Dancing About Architecture
SXSW confirms a keynote speaker.
Pulled Into Nazareth
Still three months to go until SXSW 2002, but what else is there to talk about, really? Especially when the Music Festival has announced this week that they've confirmed a keynote speaker in Band member Robbie Robertson. It'll still be awhile before the conference begins to let slip names of bands who will actually be performing at SXSW 02, but the wheels are rolling, and panels coordinator Andy Flynn has at least begun giving information as to which industry professionals will be speaking to those who purchase badges. Like the musical portion of things, panels will begin on Wednesday, March 13, with their schedules to be found in the Music Conference Panels section of www.sxsw.com. So far, this year's panel topics will include: Attracting Media Attention, Indie Label Opportunities, How Much Does Music Matter?, Artists Vs. Technology, The Road to Airplay, Studio Tips, Online Retail, A&R Myths and Realities, Digital Music Subscription Services, and the intriguing Are Recording Contracts Fair? Panel (hint -- ask John Fogerty). Confirmed speakers include Lorraine Ali of Newsweek, Bill Bentley, senior vice-president of Media Relations with Warner Bros. Records, Frank Callari, senior vice-president of A&R for Lost Highway, Karen Glauber, president, Hits magazine, Ken Irwin, owner of Rounder Records, Jon Pikus, director of A&R, Columbia Records, John Rubeli, vice-president of A&R at Atlantic Records, Rob Seidenberg, discoverer of Fastball and currently president of Mammoth Records, and Nan Warshaw from Bloodshot Records. All panel topics and speakers are subject to change, as always. Now, if there'll only be a few local clubs still open come March, this could be the best SXSW ever!
New Boat, Same Old Steam
"The new place won't be on Sixth Street -- and no, I'm not buying the Hole in the Wall," assures Danny Crooks, but he insists that within little more than a week, he will be announcing the location of the building that will soon house the new Steamboat. Last month, Crooks announced that he had severed ties with the Vibe, the Sixth Street live music venue he had molded out of Fat Tuesdays. (Vibe owner Frank Alterman has continued with the Vibe as though Crooks was still there.) Crooks now says the reason he felt comfortable leaving the Vibe was that he had been getting calls from new investors about buying one of three buildings for the new club, and since then, he's gotten over 80% of the money he needs assembled. At this time, he's still shy about naming the location for the new 'boat, but insists it's been chosen and will be docked by early February. Though it's tempting to write this off as more of the old Crooks bluster, you have to admit you never thought he'd actually get the Vibe thing going, either. Getting back to the Hole for a moment, in the words of Cleve and Mary Hattersley, "Don't forget the mission next Friday, Dec. 14th. We must save the Hole in the Wall from extinction! Gather with Greezy Wheels around 9:15pm, have a greezy good time, and contribute to the preservation of an Austin landmark." And even though there's no saving Gaby & Mo's, go on and give them a visit as well during this, their final weekend, won't you?
Does Austin have Creem in its genes? We may find out soon. With a buyout of the Creem magazine archives and a relaunch of the "world's only rock & roll magazine" announced as happening soon, the news comes along that the mag's new home will likely be in Seattle, or -- you guessed it -- Austin. Of course Lester Bangs ain't coming back, and as one insider puts it, "Music industry people come here during SXSW and think the rest of the year's like that, but it isn't." Hell, these days it isn't even like that during SXSW. Still, a major rock rag (or the ghost of one at least) kicking a few local bands in the butt couldn't hurt... Robert Earl Keen has announced that he's starting up a little label called Rosetta Records, which not only reissued Keen's own No. 2 Live Dinner, No Kinda Dancer, and A Bigger Piece of Sky this week, but also will put out material by artists that Keen is fond of. First up on that list is Rodney Hayden, whose debut comes out on Rosetta in January... Bruce Hughes says he's got some time away from that Bob Schneider dude and will be showing off his new project Jerkuleez at the Continental Club on Wednesdays for the forseeable future. The group, which includes Scrappy Jud Newcomb and Papa Mali, makes all-instrumental "super Seventies sex music" and has already recorded an entire album before playing once. Of course, Hughes notes that the Resentments album is still gathering dust, so we'll have to wait and see when either gets released, by the bands themselves or otherwise... Check the Music Listings for some of the fine Christmas music events coming up this week, and here's a couple of others as well: Saturday marks the 2nd Annual Sir Finks' All-Star Xmas Spectacular at the Carousel Lounge, featuring Xmas go-go dancers and a fiery instrumental Christmas set done à la Ventures/Trashmen. Look also for the Sara Hickman/Will Taylor "Strings Attached" collaboration at the Hyde Park Methodist Church (40th and Speedway) that night starting at 8pm. Tickets are $10, with the show featuring Hickman's material and no doubt some holiday spirit. And while we're on the subject of holiday wishes, note that Billy Joe Shaver's slot on the Armadillo Bazaar lineup (see schedule) has been filled by Eliza Gilkyson presumably due to the ol' five & dimer's upcoming bypass -- though rumor has it he's keeping the ticker on hold in favor of playing some gigs with Kinky Friedman. Well wishers will also want to remember Freddy Fender in January as it looks like that's when he'll have a liver transplant, having found a donor in his daughter Marla Huerta Garcia. Now that's what I call keeping it in the family!