Dancing About Architecture

South By Every Which Way

Here's a little list of some people who won't be showcasing at South by Southwest: Toadie member Lisa Umbarger, popster Marshall Crenshaw, Bobby Fuller's brother Randy, author/Pete Townshend's buddy Dave Marsh, David Letterman booker Sheila Rogers, Conan O'Brien booker Jim Pitt, producers Brendan O'Brien, Gus Dudgeon, and Hugh Padgham, and South Park's Kyle, Stan, Kenny, and Chef. What's my point, you ask? Well, all these folks will be in town for the conference, they just won't be playing official showcases. Instead, they'll be appearing on panels (except for the South Park kids, who will adorn the bags for the music, film, and interactive conferences), so if you pay for the big badge, you can see them, and if you don't, you can expect to find them around at various local watering holes. And Sonic Youth? Well, they will be in town, but doing what is still unclear. We'll have more next week.

As far as the latest list of big names who will be appearing at SXSW, try on Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Soul Asylum, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, R.F. Sloan, Vic Chesnutt, Blues Brothers 2000's Sam Moore, and yes, the Zodiac dude himself, Harvey Sid Fisher! In other SXSW news: Sean Lennon will be backed by those Japanese techno-darlings Cibo Matto, who put on such a whiz-bang show with the Butthole Surfers a year or so ago; it looks like Aussie songstress Sherry Rich might have the visiting Wilco as her back-up group (in town recording, they've been linked to several different acts during the weekend); the German band 17 Hippies has been growing by about 10 members a week, and at press time had announced that they now will be attending with an entourage of 47 people; also, SXSW officials warn that no, you won't be the cleverest person in the world if you yell "Play the hit!" during the Thuringian Alphorns' showcase in reference to the Ricola commercial.

In our Austin Music Awards Show update for the week, Malachi has been added to the lineup, which as you should know by now includes:the Derailers, MC Overlord with Hot Buttered Rhythm; Kacy Crowley, Ana Egge, & Trish Murphy with special guest Jon Dee Graham; the Gourds & the Damnations; Asleep at the Wheel with guests Johnny Gimble, Leon Rausch, Don Walser, and Floyd Tillman. Guest presenters will include Laura House and Brad Pope of Austin Stories (that'll be me jumping on the stage wearing a "Soy Bomb" T-shirt - are those available at Wheatsville?), Jody Denberg and other KGSR staffers presenting a sizeable check of proceeds from the Rock'n'Roll Auction to the SIMS Foundation, and former Film Threat/Real Worlder Dominic Griffin. That's 7:55pm Wednesday, March 18 at the Austin Music Hall.

Hit Me With a Fastball

I warned you that I'd be writing up Miles Zuniga and company with astonishing regularity since Fastball seems to have achieved the beginnings of what musicians outside of Austin have come to know as a "hit." As such, if you were in a town that still carries Lovelines (the radio version, not the MTV show), you'd have heard Zuniga as a guest making pronouncements about S-E-X. The band's main effort lately, however, has been working on their big-budget video for "The Way," directed by hot video guy McG (Smashmouth, Sugar Ray), wherein the part of Miles is played by Tom Cruise's stuntman. After a gig at the Viper Room (say "Hi!" to Johnny Depp for us) on March 16, Fastball returns for SXSW - if there's still a venue big enough to hold them, that is. Originally, they were given a slot at Babe's, but since then, says SXSW's Brent Grulke, "We went, `No way, that's gonna be too small for them.'"

Street Sounds

Call it a pre-SXSW: There's a mess of music, and you can buy a wristband if you wanna take it all in. The Iron Cactus, Maggie Mae's, Bob Popular, Fat Tuesday's, and Pete's have joined together to put a whole lot of live acts, including Joe "King" Carrasco, Papa Mali, Lee Person, Bad Rodeo, and Flounders Without Eyes, on Sixth Street this Sunday to bring attention to the problems that have been on-going between clubs and the city's sound ordinance. (This event might be a good time to introduce yourself to the rising Hot Club of Cowtown who, to make a long story short, moved to town under the influence of Don Walser.) "Don't Pull the Plug" was organized by the Friends of Sixth Street, the group that filed suit against the city regarding the noise ordinance, which resulted in a judge declaring it ambiguous and unconstitutional. The Friends were formed as a promotions group for the area, says member Mark Shaeberg, but this was "a situation where we were forced to be political." He adds that mediation should finish up this week, and at that point the group should have a recommendation for an ordinance to take before the city council."Don't Pull the Plug" runs from 2pm-midnight and tickets (which will be exchanged for wristbands at any of the venues) are available from Star Tickets for $8. Check our listings of the above-listed clubs for the complete lineup.

