Dancing About Architecture

Another New Discovery

It seems like not a week goes by without a new rumor concerning the Antone's/Discovery Records partnership. This time, words were flying that a new boss was coming in and unceremoniously dumping a load of acts, which could spell potential disaster for such Antone's stalwarts as
Toni Price, Sue Foley, Steve James, and Guy Forsyth. "Throw that all out," says a spokesman for Discovery -- referring to the rumor, not the bands. "Here's what's really happening. We're in talks to join forces with Sire Records." He goes on to add that Sire sire Seymour Stein "loves blues and roots, loves Austin, and loves Antone's," and that the local label not only has nothing to fear from the impending merger, but may well benefit from it. As an example, he points to the soundtrack for Traveller, for which Stein executive produced and provided liner notes. Stein placed a Lou Ann Barton song on the soundtrack, says the label rep, not because it came from the right label, but rather because he liked it. In any case, reiterates our guy, "Nobody's doing any slashing."

The (Third) Coast Is Clear

Is it my imagination or is Austin turning into the Recorded Music Capital of the World? The next kid to move onto the block is Dallas' Crystal Clear Sound, which has almost finished hiring personnel for its Austin location (they're waiting until people have given notice at their current jobs before naming names) and will be around town next week scouting for a location. Crystal Clear's Sam Paulos says the Austin satellite will be a full-service office and that the goal is to have it open within a few months. What does this mean to Austin? A helluva lot, actually. The local Crystal Clear will be set up to do everything but actually manufacture CDs, including mastering, artwork, and all that type of stuff that Austinites had to trust someone in Dallas or farther away to deal with before putting out their discs. For those who bemoan Austin's lack of music business infrastructure, this arrival is a big step forward.

Shat in the Past Tense?

Shat Records, one-half of the former Soulhat, are "part of Antone's history," says Susan Antone as the band nears the one-year mark in their series of Wednesday night shows at the nightclub. It looks as though the band's weekly shows may be history, period, after their May 21 show, as founding member Brian Walsh is moving to Palestine, Texas. Antone says she hopes the final Wednesday show will be special and is trying to arrange for an appearance by their long-time opener Earthpig, who is currently on the road. (She also says she wishes she could have arranged for the band to play with Shaver so that she could've had a big "Shat and Shaver" show.) Shat's Kevin McKinney says the band isn't breaking up, though he admits, "It would be nice to take June off and write some songs," and then keep a sparse schedule over the summer. By stopping now, the Shat lads will miss Antone's Anniversary week by a month. That's now set for June 16-23, with Jimmie Vaughan's Tilt-a-Whirl Band set as the house band for June 18-on.

Eye Trained on Clarksville

The Clarksville-West End Jazz Festival is only three weeks off, set to run from June 8-15, so organizer Harold McMillan is a busy man. In his efforts "to get some tourists in here this year," McMillan recently added Mark Whitfield and Marshal Ivory to the list of respected names already scheduled to perform at the festival. Striving to live up to its goals of becoming a regional/national event, the fest will, like SXSW, be utilizing a number of local clubs over its first six days before climaxing in a two-day jazz extravaganza with Ellis Marsalis (and no donkeys) in Pease Park. Tickets have just gone on sale for the festival's centerpiece, a memorial concert in the name of local boy cum jazz great Kenny Dorham. Dallas horn-blower Roy Hargrove headlines that gig at the State Theatre on June 12, with McMillan adding that it "works out nice this year," the two being trumpet players and all.

Where's Lee Roy?

"The way he made it sound when he called me, he was moving out in 10 minutes," says Lee Roy Parnell's publicist Janie Osborne. It turns out, however that Austin will have to wait a bit before seeing Parnell down at the corner store on a regular basis. The country star has indeed bought a ranch in the area, but Osborne says he'll need to do some restoring before he can move in, and she doesn't know what pace he plans to do that work at. "I don't think he really knows, yet," she concludes.

You Want a Revolution?

Trish Murphy flew out to L.A. last week to do a showcase for Revolution Records, one of those many Warner Bros. subsidiaries, but already the decesion has come back that she's not really right for the label. According to her manager/hubby Charlie Neath, who describes Revolution's typical fare as "more aggressive pop," Murphy is now closer to dealing with Paladin, a smaller (but still WB-related) imprint whose flagship artist is Steve Forbert. Neath says the trip was quite worthwhile, giving Murphy the opportunity to meet WB bigwigs like Irving Azoff, and he has high hopes for a Paladin deal that will reissue her current indie album, "raising it from a great local record to a well-received national one."

