Dancing About Architecture

Fine Tuning or: Gavin Peace a Chance

Newly appointed Austin Convention & Visitors' Bureau Music Liaison Gavin Lance seems to be wasting no time getting some new ideas into action -- or at least working towards that point. Lance says his current order of business is getting with the "highbrows" -- the opera and symphony types in town -- and letting them know they're part of the Austin music scene that the world is theoretically buzzing about. According to Lance, the key to a successful music community is the utilization of all its resources. As such, he plans to "dive into the old dance clubs" and bring them into the picture as well, then approach the hip-hop community, which he bemoans as having only been paid lip service in this city so far. "The time is right for the different souls of Austin to get together," exclaims Lance, who also plans to take a trip to London next month (at his own expense) to examine the electronica scene there. Lance claims that the opera elite of Austin have long been willing -- and interested -- in working with popular musicians as guests in their productions, up to and including Gibby Haynes. "It would be fascinating to see Wagner with any of these guys in walk-on roles," he exhorts. Hey, man, if you think you can pull this sort of thing off, you've got my support.

Ladies' Nights

Kacy Crowley was among the biggest-hyped acts at this year's South by Southwest and it looks like she's living up to the hubbub. Since doing a couple of shows with John Hiatt, next up is the Dallas show of the big all-female Lilith festival, then a pair of out-of-state H.O.R.D.E. gigs, with an option for more. The fact that she shares management with headliner Neil Young can't hurt her case. (Breedlove will be on the second stage for those shows as well as at least one more, and word is that Young, who's been doing some surprise second stage acoustic sets, is checking out the lesser-known bands on the smaller stage.) Meanwhile, Crowley's added a track featuring drummer Kenny Aaronoff to her upcoming Bob Clearmountain-mixed Atlantic album Anchorless -- without delaying the planned September 2 release date! To top it all off, she was mentioned in Time magazine this week as an act to watch, with that publication praising Anchorless as a "confident debut." You know you're doing well when you've got your cover-sticker quote two months before your album comes out.

Kelly Willis will also be featured on that Lilith date as one of seven gigs she'll be playing on the tour, and notes that her Lilith schedule crosses over with Abra Moore's for three gigs as well. (Another Austin diva, Shawn Colvin, is also doing some dates; apparently the only local female not on the tour is Jean Caffeine -- see "Recommended"). Other than that, though, Willis doesn't claim to be as busy as Crowley. She says she's just "inching along" and trying to get her album done.

Questions For Laura

Don't be surprised the next time you go to the Blue Flamingo and find Miss Laura back at the bar. The clubowner, who'd been ill and spent some time in the hospital for treatment of a heart condition (leaving many to worry about the future of the Flamingo), has returned and says that partner Ron Blackett, who was holding the fort during Laura's absence, is no longer at the venue. "I just keep popping up," says Miss Laura of the recent fluctuations at the unique Red River combination punk club and drag bar. "Hopefully I'll be in better health and be around for a while."

Continued Stories

Hmmm. Do I smell conspiracy here? I could try to claim that the Damnations and their biggest fan at the Statesman were deliberately trying to trick me into boosting the sales of their Live Set CD by leading me to believe that less than 100 copies of the disc were pressed. "It was all part of an elaborate plan," jokes the band's Rob Bernard, who originally fed me that line. Actually, he says, he simply wasn't aware that drummer Keith Langford, who was in charge of the disc, had decided to have a much larger batch -- 1,000 copies -- made. The disc, therefore, actually is available in local stores, not just at the band's gigs, with some of those stores reporting that the misinformation has helped sales; customers can't believe their luck when they run across a copy. Langford says he and Bernard were "on two different pages" as far as plans for the CD, but says once gal-nations Amy Boone and Deborah Kelly come back from summer vacation, the days of finding the disc outside of clubs where the band is playing will likely be over.

In my tale of Don Walser's signing with Sire Records last week, I didn't mention that that deal is in conjunction with Watermelon Records. Eric Zappa at Watermelon says that Walser's contract was up with the label and "he could've left us if he wanted," but the yodeler decided to stick with the local label. Zappa also says that Watermelon is talking with Sire about some of their other acts as well. The Derailers are the band he specifically mentions (and their new album is being delayed pending further discussions with Sire), but since what the label is seeking is actually a distribution deal with the major, such a mingling could mean Sire would be handling Omar & the Howlers, the Austin Lounge Lizards, High Noon, and others.

Finally, someone around here threw in that line about Wayne Hancock's cover of "Brand New Cadillac" after I left the office last week. So, you can all stop snickering at me, thinking that I really believed the Clash wrote the tune.

