Dancing About Architecture
Butthole Surfers and Austin City Limits suffer set backs while Riverfest marches on.
This Land Is Beerland, This Land Is Bandland
Well, it actually happened! Beerland opened last week -- a day early, in fact, if you can really call it that after months of delay. The weekend seems to have gone well for the new live music venue in the crowded Red River entertainment strip. This weekend is the "real" grand opening for the new, Cavity-like club, so here's Beerland's "Third Annual Grand Opening" lineup: tonight, Thursday: Wontons, Teen Cool, Damn Times, Holy Charlie; Friday: Eastside Suicides, Jack Ons (ex-Flaming Hellcats), Whiskey Rippers; Saturday: Squat Thrust, Sexy Finger Champs, Hope 12 CD release, Vita Blue; Sunday: Ignorance Park, Young Heart Attack, Applicators, Randy.
Now would be a good time to make sure everybody knows the difference between Beerland and Bandland, besides the fact that not all bands must have beer, but not all beer is consumed by bands. Matt Meshbane co-runs the Bandland equipment store downtown, the "real world" spinoff of the www.bookmyband.com Web site whose motto is, whether you're a band looking for gigs or a club looking for bands, "We'll do the dirty work for you!" Among other things, Meshbane says, the store is a good, late-night place to get last-minute odds and ends for gigs. Bandland also has a freelance "staff" of artists on call to make full-color posters, as well as on-site seminars to "inform musicians what they're doing," as Meshbane describes it. The store has been open a few months at its 103 W. Fifth Street address, and already the place has found itself with neighbor trouble from having live acts play and money trouble due to several expenses hitting at once. Both of those crises have passed for the moment, with live music returning now that it's been discovered that their landlord is with them rather than against them on the matter. It also helps that a massive $2,300 was raised on a recent weekend thanks to serious word-of-mouth action, allowing Bandland to stay open for the time being. "Twenty-five bands came by in a day and a half," says Meshbane happily. Currently the store is open 11am-11pm seven days a week, says Meshbane, "so you still got a late-night place to get strings and stuff." After that, he's out at places like Beerland seeing bands!
Would you believe that after four years of delays, the advance Butthole Surfers disc I spoke of in last week's column is changing again before it's commercially released? A report on the band's Web site says that Gibby Haynes has just returned from L.A., where he was redoing the vocals to the title tune of Weird Revolution, because the estate of Malcolm X turned them down when they asked for permission to use a thinly disguised version of one of his speeches for the song. Sharrin Summers at Hollywood Records says that she's not so sure the band was actually turned down, but with time running out before the disc is mastered this Friday, something had to be done fast to prevent further delay to the album's August 28 release. Hard to believe nobody thought of this problem a long time ago, but hey, mistakes do happen. Due to an editorial error, last week's Surfers report miscredited the first single off the upcoming album. It is actually co-written by Haynes and Robert J. Ritchie (aka Kid Rock). As far as getting on the road to promote the album, King Coffey says, "There are no plans to tour yet, but I suspect we'll be touring in the fall. I hope so, I miss playing." Meanwhile, the new Spin includes a feature on album titles so bad they're good, and No. 1 is the Butts' bootleg-turned-legitimate release The Hole Truth...and Nothing Butt.
Another One From the Vaults
On the heels of last fall's 4-CD box set, more Stevie Ray Vaughan recordings are on their way from the folks at Sony. As predicted in the Chronicle article "Standing Next to the Mountain" in December, Epic Records will next release a 2-CD set taken from SRV's appearance at the Montreaux Jazz Festival on July 15, 1985. The Dallas Observer this week reported a street date of October 23, and Sony confirms that the collection should come out this fall, if not exactly on that date. Dates aside, the Observer isn't too impressed over the news, snorting that, "At this rate, the only thing Epic Records hasn't released bearing Stevie Ray Vaughan's name on the spine is a double-disc collection of his entire funeral -- with a limited edition third disc featuring the sound of the grave diggers pitching dirt atop his casket." To this, Vaughan liner notes queen Margaret Moser replies, "Dallas is still jealous because they were too busy killing presidents to cultivate their backyard talent."
