Dancing About Architecture

To Be Or To Be Not

Wooo! When I said wristbands were going fast for South by Southwest, I wasn't kidding. Following the announcement that wristbands were going off sale last Saturday, more than a thousand of them flew out of the ticket outlets that day. As promised, a few more (less than a thousand) will be available at Waterloo Records and Star Tickets' main office starting this Saturday, and this time, when they're gone, they're gone.

One reason you don't want to miss out on this year's music conference is the international bands line-up, by far the biggest and best round-up ever assembled for the festival, so you'll wanna look at Michael Bertin's run down of who's playing on p.66. Meanwhile, on the domestic front, it's time I confessed that I've been "saving a spot" for someone in the music festival. Things are currently looking good for a short (and rare, I might add) set by Daniel Johnston with the Rhythm Rats, sharing the spot that's been listed in previous SXSW materials as belonging to Not Daniel Johnston (the name of my own Johnston semi-parody act). Currently set for the Mar. 15 at the Atomic Cafe, that show may still change time and/or place.

Other special SXSW events of note include: The Bottom Line's "In Their Own Words," hosted by Al Kooper and featuring Amy Rigby and the Honeydogs' Adam Levy, and guesting who knows who, but names like Gary Louris, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Kevin Salem, Kim Richey, and Howie Gelb have been thrown around; Travis County Pickin': inspired by a Hightone Records project, this showcase at the Speakeasy, teams guitarists Dave Biller, Brian Hofeldt, Scott Walls, Casper Rawls, Shawn Mencher, and Jim Stringer with several bassists and drummers; and unless Elvis Presley himself shows up, things don't get much more impressive than the all-star jam session set for the Music Hall on the Saturday featuring DJ Fontana, Scotty Moore, and Paul Burlison, along with guests like Los Lobos' David Hidalgo & Cesar Rojas, Joe Ely, Tracy Nelson, and Rocky & Billy Burnette. That show is sort of an advance tie-in to the June release of All the King's Men, a recording that teams former Presley sidemen up with members of the Rolling Stones, Cheap Trick, and many more.

And if you haven't gagged on all the Awards Show coverage in this issue, this is one last reminder that the show is Wednesday, March 12, at the Austin Music Hall and starts at 7:55pm. Gerry Van King, 81/2 Souvenirs, the Texas Tornados, the Sexton Brothers Sextet, Jimmie Dale Gilmore's Townes Van Zandt Tribute, and Lou Ann Barton with Jimmie Vaughan will all play. MC-for-Life Paul Ray, with some help from Kerry Awn, will move the show along, and guest presenters include actor Bill Paxton, 107.1 KGSR's Kevin Connor and Bryan Beck, Robbie Jacks and Gibby Haynes, KLBJ's Jeff Carroll, Mike Judge of Beavis and Butt-head fame, and word man Wammo.

Antone's on a Roll

They may be slow starters, but once they get going -- wham! "The papers are signed. That's it," says Susan Antone of the long-in-the-works decision to move the legendary blues club to a new location. That location is Fifth and Lavaca where Jellyrolls now stands, and believe it or not, the club plans to be open there in time for SXSW.

White Bread & Blue Pics

Didn't I predict about two weeks ago that even Hustler would start taking an interest in Austin music? Well, sure enough, in the current issue is a feature titled, "Will Nashville Kill Country Music? Dale Watson and his Lone Stars Ride to the Rescue." To top things off, the interview with Watson, done in Dallas at a show with the Old 97s and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, features the following lines: "There are a lot of bands out there playing good music right now: Cornell Hurd, Don Wasser, Dee Waylor, Wayne Hancock." Okay, obviously Don "Wasser" is a bastardization of Don Walser, but how long did it take you to figure out that the other one was supposed to be the Derailers?

While I'm on the subject, I should address KLBJ-FM and their pissing and moaning that they never get into this column. Well, think about it this way. While the gals of 101X (notably Rachel Marisay) have never been shy about posing nude for Dancing About Architecture, KLBJ's Debra Cole held out for the current issue of Playboy's Lingerie Model Search to let it all hang out. Playboy says that Cole "came to the casting on a dare," but after viewing the photo of her in a topless "smell the glove" pose, I'm at a loss to determine which party was actually being dared.

