Dancing About Architecture

The Party Never Stops!

No, that's not a Shoulders reference, but don't worry, we'll get to that soon enough. First off, I wanted to point out the effort I go through every week for you people; the incredible adventures I have to turn down to grind out this regular dose of exciting news that you plan your week around. Get this: As I sit here typing, I'm staring down at an invitation that I won't get a chance to use. It's an invitation for a party that's going on at this very moment in honor of the Grand Opening of the 100,000th room in the Super 8 economy lodging chain (preferred by independent film producers the world over). Not only am I getting freezed out of the free food and drinks, I'm blowing my chance at the door prize: a gratis weekend getaway to that well-known "Live Music Capital of the World," Branson, Missouri. Gone are my chances to wipe fried chicken grease off the beaming maw of Kenny Rogers; lost is my opportunity to peek in the double-wide and check out the sexual antics of Tony Orlando at dawn; and forever dashed is my hope to meet up with my friends who were heading to Branson for the annual Keanu Reeves birthday bash.

Ah well, I suppose I'll have to make do with the action here in Austin. After all, though there's about 15 minutes after South by Southwest when things seem quiet, the realization kicks in almost immediately after that hey, the weather is turning nice, people are getting out of their homes, and there are more festivals coming down the pike than you can shake a Roasters' drumstick at. A mere 10 minutes north of town in Round Rock, this is the big weekend of the year with the Old Settlers Music Festival taking place - hopefully under a sunny sky. Last year's Fest was severely hampered by flooding, you may recall, but the city of Round Rock (in what to me was a shocker) put their weight behind keeping the fest alive (or above water, if you will) this year. There's two days and two stages; Friday starts with Sarah Elizabeth Campbell on the main stage and High Standard on the Bistro stage, both at 5:30pm, and ends with Shawn Colvin on the main stage at 10:30pm. Saturday kicks off with Jimmy LaFave on the main stage at noon and closes with Rosanne Cash on the same stage at 10pm. In-between, you can see folks like the Fairfield Four, Rick Danko, the Derailers, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Check our club listings (or see "Recommended") for more info, or just call 512/469-SHOW for tickets. If Tyler's your town, check out their Texas Blues Festival this Saturday from noon to midnight, with Omar & the Howlers, Kenny Neal, Guy Forsyth, and Corey Stevens. Ticketmaster can set you up for $10 a pop. Finally, El Flaco says they're playing the North by Northgate music fest in College Station. I don't know anything else about this, but I think I hear the SXSW people down the street yelling, "Call our lawyers!"

Moving back into town, "The one and only Bob Marley Festival" are words to bring a tear of joy to any journalist's eye. After years of confusion, the two groups that were putting on "the official" Marley fests have gotten together for one love, not two, this Saturday and Sunday at Auditorium Shores. You know the drill by now; bring at least two canned goods for the Capital Area Food Bank and you get in free. The music runs from noon to 11pm Saturday, and noon to 10pm Sunday, with your favorite reggae acts filling the air with music (special note goes to Saturday's closer, Paris rasta band Kreyol Syndikat, who raised a few eyebrows at SXSW). For further "dos and don'ts" call 339-3229. Another act returning to Austin with hardly a break after SXSW is New York's Grand Mal, featuring former Sixteen Deluxe drummer Bryan Bowden (anything bad you heard about Bowden last week, he says, was a frame-up, and I agree that all evidence of anti-social activity points to his pal from Mercury Rev). Grand Mal, which means "to vomit profusely," if I remember my French, will be playing the ESPN X Games this weekend on Sixth Street at noon Saturday, followed by Giant Steps at 2pm, and the Hunger at 4:30pm. Sunday, Giant Steps return to the stage at noon, with Course of Empire following at 2pm and Trinket at 5pm. This is an all-ages, free show, kids!

You think that's enough entertainment? The weekend isn't finished by a long shot. The East First Garden Theatre opens Saturday with their First Annual Blues weekend, featuring James Cotton, Long John Hunter, Lou Ann Barton, Steve James, and John Peyton, continuing on Sunday with Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers, Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets, Matthew Robinson & the Texas Blues Band, Steve James, and John Peyton. Tix are at Star Tickets (see above and again, "Recommended") and Under the Sun. Finally, on Sunday you can drop by the Swap & Bop, 11-6pm, at the Waterloo Brewing Company for a combination concert/flea market featuring the Jive Bombers, Herman the German, Meat Purveyors, Hot Wax, Miss Xanna Don't, and the Shakewells.

Crossing the Line

The Scabs found themselves censored recently when they attempted to release a live CD in time for SXSW. The printer who was processing the artwork brought things to a screeching halt when he got a gander at some of the song titles on the album, notably "I Fucked Your Daughter In the Ass, Boy." The band reports that said printer (whom they think was based in Round Rock) destroyed the plates for the CD's packaging, and eight subsequent printers turned down the project before an out-of-state company took it on. Bob Schneider says he can't understand why the band had so many problems when there are other bands with worse lyrics and song titles. "Well, not worse," he admits, "but the same." Schneider confesses that having the disc appear while representatives for Capricorn Records (the label of the Scabs' sister act Ugly Americans) were in town for SXSW might not have been a good idea. In the long run, Schneider say he doesn't think the record moguls will be upset about the Scabs' CD, since it's only intended for sale at the band's live shows and will not be available in stores. "We're kinda using it to enhance our merchandise selection," he says. "You, know, so we have more prostitute money."

