The Austin Chronicle

Dancing about Architecture

We're Coming to Austin -- To Paint the Mother Pink!

By Ken Lieck, October 17, 1997, Music

So, exactly when did MTV take over Austin? The Austin Stories crew keeps popping up everywhere, then a T-shirt appears in my box bearing the proud legend "Austin Welcomes MTV" (courtesy of Gavin Lance Garcia, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and your tax dollars). Meanwhile, the local TV stations are declaring "perfect weather for the big festivities this weekend." With all this, and unless you live in the proverbial cave (though even most caves have cable these days) you probably already know said tidal wave of promotion is thanks to the MTV Sports and Music Festival, which has come Zilker Park for the weekend. Lots going on Friday through Sunday, and the latest addition to the musical end of the skate-fest are Crystal Method (not to be confused with the Christal Methodists) and Wu-Tang Clan (if they decide to show up this time). Here's the music schedule; you should be able to tell which bands are on the Main Stage and which are on the Local Stage.

FRIDAY: Scarlitt (10:30am), El Flaco (1:10pm), Smash Mouth (2:50), Offspring (3:30pm), Pushmonkey (4pm), Wu-Tang Clan (7:20pm). SATURDAY: Blink 182 (12:10pm), Morningwood (12:30pm), Everclear (3:40pm), TBA [Sugar Ray cancelled] (4:30pm), Slobberbone (7pm). SUNDAY: Borrowers (10am), Pocket FishRmen (12:30pm), Reel Big Fish (2pm), Soak (6pm), Crystal Method (8:15pm), and 311 (9:10pm).

Leaves Fall, Spirits Rise

The rest of Austin and the surrounding area aren't planning on giving up all the good weather to MTV, though -- not by a long shot. This weekend is host to one of those onset-of-fall clusters of music and merriment that is likely to carry on all the way into January. Cases in point: In town, the Dog and Duck Pub is celebrating Octoberfest on Saturday with Oma and the Oompahs (1pm), the Bohemian Dutchman (4pm), and Herman the German & Das Cowboy (8pm). It's a no cover celebration, though due to changes in their liquor license, it will be fenced in this year. (Note to myself: time to replenish stock of free beer cups). A mere 90 minutes out of town (if you're driving your publisher's Suburban at 95 the whole way) in Shiner that same day is the free "Bocktoberfest," featuring performances by Robert Earl Keen, Eric Johnson, Todd Snider, Toni Price, and Jackopierce. They're expecting 20,000 people out there, so head out early. Show starts at noon.

There's also a three-day festival going on in Wimberley at the Medore von Koffler Glassblowing Studio. A complete schedule was unavailable at press time, but Del Dragons, Michele Solberg, and the Wimberley Fire Ants are among the performers, and shuttles are available to the fest from Central Market. For those more inclined to syncopation, this Sunday marks the First Annual Warehouse District Jazz Festival, which is free (have I said that word enough to get you out of your seat yet?), and features three stages with constant music on Colorado Street between Third and Fifth. Check out the Contemporary Jazz Stage: Fahrenheit (2:15pm), Millenium Swing (4:30pm), Joseph Vincelli (6:45pm), Kyle Turner (8pm), and the Eric Marienthal Band with Jeff Lorber (8:30pm); the Traditional Jazz Stage features Jazzaholics (1:30pm), Third Coast (3:45pm), and Horace Alexander Young (6pm); the Latin Jazz Stage has: Liz Mendez Ensemble (3pm), Brew (5:15pm), Beto y Los Fairlanes (7:30pm).

The actual clubs have no shortage of live music either, with both the State Theatre and Stubb's playing home to two fest-like musical occurences. At the Congress Ave. State Theatre, the Women in Jazz Concert Series runs both Friday and Saturday (see "Recommended"), while Stubb's hosts all those flatland folks (you know, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Terry Allen, Lucinda Williams, Jo Carol Pierce, and many more) raising money for a statue of, you guessed it, C.B. Stubblefield to be erected in Lubbock.

Finally, Friday also offers an evening of World Music at the Dougherty Theatre. Antonio Dionisio, Christian Fernandez, Mohammes Firoozi, and Natalie Withers will be on hand for that. Also, Ronnie Lane may be gone, but MS rages on, so drop by La Zona Rosa Sunday for the annual benefit show, featuring Ponty Bone & the Squeezetones, and many, many more. Remember, this weekend, "free" and "many more" are the secret passwords to most musical offerings.

