The Austin Chronicle

https://www.austinchronicle.com/music/1997-09-26/518465/

Dancing About Architecture

┬┐Agua-Fest, Si?

By Ken Lieck, September 26, 1997, Music

Mayor pro-tem Gus Garcia recently tossed his sombrero into the ring regarding that ever-troubled annual function known as the Austin Aqua Festival. In a memo dated August 22, Garcia said he had placed an item on the council agenda regarding information provided to him by Aqua Fest volunteers that he said "appears to indicate...

[that] almost 70% of the entire Aqua Fest revenue was generated on the three Tejano nights; 60-70% of the total volunteers are Hispanic; and of the 20 members on the board [of directors] of AAF, not one is Hispanic." Garcia called for a full financial and operational report for the 1997 festival. Aqua Fest Executive Vice Commodore Zara Kramer responded to the specific question of ethnicity on the board with, "This is simply due to the fact that no eligible Hispanic Vice Commodores have requested to be considered for appointment." She adds that the board is "concerned that there is a lack of diversity" in their ranks. Treasurer Brenda Saxon (no, I'm not making that name up) told me that Aqua Fest's reaction has been somewhat slowed by the fact that Commodore Mike Polk is out of town until October 1, but that AAF representatives will be "taking into consideration what Gus has said," and attending the city council meeting today, Thursday.

Outfoxed

"Nothing's happening. Something may happen there, but we felt the opportunity wasn't good enough for a million-dollar project." So says Don Straussberg of Colorado's Fox Theatre operation in reference to utilizing the old Aquarius Theatre on East Riverside as a live music venue. We could've done it," he adds, "it's the closest we've come, but we felt the deal was not positive enough. It's a great facility, but not a good enough deal. It wasn't worth the time and effort required without the promise of profitability and equity." That's apparently not stopping local entrepreneurs Bob Hantz and Bob Woody, owners of the Old Pecan Street Cafe among other enterprises, who were working with Straussberg on the Aquarius project. "We're still ongoing on using it as a live music venue," says Woody, who also says he thinks Fox may change their minds and return to the fold. It would appear, though, that Straussberg has washed his hands of Austin completely, saying, "The major problem was real estate, not competition." Either way, says Woody, he believes strongly in the Aquarius as a "viable place" for a live music room. When asked why he feels so strongly about the Aquarius, though, he answers mysteriously, "I have my reasons."

Et Tu, Bruton?

Stephen Bruton has just about given up. He's now accepted the fact that he'll forever be called "Steve" or "Stephen Burton." That last misspelling is how he's credited on the Wallflowers album, Bringing Down the Horse, meaning most folks won't know it's the local guitarist/producer who's providing not instrumentation but backing vocals. Brutin says he was surprised when he got the call from producer T-Bone Burnette, who told him, "You've gotta make 'em sound like they've got a grizzled old guy in the band." (Hmmm. Couldn't Jakob Dylan have asked his dad to drop in for a minute?) Barton says he forgot all about the sessions until he began hearing the band's songs on the radio (and hearing, and hear). Binton's excited about the new Hal Ketchum and Kris Kristofferson albums he's been working on, both of which should be out by February, and he's been keeping busy with his shows as a member of the Resentments every Sunday at the Saxon Pub.

Abra: Heard But Not Seen

Whether you're a fan of the silver screen or a couch potato, you'll have a hard time avoiding the sound of Abra Moore's voice in the coming weeks and months, and it won't just be "Four Leaf Clover" over and over. Among the TV shows and feature films slated to use various Abra tunes in the future are Melrose Place, Nash Bridges, the new Alicia Silverstone flick Excess Baggage, Janeane Garofalo's current pic Matchmaker, and the indie film Pants on Fire. Moore was already heard on the season premiere of Party of Five. So why not have Abra herself make guest appearances on one of the many shows bearing her music? Maybe the producers caught a glimpse of that hideous picture of her that SPIN recently ran and decided they really didn't want to see any Moore.

Animal, Vegetable or...

What was once believed to be Mineral's final show -- last Friday's gig at the Electric Lounge -- wasn't. The "official" final show is October 26 at Emo's with Promise Ring and Compound Red. Drummer Gabriel Wiley (whose new band Pop Unknown will be playing with Wookie on Tuesday at Emo's) says that the band, who are signed to Interscope, broke up partially because their vocalist, Chris Simpson, is moving to New York, while member Jeremy Gomez grew tired of touring. There will be a next Mineral album, however. Simpson will be heading out to San Diego soon to add vocals to the nearly finished recording and Wiley says the album should be out in February. As to what their record label thinks of the split, Wiley says he's told, "They don't think we're gonna break up.They think the next record will come out and [we'll get back together]."