A Capitol Idea
Here's something John Croslin didn't mention in our communication last week. Dualtone Records in Nashville, which just released Radney Foster's new live album (see "Texas Platters"), will be re-releasing in cooperation with Capitol Records the much-sought-after and way-out-of-print Reivers albums Saturday and End of the Day sometime this summer (probably August), with two bonus tracks per album. For Saturday, the extra tracks are "Slender Means" and the Daniel Johnston song "True Love Will Find You in the End," while on End of the Day, look for the Tony Bennett fave "Green Dolphin Street" and "Tell Me So," which finally gets released after being recorded for both End of the Day and Pop Beloved. Though both are still in preparation, liner notes are being written by TV producer/former Hey Zeus bassist Rob Thomas and No Depression editor Peter Blackstock. Johnston fans should further note that the Jagjaguwar reissue of his 1989 collaboration with Jad Fair is out now, with bonus tracks that bring the album's total up to 31 songs, including their version of the Butthole Surfers' "Sweat Loaf." Fair and Johnston's more recent unreleased work together is scheduled to follow soon. Look for Johnston and Pong at the Antone's after-Slacker party this Sunday.
Lord of the Riverside
Riverfest is returning! So shouts a series of e-mails and press releases from Roadstar Productions' (and the Latino Rock Alliance's) Luis Zapata. He quotes the long, legendary history of the event -- monstrous, sweaty summer rock affairs down on Auditorium Shores anchored by the Fabulous Thunderbirds at the height of their popularity and able to attract guest stars like SRV, Carlos Santana, Los Lobos, Little Feat, and Joe Walsh. The T-Bird Riverfests were an event that the entire town, along with movie stars like Dennis Quaid, Margot Kidder, and Jeff Goldblum looked forward to each year. Unfortunately, Zapata declines to name any acts for this year's Sept. 7 show, saying that everything is still in negotiations. You can count former T-Bird Preston Hubbard among those to whom the news is a complete surprise. "We were the promoters" of the old shows, he says, and in typical Austin style, the band members and their pals would just throw out names and see who'd show up. (Despite the current press release's claims, Beatle George Harrison is not among those who did.) As far as we can tell, as long as the name "T-Bird" isn't used, the band isn't claiming any rights to the name Riverfest, but then nobody's heard from current Californian Kim Wilson yet. At least Zapata guarantees that since Roadstar doesn't buy tours, there will be "no Survivor or Bullet Boys." Zapata is dead certain that past glories will be reclaimed come September, but until I get that band list (he says names will begin trickling in next week or so), I've got one thing to say back at him: Woodshock 2001. In the meantime, Josh Cisneros from the Metro is naming names about this Saturday's Summerfest in Waterloo Park. Along with headliners Violent Femmes, he's got the Supersuckers (who'll also be doing an acoustic gig at the club on Tuesday), Dexter Freebish, Flickerstick, and Pushmonkey's last pre-CD release show. For the Metro, upcoming acts include Slash's Snakepit, Skid Row, and Faster Pussycat, with no guarantees that Survivor and the Bullet Boys aren't right around the corner!
Austin City, Limited
Austin City Limits producer Terry Lickona says he's frustrated these days because the dot-com bomb has killed some of the show's underwriters, dropping ACL back to a tight 13 episodes from last year's luxurious 26-episode schedule. More shows might end up being produced before season's end, he says, but until ACL sees the money, he can't book more than the initial 13. Still, he's thrilled that after 15 years of trying, he's kicking off season 27 with a Richard Thompson taping on Monday. Following in quick succession are Patty Loveless and Emmylou Harris on July 15, Buena Vista Social Club's Ibrahim Ferrer on the 20th, String Cheese Incident on the 24th, and Del McCoury and Mary Chapin Carpenter on the 31st. Into August, look for Eliza Gilkyson and Nanci Griffith on the 13th and Robert Earl Keen on the 22nd. Blue Rodeo and Charlie Robison follow Sept. 17, and still no word whether the show will be able to land John Hammond (with guest organ by Augie Meyers) for some Tom Waits foolery.
Opal Divine's Colonel Mike Parker says that people had successfully convinced him that a renegade hoot night pitting Bob Dylan vs. Jimmy Buffett was a bad idea. I convinced him otherwise, however, so I better help him push the tentatively titled "Bob at 60 Looks at a Pirate at 50," now slated for Wednesday, July 18 from 7 to 10pm. Interested artists ready to perform "Cheeseburgers in Paradise #12 & 35" or something equally psychedelic please contact the club at email@example.com Mexic-Arte Museum will present a "Farewell" Concert to the Santo Niño de Atocha by the Jovenes Latinos from the EBS San Francisco de Asis this Saturday at 7pm. Seeing as how Santo Niño is patron saint of performing miraculous rescues to those in need, attending this gig could bring a new meaning to "I went to the show and got lucky" Oops: Last week I implied that Josh Chalmers was in Brown Whörnet. He's still in Zulu as Kono (who are playing tonight at Emo's) and helped in the making/issuing of the Whörnet's new CD. More important to my highly sensitive readers, the kittens under the house are alive and well. The smell was coming from a dead possum in the attic
-- Contributors: Christopher Gray, Raoul Hernandez, Andy Langer, Margaret Moser