Dancing About Architecture

We Control the Horizontal, We Control the Southwest:

This is your final reminder: the postmarked deadline for an application to showcase at this year's South by Southwest Music Festival is Monday, November 16, with the following day, Tuesday, 6pm-midnight at Ruby's Barbecue, being your final final chance to hand it over to the SXSW brass in person. See the application form on p.63 or check in at http://www.sxsw.com for further instructions. You have been warned. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

End of Story

It's not the worst way for a band to end, especially in the case of rhythm section Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon, but it is an end nonetheless, and fans of Storyville will be disapointed to learn that the immensely popular Austin band has decided to call it quits. Manager Mark Proct says the decision to break up can be chalked up to the standard "artistic differences," adding quickly that, "There was never fighting in the band, either onstage or among themselves, like Oasis or the Black Crowes. These are five guys at different places in their lives, from their ages to career to family to objectives to finances, not five guys in their 20s living in some house together." According to Proct, several members of the 'ville realized that the directions the band was taking didn't necessarily fit their individual visions, and so it came time to dissolve the group. As for future plans, Proct says that since the band members were committed 100% to Storyville, it's not likely that you'll see any of them launching into new bands right away. More likely, it'll be early next year before the various members settle into new groups or solo projects. For now, fans had better set aside some time to catch the group in their final four performances (least-ways until the inevitable reunion show), at Dessau Hall this Friday, Antone's on Saturday and November 28, and New Year's Eve back at Dessau.

This LaFave Is Your LaFave

Move over Billy Bragg and Wilco! Recent conversations between Jimmy LaFave and Nora Guthrie have revealed that the daughter of Woody Guthrie is interested in continuing the procedure of having current artists work with the treasure trove of lyrics by her late, legendary father. Further, the younger Guthrie is eager to give the follow-up to Mermaid Avenue a definite Southwestern flavor. "She's had it in mind since the Billy thing," says LaFave, "but it's just in the beginning stages -- we wouldn't want to rush it." LaFave says it'll most likely be sometime next year before the ball really gets rolling, but that names of some people who could potentially be involved are already being bandied about. Guthrie knows Ray Wylie Hubbard, for instance, and has recently conversed with Joe Ely, and those two, along with others of similar caliber like Butch Hancock would be likely to get a crack at working with Woody's words. LaFave, who has become close to the Guthrie family over the last few years and who has played at festivals with Arlo Guthrie, says he has other work to get done in the meantime. Look for a 30-song live CD of bootleg material, board tapes, and radio shows, featuring "a lotta Dylan covers," from LaFave on the next couple of weeks.

Take a Letter to Laura

Take four letters -- A.C.L.U. -- and bring them up with Miss Laura, former proprietor of the Blue Flamingo aka the Blue Flame, and you'll be making her happy. Miss Laura's poor health has precluded her from opening a new venue since old Blue went under, but she's proudly continuing her annual tradition of having a punk rock birthday show whose proceeds go towards her favorite charity, the American Civil Liberties Union. This year's festivities fall on Saturday at the Bates Motel, with scheduled performances by the Pocket FishRmen, Stretford, Chumps, Bulemics, and a reunion of the original lineup of the Fuckemos. The party also doubles as a CD release for The Fuckemos Can Kill You on Frank Kozik's Man's Ruin label, launching a fresh frenzy of Fuckemos activity, since the band will be releasing another disc, Black Helicopters, on the San Francisco-based label December 6, then begin recording a new album in January. For her part, Miss Laura has been avoiding that type of stress due to heart problems, and doesn't expect to open a new club anytime soon. Her health has been improving, she says, though she confesses that she's upset at her doctor for "saying bad words to me -- like 'Lose weight!'" She advises that the Flame may yet rise again -- in a Catholic sense, no less! Expect further news on the venue, to be renamed the Purgatory Lounge, in upcoming weeks.

Mixed Notes

It's a bad luck trail that the members of Austin's ...

And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead have been following of late. Around Hallowe'en, in New Orleans for a gig, the band returned to where they had parked their van only to find no vehicle, no equipment, no nothing! It wasn't a rental, either; friends of the band say they had just bought the thing outright. The theft put the kibosh on much of their additional touring plans, but the resourceful quartet managed to assemble enough gear to make it to their CMJ showcase last week by borrowing from friends...

Speaking of getting a little help from your friends, Jon Dee Graham plans on doing just that when he begins work on his second album...