Go, Speed Racer, Go!

The Soulbenders, who have a new vocalist in former Pariah singer Dave Derrick, also have a new friend who drives something faster than a derrick. Drag racer Mike Cevilli got an eyeful of one of the band's T-shirts, designed by Big Daddy Roth associate R.K. Sloane, in Santa Fe and "just went nuts," according to Soulbender Brian Curley. It turns out that the '32 roadster pictured on the shirt is identical to the racer's own prized classic Ford. Now, Cevilli's crew all wear the Soulbenders shirts and he's working on a plan to get the band out to a race in Oklahoma in November to play in the pits. Also waiting for the flag is a Soulbenders album to be produced by ex-Raunch Hands member Mike Moriconda, who's produced albums for the Sons of Hercules and New Bomb Turks among others. Meanwhile, you can catch the Soulbenders with Jesus Christ Superfly and Gold Digger at the Bates Motel tonight, Thursday.

Mixed Notes

Former local promoter Jim Ramsey is back in town, bringing with him a flotilla of rumors. Despite a Statesman piece that he says colored him as ready to take on Pace Concerts, Ramsey says he's "just looking at all my options" for the time being. As far as the reason for his return to Austin, Ramsey had been living in Houston when he realized that "everything I was doing I was doing on my computer. One day, I just looked at my wife and said, `What the fuck are we doing in Houston?'"...

MTV has announced more of the main stage lineup for their Sports and Music Festival to be held in Austin beginning October 17. That bill will include the Offspring, 311, Sugar Ray, Smashmouth, and Reel Big Fish. Local acts and further main stage acts will be announced in coming weeks...

Terminal 46 (formerly Auschwitz 46) have managed to get a song on MTV -- MTV News, that is. Terminal's version of the Three's Company theme, from the new compilation TV Terror: Felching a Dead Horse, was featured on the music channel's news program in a short feature about the album (also on the album are 16 Volt, Alien Sex Fiend, and others). One can only wonder whether MTV reporters actually used the word "felching" in their story...

Bob Dylan seems to have gone Austin-happy with his new Time Out Of Mind album. Count Cindy Cashdollar (Asleep at the Wheel), Augie Meyers (Texas Tornados), and Duke Robillard (ex-Fabulous Thunderbirds) among mumblin' Bob's band members. That album is due out next week...

Kacy Crowley seems to be in pretty good company alongside Lou Reed, Smashing Pumpkins, and Alanis Morissette, all of whom are scheduled to play Neil Young's annual Bridge Benefit shows in the Bay Area, October 18-19...

Breastfed got a treat when the Foo Fighters showed up at their Emo's show. The band says the Fighters left the venue with a "shamelessly solicited" demo tape...

Perry Henzel, director of the classic Jimmy Cliff film The Harder They Come, will be introducing the film at 7pm each night during its week-long Dobie Theatre run, which begins this Friday, September 26. He's also announced plans to film a sequel...

Louis Jay Meyers' new sound man/guitar tech/tour manager training outfit Roadcrew is having its first training session this Saturday, starting at 11am at Antone's (the new one, not the laundromat). If you think $75 in advance or $100 walk-up is worth it to enter the glamorous world of the roadie, contact Maryleigh DeJernette at 479-0544 and rev up the van...

Wayne Hancock will be doing the in-store thing at Sundance Records in San Marcos this Saturday at 5pm...

The Del Dragons have signed a deal with French label Dixie Frog, who'll be putting out their locally released Southern Jumbo CD with new artwork. Expect release party shows all weekend, as well as an in-store at Waterloo Records this Friday at 5pm. Finally, expect a very special guest at their Saxon show on Saturday -- one who's in town for a benefit, and whose appearance will certainly "benefit" the band...

Also at Waterloo you'll find Jeb Loy Nichols on Tuesday (see "Recommended") and Eliza Gilkyson next Thursday, both at 5pm...

DogStar Records (no relation to Keanu Reeves' band) is a new local label that's announced Danny Click as their first signing. His album is in the can and awaiting a fall release...

The Merchants of Venus had a Fender Telecaster Thinline guitar stolen earlier this week (not a great way to celebrate the release of their new album, Who Knew?). Have info? Call 323-9125...

Rebecca Cannon says that she changed the name of her band from Scarlett to Scarlitt "to avoid confusion." I don't know, though; to me the new name sounds like a remake of Gone With the Wind featuring Steve McQueen...

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

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