Dancing About Architecture

Howdy, Curt

If you noticed someone looking suspiciously like one of the Meat Puppets wandering around town recently, you probably spotted Curt Kirkwood, who is said to have been in and out of Austin over the last couple of months and has a house rented and waiting for him to move into. (You'd think he could buy a house, what with all the money that other Kurt made him by singing three of his songs on the Nirvana's unplugged album, but hey....) ...

Look for Kirkwood and Kyle Ellison to start rehearsals on an as-yet unnamed band (how about "We Don't Exist"?), hitting a studio near you soon. Will previous Puppet master Paul Leary produce? A source close to the matter says the Butthole Surfer is "definitely in the running," but nothing has yet been decided.

Gourd-Bye, Charlie

"After more than three years and more shows than we can remember," reads an
e-mail from the Gourds, "Charlie Llewellin has left the band." The departure of the band's drummer was amicable, according to the missive (since it came from Llewellin's computer, I tend to believe them), and after completing the current leg of their tour as a three-piece, they'll be looking for a replacement. The November West Coast dates will be rescheduled for the New Year as the band takes some much-needed rest. The new CD will be out in January, they add, "and there will be plenty of touring in support of that!"

What I Really Want To Do Is...

"Swing an armadillo and you'll hit a director" should've been the motto of the Austin Heart of Film Festival, seeing how many of the guys whose job it is to yell "cut!" were wandering around town this week. The oft-controversial Oliver Stone made a point of heading over to Antone's over the weekend to check out Maceo Parker and stayed around for a couple of hours. Clifford Antone says it was a "thrill" to meet Stone, just like when he gets to hang out with blues legends and music industry giants (such as, recently, Seymour Stein) and that Stone clearly hadn't just wandered in at random. "He wanted to see Maceo," says Antone, "and he had heard about the club." Antone ended up spending some time around town with Stone and Dennis Hopper, and met Buck Henry as well, but the latter didn't visit the club since the "little fella can't take loud music." Asked who he wanted to portray him if Stone decides to lens The Clifford Antone Story, Antone hemmed and hawed a bit before replying "Maybe Stallone -- he could gain weight." Jimmie Vaughan's manager Mark Proct was also spotted chatting with director Robert Rodriguez, but Proct says that the two friends were doing just that, and he has no new information regarding progress on the proposed Stevie Ray Vaughan movie. "That's between [Rodriguez] and Jimmie," says Proct, though he adds that the project is "still very active with Miramax."

One Way To Skin a Cat

If you're wondering about the latest note displayed on the front of the Black Cat, which opens, "Those of you who believe that this is the place to voice your beliefs by way of forcing them on others are sadly mistaken," and goes on to say that arguments over hairstyles, skin color, religion, politics, or sexual preference are unwelcome at the club, the inspiration behind the message came Saturday before last at a Flametrick Subs show, when members of a Nazi skinhead group and some SHARPs (Skin Heads Against Racial Prejudice) took to fighting and ended up with several battlers in the hospital. The Black Cat's Sasha Sessums says that "a lot of skinheads and SHARPS hang out here, but most of them are older and have already done their `fighting for the cause.'" This altercation, she says, involved a younger group, and since the fighting occurred in the back of the club, some patrons that night never even knew it happened. In other Black Cat news, Sasha's brother Martian has returned briefly to the club following a stint as a bounty hunter, but says he'll be bound to Palacios, Texas, in a month or so, where papa Paul Sessums is putting him in charge of the new Black Cat Cafe.

Shut Up, Paul Minor!

All the Pain that Money Can Buy is the name of the now-completed Fastball sophomore album, but we'll have to wait a while before we find out if it's a slumper. There's no release date yet picked for the Julian Raymond-produced disc, says Fastball's Tony Scalzo, and the band is instead busy pushing the Loungapalooza CD, which contains a track by them. The band will be playing parties in Dallas and L.A. with Steve and Eydie Gorme (!) for Lounga at the end of this month, though you can see one of the band's rare local appearances this Saturday at the Electric Lounge. In other comp news, cue 'ball Miles Zuniga says to listen for "Human Torch" off their first album on the upcoming soundtrack to An American Werewolf in Paris. Spoon have also completed work on their next one, tentatively titled A Series of Sneaks, except for some mixing. There's no release date on that either; the band will probably put it out themselves.

