Dancing About Architecture

It's in the Can

Well, the MTV Sports and Music Festival has come and gone and the folks behind it have posted their figures for the weekend. They counted over 42,000 spectators over the three-day festival, and Ric Luber at the Convention and Visitors' Bureau calculates that the direct dollar impact to the city was at least $3 million, adding that "the positive exposure from the national press including Entertainment Tonight and Rolling Stone just helps spread the word that Austin is a fun place to visit." There's no question that local businesses were helped by the festival, notably Stubb's and Flipnotics, both of whom cleaned up with beverage booths at the festival. Still, wouldn't all these altruistic claims ring a little truer if MTV had actually paid the local bands that played there? "It's more of an exposure thing to them," says an MTV spokesman, but with all the money that got pumped into this thing, even a nice lip service payment of a couple hundred to each of the eight bands would've been nice -- and it wouldn't have added up to chicken-feed in MTV's budget. I mean, how do you tell a band like the Pocket FishRmen that they're playing for the TV exposure? "Um, let us know if you ever get to a song without the word `pussy' in it so we can turn the cameras on." Actually, Cris Burns of the FishRmen isn't complaining, even though he says he doesn't think the MTV crew even taped an entire song while they were playing. He was ecstatic to play for a large crowd, and the yound lads in the audience took well to FishRmusic -- to the extent of waiting around for autographs. The Borrowers and Scarlitt weren't as lucky in the crowd department, though; Scarlitt shouldn't have expected much of a crowd at their 10:30am Friday slot, of course (Fastball had already abandoned that particular sinking ship), but one assumes that they at least expected the gates to be open when they were scheduled to start. A rep for the Borrowers says the band was offered a chance to perform a second set after their underattended Sunday 10am spot, but it never materialized. They finally got to play for an audience during a wrap party for the event at the new disco Twist. Once again, it wasn't for the money, though it looks like it may have generated a payoff in the end. (More info on that later.) Ah, well, why am I even bothering to mention any of this? This is just poor pitiful Austin. To the rest of the world, the Sports and Music Festival won't even exist until November 7-8, when it airs on (music up, cue logo) MTV!

Spooning Becomes Elektra

Spoon front man Britt Daniel wasn't happy about confirming that his band has inked a deal with Elektra Records; in fact, he says that pen hasn't officially touched paper and he doesn't want this to be one of those signings that gets dragged out in the press. Still, acknowledging that the industry magazine HITS has already reported the deal as fact, Daniel reluctantly says he'll go ahead and confirm it. (This after his telling me a couple of weeks ago that the band would be putting the disc out themselves. "I thought you knew we were joking," says Daniel in his defense.). Currently, there's no official release date for the new album, which this week Daniel says is called I Concentrate on You. (Two weeks ago it was tentatively titled A Series of Sneaks; I wouldn't be surprised if it's changed again next time I talk to the man). It'll be a matter of months at the very least before you see it, which is maybe why Elektra is releasing their Pixies best of album now -- to give you something to listen to while you're waiting.

Sophisticated Soirees

"Chucking pumpkins or tossing cow shit -- honey, should I go with my blue tie or the brown?" That's the question well-dressed Texans will be asking themselves this weekend. Turns out you've got your free 10th Annual Hogeye Festival out in Elgin this Saturday (the slogan is "a time for warm hearts and hot guts") featuring Ray Wylie Hubbard and something called "cow patty bingo." Check out their website (http.//www.elgintx.com) for an explanation and further lovely phrases like "more fun than rolling in slop!" A little closer to civilization is the Fallfest at the Waterloo Brewing Company, where the music (Reckless Kelly 4pm, Jimmy LaFave 5:40pm, Toni Price 7:20pm, Shoulders 9pm, Brave Combo 10:40pm) will compete for your attention with the pumpkin toss, wherein people will be heaving big vegetables off the roof of the building. Meanwhile, at Stubb's BBQ (3pm-midnight), one assumes that the Gourds are hoping they won't be mistaken for spare pumpkins as they host their first annual Beeblefest, with Old 97's, Tiny Town, the Gourds, the Skeletons, Jon Dee Graham, the Damnations, Diaz Brothers, and a late night jam at the indoor stage with the Gourds backing up various members of the other bands.

When you wake up on Sunday morning feeling guilty about all that abuse to animal, vegetable, and mineral, you'll be glad to know that the Electric Lounge is hosting a benefit for the Bill Hicks Foundation for Wildlife Rehabilitation. Scheduled to perform starting at 8pm are comics Tom Hester and Nancy Reed, with music by Miss Xanna Don't & the Wanted, Agony Column, Prescott Curlywolf, Killing Ophelia, Third Degree and 10-inch Maria.

