Dancing About Architecture

Sweaty-sniffing, Credential-pressing

We've been feeding you bits and pieces all along, but this time, I've got the whole plateful of acts scheduled to play the 1997-98 Austin Music Awards, Wednesday, March 18 at the Austin Music Hall (7:55pm sharp, as usual): The Derailers, MC Overlord with Hot Buttered Rhythm, Trish Murphy, Kacy Crowley, and Ana Egge (all together), the Gourds with the Damnations (or as I like to call the supergroup, the Gourd-damn-nations), and Asleep at the Wheel with Johnny Gimble, Leon Rausch and others. Now, that's not counting emcee Paul Ray, comic Kerry Awn, Big Name Guest Presenters, some special (possibly very special) guests to be announced, and, as director Margaret Moser puts it, "Sweaty flesh-pressing and South by Southwest credential-sniffing!"

SXSW and Not SXSW

Three weeks to go 'til SXSW, and besides having finally announced this year's keynote speaker, Nick Lowe, music festival organizers continue to tweak showcases. This year, SXSW is putting considerable focus on "electronica" - you know, dance music from the UK. "[Electronica has] previously been seen as a musical ghetto with a built-in crowd, but little crossover potential," says SXSW's Charlie Llewellin. "[This year] we're glad to bring this craft to the public." Among the craftsmen confirmed for the fest are DJ Andrew from San Francisco, Ireland's Razor, and locals Claude9 and gfire in what Llewellin refers to as a "jungly thing." A similar showcase, this one with accents on more ambient sounds, includes Symbiosis, Perfume Tree, Q-Burns Abstract Message, Hive, L'Usine, and Quaquaversal. SXSW Saturday night will also see a big Austin Music Hall event with Jacqueline Specht, God Within, Da Hool, and DJ Josh Wink. "I'm not calling it a rave," says Llewellin, though "rave" is indeed the word that's being bandied about.

And now, the "not" portion of this item; it's time for all of you who are having non-SXSW showcases to make sure the Chronicle knows about 'em. The best way to do this is to make sure the establishment you're playing sends us a full list before next Friday (if all you bands send me your info individually, I'll never get it in order). If you're playing at a non-SXSW venue that already sends us weekly listings information, then don't sweat it. All info can be sent to the Chronicle at PO Box 49066, Austin, TX 78765 or faxed to 512/458-6910.

Flip the Pick

You need look no further than Ian McLagan when asked the trivia question, "What Austin resident performed onstage with the Rolling Stones last week in Houston?" Mac joined the Glimmer Quartet on Friday with some Hammond organ for a rousing rendition of "Start Me Up" (contrast that to the previous night's crowd, which got Tori Amos singing back-up on "Thief in the Night"). While no other Austinites got quite that close to the Stones, the large Austin contingent at the two shows certainly bore its share of savvy individuals. Sometime Chronicle writer Kent Benjamin did his bit to sidle up to the band, using his position as a merchant to angle close to them. "I couldn't say I actually met any of the band at this show," he confides, but he did hang around within cat-flinging distance of Keith Richards and Charlie Watts, and got to watch much of the show from the wings. KGSR's Jody Denberg and KLBJ's Jeff Carroll didn't try to get backstage, but then would you if you already had seats at front row center? While Benjamin was offsides wishing he could get one of Richards' picks, Carroll had one land square in his drink (I wouldn't want to sit next to him at a Rangers game). And finally, even when you get outside of Texas, you'll find Austin well-represented in Stonestown; Marilyn Beck's Hollywood Hotline recently reported that it was the Stones who introduced their old friend Chesley Millikin and his young ward Widgeon Holland to film producers Jeff Craig and Michael Mileham backstage at a San Diego gig. The producers have since cast Holland in their upcoming mystery flick Hook Line and Sinker, and are placing his song "Jamie's Town" prominently in the movie's soundtrack.

Many Harry Returns

Rob Jacks remains his ever-busy self, currently checking in with three new songs he's written for the reunited Blondie (which now features the complete original lineup). "I didn't realize they would know me," Jacks says of his meeting with the seminal New Wave band, but thanks to regular boosting from his pal Debbie Harry, the rest of Blondie treated him as though they were all old friends. Jacks says he's also writing an episode of Star Trek: Voyager around a proposed Harry appearance in which she would play a woman the Borg weren't able to assimilate. Meanwhile, he'll be flying out to California at the end of the month to check out the X reunion (featuring the return of Billy Zoom), featuring his other pal, Exene Cervenka.