Soft Cigars

Britt Daniel says that Spoon is going back into the studio next week to record 17-19 songs toward the release of a new album. The band is paying for the recording themselves, pending decision on a label. "Matador wants us to make another album for them," says Daniel, but the band is weighing its options. The band hasn't picked a title for the disc-to-be yet, though Daniel says, "I just thought of a good title a few minutes ago! It was...

I forget. It was something about Cubans." Meanwhile, the band's video for "Operation in Progress," from the Free for All Vol. 2 compilation, directed by Paul Minor on a budget of under $200, debuted this week on the Austin Music Network. Look also for the band in Larry Flynt's skater mag Big Brother, which has just come out with its coverage of SXSW. The glossy's interviewer is apparently an enemy of Daniel's and tries to get revenge on him by asking a series of irritating questions (example: "What was the last time somebody called you a pussy?"), which is pretty amusing until you read her interviews with the other bands in the SXSW section (Prima Donnas, Brown Hornet, Ben Lee, Brian Jonestown Massacre), at which point you have to assume they're all her enemies.

Mixed Notes

Texas-size Publicity: Mary Cutrufello was the subject of the cover story (including large color photo) on USA Today's "Life" section Tuesday, delineating a battle by such labels as Columbia, Geffen, and Mercury over the young former Austinite. (Of this city, she recalls, "I have lots of friends there, but playing outside of Austin is not a goal shared by everyone who lives there.") With her comment on Austin's slack attitude, don't be surprised if the piece doesn't encourage record company scouts to renew their efforts around these parts...

The Grooveline Horns are set to back Suicidal Tendencies' when the band hits Stubb's late next month, and if all goes well, the local horn players will also be backing the skate heroes with some brass on further tour dates...

This just in: The Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau has named Gavin Lance Garcia as Austin's new Music Liaison...

Here's another name to add to your list of artists (Alejandro Escovedo, Breedlove) who have recently split with their management: Sixteen Deluxe. They've parted ways with the San Francisco-based Rave management company, saying that they didn't see eye-to-eye -- on a lot of things. The band is currently shopping for new management, so if you're interested, go check 'em out at a triple birthday show at the Electric Lounge this Saturday with Unicorn Magic and the Orange Mothers...

Back to Escovedo for a second, he and Buick MacKane are getting ready for a month-long, East Coast jaunt with Son Volt...

Wookie sent a brown paper bag full of plastic babies to the office, so I guess there's no reason not to mention that. Oh, and they'll be hosting a free show at Stubb's tonight (Thursday) with Toof, Power Squid, and, oh yeah, the Orange Mothers again...

Jody Denberg gets to be one of the chosen ones who will attend Paul McCartney's "town hall" meeting and interview session in London this Saturday. VH1 and of course 107.1 KGSR will be covering that live at noon that day. (Maybe Jody will get a chance to find out more about the new project Paul is said to be working on with their mutual friend Yoko Ono.) KGSR also plans to air a two-hour McCartney special 10pm-midnight on May 24, though the real reason Denberg gets to meet with him is because the local AAA station world-premiered Mac's new single during SXSW. Besides, says Denberg, "We're actually playing his [new] music, which most stations don't"...

There's battling in-stores this Friday, with Ted Roddy, Roy Heinrich, and Susanna Van Tassel at Tower for the The Edge of Country fête, 4-6pm, while over at Waterloo, there's a Stephen Doster in-store at 5pm. Waterloo also has Slo-Burn next Wednesday at 5pm, as well as an in-store for the Travis County Pickin' project (see "Recommended"), featuring Lisa Pankratz, Joel Hamilton, Casper Rawls, Jim Stringer, and Kevin Smith. That's also at 5pm...

Oh, I implied last week (or perhaps you inferred) that the Best of Austin City Limits: Singers and Songs program would be commercially released on videotape. Well, no such luck. At one time Sony planned to release the material on tape, but changed their minds, so if you want a copy, you oughtta have a blank tape in the machine when the program debuts on May 21. And if you just want the music, make sure the cassette deck's hooked up to your AV system, as the set won't be coming out on CD, either....

-- 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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