Dancing About Architecture

Liaison d'Etre

That elusive position of Austin Music Liaison is open once again, thanks to the resignation of longtime scenester Gavin Lance Garcia. The former Chronicle and American-Statesman columnist credits his departure to the fact that he's getting married to former Statesman senior exec Donya Ginest in the spring, while admitting that the job simply wasn't what he had hoped it would be. The position was originally one of ombudsman for the music industry, but in recent years the Liaison's duties have changed somewhat under the aegis of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, which was awarded control of the post by the city. What duties are different? Hard to tell, since few in the local music community seem to know exactly what the Music Liaison actually does. "That's the problem," says Garcia, "the job [became] entirely based on marketing." Since his previous job had been Marketing Manager for Entertainment at the Statesman, Garcia gripes that, "I've been working marketing for six years now, and it's draining the lifeblood out of me!" As far as when he made the decision to split, Garcia muses that, "I think I ran into a brick wall during the talks between the Music Commission and the Austin Music Network. There was a great deal of political intrigue going on at that time." Garcia will continue to keep his position on the Music Commission, however, and adds that Assistant Music Liaison Lu Emmons will continue on in her position. "The good news is that the current Bureau director [Ric Luber] is a music-friendly guy." (Luber shot down the pathetic C.H.A.R.M. slogan and brought back the "Live Music Capital of the World" bumper stickers, which are much more fun to deface.) Luber says Garcia "did a great job for us" and that no one has been assigned to replace him. Instead, applications can be snapped up at the Austin Visitors Center at 201 E. Second Street.


Gimme Sahm More!

"Maybe Bob Dylan was right," chuckles Doug Sahm, "maybe we are a great rock & roll band." He's talking about the Sir Douglas Quintet, whose new album is doing well, but the whirlwind Sahm is already spinning off to deal with another group, the Texas Tornados. That supergroup plans to record a live album at two gigs here in Austin in mid-December and another in San Antonio, with special Tex-Mex guests expected to join in on the festivities. Sahm is not completely clear on who's putting the album out, but says it will likely be released in the spring on Frontera Records with distribution through Warner Bros. or EMI. Expect current and classic material on the live disc, says Sahm. "Freddy [Fender] is gonna force me to play "Woolly Bully" and "96 Tears" or he'll keep turning his guitar up."


The Way the Story Goes

As a footnote to the whole "Storyville is dead" story, Double TroubleakaChris Layton and Tommy Shannon have been distributing a release over the Internet that states the breakup was friendly and a group decision, as well as hinting at future plans for the duo. Says Layton in the missive: "No one person knows what they are going to do right now other than finish the business at hand. It's very likely that Tommy and myself will work together in some way. We've been working together in some form for 18 years. We are not, we repeat not, retiring from music or the music business. We are not thinking of staying off the road. In fact, it will be nice to figure a way to get back out and play music for the people who have supported us so greatly." Another bit of aftermath left over from the split is the dissolving of the Mark One empire. Actually, what's happening is that Storyville manager Mark Proct is selling his lovely office and taking a break from the biz for a couple of months. After that, he'll work out of his home, continuing his association with Jimmie Vaughan, and looking for the next hot act to represent.

And Mark One isn't the only local music-related endeavor undergoing changes, either. Jill McGuckin announces the forthcoming change of her publicity company's name from McGuckin Entertainment Group to McGuckin & Purcell -- as in new partner Cyndy Purcell. With Purcell's Hollywood background, M&P will be handling more film and television, but their first new project will be Pearls in the Snow, a Kinky Friedman & the Texas Jewboys tribute album featuring Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, Lyle Lovett, Tom Waits, and others. Finally, Dale Watson and manager Mike Crowley have parted company. Crowley describes the split as a mutual agreement, adding that for his part, "One thing I've learned as a manager is that when you don't feel you're able to effectively help an artist, you should step aside."


In One Ear

Did someone mention Mike Crowley? What about his star client Jimmie Dale Gilmore,who wobbled off the Continental Club stage Saturday night (where he was playing with, who else?, Dale Watson), not looking too good. Crowley says that while Gilmore may have appeared sobriety-challenged, he has in fact been suffering from an inner ear problem. The first three days of last week, says Crowley, Gilmore couldn't even get out of bed, and probably shouldn't have even played the gig. Unfortunately, Gilmore recently canceled some West Coast dates that weren't drawing and needed the local show to pay the bills. Doctors are unclear, but Gilmore's vertigo should hopefully be history by the end of the week, which should also coincide with news about J.D.G.'s recording future. Crowley says he's fairly sure a deal will be signed at that point, but isn't naming any names at this time, explaining, "If I'd given you a hint a month ago, I would've been wrong."


