meanwhile, those of who who've been bitching that nobody you've heard of is
playing SXSW, add Tony Bennett and Debbie Harry with the Jazz Passengers to the
list and let me know when it's gotten long enough for you to start bitching
about how all the big names are stealing the attention from all the starving
Live TV Capital of the World?
Considering this week's cover story, I though it might be a good time to
report on the Austin Music Network's most popular show, "Check This Action."
After playing a long series of "here's Margaret and Tara Veneruso, now here's
Tara without Margaret, now here's Margaret filling in for Tara, " on CTA,
both are now outta there
. The show's current host is now Jenn
Garrison and a series of guest partners, with no immediate search on for a
permanent co-host. Veneruso, meanwhile has moved into the host spot of the
self-descriptive AMN Live On the Air
. She says the new program is
developing on-air, "but that's the only way to do it," and it will feature live
performances and interviews with bands starting next week. (Fax 499-1808 if
you're interested in performing). The show will begin re-running on Fridays and
Saturdays, and during SXSW it will air live from the Convention Center; an hour
each day during the film festival and three hours a day during the music
festival. Plans call for a live broadcast of the Austin Music Awards as well,
but at press time, details were still being worked out by the Music Commission,
the City Council, and Time-Warner Communications regarding the cable "drop"
required for the broadcast. (The Kenneth Threadgill Foundation has proposed a
series of live music performances at the new Threadgill's, and is among those
who've also been waiting -- and waiting
-- for a cable drop.)
Burn, Baby, Burn!
Don Walser's free, weekly show at Babe's ended with an unusual annoucement
this past Monday night; he thanked the three or four people in attendance for
sticking around so the band wouldn't be playing to an empty bar. How on earth
could a free Walser show draw such a sorry attendance, you ask? Well, Don
attributed it partly to John Conquest, who was packing 'em in at Threadgill's
World Headquarters with the local music awards given out by his mag, Third
(formerly Music City Texas
, and soon to be -- if Buick
McKane were to rename it -- White Collar Music
), as well as the fact
that Marty Stuart was playing across the street at Hang 'Em High. Babe's
manager Jim Hawk, however, points to a different scenario. Like most clubs on
Sixth Street last Monday, Babe's suffered from the power outage caused by the
fire at the Seaholm Power Plant, and even after everything was up and running
in time for the night's show, attendance was hurt by rampant television and
radio news warnings to avoid downtown like the plague. Personally, the only
obstacles I encountered that evening were a few dark stoplights as I hurried
home to catch the new Monkees episode (Mike turned the Monkeemobile into a
dimension-traveling low rider!).
Getting back to Walser, can you believe that he's currently got links to the
Kronos Quartet, LeAnn Rimes, the Texas Playboys, and the Butthole
Surfers? The Quartet has asked Walser's Pure Texas Band to open for them -- as
well as play with them -- when they come to town in April. ("They tell
me," says Walser, "that the cellist is a big fan of mine.") Then there's Bill
Mack, who wrote Rimes' hit "Blue," and has sent Walser several songs for
possible inclusion on his next album, which he'll start rehearsing for this
week. Currently in the talking stage is the idea of having the Buttholes play
on at least one track. Walser's got a song called "Hot Rod Mercury" that he
thinks would be a good subject for the team-up (hey, you know Gibby likes dem
hot rods). Finally, Mr. High Lonesome has been invited to join the surviving
Texas Playboys for the big Bob Wills birthday bash in Tulsa in early March.
Waiting For the Electrician
No, the Electric Lounge didn't burn down (again), though co-owner Mark Shuman
says he got plenty of calls asking if it did during Monday's smoke-out. The
actual fire is in the eyes of Shuman and partner Jay Hughey, as they prepare to
sell the club they've invested four years of their lives in. Sometime last
fall, says Shuman, he and Hughey "made the decision that we'd made the impact
that we'd intended, but we needed to move on with our careers." Thus, the two
are preparing to make more time for their work as a film producer and
architect, respectively, by selling the club to longtime employee Mike Henry.
