Dancing About Architecture

Here They Came (& Went)

"If Mike Nesmith makes it to any of the [U.S.] shows," Davy Jones of the Monkees is said to have told fans, "it'll be the Austin one." Well, no such luck, but then I wasn't really expecting him anyway. Nevertheless, I was as surprised by how much I enjoyed the remaining trio's performance last Saturday night at the Frank Erwin Center as I was that over 4,000 people turned out to see a band that in most people's minds never existed. What the Monkees are doing sans Nesmith may even be more enjoyable than the U.K. tour they recently did with him; without his insistence on showing off their musical prowess (they did that on 1967's Headquarters, now get over it), Davy, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork did something I haven't seen a "real" band do in a while -- entertain. Proud of the brilliant songwriters and arrangers behind their success, they announced (a bit too often) how wonderful writers like Harry Nilsson, Neil Diamond, and Nesmith were (they did at least four of Mike's tunes, including my fave, "Listen to the Band"), and then proceeded to do justice to the songs in question, limiting their own solos, and working with the five-piece group of studio pros backing them up. Still, Dolenz proved himself an accomplished drummer, and Tork threw a nice slide guitar solo into his take on Little Richard's "Lucille," but mostly this gig was about showmanship and working an audience. Not that I'll be tossing out my Ramones, Sons of Hercules, Pixies, and Replacements albums anytime soon, but I left feeling sad that these guys were pretty much the last successful extension of pre-rock pop, matching great songwriters who might never be heard with performers who know how to do more than grumble into a microphone.

Screen Gems

Austin music continues to make its way onto the big and small screens, and you need look no further than this fall's Robert Redford flick Horse Whispers to find a music credit for the Flatlanders. Yep, Joe Ely was asked to submit a song to the soundtrack and "one thing led to another," says manager Mark Hartley, resulting in Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore joining Joe in the studio. Listen for "South Wind" when you go to the megaplex to check out that pic. Meanwhile, Javelin Boot's song "Love and Conversation" from their latest album Fundamentally Sound can be heard in the upcoming film Restaurants, starring that former young Huxtable, Malcolm-Jamal Warner. The Boot boys tell me that the film is currently making the film festival rounds and should see full distribution early next year. They're also opening for the Call this Friday at the Atomic Cafe, and they swear that Fundamentally Sound will soon be available through the Columbia House Record Club (you know, the "11 CDs for a penny" people), but I'm waiting for a visit from the postman before I really believe that one. Finally, the new release list from Music Video, Inc. announces that they have picked up the locally produced documentary Janis Joplin Slept Here for distribution in the U.S. and Canada. Lest director Tara Veneruso get too swelled a head from the deal, I should mention that the list equally touts their release of the new "Best of Corey Hart" video collection.

Danny Don't Play That

"I'm gonna find out why we're doing the things we're doing," announces the newest member of the Austin Music Commission, Steamboat's Danny Crooks. So far, with only one meeting under his belt, he's already managed to cause a ruckus. "I brought up the fact that ESSCA [The East Sixth Street Community Association] is in my opinion ruining Sixth Street," he says, explaining that in ESSCA's printing of a walking map of the street that only includes members of the association, most area live music venues, including Steamboat and Emo's, have been excluded. Crooks boasts that he's already had the maps removed from "city places" (the Convention Center, etc) and adds, "That's the only trouble I've caused so far." I doubt it'll be the last.

It's Only Rock & Roll...

Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame featured a performance on Wednesday by founding San Francisco psychedelic act the Charlatans, featuring Dan Hicks and Freddy "Steady" Krc, the latter of which just signed a publishing deal with the Lieber & Stoller company. Besides Krc's involvement in that gig, what does the R&R HoF have to do with this column? Well, I just thought I'd share with you the Chronicle music staff's votes for this year's entries: Allowed eight of 15 choices, we went with the Stooges, Lloyd Price, Fleetwood Mac (despite the fact that they're touring again), Santana, Joe Tex, Earth Wind & Fire, Gene Vincent, and Solomon Burke. The seven we passed on included The Moonglows, the Mamas & Papas (despite the "interesting death" factor), Gene Pitney (only one Gene per annum), Del Shannon (see "Mamas & Papas"), and Dusty Springfield. And next time you see me, thank me personally for doing my part in attempting to keep out the Eagles and Billy Joel.