The Full Monte

"She sings her ass off," says Monte Warden of little LeAnn Rimes' rendition of his song "The Love You Promised Me" as he waits to see if the track makes the cut for her next album. He's also waiting to hear if Billy Ray Cyrus' recording of Warden's "Come On Home," which the achey breaky star finished up early this week, will be coming out. Warden says he hasn't heard enough of Cyrus' oeuvre to even guess what the tune will sound like, but for now, he's perfectly content to let Warner/Chapell handle the pushing of his compositions while he gets back to work on his own next album, for which he's completed seven tracks with "some studio cats" and has five more to go with "my guys." He says he's been told that his first single is slated for next February ("which means April") and the album should hit stores in late spring. Meanwhile, is Warden sitting by the phone expecting a call from Michael Bolton? Nope. "I'm waiting for the big Richard Marx comeback album," he chuckles.

Pass the Bottle

Whiskeytown is dead. Long live Whiskeytown! Such must have been the cry around Ryan Adams' quarters recently, as the head 'townie has seen fit to discard his current guitarist, bassist, and drummer, replacing them in time to leave on tour. Why mention Whiskeytown, here, other than for their close personal friendship with Alejandro Escovedo? Mainly because Adams recently moved here. The band that hit the road last week includes Adams, Caitlin Cary, Ed Crawford aka Ed Fromohio, Jennifer Snyder, Mike Daley, and Skillet Gilmore. Manager Jennifer Sperandeo says, "there are a thousand reasons [for the changes] and even I'm not sure what they all are." As for Adams playing any local gigs -- with whatever lineup -- Sperandeo says that won't happen until at least early next year. Why am I suddenly reminded of Al Jourgenson's local track record?

Mixed Notes

Trumpeter/composer/Smithville native Hannibal Lokumbe, who was quoted in Midwest Jazz as saying, "I never play in Texas. Rahsaan [Roland Kirk] used to say 'Don't be local,`" will be featured on the CBS Sunday Morning program this Sunday at 8am. ("This guy is the real deal!" -- Casey Monahan Texas Music Office)...

After making a load of money on their last album, Dallas' Jackopierce have decided to call it quits, and have already embarked on their farewell tour. The pared-down band makes its Austin stop at La Zona Rosa, November 6-7...

Rhino Records has released Lesbian Favorites, a collection of songs that, well, lesbians are supposed to like, including tracks by Jill Sobule, Janis Ian, and Doyle Bramhall II's sister-in-law. Gretchen Phillips contributes two songs (the classic Two Nice Girls number "Birth Control and Beer" and previously unreleased live fave "Swimming"), extensive liner notes, and a generally needed air of respectability to the comp, which hides beneath a cover featuring cheesy models touching each other in special ways...

So, what Emo's guy was spotted making out with what MTV goddess, causing girls all over town to go, "Eeew! I've kissed him -- now I feel like I've kissed Kennedy!"?...

The Rhythm Rats have a new CD out entitled Rockin' With the Rats, which includes the last studio recordings by late sax legend Clifford "Honky Tonk" Scott...

Check the racks for Thierry Le Coz's Home and Denny Freeman's A Tone for My Sins (Great title!)...

Border's Books continues their in-store mania with Craig Hanson today, Troy Campbell Friday, and Origin on Saturday, all at 8pm. Abra Moore plays there Sunday at 3pm...

Blue Mist had their trailer with all their equipment stolen from a northwest Austin apartment complex on Monday. It should be pretty hard to miss, as it has the band's name on the front and back and a moon and clouds on the side. If you have any info, call Robert at 835-1350...

The Vallejo Halloween controversy continues unabated. This week: Stone from the Voodoo Lounge called to say he heard the band on the radio dissing his club. "We're innocent!" he claims. "We didn't do anything!" ...

This Friday is indeed Dizzy Luna's final gig, as I said last week, but take note that it will occur at the Atomic Cafe, with Brown Whörnet and Rhudebega. The reason for the band's farewell is that Cisco plans to keep busy for the immediate future performing with his mom, Eliza Gilkyson...

The Department of Health and Human Services says they've confirmed that the bat people were fondling outside the Hang 'em High Saloon last Saturday evening is indeed rabid. If you handled this bat, you need to call 472-7387 and your doctor. By the way, what were you thinking?!?

-- 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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So Long, Slug

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