Dancing About Architecture
NXNW news; speak of the devil and Chris Gates shall appear.
North and South
Don't look for the Barbers, Bedbugs, Jean Caffeine, Experimental Aircraft, or Kathy Ziegler around town this weekend. Actually, some of 'em could be back by the time you read this, but at press time, they were all preparing for the trip to Portland, Oregon, to appear at South by Southwest's sister music and new media festival, North by Northwest. (Rumor has it that Zeigler may be looking for a new home while she's up there.) Those locals join some 310 other acts, from former Austinite Danny Barnes to San Diego's Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash in strutting their stuff September 20-23. Former Modern Lover and Talking Head Jerry Harrison is the keynote speaker, and his speech today (Thursday) at 2pm our time, as well as the Day Stage showcases throughout the Fest, are set to be webcast live. At press time, no further information was available about how to check out those Internet performances, but those few folks still remaining at the SXSW office here in town say that the NXNW crew has been working furiously to get the link set up in time, so check www.nxnw.com Thursday morning. Believe it or not, it's already getting to be SXSW season again, as the first deadline for the best price on badges to Austin's own annual monster of a music festival is October 6, with SXSW 2001 scheduled to run March 9-18. Check the Web site, www.sxsw.com, for further details.
One Man's Junkyard Is Another's Treasure Trove
A few weeks ago when I was on vacation we re-ran some classic Dancing anecdotes dating from 1991-93. Among those bits was a reference to Junkyard-era Chris Gates, so imagine my surprise this week when I ran into the former Big Boy and was informed that not only was that Southern Rock band's first album re-released a couple of years ago (where this week's Dancing art comes from), it's reportedly expected to reach gold status any day now! Admittedly, the disc has its moments, and in fact, any Texas rock radio station worth its salt should be playing the band's power ballad "Simple Man" at least as often as they regale us with "Free Bird." Furthermore, evidence that Internet traders are desperately seeking rare Junkyard material led Gates to ink a deal last year to release a live album from the band's peak days on Cleopatra Records. If that wasn't enough, the group is headed out for one last hurrah on stages in Japan at the beginning of next month! Though it's great fun, says Gates, the "Blooze"-y thing isn't really what he's interested in these days, so as soon as he returns to the States, look for his longtime studio project 99 Pounds to finally start playing out live on October 25 at the Hole in the Wall, sharing the stage with Carrie Clark's new Mazzy Star-ish combo. Gates says the delay in getting 99 Pounds to the stage was in finding a DJ who could work in a live band atmosphere, and he's finally managed to track one down in the person of DJ/producer Mike Smith. Gates' work can also be enjoyed on the upcoming Big Boys reissue mentioned here last column, Wreck Collection, coming soon on Owned and Operated Records. Considering that fellow Big Boy Randy "Biscuit" Turner recently announced his impending return from musical self-exile, what should we expect next, Tim Kerr in a Poison 13 reunion?
No, I'm not talking about Noah Ark's next big rave on October 2 at the old airport -- we'll get to that next week. I'm referring to the current center for landings and take offs around town, Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Due to highly positive feedback from travelers, including SXSW 2000 visitors who were amazed to find their musical experience in Austin beginning before their luggage even pulled up, the ABIA soon will include Wednesdays as a live music day. Currently, live music is heard on Thursday and Friday afternoons, but beginning in October, there will be three days of live music per week, with the Blue Healers, featuring David Murray and Malford Milligan, kicking off the new schedule October 4. Others playing the airport in October include Inkululeko (10/5); Blues Crawlers (10/6); Billy Harvey (10/11); The Occasionals (10/13); Pauline Reese (10/25); Max Baca & Michael Guerra (11/26); and Rob Roy Parnell (10/27). And yes, locals can attend the no-cover gigs without flying, but remember, the parking fees can be a bitch.
