Dancing About Architecture

Networking Or: Who Dropped Their Lunch?

Before there was the Internet, there were the bars. The former has been cluttered with recent debate over whether it's such a big deal that the Austin Music Network may be worked clear out of the city's budget (and therefore, off the air); it's a pretty safe bet to say that's been a standby conversation in many of the latter as well. Today (Thursday) marks an opportunity for you to let the city council know where you stand on the matter -- assuming you're in a location where you get your Chronicle nice and early. Until 11am today, the public is welcome to visit city hall at 8th and Colorado to sign up and support Item 20, an agenda item asking for an INet drop to be installed at Liberty Lunch (this will allow a live music feed to go from the club to AMN). At 1pm, the same chance is available at the council chambers, located at 301 W. 2nd. The Music Commission's Carlyn Majer points out that the idea is not to have a big march on the chambers, but rather merely getting a few people to "walk in there softly and state the obvious," then clear out so the council can get back to work concentrating on the city budget. The reason the Lunch drop is the matter of discussion, rather than AMN itself, is that Item 20 is an agenda item which was all ready to go; needless to say, it would be of no use if there was to be no Music Network. If you do drop by, you'll probably also want to consider the irony of location; AMN, the council chambers, and Liberty Lunch are all less than a block apart, and of the INet drop, Majer jokes, "they only have to run it about four feet!" Majer goes on to explain that there's no call for public speeches at this time, merely a quick John Hancock on Item 20. August 13, she reminds, is the day the council has to decide the entire city budget, and as that day nears, "It's going to be a zoo over there." And don't worry, that doesn't mean the Animal Planet channel is in any trouble. (If you miss registering your support today, there'll be a big benefit for the AMN at the Lunch on August 17, about which more anon -- and on, and on....)

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Moore

Ian Moore has chosen a producer for his next album on Capricorn, and if the name Matt Hyde sounds familiar to longtime Austin scenesters, it's because Hyde goes back to the days of Bad Mutha Goose, with whom he worked a decade back. More general music fans might have spotted his name as producer on any of a slew of albums by acts as varied as Perry Farrell, Bash & Pop, Sly Stone, and Monster Magnet. Moore and Hyde (sounds like a Robert Louis Stevenson book about a law firm) will be pre-producing and recording here in Austin for the nonce, after which, says manager Jan Mirkin, "We'll see where we go from there." Mirkin says that her prolific guitarist charge already has enough new material ready to fill an album, which is aiming for a release in the first quarter of 1998.

Our Ears Are Burning

For the first time in a long while, I've got room to run snippets from reviews of Austin/Texas artists found in various publications from around the globe. Remember, I never pick these to make anyone in particular look bad or good; I grabbed a random armload of magazines from Fringeware and have excerpted some of the opinions found therein: The American Analog Set, "Magnificent Seventies" 7-inch: "[AAS] continues to make sounds that have nothing to do with anything I know about Texas music. Sure, there are other quiet pop bands, but unlike them, this group isn't boring." (Magnet); Guy Clark, Keepers: "You'd think it would be easy to write songs that sound so simple. I guess the trick is having them say so much."(Cake); Sixteen Deluxe, The Pilot Knob EP: "[O]ne of the better bands to come out of Austin in the last few years... They owe more to the Thirteenth Floor Elevators than Scratch Acid." (Your Flesh); Mike Nicolai, Mike Nicolai: "[H]as both the rogue charm of Another Side of Bob Dylan and the hoarse irreverence of [the Replacements'] Tim. His lyrics are sharper, angrier, and funnier than either Bob or Paul [Westerberg] have mustered up over the last decade or so." (No Depression); Stars of the Lid, The Ballasted Orchestra: "The words Labradford, Main, Eno, and `soundscape' appear many, many times as I peruse their press release, but I won't worry too much about that... I'm enjoying the planet-sized massage I'm getting right now from these fever dream experts." (Your Flesh); Townes Van Zandt, The Highway Kind: "It's all high quality. More importantly, it's all as dark as the inside of a cow. The only light at the end of this tunnel is the fire of hell...." (Cake); Pocket FishRmen, Heroes of Modern Perversion: "[B]ar songs about castration anxiety and vaginal infections, and like, really rank shit, dude... [C]ould you push one of these worthless assholes in front of a car for me, thanks." (Maximum Rocknroll).

