Dancing About Architecture

In the Jailhouse Now

Historically speaking, prison and country musicians have had their share of encounters, but it was still a shock to many locals when it was reported that Johnny Rodriguez has been charged with murder. According to reports out of Sabinal, Texas Saturday night, Rodriguez shot and killed what he believed to be an intruder, though it was revealed that the dead man and Rodriguez knew each other. Accounts have it that Rodriguez had been across the street from his house when he heard a noise and returned home. There, Rodriguez encountered Israel Borrego, who was shot once and pronounced dead at the hospital. At press time, Rodriguez was being held on $250,000 bond.

On a lighter note, last Saturday was also the night the Hole in the Wall held a benefit to raise money for country-punker/ex-HickoidDick Hays, whose house burned after his pet iguana apparently knocked over a candle. All went well except for one thing: Hays, along with a van full of equipment belonging to his current band the Country Giants, never showed up. Sure enough, it was later found that Hays had made it within two blocks of the club before being pulled over and incarcerated for being in no condition to drive. And yep, the check that has been drafted to go toward his fire expenses had to be cashed to bail him out of the pokey. No word yet on when that benefit will be held.


Deluxe Edition

Despite being in a precarious state earlier this year, Sixteen Deluxe are alive and well and back from their latest touring stint, which included a spate of gigs with the Jesus and Mary Chain. The emphasis for the band now is on writing new songs and getting to work on a new album, which they hope to record the basics for at home. "You get a certain level of freakiness" in the 16D home studio, says Chris "Frenchie" Smith, the group's guitarist, adding that if the band does record basic tracks in this manner, they will then be taken for polishing at a larger studio. The talk of starting an album at the small board might be one reason why some people have been saying the band are planning to fly the coop from Warner Bros., but Smith nixes that thought. "It takes a lot of effort to go from one label to another," he explains, "so if you're on a good one, why not stick with it?" A good sentiment, especially after the label stuck with the band through one member's unfortunately timed rehab stint, which coincided with their debut's release earlier this year. Other talk claims that the band will self-produce their next disc rather than having John Croslin helm it. To that, Smith replies, "There's something to be said for bands that can [produce their own albums], but I don't know if that's us. It's always good to have someone to blame." Smith is, however, not averse to putting others' potential blame on his shoulders; currently he's been producing an album by Kathy Zeigler of Morningwood, as well as material by I Met the Devil, former Bunny Stockhausen members, and others. Meanwhile, performance-wise, Sixteen Deluxe will play Emo's this Friday.


Battle of the Music Network Stars

Well, it looks like this is it – finally – the big decision on what is to become of the Austin Music Network. A number of Music Commission meetings have gone on this week in the hopes of coming up with an alternate option besides the oft-discussed privatization of the Network. "If we can make something make sense on paper in 24 hours, that's how long we have," said the Commission's Bob Livingston on Tuesday. The matter, barring any further protests, complaints, or other slowdowns, will go before the City Council today (Thursday). For complete coverage, turn to Politics and this issue's "Council Watch."


Mixed Notes

Everyone's been asking about that Devo/Beck show that's coming to town, and I'm afraid we'll all have to wait until at least next week before we get the full story, but here's the scoop for now: Radio and Internet reports have been claiming that Beck has left the mini-tour, either because of the high ticket prices or because he had understood that the affairs were to be private charitable events. His management at press time was enforcing a strong "no comment" policy, however, with hints that the gag will be off shortly. A rep for Devo's Mutato Musika now says that there are no tickets, only "corporate invitations," and that's how they had always understood the arrangement, though Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh previously told this column he wasn't sure about the matter and the web site devoted to the events (http://www.siliconplanet.com) indicated that admission was to be available through a major ticket chain. Currently the site no longer lists performers, only places and dates, and states that "ordering information" is forthcoming. I wouldn't get that radiation suit out of the mothballs just yet...

The good news is that the Damnations seem to have wised up and ditched the idea of calling themselves the "Black Mollies" or whatever it was. The bad news is that last time I heard, their attempts to reach the metal band Damnation, in hopes of coming to some sort of agreement over their similar names, were getting nowhere fast. Rob Bernard, who has been trying to reach the similarly named band, says that all numbers he's found have been dead ends and there's no evidence that the band has played since June. Hmmm. Perhaps the problem will turn out to have solved itself, and as far as Fastball dumping the name Magneto USA to avoid confusion with Mexico's Menudo knockoff of the same name, I'm told that "The Way" is now getting airplay South of the Border, so it looks like there's another problem that was solved before it started...