Mixed Notes

Look for serious Texas representation on Bob Dylan's upcoming Time Out of Mind album via current and former members of Lone Star acts. Augie Meyers plays accordion and Farfisa, Asleep at the Wheel's Cindy Cashdollar plays steel guitar, and former Fab T-Bird Duke Robillard plays guitar. Now, if we can get Dylan to let Roky Erickson co-write some lyrics with him, we're really in business...

Pity poor Hunter Darby -- unless you're a workaholic: Last night he played as part of Big Foot Chester's new lineup (Walter Daniels, Davy Jones, Steve McCarthy, and Darby); tonight he's gigging with the Doe Nuts; Friday and Saturday he takes his position as the new bassist for Shoulders (the old bassist just moved to piano) with a two-night stand at the Cactus Cafe, and somewhere during all this, he's in the studio with the Wannabes and producer John Croslin...

Top amplifier designer Lee Jackson has decided to make Austin home, citing that musically, "This is about the only place in America where anything is going on." The man who designed Ampeg's tube line among others is currently the "resident amp guy" at the Austin Rehearsal Complex, says the ARC's Don Harvey, and plans to open a guitar and bass amplifier manufacturing plant in town in the next year...

First they stole our slogan, and now they're stealing our musicians! The Sound of Branson, Missouri is the latest country collection from Reader's Digest Music, and among the admitted classics on the compilation are tunes from the likes of Willie Nelson and other Texans! What will the pod people of Branson try to take from us next? Our trailer homes?...

Speaking of Willie, one of the stories going around at his Fourth of July picnic this year was that country singer David Allan Coe has relocated from Nashville to Weir, Texas in Williamson County. A number of respected locals have been repeating this tale as fact, but Coe's management says they're unaware of any such move. To cast further aspersions on the tale, a drinking buddy of the occasionally X-rated singer has a reason: Coe's voice can't handle the battle with our allergy season...

The word on la calle is that Son Yuma will be undergoing a lineup change in August. Say adios to lead singer Rey Arteaga, guitarist Francisco, and percussionist Matt "Mateo" Willard. Willard is leaving town, and the other two may form a new group...

The Flaxfield Unheard Music Festival in Lytton Springs is set to go on its rain date, July 26. The lineup as of now is ...And They Shall Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Sisterunaked (now featuring Rey Washam), Knife in the Water, Hamicks, Zulu as Kono, Tertium Quids, ST-37, Stretford, Rhudabega, Yellow Fledgeling, Peglegasus, Subsilents, Gomez, Cordial, Abrasion Ensemble, and the Wannabes. Next week: how to get there without ending up in Branson...

Austin City Limits is starting up their new season this week with a show by the Indigo Girls, though we can safely assume there'll be no tickets left by the time you read this. They've got a new "best of" show in the can, as well, set to air August 18, and that one will be released as a CD by Columbia/Legacy...

The Tindersticks cover Townes Van Zandt's "Kathleen" on their current Polygram single. I doubt it'll be the last Van Zandt cover you'll hear...

Splash Day for Jimmie Dale Gilmore? Not exactly, but JDG will be playing at the 4th Annual Barton Springs Diving Championships this Saturday at Barton Springs Pool. Just a hint, Jimmie; either play acoustic or stay way away from the contest...

Got an advance in of Highwater, the new one from Kim Wilson & the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Yes, the band will be going under the longer moniker from now on, but that's not because Wilson's head has gotten too big for his turban, but rather because after years of lineup changes, the hope is the public will recognize someone in the band... Spot, CoProLingus, and a guy with a musical saw are among the wild crew of entertainers at this Sunday's KOOP benefit at the Carousel Lounge. Among other attractions, local cartoonists will be autographing underwear, and in Roy Tompkins' case, that just seems too appropriate...

The Onlys have an in-store at Tower Records on Friday at 5pm...

Wow! I didn't know until yesterday that KLBJ-FM was the first station to report the Wizard of Oz/Pink Floyd schtick that's been hounding the Internet -- and they say it started there around a year and a half ago, to boot! So much for there being no speed limit on the information superhighway. Having been sucked into this little experiment myself (and if you don't know what I'm talking about, head back to that cave, Og), the most significant synchronicity I could find is that, after seeing the photos from Andy Langer's interview with Kiss in P.O.V. magazine, I noticed that the aging, bejowled cat guy (Peter Criss) is now a dead ringer for the Cowardly Lion...

-- 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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