Dancing About Architecture
The Austin music scene benefits the Red Cross.
Spelling Relief M-U-S-I-C
As America continues to work its way through the seven steps that follow a catastrophe -- fear, anger, sadness, pique, etc. -- the members of Austin's Kissinger are among those holding their heads high, having taken part in two benefits over last weekend that brought approximately $20,000 to the Red Cross. The last-second Antone's show, which they played when headliner John Hammond found himself stuck out of state, raised $1,700, while Bob Woody's Pecan Street Oyster Fest with Ünloco and Union Underground the following day, which they also played, raised more than $18,000 for the Red Cross. All over Austin, just as in most other parts of the land, the cash has poured in, though the Mercury reports a "disappointing" $1,673 raised on Sunday, as the last-minute nature of their benefit led to an unusually short trail of the living coming to see the Trail of Dead. Despite their smaller size, another Sixth Street music venue, Lucy's, caused much local jaw-droppage when their multi-band benefit Saturday brought in more than $6,047. A representative for the Red Cross says that so far, a rough estimate of money raised from music-related events since September 11 is "a little over $52,000." For future reference, the Red Cross requests that all parties planning such events notify them in advance at 512/928-4271. "We appreciate all that people are doing," says their spokesperson, "but we want to make sure they're protected legally, and that way we can do our part to help spread the word about their good deeds." Among those upcoming benefits, expect a Red Cross presence at the 101X Fest this Sunday on Auditorium Shores (note that Godsmack has dropped off the bill), and also at Brigette London's Texas Chili Parlor gig that same afternoon. In addition, look for an America Rocks concert to benefit the United Way relief fund at Mars Music superstore in Hancock Center, Sunday, 4-8pm, with bands still TBA. It's free, donations obviously being encouraged. More benefits will come, and it never hurts to ask -- no matter what musical or otherwise-oriented event you're attending -- if an unannounced percentage of profits are going to help those in need during these trying times. In the current spirit of giving, whether by groups or as individuals, it's no surprise that some charity will wend its way from this weekend's Pecan Street Festival, which is on Saturday and Sunday, 11am-8pm. There are four stages this year, including the new "De Calles Seis" festival-within-a-festival. The wide variety of bands ranges from Damesviolet to Ponty Bone and Bells of Joy (for the complete schedule, see p.74). Squeezeboxers will want to head to San Antonio for the First International Accordion festival there today (Thursday) through Sunday. It's brought to you in part by the Texas Folklife Resources, is free, and comprises several blocks centering on the Alamo, with folks like Geno Delafose and Mingo Saldívar providing the sounds (call 210/227-1999 and/or 210/207-6967 for more info). Speaking of things international, look for the Austin Latino Music Association's "Sonidos del Barrio" with DJ Baby G, Grupo Fantasma, and La Tribu Tuesday, Oct. 2, at the Mercury, while next Saturday in Maxwell, Texas, the Loma Linda Latin Music Fest premieres with Ozomatli, Boca Abajo, Los Mocosos, and again, La Tribu (check www.loma lindafestival.com ). And don't go kissing all your cash goodbye before the Austin Record Convention, October 6-7 at Palmer Auditorium, especially if you're a Beatles fan, as you'll also need to make an appearance at the Birthday Jam at John Lennon Memorial Park, Oct.5-9 in Olmito, Texas. Don't ask me what the connection is between Lennon and Olmito ; maybe that's where Delbert McClinton bought his first harmonica?
One Muse, One Museum
The Texas Music Museum may be down, but it's not out. As reported here last week, the TMM failed to net any funding from the city's current budget, but they'll continue in the low-profile manner they have in the past, slowly but steadily making their presence known to the public. Now's an ideal time to take a peek at their wares, in fact, as Oct. 4 finds the TMM anticipating Oktoberfest with a salute to Texas-German Music, housed at City Hall, aka the Municipal Building. Ten days later, you can check out the TMM building proper at 1009 E. 11th, when their participation in Austin Museum Day focuses on Texas piano professors from Scott Joplin to Grey Ghost and features live ivory-tickling along with the visual exhibits of "key" historical moments in Lone Star history. It's a good time to offer donations and services as well. For information call 472-8891.
With mere weeks to go before the kickoff, the Butthole Surfers have finally released details of the initial short tour to accompany their new Weird Revolution album. Starting with a couple of Aussie dates in early October, the Butts return to the good old U.S. of A. for mid-October through mid-November, ending the journey on November 17 with a triumphant Austin gig at La Zona Rosa. An expanded tour may resume in February 2002, depending on the continued success of the current trip-hopping single "Shame of Life" and the performance of the anticipated follow up single, the poppier "Dracula From Houston." Word has it that the set for the current tour dates will be a long one, featuring classics from all stages of the band's career, and insiders say that the reason the band has picked one-man opening acts for the bulk of the dates is because the show is so big and laden with heavy equipment that the band decided the less additional people who set foot on the stage, the better.
Just before the news of Chesley Millikin's passing (see below) began to make the rounds, I heard that SRV's onetime road manager Cutter Brandenberger has opened Cutter's Texas Music Hall in Harker Heights, TX (www.jbeauty.com/cut/index.html). Filled with a lifetime's collection of memorabilia, Cutter says the place, located 65 miles north of Austin,"is almost a dang museum to Stevie." There's a Krackerjack reunion there tonight, Thursday, with Uncle John Turner, Tommy Shannon, Bruce Boland, John Stahely, Jesse Taylor, Robin Siler, and Mike Kindred, and Friday they've got Alan Haynes, Van Wilks, and John McVey. Cutter's is open Wednesday through Sunday... Truly attentive TV commercial watchers have noticed the use of Daniel Johnston's classic "Speeding Motorcycle" on television ads for Target stores of late. The Mary Lou Lord-sung version of the tune is harmless enough, but a print ad in the campaign appears in the October 11 Rolling Stone that's guaranteed to knock the socks off anyone familiar with Johnston. Though the portly singer's own wardrobe consists entirely of faded jeans and soiled T-shirts, his lyrics that are utilized in the RS ad accompany the image of a couple of smug, Mossimo leather-clad prettyboys! Rumor has it that Johnston fan Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse is close to assembling his "dream band" for an upcoming recording session, including Johnston and Holy Modal Rounders sidekick Michael Hurley... Terrorism may make headlines, but it doesn't slow down natural disasters and accidents. This past weekend, the home of Dave Morgan and Dave Gulley of the Olive Group, as well as that of Waterloo Records employee Joe Turner, was the site of a blaze that destroyed almost everything they owned. Most of the band's equipment was destroyed, as were the tapes for a nearly completed new album. Benefits will likely follow; contact the band through their label at www.postparlo.com ... Celebrity spotting action this week centered at Starlite. Thursday loyal customers Howard Carey and Luke Wilson brought in Gwyneth Paltrow. That Sunday, Kevin Spacey, Alan Parker and three companions were 45 minutes late for their brunch reservation. Don't know if they had car trouble trying to "park 'er" or if they were just "spacey" ... .