Mixed Notes

Austin's jazz aficionados are currently mourning the passing of Clarence Timmerman of the Moonlight Express Orchestra. Timmerman was killed last Saturday when the band's trailer was sideswiped after he had pulled over to the side of I-35 to adjust it. A friend who was with him just before the accident calls Timmerman's untimely death a "definite loss to the jazz community"...

Better news on the jazz/blues front comes in the form of this year's W.C. Handy Awards nominations. Marcia Ball is up for Female Contemporary Blues Artist, Lavelle White is nominated for Female Soul/Blues Artist, Kaz Kazanoff earns a nod for Blues Instrumentalist - Other (for sax, of course), and Long John Hunter's Swinging From the Rafters is up for Contemporary Blues Album of the Year. The awards ceremony happems April 30 in Memphis...

Did I give Abra Moore coolness points last week for making the back cover of Spy magazine? Well, sluice 'em back off as you check out her next stop on the road to fame; Moore will be appearing on the Regis and Kathy Lee show this Friday for a live interview and performance. (I don't know the exact time, but I assume it's during that dim morass that some people call "morning.")...

Those Prescott Curlywolf recordings I spoke of recently have found a home at Freedom Records. That local label will be releasing the live-to-two-track sessions from '96 and last December as an album entitled Funanimal World, with a release planned for early March...

The Librarians are just about done with their new album. Start looking for that on the shelves in around three months...

Capricorn Records has sent out advance cassettes of Boom Boom Baby by their remaining Austin act, Ugly Americans. The album contains both clean and dirty versions of the title song, which will also be the first single. Look for the real thing on May 12...

Are you ready for the Fastball? Since my report last week, there's been no signs of the band's single, "The Way," slowing down anytime soon. Radio adds continue unabated and more than one local scenester has been stunned to hear the song played on top hit radio station "The Mix." (I'm more surprised to find such people admitting they listen to "The Mix")...

Needless to say, nothing's gonna keep me away from the Damned show tonight (Thursday) at the Atomic Cafe, as Captain Sensible, Dave Vanian, and their newest back-up ensemble (Garrie Dreadful, Monty the Moron, and former Sister of Mercy Patricia Morrison) bring their neat noise to Austin for the first time since they played Club Foot in 1984. I have to give some ink and at least a peek in the window to Sinis, however, for their perseverance in bombarding my mailbox with teaser flyers, condoms ("the good kind," notes a Chronicle receptionist), press releases and (mostly) softcore pornographic images, all leading up to their "preview" show tonight from 9:30-10pm at the Flamingo Cantina (opening for Honky, Fuckemos, and Thangs). Sinis promises "the usual rock & roll accessories: 7-inch pumps, fire and smoke, light show, running, dancing, and screaming," but no appearances by Dan Del Santo, so there shouldn't be any real danger...

Remember Ron English, the painter who managed to assemble enough recording artists to produce a compilation album of songs about himself? Well, since English is not the kind of guy to beat the same idea into the ground, this time he's assembled a CD-ROM of all-new songs about himself, providing a soundtrack for computer users to dig around in a cross-section of his brain. Actually, scratch the not-beating-a-dead-horse thing, as the project is also available as a non-interactive disc as well. Artists on English's POPaganda include Wammo, Daniel Johnston, Tripping Daisy, and Wesley Willis. English will be showing off the project with an afternoon appearance featuring regular Ron-songers the Sutcliffes at the Electric Lounge during SXSW. Johnston will also be showcasing at the conference, apparently backed by various components of the Flaming Flames of Fire, including such Johnston allies as Brian Beattie and Craig Ross...

"We're always looking," says Continental Club king Steve Wertheimer, but he's in no real rush to find a new club to open. If and when he does so, however, he assures all that his new project will be "just a bar"...

You take your publicity where you can get it; David Brewton, veteran of New Orleans' premier punk band the Normals says that since someone scribbled a plug for their reunion show this Saturday at Howlin' Wolf in N.O. on the bathroom wall at a popular local club, he's actually gotten calls from people planning to attend. He says he's pretty sure no one involved with the band was behind the graffiti, though he has been making sure the Normals' new compilation Your Punk Heritage is available in Austin shops...

Hollowbody has an in-store Friday, 5pm, at Sound Exchange. The official release party for their new Taking History will be February 28 at the Electric Lounge with the Orange Mothers and Goin' Along Feelin' Just Fines...

lso on Friday, 5pm, Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise will play songs from their self-titled album at Waterloo Records, while the Austin Lounge Lizards will be at Waterloo next Thursday at 5pm. Borders Books has the Austin Guitar School tonight (Thursday) at 8pm, Joe McDermott on Saturday at 1pm, and the Laughing Dogs that evening at 7pm...

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

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More Dancing About Architecture
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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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