Dancing About Architecture

This Is the Week That Is

Calm down! Calm down! I know you're saying screw everything else, all you really want to know is wassup with the Tom Waits show at the Paramount. Well, unfortunately, after considering all the possible options of determining who will get into the 1,300-seat venue (trivia contest, raffle, chain-smoking competition), there's still no immediate action you can take to ensure yourself a seat as of press time. Here's the deal. If you want to buy a ticket ($40 plus service charge), or if you have a wristband and want to obtain a free ticket, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to tune into KLBJ (93.7FM) or KGSR (107.1FM) at 10am Saturday morning to find out where to go to get your crack at one of a very limited number of tickets -- around 200. The rules are thus: One ticket will be assigned per person with no exceptions, they are not transferable, and they will be issued randomly. In other words, getting there early doesn't assure you a better seat. Oh, and to avoid scalping, if word leaks out early as to where the ticket outlet is going to be and people start camping out there, said location will be changed. Okay, guys, you're on your own from here on in!

Of course, badgeholders will get their own set of super-secret instructions (which should be generously posted around the convention center by the time you read this), but remember, even with a badge it won't be a cakewalk getting into this Waits thing, so if you don't make that show, grit your teeth and enjoy everything else going on. Think, for instance, of the private parties your badge might make you privy to, like the one with Sean Lennon and Cibo Matto at Lucky's with David Byrne DJing, or the one at Club Deville with Robbie Williams, or the one at the Driskill with PJ Olsson, or, well, that's enough hints to get those of you who are true schmooze operators on the ball and on the streets. Of course, you never know who you might run into on those streets, what with the whole of the music industry in town. If you're a musician, you might want to keep your eyes open for some of the most notable music critics of modern times. Robert Christgau, Dave Marsh, Greil Marcus,Crawdaddy's Paul Williams, and Ed Ward among others will be speaking of music on various panels at the conference, undoubtedly behind bulletproof vinyl, since there are no doubt gonna be a few people in the crowd who've received a less-than-glorious review from one or more of the above. Marcus will also be on public display as a speaker at the Rock & Roll Museum exhibit at the Austin Museum of Art tonight (Thursday) at 7pm.