"We're excited that we can sell it to someone who can continue what we've been
doing," says Shuman of the deal, which has a tentative date of March 3. Henry
will continue booking the club and has added new general manager Mike Blake,
formerly of the St. Louis club Cicero's. Henry says the venue will basically
remain "the same Electric Lounge we've come to know and love," though he has
some enhancements in mind. The last few days of the Shuman/Huey dynasty will
conclude with a bang, showcasing local faves and the hot Cibo Matto,
culminating with Hamell On Trial flying in for their final night.
No Sexton is an Island
The Sexton brothers have finished up recording for the nonce, with Charlie
finishing things up in the studio. This week, their new material should be
going out to four or five labels who've showed interest, giving them some time
to get into it before the brothers' Austin Music Awards show and SXSW
showcases. Label shopping continues because, as manager Tim Neece puts it, a
proposed Island deal "didn't turn out to be what it started to say it was."
(Maybe the label decided they wanted the Bros. to make a reggae album).
Airlines and Attitudes
Looking wistfully around the Hole in the Wall, former Timbuk3-er Pat McDonald
was soaking in the view on Monday, more than aware of how little time he's
spent in Austin lately, and how little he'll be here in the near future. He's
just returned from Barcelona, on what started out as a personal trip and ended
with a spate of rave reviews for shows he performed while there. Those reviews
came a little late to help attendance at the time, though, so he's returning to
Spain in April. Meanwhile, he confirms that it doesn't look like the song he
co-wrote with Aerosmith made the cut on their upcoming album, though he says
his version of "The History of Man" will be on his next disc, which will likely
appear on Ark 21, Miles Copeland's post-I.R.S. label.
Jesus Christ Superfly's country offshoot Gravy Boat finally make their stage
debut this Thursday at the Hole in the Wall, along with Loblolly and Honkey.
The latter band's Jeff Pinkus has recently been hosting Gravy Boat at his
Okay, this one came to me third-hand, but as best I can figure,
Fastball found themselves on the periphery of a hostage situation when a guest
of the Howard Johnson's they were staying at in Baltimore was caught
burglarizing some other guests. Police lines, SWAT teams, and helicopters kept
them and tour-mate Matthew Sweet from returning to their rooms after the
It's like DejaDisc all over again: ex-Austinite and former Townes Van
Zandt manager John Lomax III is currently the A&R Consultant in Nashville
for Elvis Costello's Demon Records label, and says the label is looking for
finished albums (new or old) from local musicians for the label to license in
Europe. He's calling out for anything in the field of rock, alternative,
country, psychedelic, soul or folk, and recently struck such a deal with former
DejaDisc act the Rainravens. Send your album to him at P.O. Box 120316,
Nashville, TN 37212...
The tri-city covers album I mentioned long ago comes out
this week. Juxtaposition features Kim Longacre, Mandy Mercier, and Kevin
Carroll and Lisa Mednick among others and hits stores on the 25th, the same day
as Amerika, the last in that series of Tonio K. reissues...
Sheridans have a release party this Friday at the Electric Lounge for their new
User Friendly CD. Another release party, this one for Suspended
Music, featuring the Deep Listening Band and Ellen Fullman's Long String
Instrument, happens at the Candy Factory on Saturday from 5-8pm. There will
also be a listening party for Rant In E Minor (and the other Bill
Hicks albums that Rykodisc is releasing this week) at the Capitol City
Comedy Club (formerly the Laff Stop, where much of Rant was recorded) on
Monday at 8pm. A video presentation of rarely seen archival Hicks photos and
footage will accompany the recorded sonic attack of Bill...
Troy Dillinger and
Jon Dee Graham are having a double birthday party next Thursday, Feb. 27, at La
Zona Rosa. Dillinger's Del Dragons and Graham's new Big Band -- featuring Mike
Hardwick, George Reiff, and Dave McNair -- will both perform...
newly-formed Austin Celtic Association has a fundraiser coming this Friday at
Waterloo Ice House 6th, with Two O'Clock Courage, Crazy Jane and the Bishop, Ed
Miller and more. Proceeds will go towards establishing an annual Samhain
festival outside of Cedar Park...
-- Contributors: Raoul Hernandez, Andy Langer, Margaret Moser