Topical Tales

Austin Stories proved to be nothing if not timely two weeks ago when the show briefly addressed the plethora of laws the city has that work at offs with the music community. Since that show aired, the flyering and sound level laws have raised their heads yet again. What? You didn't think anyone was even trying to post flyers anymore? Well, you haven't seen West Campus lately, then, where Bob Popular's has continued aggressive use of the medium. "We're just more persistent than the rest," says Popular Entertainment's Mark Shaberg, who recently found police at his office door after they had been contacted by a local activist. Shaberg makes no claims of artisitic merit to his flyers -- he simply finds them an efficient means of advertising -- and says that his policies have been affected by the police visit, but that Popular's has yet to receive any financial punishment for flyering activities. He says he will be avoiding public places (utility poles, etc) in the future. That still leaves a lot of walls, fences, and such. Any local poster artists left who also feel like pushing the envelope?

Shaberg says he's had no trouble with the sound police, though he did notice they've been out in force recently. The Black Cat's Sasha Sessums was taken to jail last Wednesday night following repeated visits by officers armed with decibel meters. Police Captain Duane McNeill says that the arrest was the "next step" necessary after repeated non-compliance with the law and stresses that the police are caught in a "real awkward deal" between Sixth Street businesses and area residents and hotels. He adds that the police have never stopped enforcing sound ordinances in the district, but until recently, they were operating under state law rather than local, which doesn't require the use of the meters. Sessums, meanwhile, says she's collected around 350 names on a petition to fight the sound ordinances, and hopes to collect at least 700 more, but admits that she's not doing anything her father hasn't already tried without success. Danny Crooks says that he hasn't had any trouble with the noise patrol, because he's content to keep the doors to his club shut. He is angry, however, that several Sixth Street establishments have music coming from upstairs windows now and claims that the police meters don't register those sources even though they're louder than music coming from inside a club. He popped into the Chron offices, in fact, as he was on his way to purchase high-power speakers to blast music from the roof of Steamboat "just to be fair."

Mixed Notes

There'll be more Pariah than Meat Puppet to Curt Kirkwood's new band, as not only Kyle Ellison but Shandon Sahm, both formerly of that metal outfit, are in the combo. Sahm says he'll still play with his own band Shine, but not very often, and will concentrate most of his energies on the Kirkwood project...

Meanwhile, Pariah's Jared Tuten is working for Eric Johnson, following a "dance of the guitar techs" that began when Jeff Tweedy had to split during Johnson's tour with the Steve Miller Band, because he got an offer he couldn't refuse from Prince. Johnson followers can look for an acoustic track recorded in the Seventies to appear on Narada Records' upcoming Masters of Acoustic Guitar compilation...

Say goodbye to Gomez (again) and Dizzy Luna. The former, says Chepo Peña, are "sick and tired and no one gives a shit about us." They'll try one final show around December. The latter grinds to a halt with next Friday's gig at Bates Motel. Several local zines also list the Motards as now extinct...

Checked out Sister's Edge at First and San Jacinto yet? Xanna Don't is booking live music there on Thursdays, and the Edge will be hosting 10 Inch Maria's CD release party tonight (Thursday), so this might be a good time to go check out the place...

Meanwhile, 33 Degrees record and CD store has left its San Jacinto address and can be found at 4017 Guadalupe (where the old Dismuke's Pharmacy was). They're having an in-store with Bowery Electric and Main this Sunday (see "Recommended" again)...

This year's KGSR Broadcasts CD is heavy on local acts, including locals such as Wayne Hancock, Craig Ross, Storyville, Bad Livers, and Trish Murphy, and national artists like Matthew Sweet, Jimmy Webb, and the Bodeans. Last year's Broadcasts raised over $44,000 for the Texas branch of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and their students' music programs and emergency musicians' financial help programs. This year's proceeds will go to the S.I.M.S. Foundation, with a release around Thanksgiving and a celebration the Friday after. KGSR's Jody Denberg says that Patti Smith has been asked to perform at the station's annual fiesta at the Austin City Limits sound stage. She called him recently to see if Denberg could find her a gig for that Saturday night. He told her he didn't think that would be a problem...

The Suspects have an in-store at Sound Exchange this Saturday at 3pm. Govinda is having CD release parties at the Cactus Cafe tonight (Thursday) and at Movements Gallery on Friday...

Addendum: Vallejo sent me a fax from the road disclaiming responsibility for the dispute between them and Steamboat reported last issue, stating: "It's unfortunate that the group got caught in the middle of a political snafu between booking agents.The band will return to town before the year's end to debut new material that they have been writing for a new record due in the spring of '98."

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

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