Temporarily Free Lunch

With H.O.B.O. moving out from its location next to Liberty Lunch and the city hungrily eyeing the area for development, Lunch owner Mark Pratz didn't see much future for the club. Now that another agency similar to H.O.B.O. appears perched to relocate in the same spot, however, Pratz gave a call to the city's property management department, and was told that plans for the space during the next five years seem to be zilch. The Lunch has already come back from the edge more times than a dyslexic lemming, but Pratz hopes this reprieve will last longer than most. He cites the club's uncertain future as the reason he hasn't done more renovation to the Lunch. Even with this news though, he doesn't like to speculate about the club's future until the situation becomes clearer. "As of the last 45 minutes, I'm happy," he says, "but tomorrow I'll pick up the paper and be panicked again."

Mixed Notes

Comedy rules at Waterloo Records this week, where late comedian Bill Hicks' four Rykodisc albums hold the four top sales spots on their chart. Plans are afoot for a free listening party Sunday night, 10pm, at Liberty Lunch, hosted by visiting Tool vocalist/Hicks fan Maynard Keenan...

Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips will be conducting one of his experimental Car Radio Orchestra "concerts" on the Saturday of SXSW at the parking ramp on Seventh and Brazos from 4-6pm. Some 30 cars will be involved and, yes, the Orchestra is exactly what you think it is: 30 car stereos blazing different music at once. Badge-holders can sign themselves and their vehicle up to take part in the show at Cake magazine's booth at the SXSW trade show...

Expect to hear Alejandro Escovedo in some capacity on Whiskeytown's next album, due out in July. Mr. E recorded four songs with the band in Nashville recently (and what I've heard sounds great), but it's not yet been determined how many of those cuts will actually make it onto the Jim Scott-produced disc. You might look for Whiskeytown's Ryan Adams around Al's set at SXSW, and vice versa, since there's been talk of some duetting going down...

Al recently had to bail out of the Townes Van Zandt tribute at New York's Bottom Line to come home and record a Live Set at KUT with Buick McKane. Unfortunately, the taping was then cancelled due to work on the station's transformer -- which then also didn't happen! With or without him, the trib drew attention from both Rolling Stone and the New York Times. Another Van Zandt fête was held in L.A. last Sunday as well, but I don't know too much about it except to note that Kris McKay, Butch Hancock, Kimmie Rhodes, and Beaver Nelson were all involved. I do know that you can expect the CD of Larry Monroe's documentary, The Life and Times of Townes Van Zandt, coming out in April on Mango Records in the U.S. and Normal Records in Germany...

Long Hind Legs and the Thrones will both be performing in-store at Sound Exchange this Friday starting at 4:30pm...

The Hole in the Wall has release parties on Sunday and Monday for the new Free For All and Unplug This compilation CDs (see "Recommended."). The Electric Lounge is getting in on the compilation release racket, too, with a party for Propellor Records' Rotating Parts collection tonight (Thursday), featuring performances from 7% Solution, toof, Wookie, Million Sellers and Thomas Anderson. That'll be after the opening of Pretty Eye Candy, a collection of art by local musicians, from 6-10pm. Here's a real surprise: believe it or not, Live at Emo's Vol. 2 is finally sneaking out on No Lie Records, though in an unusual form. The "album" will actually be a set of limited edition (700 each) singles, the first featuring Monomen, Sugar Shack, Jack O'Fire, and Jesus Christ Superfly, the second Steel Pole Bathtub, Unsane, and Gomez, and the third Don Walser and the Supersuckers (I'm assuming that last track is the one scheduled to feature Willie Nelson). During SXSW, 300 box sets of the three discs will be available at Emo's...

Hell, everybody has an album coming out, what with SXSW around the corner. Jean Caffeine's Knocked Down 7 Times Got Up 8 has an in-store at Waterloo Records, Friday, 5pm, with a Flipnotics show later that night. Cactus Smack Conspiracy have a release party for their new Old Man Lung at the Flamingo Cantina tonight, and Raggamassive release their Rise to the Top there on Saturday. cling has a release party at the Electric Lounge on Saturday, playing just before the Flying Saucers' reunion show...

Van stories of the week: Wammo reports doing a 360 in a snowstorm in Amarillo and ending up in a ditch, with passengers (Jacob Schultze and Graham from Golden Arm Trio) and vehicle emerging unharmed, while Dave Boyle of the Ugly Americans reportedly woke up in that band's van after a show in Cleveland only to find himself in a tow yard. He jumped in the driver's seat and drove off -- unaware that bandmate David Robinson was in the office negotiating the tow fee. Police didn't take well to this action, but I hear that Robinson was released from custody after paying double the original tow charge...

-- Contributors: Raoul Hernandez, Andy Langer, Margaret Moser

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More Dancing About Architecture
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The last installment of "Dancing About Architecture."

Ken Lieck, Jan. 3, 2003

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