Mixed Notes

The male affliction known as "morning wood" is well known for its refusal to go away, but the end of Morningwood is imminent. Not many details were available at press time, but the local band has apparently decided to call it quits due to the demands of the members' personal and business commitments, which range from advertising to Web designing to tile-making to Kathy Zeigler's solo career. The band's New Year's gig at the Continental Club is their official last show, barring any sporadic reunion gigs the group may find worth their while...

On another sad note, the Horsies' last gig (for real this time, they say) is December 4 at the Electric Lounge...

To cheer you up, country music is finally returning to Emo's on Thursday with Don Walser& the Pure Texas Band, and Miss Xanna Don't...

If you thought you saw Eddie Vedder hanging around town early this week, you were right. Vedder's wife's band Hovercraft opened for Fugazi at Liberty Lunch on Sunday, and Vedder sightings are common at her gigs... Reckless Kelly will be releasing their new Acoustic Live at Stubb's CD with a two-night stand beginning tonight (Wednesday) at -- surprise! -- Stubb's. The band, which just returned from a month-long, 13-state tour, will play acoustic the first night, electric the second...

November 26 at the Hole in the Wall marks your final opportunity to purchase a copy of Amberjack Rice's single devoted to Thanksgiving. I'm not sure what he's planning to do with any leftover copies, but I guarantee you I won't be going to his house that night for dinner!...

Jerm Pollet has a new pal and a new project. He and Timothy "Speed" Levitch, star of the documentary The Cruise (see "Screens" story), have formed an improvisational music group called the Ongoing Wow, which is currently being featured at the Electric Lounge on Tuesdays (early). They also have two cassettes of their work available at Sound Exchange and Waterloo Records...

Since the new music and recording "superstore" Mars went to the trouble of Priority Mailing us several huge packages (despite the fact that they're located across the street from the Chronicle and could've just sent Paul Minor over), I'll throw in a plug for the fact that they are now open as of last weekend. The store, located in the Hancock Shopping Center and nicknamed the "Musician's Planet," looks to be a good place to find other musicians, including your own band members when they don't show up to rehearsal...

Not satisfied with conquering the music world, it looks like Fastball now fancies themselves superhero material. A song by the lads appears on the soundtrack to the new comic book/CD/Web site Hell City, Hell from Diablo Musica (http://www.hellcityhell.com). The disc also features Jesse Dayton as a member of their Hell City Hell Philharmonic...

Ex-Austinites Sixpence None the Richer have replaced Fastball as Texas-related chart-placers. Their song "Kiss Me" entered the Billboard Hot 100 this week at Number 90. VH-1 has also been airing two acoustic tracks from the band, and for those of you without cable, "Kiss Me" will soon be heard on the soundtrack of TV shows on NBC, CBS, Fox, and WB...

The big release date for KGSR's Broadcasts Vol. 6 is this Friday, and along with a version of "Kiss Me," the two-disc set includes cuts by everyone from Mary Lou Lord (with what we're assuming is Peter Blackstock's first-published songwriting credit) to the Elton John-less Farm Dogs. By the way, I can assure you that the special secret guest at KGSR's bash won't be Shawn Colvin, and it might be a tough call to guess who it is, since so many KGSR favorites (Chris Isaak, Lyle Lovett, Los Super Seven) will be in town the week of the event...

Among the tracks Jon Dee Graham has been recording for his upcoming New West release, expect one with Kacy Crowley and Trish Murphy backing him up. The latter, by the way, has returned from two months of touring and will be taking the Wednesday 9-midnight slot at La Zona Rosa throughout December...

Noted KOOP and KUT deejay and Million Sellers member Paul Kauppila is leaving town next week and moving to Jonesboro, Arkansas. Last chances to hear his voice as an Austinite are this Saturday from 10am-noon on KOOP and 7-10pm on KUT...

I'm told that the upcoming Sean Connery flick formerly titled Dancing About Architecture has wisely changed its name to Playing by Heart. Besides the fact that the latter is probably a better name for a music column than the former, hopefully this will put a stop to the increasing number of calls I've been getting about the origin of the phrase "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." The answer is, as ever, that no one has ever been able to positively identify its original source, and I for one have not the slightest interest in further research on the matter...

-- Countributors: 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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