The Hunter Gets Captured By the Game

There were a lot of people betting - literally - that local bassist Hunter Darby's relocation to Baltimore, Maryland wouldn't last. They were right - to such an the extent, in fact, that no one got the "spread" on the official Dog & Duck Pub betting board. After announcing that he was leaving Austin and about a half-dozen bands therein (Wannabes, Shoulders, Doe Nuts, Diamond Smugglers, etc.), Darby loaded up his things and headed for the John Waters state last Tuesday to join his girlfriend and begin a career in the visual arts. Despite his absence, Shoulders decided they would try one final goodbye show that Thursday at the Continental Club. By the time they took the stage, he was back. "I put 14 days myself," moans Darby of the betting pool, the winning of which could've helped defray the cost of moving his belongings back to Texas. He seems glad to be back, however, indicating that the upcoming Wannabes album needs more songs and he'd also like to record with Shoulders. The future of the latter remains questionable, though. From the stage last Thursday, one founding member was reportedly heard to quip, "I guess this means we're not breaking up," to which keyboardist John Ratliff quickly replied, "Oh, yes we are!"

Mixed Notes

"If there is a rock `n' roll heaven, Sheila [Rene, aka San Fransisco's "Metal Mama"] has already scored backstage passes and a front row seat." So eulogises a friend of Rene's about the writer/scenster who relocated to Austin a few years ago and passed away last week. Memorial donations, I am told, should be sent to: Tambre Bryant, 1409-A Camp Craft Rd., Austin, TX 78746. All gifts will be forwarded to Sheila's mother Doris Nelms...

Another name for the heavenly guest-list is Conjunto Hall of Fame accordionist Camilo Cantu, who passed away March 3...

Waterloo Records must have pulled the right strings with the industry folks, as they have a couple of exclusive specials going on right now. If you buy Abra Moore's album at the 'loo, for instance, you'll get a free 5-song live EP as part of the bargain; it was partially recorded in Spain, but don't expect any flamenco. (I bet Moore was wearing a sombrero when she sang, though; Abra does love hats). Another Watershed special is that when you buy Davíd Garza's album (out on Tuesday), you get a pair of passes to a private Stubb's show next Friday. Dah, by the way, has been offered two weeks of as yet unspecified dates on the H.O.R.D.E. tour this summer, and for more Garza info, you may have noticed we have a nice long feature on the lad this week...

Here's a new option for the future of the Austin Music Network: sell it to Jonathan Demme. He hasn't made an offer or anything as of yet, but the Academy Award-winning film director (his newest is the Robyn Hitchcock concert flick, Storefront Hitchcock) was seen ogling AMN's truck and equipment for an awful long time at the Austin Music Awards...

A brief but important note: HR 2589, the Copyright Extension Act, has passed in the House of Representatives and is headed for the Senate. This is the bill that, among other things, would exempt most commercial establishments from paying licensing fees for the public performance of recorded music...

Capitol Records has sent us the official press release regarding their signing of former local Don Piper of Balloonatic fame. His current New York adventure, A Don Piper Situation, has completed work on a debut for that label, although no release date has been announced...

Speaking of Capitol projects (you've already guessed this one, haven't you?), the label says that the Butthole Surfers' next album has been delayed yet again and undergone another title change. Now titled The Last Astronaut, the album's release date is been downgraded to "a question mark," according to Capitol reps, and the label has been phoning publications around the country requesting that they not run any reviews of the Buttholes' excursion into trip-hop until the date has been cemented...

The great, big, whopping Music Industry Directory for 1998 has arrived from the Texas Music Office. It weighs in around 450 pages this year and features contact numbers and information on music-related businesses from A Hard Pawnshop Daddy Production in Austin to Zelda's Louisiana Diner in Houston. You can get your copy with a $20 check or money order sent to the TMO: PO Box 13246, Austin, TX 78711, or you can call 512/463-6666, fax 463-4114, e-mail music@ governor.state.tx.us, or visit http://www.governor.state.tx. us/music. Or maybe you can even catch Casey Monahan out enjoying some live music and see if he has a spare one in his trunk...

The fire department's presence at the Iron Cactus last Friday wasn't due to overcrowding in the club, by the way. Nope, they actually had a fire. Little damage was done, however, and the Iron Cactus should be in full operation before you read this... Del Dragons are hitting the road for two months and they'll be having a send-off party at Liberty Lunch on Friday with Seed, Superego, and Receiver Set (featuring Billy Maddox from Eric Johnson's Alien Love Child)...

50 Mission Crush have a CD release this Friday at the Electric Lounge. The band also hints that they received label interest at their Lucy's show during SXSW...

Amberjack Rice and the Fence Sitters play in-store at ABCDs today (Thursday) at 8pm. Any bets they'll end up forming a supergroup afterwards?...

Blockbuster Music on Burnet is having a listening party for jazz/blues labels Mapleshade and Wildchild this Saturday from 1-4pm, and speaking of rekkid stores, check out the new Cheapo Discs in the old Whole Foods building at 9th and Lamar, and the promo-only CD shop "Rolling Pin" (named after the until recently promo-only Replacements song) inside Duval Discs...

Speaking of: Jerry Jeff Walker's new single on Rykodisc is an odd one - a promo-only CD of his "Keep Texas Beautiful" theme for the Department of Transportation. The song is already available on ¡Viva Luckenbach!, but the disc looks awful purty hanging from your rearview mirror...

Oops: Last week's reference to The Texas Observer's George Bush/Leadbelly story neglected to note that the alleged occurence was that magazine's idea of a practical joke. I should have caught that, since the magazine arrived in early March, and was clearly dated "March 27," which we all know is the date All Fool's Day is celebrated on the island of Nauru and certain disctricts within Gaban, Africa (Hi, King Bongo!)

- 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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