Dancing About Architecture

Street Sales

Talk has been going around lately about hip hangout Cedar Street either closing or possibly being up for sale, but of course, nobody wants to talk about it. Initially, Cedar Street's Shannon Burke's only reply to a phone query was an astonished "news travels fast!" Subsequently, he told the Chronicle that his attorneys had suggested he not discuss the matter. One Cedar Street employee admitted to hearing rumors of that venue's impending sale, but said that any talk of such a sale was on a need-to-know basis, adding "at this point I apparently don't need to know." Former Cedar Street regular Jon Blondell, who refuses to appear there since a recent feud with Burke, says he's been asked by an investor friend if buying the place would be a good idea, to which Blondie shot back an unequivocal "No!" explaining to this reporter that, "You don't fuck with your trombone player."

All Blues, No Shampoos

Cedar Street isn't the only club in town facing rumors of ownership changes. With the local return of John Paul DeJoria, chair of the Paul Mitchell hair products empire, so too comes talk of his interest in purchasing half of Antone's blues club. Susan Antone says her office has been flooded with calls asking if the club is about to receive a rinse and hold, while brother Clifford says, "We've been talking for three months, but we're stuck in limbo here -- [a deal] may never happen." Clifford emphasizes that all is well for the club at the moment, but that since business partner Dennis Allison would like to move back to Pittsburgh, getting that portion of the business sold would be good. According to Antone, it doesn't appear that any sale is likely to take place soon -- at least until a team of appraisers are brought in to judge the value of the club. Given his music-first attitude and recent personal dealings with the law, Antone is not likely to be the one to get that ball rolling, either, as he quips, "We want to put together tributes to Freddie King, not deal with lawyers and courts."

Wammo's Flying Discs

"This could all be bullshit," says Wammo, but the producers of his "There Is Too Much Light in This Bar" video recently told him that M2, the MTV spin-off that actually shows music videos, has added the clip to its regular rotation. In Austin, we only get M2 one hour a day, and since Billboard only lists a "sampling" of artists on the M2, it's a hard call to make. If true, though, it should be a good boost for Fat Headed Stranger as Wammo continues work on his second Mercury/Mouth Almighty album with producer Brian Beattie. Wammo declined to say what the name of the album will be, nor would he discuss the planned theme he has for it. In fact, getting any info out of Wammo was damn near impossible as our conversation kept getting interrupted by earsplitting squeals from Christina Marrs' pig ("I swear I'm not even touching it!" pleaded Wammo). The few facts I did get out of Mr. Spoken Word include that there will be more songs on this disc than there were on Stranger and that he had to fight to get as much music as he did on the first one; on the new album he and Beattie have been having a ball since the local producer is "not afraid to do crazy shit" (which will include, I'm assured, a "pig solo"). Meanwhile, both Wammo and Marrs are looking forward to word from some producers in New York who are hoping to get the Asylum Street Spankers to assemble a revue-type show for a run in the Big Apple. Locals won't necessarily miss out, though, as a test run is tentatively planned for, um, the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

A Night on the Townes

Last Sunday's Townes Van Zandt tribute at Austin City Limits went exactly where Terry Lickona said it would when he introduced the show: "To the heart of what ACL is all about." Actually, Lickona says, he first thought of the idea for the show upon hearing of Van Zandt's death, adding that he feels the program was more of a celebration of Townes than a tribute. Ten singer-songwriters of renown (Peter Rowan, Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith, J.T. Van Zandt, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark, Cowboy Jack Clement, Rodney Crowell, and Emmylou Harris) formed a semicircle on stage and interpreted Van Zandt's songs for about 90 minutes. Of note is the fact it was the first time Lovett and Griffith had shared the ACL stage since he sang backup on her debut there 11 years ago, Further highlights included Griffith's take on "Tecumseh Valley," Lovett doing "Flying Shoes," and duets such as Nelson and Harris on "Pancho & Lefty," Harris and Earle on "If I Needed You," and Lovett and Earle's "Lung." The whole gang jumped in for a finale of "White Freight Liner," and if you weren't there to enjoy it first-hand, you can check out what Lickona calls "the emotional highlight of this year's season of Austin City Limits" when it airs on KLRU March 28.

