Critics Poll

Best Roadshow

Beets: Guitar Wolf, Waterloo Records, Tony Bennett, Austin Music Hall, and the Frogs, Liberty Lunch -- all in one night.

Bertin: Link Wray, Dieselhed, Electric Lounge

Gray: De La Soul, Liberty Lunch

Hernandez: Friends of Dean Martinez, Continental Club

Hess: Kenny Garret, State Theater

Langer: John Fogerty, Austin Music Hall

Moser: John Fogerty, Austin Music Hall

Trachtenberg: Bill Frisell, Bates Recital Hall/Ziggy Marley, La Zona Rosa

Best Local Show

Beets: Unclean SXSW Showcase: Sons of Hercules, Dropouts, Stretford, Hole in the Wall

Bertin: Beeblefest, Stubb's

Gray: Springhill Mine Disaster, 21st Street Co-Op

Hernandez: Libbi Bosworth, Continental Club

Hess: Gourds, Prescott Curlywolf, Diaz Bros., Electric Lounge

Langer: El Flaco, Morningwood, MTV Sports and Music Fest

Moser: Graceland Revue, Continental Club

Trachtenberg: Doug Sahm's Last Real Texas Blues Band, Antone's

Local Act You Saw the Most

Beets: The Hamicks

Bertin: Trish Murphy

Gray: The Shindigs/Ted Roddy's Tearjoint Troubadors

Hernandez: Buick MacKane

Hess: Damnations

Langer: Scabs

Moser: Doyle Bramhall, Sr.

Trachtenberg: Alejandro Escovedo

Venue Visited the Most

Beets: Hole in the Wall

Bertin: Electric Lounge

Gray: Hole in the Wall

Hernandez: Liberty Lunch

Hess: Electric Lounge/Hole in the Wall

Langer: Stubb's

Moser: Continental Club

Trachtenberg: Liberty Lunch

Best Thing to Happen Nationally

Beets: Communications Decency Act struck down.

Bertin: Too busy anticipating the release of Spice World to think about last year.

Gray: Al Gore didn't release an album of fundraising songs featuring Tipper with guest vocals from President Clinton's new dog.

Hernandez: Rolling Stones buy me off.

Hess: The faint but hopeful glimmer of the beginning of the end of the lounge music scene.


Moser: Loreena McKennitt not only went to Number One on the Billboard World Music Charts, but hopscotched onto alternative radio, indicating that the "alternative" tag a) defines nothing musically anymore, and b) still has hope.

Best Thing to Happen Locally

Beets: More shows at non-traditional venues.

Bertin: Relatively succesful major label releases for Robert Earl Keen, Kacy Crowley, and Abra Moore.

Gray: Bates Motel transforms itself from seedy blues dive to seedy avant-punk dive.

Hernandez: Sixth Street sound ordinance comes under scrutiny.

Hess: Victory Grill designated as historical landmark.

Langer: Antone's rebirth, SIMS' growth, Soulhat's reunion, and Jon Dee Graham's comeback.

Moser: Antone's went back to where they belong -- downtown.

Trachtenberg: Roy Hargrove & co's three-day residency during the Clarkesville Jazz Festival.

National Bummer

Beets: We lost too many good people this year to mention.

Bertin: Deaths of Jeff Buckley and Ronnie Lane. How come neither one of them got a version of "Candle in the Wind"?

Gray: Umm... where to begin?

Hernandez: Michael Hutchence hangs himself.

Hess: Ska turned candy-ass and electronica was taken seriously.

Langer: [Modified from last year]: Michael Jackson is going to be a father (again!) before there's a new Guns `N' Roses album.

Moser: Beavis and Butt-head went off the air. My standard for music videos suffers at their loss.

Local Bummer

Beets: Blue Flamingo closes.

Bertin: City council gives the Austin Music Network just six months' life support.

Gray: Blue Flamingo closes, while Sincola, Mineral, Phantom Creeps, Motards, and Gomez all break up.

Hernandez: Townes Van Zandt died.

Hess: Danny Barnes moved to Washington/Townes Van Zandt died.

Langer: Live music on Sixth Street, R.I.P.

Moser: Austin Music Network staff having to tread water while the city sharks circle.

Trachtenberg: Continued dearth of touring jazz shows.

Best Reissue

Beets: The Beach Boys, The Pet Sounds Sessions/ The Dicks, The Dicks: 1980-1986

Bertin: John Coltrane, The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings

Gray: Boogie Down Productions, Criminal Minded

Hernandez: The Yardbirds, BBC Sessions/Roger the Engineer

Hess: Velvet Underground, Loaded

Langer: Ike & Tina Turner, Bold Soul Sister: The Best of the Blue Thumb Recordings

Moser: The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Different Tacos/The Dicks, The Dicks: 1980-1986

Trachtenberg: Skatalites, Foundation Ska

Music in 1997 Was...

Beets: ...another fun-filled year of celebrity over content.

Gray: ...about 365 days long.

Hernandez: ...the last year the Chronicle ran this stupid category in our "Critics Poll."

Hess: ... a time for the young players to come into their own and save jazz in Austin from the tidal wave of cheese -- which has finally begun to subside.

Langer: ...not a particularly great year for local music, yet another year where I had a far easier time finding 10 local records I liked than 10 national ones.

Moser: ... a great year for touring shows, a very good year for the local female musicians, and the year I quit going out.

Trachtenberg: ... a blurrrrrr.

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