I haven't yet checked out the intersection of Sixth and Lamar this week, so I haven't seen how the traffic is jamming up or if they've put up the Stevie Ray Vaughan billboard that's going there (touting the re-release of his entire catalog next week), nor have I seen the roof of the GSD&M building, but I'm assuming it survived last week's film and music activities and is still ready to host the A Day in the Life CD compilation release this Friday from 4-8pm (see "Bonus Tracks" in the SXSW music pull-out). Morningwood are reuniting for the occasion, which also features Govinda, Wan Santo Condo, Color, and others. Obviously, this is quite a week in the life of Austin -- there's no doubt of that -- so I'm continuing the thankless, impossible task I took on last week: chronicling as many of the extraneous SXSW-related and unrelated bowls of musical soup currently being served around town. Here's all the ones that fit: Cash America, aka the remnants of Crust, play Fringeware on Saturday afternoon at 1pm. Also those of you who have walked a mile in the boots of Dirty Sanchez will want to head to Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar at 10pm Thursday to see a certain popular twangy outfit perform a "secret" set. Those darlin' gals in L7, having finished with their film (The Beauty Process, Friday, Dobie, noon) and music (Friday, Stubb's, 11pm) will have an open "Coffee Clutch" for their fans on Saturday, 11am-1pm at the 503 Coffee House (519 W. Oltorf). They've got Krist Novaselic and Exene Cervenka with them and will be playing the next day in San Antonio with Marylin Manson, Hole, and Monster Magnet, so who knows who might show for a cup o' joe? Wonder what Donita Sparks looks like in bunny slippers? If you're the early-bird type, there's the free pancake breakfast going on at the Continental Club on Saturday beginning at 10am. Performing will be Mojo Nixon, who just got added as an official SXSW showcaser (Saturday, Continental Club, 1am), Jon Dee Graham, Homer Henderson, T. Tex Edwards, Fred Eaglesmith,and more, very few of which I can imagine wanting to look at that early in the morning. Actually, if you can't get a free meal on Saturday, you should just sew your mouth shut; at 1am at the Austin Rehearsal Complex there's also Jeff Black's breakfast hootenanny, with a Friends of Dean Martinez listening party and music from Black, Amy Rigby, and John Carter Cash. That's merely one of the many musical events going on at the ARC (which also looks to be relocating soon), and Black will also join Kinky Friedman, Robbie Fulks and others for the Western Beat Roots Revival all afternoon at the Broken Spoke on Friday. Borders Books is geared up for guests this week, with Curiously Strong's release party at 8pm Thursday, Friday brings Al Kooper (7pm), Troy Campbell (8pm), and Sarturday there's the Red Dirt Rangers (11:30am), the Surfin' Senorita CD release from 1-4pm, and Judith Miller (8pm).The Tibetan Association's South by South of the Sun continues at the Laughing at the Sun Gallery, with music on two stages all afternoon and evening on Saturday and Sunday. Performers include Will Taylor String Quartet, Ponty Bone, Shawn Phillips, Danny Click, Butch Hancock, and let's see, 17 more. Don't forget South by San Jose, either, at the San Jose Hotel (1316 S. Congress), on Saturday from 1pm to whenever, with Gerry Van King, Casserole (Tina of the B-Side Movement meets a former Two Nice Girl), Morningwood, Tosca, and Mrs. Fun. The Golden Arm Triofilm project,in which local filmmakers interpreted each of the songs on the avant-garde jazz trio's debut, is having a second showing at the Alamo Drafthouse Theatre this Sunday at 5pm. If you're sick in bed or recovering from an accident involving a sword, a pitchfork, and a melon (get well soon, Katzen) you can always keep up with via TV and radio. The local newscasts got started on SXSW early this year and continue to cover it, while the new, privatized Austin Music Network will be showcasing acts throughout the week (On the news front, AMN, in need of financial resources, is currently looking at money that's been allocated for the Texas Music Museum). As far as radio, my guess is that any station in town that isn't run by satellite will be covering SXSW (check KUT, KLBJ, etc), but specifically, KGSR is featuring loads of big-name musical guests live on the air: Thursday, listen for Joe Henry (3pm), Beth Orton (4pm), Lucinda Williams (4:30pm), Willie Nelson/Leon Russell (3pm) [tix are available for their Austin City Limits soiree on Thursday; listen to KGSR for details); Friday, it's Guy Clark (3:30pm), Houndog (4pm), Cibo Matto (6pm); Saturday tune in for Cesar Rosas at 7pm. KVRX (91.7FM) has bands airing live at 8pm, midnight, and 3am through Friday. Actually, even if you're sipping tea in Colonpool, England (home of the Dung Beatles) and reading this on our Web site, you may be hearing a bit of Austin on the airwaves, as a crew from Smooth Operations, who produce radio programs for BBC2 Radio in Jolly Olde, will be down during SXSW to conduct a series of half-hour interviews with a number of area country/ folk/roots types (from Willie to Lucinda and beyond) for use in a two-hour special on the "Best of Texas Music" and in other future programming. Bob Harris of the Old Grey Whistle Test and a quartet of fellow Brits will also be out and about taking in the local color, or should that be "colour"? KVRX is also presenting South by So What? at the Off Center (Seventh and Hidalgo) through Saturday with acts including Brown Whornet, Zulu as Kono, Sangre de Toro, Palaxy Tracks, etc. In fact, that's only one of at least four different non-SXSW events with the same name; other South by So What?s are at the Purgatory (Chumps, Secret Lovers, et al), Thursday and Friday at the New World Deli (Steve Brooks, Nonchalants, and more), and on Thursday night (tonight) at the Carousel Lounge (Git Gone, Walt Lewis, and like that). At that last one, they'll even be raffling off a few real SXSW wristbands! Check our music listings for the complete details, not to mention the most comprehensive overall listing of non-SXSW events we could muster -- and we're veritably plastered with muster -- with special coverage on the plethora of in-stores, and day parties covered on the "Music Listings" page!

Finally, don't forget that the Chronicle's coverage doesn't stop with the printed page; through the magic of the Internet, we'll be keeping you up to the minute on all things SXSW through reports on our Web site.

Mixed Notes

For the benefit of all you out-of-towners who haven't heard, this SXSW is quite possibly the last time you'll find yourself inside the venerable Austin landmark/music venue Liberty Lunch, as the city has plans to raze the property as part of a new "vision" for downtown, sending the denizens of the Lunch in search of a new home. Obviously, some of you are aware of this, as visiting Elliott Smith was already pleading for its reprieve at his show there last Wednesday. And the next night, between sets by Versus and Sleater-Kinney, a small posse of disgruntled Liberty-arians got worked up enough to leave the venue en masse and rush across the street to the City Council meeting regarding the matter. Led by a Chronicle staffer, the group stormed the dais, took the microphone and held court for about a minute, calling their interruption a "political action." Upon their departure, however, the council returned to the business at hand as though nothing had happened... Blondie's Skateshop, they of one of the biggest stages in town (and where the music is always free) will be moving from Rio Grande and Fifth up to MLK (between Lavaca and Guadalupe) in April, as their rent has skyrocketed since Sandra Bullock started inviting all her rich friends to move to Austin. Since the new place will be too small for a stage and music, this weekend marks the last time Blondie's will have its shows, with SXSW-related out-of-town bands on Friday, and Austin bands on Saturday, including Migas, DIsmukes, Mittens, Ten Percenter, and Glowforce...

-- Contributors: 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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