Breaker Breaker; It's CD Radio

The (air) wave of events surrounding KGSR's Broadcasts Vol. 5 disc continues this Saturday at the Waterloo Brewing Company, where local acts from that disc will be performing beginning at 7pm; look for Darden Smith, Storyville, Trish Murphy, 81/2 Souvenirs, and the Sexton Sextet. Meanwhile, KVRX is releasing its Local Live Vol. II; Late Last Night As I Lay Screaming on Monday. The CD features 19 tracks from "local and not so local artists" recorded live in the KVRX studios, including Richard Buckner, The Assholes, 50 Million, Terror @ 10,000 ft, Paul Newman, The Lucky Strikes, Kinky Friedman, Vena Cava, El Flaco, Meredith Louise Miller, and the Prima Donnas. There will be an in-store at Sound Exchange on Friday at 6pm with Paul Newman and the Prima Donnas, and on Saturday, December 13, Vena Cava from Dallas will play at 33 Degrees at 4pm. KLBJ-FM is getting into the act as well, with a Dudley, Bob, and Debra morning show compilation out now. Proceeds go to local charities (though a fax announcing that their previous CDs "have broke sales records" doesn't sound too promising). Finally, KOOP has no product, but they need your money so check out their benefit at Miguel's La Bodega tonight, Thursday, with 1001 Nights, Latin music, and some world music deejays.

Mixed Notes

There's a fundraiser for (and at) the Victory Grill on Friday with a "Fancy Forties" theme. Mel Davis, Pam Hart, A.D.Manion, James Polk, and Tomas Ramirez are but a few of the all-star performers scheduled to perform...

Wild About Music will have an in-store celebration for the I'll Be Home For Kwanzaa album today, Thursday, at 5:30pm...

Also tonight, look for both Beaver Nelson and Dickie Lee Erwin to show off their new bands at the Hole in the Wall as they open for Loose Diamonds, which is of course Scrappy Jud Newcomb's "old" band...

Superego should have their new album out around the turn of the year. Paul Minor says the plan was to hopefully have the albums out in time for Christmas, but that isn't likely to happen at this point. My Bad will still be a gift in a sense, however; Superego plans to give the discs away at their Sunday Free for All shows, but only to people who ask nicely...

Look for more Austin involvement with Undercover Records, the label whose Fleetwood Mac covers compilation I mentioned last week. Their next project is an album of music for children, and I'm told that former Butthole Surfer and current Daddy Longhead boss Jeff Pinkus is slated to provide a number for the tykes. That album is still in the very early stages, so don't promise it as a Christmas gift -- for this year, anyway. Pinkus returns this Saturday after being the touring bassist for P.W. Long, though to make things confusing, he'll be playing opposite Long's Emo's show this Saturday performing instead with Honky at the Bates Motel with REO Speedealer and Voltage... Speaking of the Buttholes, the Sublime guys were nice enough to thank producer Paul Leary in their acceptance speech for best album on the televised Billboard awards on Monday...

Sublime guest trombonist Jon Blondell reports that he's just finished work with Willie Nelson on the latter's jazz album, and that VH-1 sent a crew along to film some of the sessions, presumably for their upcoming Behind the Music program on Nelson...

W.C. Clark and Mike Kindred will have a special presentation next Friday, December 19 at Antone's where they will be presented with their platinum RIAA awards for their writing contributions to the best of Stevie Ray Vaughan album...

Fans in El Paso, Albuquerque, and Alpine saw a somewhat different Buick MacKane recently, and Austin may as well -- once. Will Sexton took Javier Escovedo's place on the mini tour while Hunt Sales filled in for Glenn Benavides ("[Alejandro] coudn't find him or something," muses Sales). The former David Bowie/Iggy Pop drummer says he thinks this unusual version of MacKane may play a one-off local gig, but he doesn't know exactly where or when...

Looking for Dale Watson's new tape of trucking songs? Well, I don't believe you'll find it stores just yet, but if you didn't purchase Good Luck'n' Good Truckin' through his fan club, Miles of Music (20929-47 Ventura Blvd., Suite 286 Woodland Hills, CA 91364) is now distributing the cassette at $10.50 a pop. What? No 8-track!?!...

Pushy, Half Street, and Dizzybloom will be playing next Thursday at ABCDs between 7-10pm. Borders Books, meanwhile, has Roberto Moreno tonight at 8pm, Tempo Minstrels on Friday at 7:30pm, and Kimmie Rhodes and Angel Eyes on Saturday, at 3pm and 7pm, respectively...

Eric Johnson is among the judges in this year's Musician magazine Best Unsigned Bands competition, along with Ani DiFranco, Moby, Art Alexis, Keb Mo, and (eep!) Joe Perry. Want further entry info? Call 1-888-SONGS98...

Whoo! Can't go any deeper into the holiday season without mentioning AUstin's annual Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, which kicks off today. Here's the list of performers for the next week, all at 8pm unless otherwise noted: W.C. Clark (12/11), Van Wilks (12/12), Boxcars featuring Christine Albert and Chris Gage (12/13) [also the Danny Levin's Levin Spoonful at 3pm], Susanna Sharpe (12/14) [Tish Hinojosa kids' show at 3pm], Therapy Sisters (12/15), Marcia Ball & Sarah Elizabeth Campbell (12/16), Don Walser (12/17), and the Austin Lounge Lizards (12/18). I'll let you do the shopping part yourself...

-- Contributors: Michael Bertin, 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

Ken Lieck, Dec. 20, 2002

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