USA Today reported this week that Fastball's All the Pain Money Can Buy is also in the Top Three on Hanson's tour bus...

If you haven't managed to find Under the Sun at its new South Congress location (by the Continental Club), add k.d. lang to a list that also includes Lucinda Williams and the
B-52s as people who have; she bought a Western shirt there. Don't go looking for Stashus Mule Records anywhere, though. That store closed up this week, with no plans to relocate...

Waterloo Brewing Company, after some dabbling, has leapt into the live music thing, with free shows every Saturday on the roof,
10-midnight. This week's performance is by Mike Rosenthal...

"I'm going to start playing music again – and if anyone writes anything bad about it, I'm gonna break their teeth and kick their fingers in." So reads a hastily scrawled press release from former Sincola member Greg Wilson. I must admit, I'm not sure whether he's serious about returning to music, or whether he's just mad that we didn't print his letter during the big A.J. Vallejo flap...

Where's that new Stretford album we've been promised? Well, a brief chat with Carl Normal reveals that it'll come out on the Austin label Framed! (see feature), and a prompt e-mail from said label reveals further that "the 7-inch VICE EP should be coming out in about 3-4 weeks ...

[while the] CD is still getting some cosmetic changes to it, and should be following shortly"...

On a vaguely related front, the Wannabes' next one doesn't seem to be any closer to release than the last time anyone asked...

If you've been hearing the duet between Radney Foster and Abra Moore on the radio, don't hold your breath as far as getting the album. Arista Austin (currently based in Nashville) says that Foster's album has been delayed until January "for no other reason than our promotions guy got hired back into radio." While they work at getting their staff straightened out, Arista says Moore's schedule will not be affected; she'll be off to do some writing in a couple of weeks, and is meeting with a number of producers including Daniel Lanois. Look for a single in February and an album in March, says the label...

The Kiss Offs have returned from a five-week coast-to-coast odyssey, and will be playing a "Welcome Home" show this Saturday at the Hole in the Wall with the Shindigs and Hug. Kisser Travis Higdon reports that, "The worst [show] was Boise, Idaho, when I was electrocuted by the ungrounded PA and was very nearly killed. When I grabbed the mike to introduce the band, I felt the sudden surge, all my muscles contracted (tightening my grip on the mike), and I collapsed on the ground until my bandmates came to the rescue. It was pretty terrifying." The Kiss Offs are finishing up mixing for their album this month, as are Peek-A-Boo Records labelmates Silver Scooter (again, see feature)...

The Hot Club of Cowtown's new Swingin' Stampede CD is out now. They'll be playing release parties at the Continental Club Friday and Threadgill's World Headquarters Saturday...

Given the success of ST-37's musical interpretation of Metropolis at the Alamo Drafthouse (see "Live Shots"), look for more silents with live musical accompaniment there in the future. Among the teamings in the works are Brown Whornet and Nosferatu around Hallowe'en, naturally, and Battleship Potemkin with Golden Arm Trio...

A local ex-Dallasite insists that it's worth the space to let the rest of you know that the owners of Q102 there have fired the station's entire on-air staff, including Redbeard. No plans have been announced for the station's future. Oh, and to the person who swears they hear 101X's DJ L.A. Lloyd "moonlighting" elsewhere in the state, don't worry. It's not a conspiracy, he's just doing some freelancing for CapStar...

Eric Taylor (today, 5pm) and Monroe Mustang (Friday, 5:30pm) play in-stores at Waterloo Records this week...

Salutations to the Convention and Visitors' Bureau for coming up with an effective and inexpensive way to improve and beautify Sixth Street – just take anything offensive or ugly and airbrush it out of all photos taken of the district. An excellent example is the cover of a brochure issued by the Bureau that features a coupon for a free Austin City Limits CD and photos of "A city built to endure six governments, three wars, and a lot of rock 'n' roll." If you can't tell what's wrong with this picture, suffice it to say that if Bill Hicks or Sam Kinison were still around they'd be quick to tell you that the Midnight Cowboy is anything but a barbecue restaurant – though when they went there, I'm sure they got good 'n greasy!...

– Contributors: Raoul Hernandez, Andy Langer

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More Dancing About Architecture
Dancing About Architecture
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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