Mixed Notes

MTV has added two more names to the list of bands playing their Sports and Music Fest here next weekend: Everclear and Blink 182. The Pocket FishRmen are the first local act to report that the network has given them the go; at press time, a full list of Austin acts playing the S & M Fest was expected to be announced soon...

Houston's Mary Cutrufello is the latest Texan to sign with Mercury Records. No word on a first album date...

Where's Billy White been off to? Try producing. The prolific musician has been spending most of his time in the studio of late with Jackrabbit King, Ginger McKenzie, and Blu Sanders...

A spat between Danny Crooks and the brothers Vallejo has led to that band pulling out of their Hallowe'en show at Steamboat, he says. Breedlove has the gig now, and Vallejo are currently scheduled at the Voodoo Lounge that night. The two parties have ironed out their differences, however, and the big V will play at the 'boat sometime in November...

Well, it was about a week ago that I started thinking that it had been too long since I had visited Charlie's Attic, and now I hear that the club, as of October 1, is no more. Apparently the Attic, as well as the Burger Tex above which it was located, lost its lease on the building on Airport where it was located. Someone tell Charlie to give me a call if he's planning on re-opening elsewhere -- but please don't encourage him to sing Lynyrd Skynyrd songs to my voicemail...

Fans of the Seventies band the Electromagnets (Eric Johnson, Steve Barber, Kyle Brock, and Bill Maddox) will be happy to note that according to their official website (http://www.io.com/~park/) the band is currently in negotiations to re-release their sole, self-titled album on CD with additional live tracks. Sealed copies of the original record (total pressing 3,000) usually sell for upwards of $100, and Electromags sound man and Web keeper Park Street points out a very interesting fact: "The album took three days to record and one day to mix. I'm sure this may not be believable to Eric Johnson fans, but it is the truth -- so help me." Johnson is also wearing Santa's hat these days as he's got tracks on Epic's new Merry Axemas collection of guitar gods tackling the holiday spirit, and if I recall, he's also on the Texas Christmas Collection, which the Bagel Label is re-releasing this year...

I recently expressed my wonder at the number of musical directions that the Willie Nelson has been getting himself into, and now he's turning up as one of the artists doing duets with B.B. King on the upcoming album Deuces Wild. The red headed stranger was also seen recently on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno dueting on a Jimmie Rodgers tune with (gasp!) Beck. No comment was raised as to whether Beck might be recruited into a revamped version of Hee Haw as the new Junior "Samples"...

The Texas Music Office has started up a new quarterly publication, Texas Recording Digest, which lists and describes current recording activity in Texas. This debut issue includes information on 793 Texas recording projects at 223 Texas recording studios reporting their activity during June, July, and August of this year. There's a plethora of ways to get your (free) copy: call the TMO at 512/463-6666, fax 512/463-4114, e-mail [email protected], write 'em at P.O. Box 13246, Austin, TX 78711, or visit


Damned if that old bootleg videotape of Bill Hicks performances I assembled a few years ago hasn't gotten some mileage. Originally introduced to the New York cognoscenti via a copy I gave to Ed Hamell, the latest word on the street is that a copy found its way into the hands of Michael Penn and Sheryl Crow, who kept themselves entertained with it on the road for a few weeks before returning it to its owner. Penn apparently bought all four Hicks CDs and happened upon the tape after dead-ending on a search for officially sanctioned Hicks video...

Lotsa new local releases/in-stores: Silver Scooter have an in-store at Sound Exchange today (Thursday) at 6pm for their new The Other Palm Springs, Ant Man Bee have an in-store today at Waterloo Records at 5pm and a show afterwards at Flamingo Cantina. Cotton Mather are at Waterloo the next day at 5pm performing stuff from their new one, Kontiki, while D.J. Fontana and Scotty Moore will be there signing autographs on Monday at 5pm, and Reckless Kelly will perform there at 5pm Wednesday. Amberjack Rice has a CD release next Wednesday at the Hole in the Wall, Troy Campbell plays at Barnes & Noble this Saturday at 3pm, and Borders hosts Jan Seides (tonight, 7:30pm), Aslynn Rose (Friday, 8pm), Rosie Flores and Scot Szabo (Saturday 3pm), and Aquarela (Saturday 8pm)...

Oops! I hadn't yet listened to the 144-minute split-channel More Than You Bargained For CD when I mentioned it a few weeks ago. If you don't have a balance knob on your stereo, buy it at your own risk -- or be prepared to, as the CD notes suggest, "put a pillow over one speaker."

-- 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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