Mr. Lucky Tailors

Mark Proct, manager of such luminaries as Jimmie Vaughan, confesses that yes, he's the next fellow in town to get involved in the nightclub business. He's also mighty quick to point out that Lucky's (which counts Tim O'Connor as one of its investors), the room he's opening next to Ace Tailors around the corner from Antone's, is not going to be a live music club by any stretch of the imagination. While Lucky's "might have an acoustic act occasionally," Proct makes it clear that the place, scheduled to open at the end of October, is a lounge that he believes will complement the other businesses in the area and be "no threat to them musically." Essentially, then, the new club's existence can be boiled down to the simple mathematical equation: Lucky's is to Antone's as Casino el Camino is to Emo's.

Mixed Notes

Whoever said "time is on my side" must've been soft in the head. With summer a recent memory (and for all purposes still a reality), it's already time to start thinking about South by Southwest again. The festival's deadline for early submission is October 17. Getting an application form (available by calling 512/467-SXSW, faxing 512/451-0754, writing P.O. Box 4999, Austin, TX 78765 or checking out
) and returning it before the deadline keeps your application fee from jumping from $10 to $20...

Remember that amicable split between Bob Mould and his one-man-band Andrew Duplantis? Well, the two are back together, but not quite in the same manner. Duplantis reports that he'll be touring with Mould for several weeks, but this time, instead of performing with the former Hüsker Dü frontman, he'll be opening for him. Nice work if you can get it...

Well, those Damnations went off on another vacation. Okay, not exactly; the gals decided to check into Pharmaco to earn some cash with their bodies, but only Deborah Kelly made it in as Amy Boone came down with the mumps instead, leaving her with all of the sick and none of the slick...

Foo Fighters guitarist Franz Stahl nearly got to visit Kurt Cobain during his visit to Austin. Apparently, while staying at an expensive hotel downtown, Stahl was reaching for an electrical outlet to plug in a small appliance when he felt a drop of water splash on his hand. Taking a closer look, he found that the outlet in question was spitting out a quantity of water and dying roaches. Having nearly gone from Foo to foof!, he confronted the hotel management and was given another, safer room, free of charge...

Repo Man/Offended Homeless drummer Ric Furley recently performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. with George Cisneros' Boom Boom Drummers for the Hispanic Heritage Awards. On hand were hosts Jimmy Smits and Rita Moreno, presenters Gloria Estefan and MTV's Idalys, and performers Jon Secada, Little Joe y La Familia, Albita, and comedienne Liz Torres. The awards are scheduled to air this Friday at 7pm on KNVA 54...

Stretford is now a one-guitar band. Carl Normal says that Dan Carney has amicably parted ways with the group after "long-standing differences" between the two of them (I interpret that as "Carney couldn't convince Normal to do enough Damned covers"). Normal says the band isn't seeking a replacement, and Saturday at Bates Motel will be their last gig before he returns home to England for a few weeks...

Cotton Mather's lush new CD Kontiki hits stores this Saturday, and although their official release party is next Friday at Club DeVille, you can jump the gun and see them this Saturday, CDs in hand (hopefully) at the Electric Lounge with Spoon and Gomez...

Wanna be in a video? Danny Click is shooting live footage for his "Forty Miles" clip this Sunday, 3pm, at Steamboat...

There was at least one Monkee sighting outside the Erwin Center this weekend; Peter Tork was seen exiting the Piggy Hat show at Steamboat on Friday and commenting, "I wish I was that good when I was that age"...

Some in-stores: Today (Thursday) Polk, Barton & Towhead and Ana Egge will perform at ABCDs starting at 7pm. Also today is Eliza Gilkyson at Waterloo Records at 5pm. Blockbuster Music on South Lamar features a show by Chris Duarte on Friday at 5:30pm, while Borders Books has Chris Van Cleave on Friday at 8pm, Sarah Brown and Chris Gaffney on Saturday at 4pm and Glosso Babel later that evening at 8pm. Finally, take note that Salaryman, Poster Children's all-keyboard alter-ego, is doing a Waterloo Records in-store on Friday at 5pm...

The Austin Music Network has a new live show at noon on Mondays and Tuesdays. Co-host Tim Hamblin points out that the show, titled Reality, is "kind of open" in that people can call in with last-minute club schedule changes or even make surprise guest appearances. I can vouch for that, having barged in on the first airing while wandering around outside the city council chambers...

-- 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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