Dancing About Architecture

Sandy and Bob are almost done in, while Kirsty MacColl isn't so lucky, and Pops Staples goes onto his great reward. Dopey the Goat, meanwhile, becomes cabrito.

Dancing About Architecture

Near Death Experiences

Some people just can't do anything without turning into headline news. Fresh from the local premiere of Miss Congeniality, snuggle-bunnies Sandra Bullock and Bob Schneider were attempting to take a little break by flying to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, near Yellowstone, when their plane crashed on the runway. The small, private craft, owned by a Texas company, was described in press reports as "heavily damaged" in the accident, in which it lost its front landing gear and left wing, with further heavy damage to the nose and right wing. At deadline, it's unclear why the plane's pilot, who like Bullock, Schneider, and the one other crew member aboard the aircraft was uninjured, missed the runway as he attempted to land the aircraft. One thing that is known is that Schneider has a history of distrusting private planes and even road-bound vehicles during poor weather conditions, and has been known to cancel performances with his band rather than risk riding in a van on icy roads. Ironically, Bullock starred with Ben Affleck last year in Forces of Nature, a film about two strangers who become romantically involved after their plane misses a runway. Also unharmed is Lars Ulrich, who according to a widely disseminated Internet hoax, sustained gunshot wounds to the groin and abdomen in a shooting outside a hotel during his visit to Austin last week. The non-story had already blown over before news of it came to the Chronicle offices, as we reported on his actual activities in last week's "Dancing" column. A similar rumor that Eminem had died in a car wreck last week got even bigger play, probably out of holiday hopefulness on the part of women, homosexuals, and the Insane Clown Posse. Sadly, one story that turned out to be true is that UK-based singer Kirsty MacColl was killed this week as she vacationed with her two children in Mexico. While the boys watched in horror, a reckless speedboat driver shot into a swimmers-only area where they were splashing about and careened into 41-year-old MacColl. Though she's somewhat known in the U.S. for her guest appearances with the Pogues and as backup singer for the Smiths, her alternately dark and cheery solo albums never really hit on this side of the pond; local acquaintance Richard Luckett calls MacColl an "outstanding artist who never really got the commercial success she deserved." To add to the tragedy, Luckett says MacColl had a new UK TV program and accompanying album due on Christmas Day. Now, according to the BBC, boater José Cenyam has been charged with negligent homicide, the show's been shelved, the kids are in the care of MacColl's ex-husband, producer Steve Lillywhite, and Shane MacGowan's off somewhere swearing about Mexicans. Also leaving this plane in very recent days was Roebuck "Pops" Staples, patriarch of gospel/R&B group the Staple Singers. Staples, who was 85, had suffered a concussion recently in a fall near his home in Chicago. Perhaps the most harrowing news to come down the pike this week, however, is the following item from the latest Bug Publishing newsletter, which announced that "T-Bone Burnett and Elvis Costello are creating an hourlong comedy-drama series for the WB network about four models turned rock stars." Eeerg. Reread that a couple of times out loud -- every word is just a little scarier than the one before. I have seen the future -- and it doesn't work!

New Year's Grieves

So this is it -- the New Year's issue. The year with all the zeroes passed over with the worst bug being a particularly nasty flu season. Still, the more picky among you say 2001 is the real and true beginning of the millennium and time of the apocalypse, so during my recent "rounds" of the scene, I went ahead and asked folks at a few local clubs what their New Year's Resolutions for 2001 were going to be. Among the more interesting responses were those of soundman Steve Gortesky at Antone's, who promised, "No more big expensive road shows," then recanted and admitted that "we've already blown that with Buddy Guy." A fleet of competing quips came from various employees at Emo's, ranging from, "No more algae on the toilets" to "no more crack deals on the block," while just up the street at Room 710, Woody Roberts' personal resolution was, "To have more fun in my own club -- I'm too anal." One Atomic Cafe staffer proudly replied that the venue would "Fly the colors and keep [late owner] Randall [Goodwin]'s name alive," while sassy Sasha Sessums at the Black Cat was simply determined to, "Try to stay alive and keep it real in the face of increasing property taxes. No matter how hard they try to kill us, we're gonna stay alive." Actually, many of the Sixth Street and Red River-situated clubs also commented that their real fear as far as their own personal apocalypses (apocalypsi?) is the series of tax-rate hikes that are accompanying the influx of computer companies to the downtown area, mirroring recent troubles with artists' studios in San Francisco. Will the city live up to its promises to support local music businesses or let the increasing costs of running a club due to the presence of Intel and Vignette put them in the same place as Liberty Lunch, Electric Lounge, Steamboat, and Clifford Antone -- out of circulation? We can only hope the city makes a few good resolutions of its own.