Mixed Notes

Before we get into that same old music crap I have to shovel through every week, I want to take a moment to chat about something that's truly important in these summer months: barbecue. In case your Weekly World News subscription recently ran out, this Saturday at 2pm CST is when Ed Anger (the man who makes Rush Limbaugh look like Quentin Crisp) has called for a nationwide BBQ across America in response to the EPA's discussion of banning outdoor private grills. "Toss on the smokiest, greasiest meat you can find," declares Anger. "Let's send some smoke signals that even those pea-brains in Washington can understand!" Now back to the usual banter... Repo Man have placed a song on the new None of the Names of These Bands is Talking Heads tribute album from a label in the Netherlands. They perform the song "Heaven" and are currently working on an EP of their own stuff... Disregard what I recently told you about Dah-veed Garza's schedule for the next six months. Well, you can keep the part about his album coming out in January 1998, but forget the rest, as Garza called to let me know that since we spoke, Atlantic Records informed him that they intend to release a five-song EP of his material in September. So much for that vacation, eh Dah?... 7% Solution received a plug in the "On the Edge" section of the new Rolling Stone (the one with the Prodigy cover) as well as a recent "five finger" review in Alternative Press. That's some good timing, as they say they've got a 45 coming out on the new Hidden Agenda label, as well as two new CDs on the way... Going through Furry Things withdrawal now that (most of) the band has relocated to California? You need only wait until next Tuesday for the release of the Daydream Nightmare 12-inch from FT singer/guitarist Ken Gibson's side project, Eight Frozen Modules. That, of course, will be on the Trance Syndicate label. Other projects in the works from that label include new material from Paul Newman, Monroe Mustang, and Trail of Dead. Don't expect any of that on the stands before January, however. Oh, and finally there's an answer to that long bandied-about question: Trance/Emperor Jones's Craig Stewart now says that the reissue of the Butthole Surfers' Double Live album is "officially not happening with us"... The Paranoids have apparently decided to call it quits. Look for former members of that band in various ventures with former members of Ed Hall... Tallboy's John Yarbrough has quit that band as of the Saturday before last. Look for him at Gravy Boat gigs instead, and expect those to increase in number since Jesus Christ Superfly loses drummer number six as of this Saturday at Liberty Lunch. (Think of them as Spinal Tap without the messy deaths.) Also on that Lunch bill are Sons of Hercules, Hormones, and Stretford, the last of which have just finished their second album and are looking for a label... Dynamite Boy have a CD release this Friday at 6pm at Sound Exchange... ABCD's has a triple in-store today, with Jean Caffeine, Mike Nicolai, and Speed Queens. The show starts at 7pm with Caffeine, who, on a recent tour, got to duet on the Velvet Underground classic "Afterhours" with Moe Tucker...Borders Books welcomes Santa Fe Trio on Friday for an in-store at 7pm, while Saturday finds the Derailers back from the road (they're at the Broken Spoke that night) and paired with Charlie Burton. That starts at 3pm and features the magic phrase, "free beer"... Barry Manilow has rescheduled his Erwin Center show for November 20 after bailing out in July due to bronchitis. Hmmph! That never stopped Tom Waits... The Austin Songwriters' Group are holding their Songwriting Conference this Saturday from 8:45am-7:30pm at the Omni Hotel, with industry guests including Bruce Springsteen bassist Garry Tallent. If you haven't yet preregistered, the free ASG Showcase on Friday at Stubb's (with Ana Egge, Trish Murphy, and many more) might be a good place to look into it... Framed! Records CD release party for the Hamicks Ventriloquist-Conartist and Big Jerk's Hamicks/Prima Donnas split 7-inch comes this Friday at the Atomic Cafe (see "Recommended")... Farm Aid '97 tickets go on sale this Saturday at Star ticket outlets. The show itself will be in Dallas on October 4 and features Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, John Fogerty, Dave Matthews Band, and other people like that... The S.I.M.S. Foundation, dedicated to musicians' mental and emotional health, is having their first annual benefit dinner this coming Monday at a host of local establishments (See ad on p.64). Their slogan is, "The more you eat, the more they donate!" Somebody invite Seymour Stein!... The Aquafest folks have posted their final attendance numbers for 1997, noting a 30% increase over last year's audience. They claim that only the storms on Wednesday's Country Night (see my "Live Shot" of that miserable @[[currency]]*!! evening, p.56) kept them from having their highest attendance since the Eighties... The Sharecroppers have had to change their name to the Good Medicine Band, because the former name was already being shared (snicker!) by several other bands. The good news is that the GMB are calling their new album Spirit of the Sharecroppers to help ease buyer confusion; I still maintain that if the Reivers had named their first Capitol album Zeitgeist after they were forced to abandon that moniker, their career wouldn't have crashed and burned. The bad news is that there are already popular acts named Good, Medicine, and the Band...

-- 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

So Long, Slug
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