Dancing About Architecture
Ken say "blah blah blah"
Between a Hard Rock and a Cafe Place
The international tourist-oriented chain bar and rock & roll theme restaurant Hard Rock Cafe has, after many years of rumors, elected to open part of the franchise in Austin, according to published reports. The Hard Rock, which asks the question, "Is it worth paying extra for drinks if you can consume them while sitting under the original desk from the cover of Alice Cooper's School's Out album?" has arranged with a local architecture firm to open the new location at 222 E. Sixth Street, former location of too many clubs to count. So far, the Hard Rock corporate headquarters has declined to confirm the news, which appeared in the business section of the American-Statesman on Saturday. Oddly, the company appeared to have no problems with the story being printed in the Statesman, though they told the Chronicle that they had not yet officially "made the commitment" to the Austin location. Their lackadaisical response tends to confirm the news, though the Chronicle did discover one thing the Hard Rockers may not have counted on: A former employee of the Fast and Cool Club, which used to be housed at that location, says the place is "haunted like a son of a bitch!" Janis, is that you?
The War Between the States
It's T for Texas, T for Tennessee -- and mainly, T for ticked off since Andy Langer's story on Charlie Robison was featured in The Austin Chronicle two weeks ago. Since then, the comments by Robison therein regarding Music City's beloved son Brad Paisley have become the talk of Nashville. Besides the letters page in the Chron, the Charlie vs. Brad battle has invaded the Nashville Tennessean's popular gossip column (called Brad About You, no less!) four times in a week (www.tennessean.com/celebrities/archives/01/04/06360368.shtml), while a major radio morning show there made it an hour's discussion last Monday, having listeners call in and take sides. Naturally, the ruckus is all over the country newsgroups on the Internet and in the country music radio tipsheets; even Lonestar 93, back here in Austin, had Pat Green on last week to comment on Charlie's quotes. Among the statements from Nashville press: "Most of [the Tennessean's] e-mails were from out-of-state Internet readers like Daryl Teague of Greeley, Colo., [who wrote], "Let (Charlie) get a couple of platinum albums under his belt, then maybe we 'real country' fans might listen to what he has to say. Until then, my advice to him is, 'You can't learn anything when your mouth is moving,' and it seems to have been working overtime in the Austin Chronicle article." Press releases from both parties have been issued since the fracas began, with Paisley telling his fans, "I appreciate the fact that you feel compelled to take up for me. However, I want to please ask that you refrain from doing so, especially on other Web sites and by resorting to vulgarity of any kind. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, not everyone's gonna like me, and that's okay. I'm just glad you all do!" Robison's Web site responded with his post (which was taken down the next day) that, "I make no excuses ever, but what people need to realize is that this article was written throughout three 16-18 hour days at various stages of sobriety. A hungry journalist can cut and paste sentences and easily make things sound much different than the way they were expressed. Especially with someone who has as big a mouth as mine." Langer had his own response (needless to say), revealing that the offending quotes were taken entirely verbatim from a three-hour interview conducted during the final evening. He says that, despite having Robison question his credibility, he hopes Chron readers won't rally against Robison. "I want to please ask that you refrain from doing so," says Langer, "especially on other Web sites and by resorting to vulgarity of any kind." No word on whether Paisley plans to sue over plagiarization of his apology, but if he does, we expect him to apologize for doing so afterward.
Meanwhile, on the other brother front, Bruce Robison ran smack dab into good news while he was up in Nashville last week tweaking his own new album. He found himself at a champagne breakfast celebrating the fact that hitmaker Tim McGraw has chosen the Bruce-penned "Angry All the Time" as his new single. Robison and company knew the song was on McGraw's new disc, but there had been no prior suggestion that it was a single pick. What are ya buying first, Bruce?
Willie of the Week
Man, I swear Willie Nelson albums are blazing into record shops faster than Jackie Chan flicks to the video store. The ink has barely dried on the Chronicle's review of Rainbow Connection, and now comes word that a new album is due September 25. The Great Divide is packed with celebs, including Rob Thomas (not the Texas one, the one from Matchbox Twenty), Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Brian McKnight, Lee Ann Womack, Alison Krauss, and Kid Rock. Thomas also wrote a few tracks, along with Bernie Taupin. And if the first edition wasn't enough, the new disc includes Nelson's second recording of the Kenny Rogers hit "Just Dropped In (to See What Condition My Condition Was In)," which was also on last month's Rainbow Connection. While we're talking country, I should also mention that advances for Wayne "The Train" Hancock's new Bloodshot disc, A-Town Blues, which was produced by Lloyd Maines and is due out Sept. 4, have just gone out. Also just out, a new 2-CD Townes Van Zandt anthology from Fuel 2000 Records, tastefully titled Anthology 1968-1979 rather than From Across the Great Divide.
Bob Dylan will have his first album out as a sexagenarian in a few weeks with the September 11 release of Love and Theft. Dylan recorded the album with his touring band, which includes guitarist Charlie Sexton. Texas Tornado Augie Meyers, who played on Dylan's most recent offering, 1997's Time Out of Mind, also appears on the new set. Dylan told USA Today the disc reminds him of a greatest hits album, "without the hits; not yet, anyway." Always the optimist, that Bob In Stephen MacMillian Moser's fashion column this week (of all places) there's a tip on the Continental Club, Germany, and the international country music television market. More on the story in this column next week when Steve Wertheimer gets back from California to confirm the club's side of things In his upcoming itinerary, Bob Schneider has some dates opening for Stevie Nicks. Just to keep an ugly and likely apocryphal rumor alive, Bob, if she hands you a straw, run like hell!
-- Contributors: Raoul Hernandez, Andy Langer