The Meat Puppets continue to prepare for the release of their Golden Lies album (now that the advance press releases mistakenly calling it "Golden Showers" have been shredded!) with an in-store set for Waterloo Records next Tuesday, the day the disc hits the shops. A local release-party gig is set for the Metro on October 6, and a few West Coast gigs with Elastica have been scheduled, but plans for full-on touring have yet to be cemented... One person who's had quite enough of touring, between traveling with Jimmie Vaughan, Anson Funderburgh, and doing her own thing -- is Lou Ann Barton, who tells me she gets "tired just thinking about it! As soon as I get here, it's time to leave again!" Barton's taking it easy for a while right now, but her relaxation time is not without its interruptions. Among those are the big annual Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute show at the Bronco Bowl this year, with Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton also in attendance, and an appearance by the Girl Group (Barton, Angela Strehli, and Marcia Ball) scheduled for a breast cancer benefit in November. That should still leave Barton some free time to play dominos with Preston Hubbard... Hoot Night mania continues, first this Friday at Gaby & Mo's with "Chrissie Hynde vs. Joan Jett: The Quest for Dominance," featuring Littermeet, Pirate Jane, Tawnya LoRae & Sheridan, The Joan Jett Honorary Choir conducted by Terri Lord and featuring soloist Kerri Atwood, and the Swingles, who are inexplicably named after a former member of Doctors Mob, and finally Greg Beets in a bikini. Next up, the latest SIMS benefits find the Red Eyed Fly going country with a Hoot Nite for the Highwaymen on Saturday, and the Continental Club on tap to celebrate the Byrds' Gene Clark Tuesday. See Music Listings for lineups... Tosca, after being invited to play a tango festival in El Rosario, ended up recording some songs in Buenos Aires. These will presumably be added to their almost-completed next album. Ask them at the Ritz next Thursday... Dumptruck are readying the release of a new album for January on the Devil in the Woods label: a double CD with new studio work from the Bubble paired with a discful of live recordings from '86-'88... Latest Butthole Surfers news -- or lack of it, really -- is that while King Coffey says the band continues to have a blast rehearsing and recording, there's still no new album coming anytime soon. The band is on their way back to the studio again, and more and more it's looking like their finished product will have little in common with After the Astronaut, which Capitol Records accidentally released advance tapes of a couple years ago... Butthole labelmates Fastball continue to live the Hollywood (Records) lifestyle, as Miles Zuniga evidenced by showing me backstage camcorder footage that the band shot last week at NBC's Late Night, wherein Fastball fan Conan O'Brien continues to attempt to learn all their songs on acoustic guitar. I didn't know you could take camcorders behind the scenes at major television shows, but the band says they had no problem. They're not sure, however, whether it's because they're perceived as rock stars who aren't to be bothered, or as bumpkins who aren't to be bothered with... Band pairing of the week goes to Blunt Force Trauma and Hit By a Car on Tuesday at Room 710. Drive carefully to and from the gig to avoid further irony... By now I'm sure any of you who might care have noticed that talk radio station KJFK has been shot down and replaced by "The Hill," a station which purports to bring you "Rock Without the Hard Edge." Though I'm sure this has occurred to every single person who's heard that slogan already, let me just point out that, as any music fan or geologist would tell you, Rock without the hard edge isn't rock at all! Station promos also proudly tout the fact that the station is programmed to be as free of human personality as possible. Another triumph for bland, faceless radio... Combining movies and music is the hot new trend these days, and as such, Superego will perform an unplugged set of original material followed by a screening of the Rutles movie All You Need is Cash on a big screen, in the parking lot of Jo's Coffeehouse across the street from the Continental Club tonight (Thursday), 8pm. (You'd think they would've invited the Bigamy Sisters, wouldn't you?) Since I still have the materials handy from when we did this at Fringeware, I'll be providing Mr. Minor with Rutle rarity footage to follow the film itself, including coverage of their '96 reunion and a brief videotaped live set... Also tonight, the show at Stubb's featuring Media Creeps (with their newest lineup, 10pm sharp), the Wannabes, and Stretford will be recorded. Carl Normal says the Strets at least are hoping for a live release to come out as a result... So long to the Cow Creek Saloon out near Lago Vista at 24607 Hwy. 143. The venue has been sold, so this week's festivities are the last hurrah for the Saloon. Said festivities include the Cosmic Dust Devils on Saturday and the Hill Country Music Awards being presented there Sunday starting at noon... It's a busy week at Austin City Limits, with Clay Davidson, Eric Heatherly, Lee Ann Womack, and Brad Paisley all taping shows for the upcoming season, but as deadline rolled around, word came in that Emmylou Harris has had to cancel her appearance there and at Waterloo Records due to "doctors' orders." Whether this had anything to do with her recent automobile accident was unclear, but in any case, the Sixpence None the Richer taping is also delayed, since they share management with Harris and the ACL traditionally tapes shows in pairs... Finally, I hear that Jenna Lewis was on Regis & Kathie Lee this week complaining about tabloid reports that emerged after she attended a Scabs show. The tabs accused her of trying to nab Sandra Bullock's boyfriend, but she told Regis she resented being accused of trying to steal "Rob Schneider" (sic). Dunno what's more embarrassing for Bob Schneider -- being associated with some 15-minutes-of-famer from Survivor or being mistaken for the auteur behind Deuce Bigelow, Male Gigolo...
-- Contributors: Christopher Gray, Raoul Hernandez, Andy Langer