A meeting between Lucinda Williams and director/screenwriter Paul Schrader regarding a music video for her song "Right On Time" has, perhaps unsurprisingly, produced no results. The problem wasn't due to Williams' well-known perfectionism, though; insiders say that his vision just didn't mesh with what the song is about. As far as celebrity sightings at Lucinda's shows, Stephen King (who witnesses say was not carrying Biscuit's baby) was seen backstage at a show in New York, furiously trying to tame a bad case of "hat hair" as paparazzi snapped away...

Look for more reading material to add to your Janis Joplin library as author Alice Echols has just completed a new bio on the Pearl herself. That tome, which a publicist says features much detail about Joplin's involvement in the "crazy movements of the Sixties," is due on bookstore shelves in March, with a possible SXSW appearance by the author to follow...

Been liking what you hear at Central Market lately? I'm told that the reason is largely because former Emo's doorman Lonesome Dave Fisher is in charge of booking live music there these days. Don't expect to find Guitar Wolf and Squat Thrust among the produce just yet, though...

What hath TheJesus Lizard wrought? I warned you that the lawsuit against them and Liberty Lunch (filed after singer David Yow allegedly threw a can of beer and hit a girl in the eye) could set some serious precedents. Sure enough, even though the band was aquitted on all charges in the case, we're seeing fallout -- or more precisely, a lack of it. At last week's Southern Culture on the Skids Lunch gig, the band eschewed their usual habit of throwing fried chicken to the audience, suggesting instead that those who were feeling peckish approach the stage and pluck their own drumsticks out of the bucket. And yes, it was on purpose; the Skids punctuated their stage patter with references to the licentious Lizards...

The less skittish Joe Lifto, best known for hoisting heavy iron weights using a hook in his pierced schlong, finally makes his appearance on the Guinness Book of World Records TV show this coming Tuesday night. Those of you cool enough to know the name of Mr. Lifto's favorite Sixth Street bar may want to join him for a celebratory get-together there during the broadcast -- it should be a real pick-me-up!...

th' Mezz have an in-store this Saturday at Tower Records, 2pm, for their Live Under Sunny Skies with a release party Sunday, 6pm at Jovita's...

Brian Mullin has a new CD out, After All These Years. I don't know of a particular release party, but he plays Tuesdays at Saradora's in Round Rock... KGSR Broadcasts Vol. 6, the latest in the radio station's ever-popular series of CDs, is set for release the Friday after Thanksgiving. A busy Jody Denberg reveals that the artists on the new volume include Lyle Lovett covering Townes Van Zandt, Shawn Colvin covering Paul Westerberg (both previously unreleased), Dr. John, Jimmie Vaughan, Neil Finn, Derailers, Spearhead, Sixpence None the Richer, Robert Earl Keen, Jon Dee Graham, and Storyville (R.I.P.), among others on the 2-disc set. Proceeds go to the SIMS Foundation, and Denberg says that with 12,000 copies being pressed, he's hoping that copies will still be available through the end of the holidays, unlike last year...

Bill Hicks fans take note that Chris Blackwell's label/studio Palm Pictures has taken over Rykodisc. The significance there is that Blackwell worked closely with Hicks producer Kevin Booth's old band Year Zero back in their major label album days. Early talk already seems to be leaning toward a three-album contract for more unreleased Hicks material. Further down the road, prognosticators may want to keep an eye on Kacy Crowley's career; Blackwell had previously battled fiercely with Atlantic Records' Ahmet Etregun over the young songstress, and now that Atlantic has failed to conjure up any magic for Crowley, perhaps Ryko will take a stab at the matter. No word about what this might mean for Kelly Willis, who is expected to release an album on the high-profile indie in the spring...

Hanson hasn't been spotted in Austin lately, as far as I can tell (maybe I'm not looking in the right arcades), but it's a local company, Studio Tech Supply, that got the call to build the young trio's studio in Tulsa. I'm sure it's a highly customized job, since a couple of those kids aren't even tall enough to reach a normal board...

The First Austin Oyster Festival is free this Saturday down on Sixth Street. Schrodinger's Cat, Two O'Clock Courage, Poor Man's Fortune, MC Overlord, Killer Bees, and David Garza provide the live entertainment starting at 2pm, and there's probably no truth to the rumor that all bands have to play at least one B.O.C. cover...

If you're bigoted against bivalves or just feel more like splitting the city limits this weekend, a 12-hour benefit concert has been scheduled for this Sunday in New Braunfels to generate proceeds to help Central Texas flood victims. The event gets underway at noon at Landa Station near downtown at 381 Landa St. with Ken Schaffer's Safety in Numbers songwriters showcase accounting for seven of the 12 hours projected. No fixed admission price has been set, but donations will be accepted at the door...

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

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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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