Mixed Notes

Every winter I try to make sure and print a reminder to all the poor musicians who live in homes with cheap, dangerous space heaters that they never underestimate how quickly one of those things can torch your whole house. Unfortunately, almost every year it takes a tragedy to remind me to run said warning, and this year Dopey the Goat paid the ultimate price, martyring himself (herself? itself?) to help save your miserable lives. Dopey, described in the Austin-American Statesman as a "beloved South Austin goat," died in his yard on West Mary Street last week after chewing through the cord of his electric heater and being electrocuted. Mind you, that's not exactly the sort of danger I was thinking of, but it's still something that should give you pause. Or hooves or something...This year's KGSR Broadcasts CD sold out last week at about the same speed as last year's, reports the station's Jody Denberg. For those wondering, he says, "Some people think we purposely don't print enough to make them collector's items or whatever. Well, I don't like to see them on eBay for $75 already, but that's legal (and karmically sad)." According to Denberg, the reason behind the annual collection's limited run is that the CDs, whose sale benefits Austin's SIMS foundation, can only be released through the generosity of a number of labels, publishing companies, and artists who waive all fees for use of the material on the discs. In return, Denberg explains, they ask for a one-time limited pressing of a specific number. This year, 20,000 copies of Vol. 8 were pressed, the print run continuing to rise upward from the first volume's 1,500, and Denberg says that will probably be as high as they can go in the future... Woody Roberts may feel he's too anal in his own club, but that's probably why his own band Electric Cock is playing at Emo's tonight (Thursday with Shitjackerz, Madcow, and the Spiders) -- so he can loosen up. Room 710 looks to be getting more metallic in 2001, with a "Hesh Fest" January 6, featuring Blunt Force Trauma and more; a Hard Rock Festival on the 19th and 20th with the Fuckemos, Dixie Witch, and more; ZZ Top nights (pre-Eliminator only) every Sunday; and a Motley Crüe Hoot Night thrown in for good measure. Just so things don't get too hard 'n' heavy, karaoke nights are returning on Wednesdays, with Jason Craig replacing host Jimmy Bradshaw, who apparently couldn't afford to continue to miss showing up for his day job every Thursday. All that follows the 710 New Year's Eve show with Brown Whörnet, Honky, Dixie Witch, and free champagne (the good stuff, no doubt)... Oh, since it's not in the club listings (or anywhere else outside the militia-like venue's walls) I should mention that New Year's Eve at the Black Cat will feature the Flametrick Subs, while weekly residencies there now include the Conrads on Wednesdays and Stingers on Thursdays... Also not in club listings, or anywhere else but online, is The Austin Chronicle Musicians Register. The form is now available at auschron.com/musicreg... William Shatner did indeed make it to town two weeks ago for the Miss Congeniality premiere at the Paramount. An interview in Redbook has him saying the only thing he didn't like about Sandra Bullock was that she dragged him to clubs to listen to heavy metal music. Since the only club I know of that he visited during his latest stay was Antone's, I'm going to assume the "metal" band he's referring to was the Scabs. Of course, ever since the Transformed Man days when Shatner sang gems like "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," you always got the impression he hears things very differently than we mere humans... By the way, has everybody spotted Stephen Bruton in the Miss Congeniality clip all the talk shows are using? He's only in the film briefly, but his scene has ended up being the one everybody's using. Luckily, that didn't happen with Willie Nelson's flick Songwriter, with Bruton trotting around in his skivvies... Look for a new album from "Cold Shot" author Mike Kindred and his current band sometime in the not-too-distant future. The band, which includes Mark Singer (who's worked with Asia and Eric Johnson) and Johnny Reverb, has finished recording and will soon be shopping the album, which was co-produced by the band and Eugene "Axe Bitch" Brown... Former Violators (and Go-Go's) member Kathy Valentine is part of the Tube Tops 2000 on the new Blockbuster compilation album of glam covers, which is notable also for being the only time you're likely to find Haircut 100 founder Nick Heyward and the Donnas together on one album... Finally, the stamp on the envelope containing this year's holiday card from ZZ Top was imprinted with a Dr. Seuss cancellation, so while I wait for someone to send me an MP3 of Billy Gibbons' dirty Christmas song, there's some terrible rhyming going on here at the office. I don't know which is worse: "The Grinch grinned and growled, as his chest swelled with pride, 'I'm not just Bad, I'm Nationwide!'" or "I am not looking for a Fox, I am not looking for some Socks, I am not looking for a Bush, I am just looking for some Tush" ...

-- Contributors: Christopher Gray, 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


Sandra Bullock, Bob Schneider, Miss Congeniality, Dopey the Goat

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