The Show's Not Over 'Til the Tardy Bell Sounds

Kacy Crowley has broken the rules of touring, and she's lucky she hasn't been sent to the corner because of it. What Crowley is up to (and getting great results from) is touring high schools rather than nightclubs. An Atlantic spokesperson says Crowley's only run this strategy on two intitutions of learning - organized by a school marketing company called SHAGG - but the label is interested in more of the same experiment - lots more! "In high school, I would have died to have bands come and play," says Crowley, adding that as a mature singer she finds the campus crowd to be an ideal audience; not only do they have no qualms about letting an artist know what they like and don't like, they let you know line by line! Atlantic confirms there will definitely be more school in Kacy's future.

A Bench at the Hyatt

Friends and fans of the late Walter Hyatt, who was killed in the Valujet crash, have been raising money for a bench on Town Lake in his memory and say that they have raised the $1,800 necessary for a bench and an "In Fond Memory of ..." plaque. "If we want anything more," says coordinator Paisley Robertson, "a landscape architect must draw up the plans and submit them to the City of Austin. If approved, the plans then go to Frank Garza, the head of Parks and Recreation for his final approval." To help make the bench more personal, fans can make checks payable to "Walter's Bench" and mail them to Paisley Robertson, 2411 Kinney Rd., South Austin, Texas, 78704. Hyatt is also remembered in a book, Hub City Music Makers, which also features stories on David Ball and Champ Hood. Hood and author Peter Cooper will be at Threadgill's on Riverside this Saturday, 4pm to perform and autograph, respectively. Cooper will also be appearing at Book People, 8pm, that same evening.

That's With a "Capitol" S...

Extra! Extra! I just received the following urgent missive from Capitol Records: "Recently you received a letter informing you that the Butthole Surfers had changed the release date of of their forthcoming album (new street date is May 19th). As of today, there is another change - the album title was After the Astronaut, but that should be changed to After the Astronauts (note the `s' on the end of the word Astronaut)." Ignoring all the trees that died to ensure this important announcement made it to the media, one wonders exactly why this momentous change was made. My guess is that since the label claims the reason for the album's delay was that the cover artwork was late, they finally got the artwork and discovered more than one damn astronaut in the picture! On a related note, the new The Jesus Lizard album from Capitol has now been delayed as well, to May 5, but it's still ahead of the Buttholes. And the race continues...

Mixed Notes

Texans didn't bring home a lot of Grammys this year, but we rated a lot of attention. Bob Dylan thanked recent bandmates Augie Meyers and Cindy Cashdollar (and you could understand what he was saying!), while Shawn Colvin received a special ovation from a dazed Old Dirty Bastard. Colvin, who won Record of the Year honors for "Sunny Came Home," has recently been added to the lineup of the Old Settlers Music Festival in Round Rock, which is a mere two weeks after SXSW (April 3-4). I mention this because it will allow me to continue Dancing's policy of ragging on Colvin for not playing in Austin...

Could Austin become the Live Jazz Capital of the World? That's not likely to happen soon, but there is a curious influx of touring jazz acts coming to town in the near future. The Clarksville/West End Jazz & Arts Festival (which will soon be switching to a less unweildy name, thank God) is bringing two "pre-fest" fundraising shows to town, starting with the return of Roy Hargrove (Texas-born Grammy winner) on March 18 at the State Theatre (advance tickets are available now), followed by an April appearance by another trumpeter, Nicholas Payton. Add to that Dee Dee Bridgewater's visit to the Bates Recital Hall April 18 and jazz fans in Austin have more to dress up for than they've had in a while...

Impossible or just improbable? The Impossibles have a track on a new compilation from, er, a breath mint company. Yep, Mentos have included the Austin band's "Widowmaker" on their Fresh 1 CD (out now) to go along with the company's "Freshmakers Tour" of promising bands. Wait, I thought they broke up...

Elektra Records has sent out advance cassette of Spoon's major label debut, but notes that it still has no title. Whatsitsname will be on the racks April 28...

A mere three days later, the Bad Livers begin work on their next album for Sugar Hill, and it already has a name, Industry and Thrift...

"I'll be living at Emo's this weekend." So says former Big Boy Chris Gates, who's found himself appearing at that club on Friday with Choreboy and on Saturday with his new act 99 Pounds...

Steamroller rolled ahead of the competition at Steamboat last Friday to win the HORDE competition that will grant them a slot on the second stage for several dates on this summer's tour. The band also has a cut on KLBJ's upcoming Local Licks Live 1997 edition...

Monte Montgomery has a CD release party at Gruene Hall this Friday, if you feel like a little road trip...

Didn't have room to plug their in-store last week, but that doesn't mean I can't mention that the Young Losers have a new single out...

- 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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