Dancing About Architecture
An ode to Waylon Jennings, even as SXSW O2 builds to a boil.
Outside the Castle Walls
Three weeks and counting. South by Southwest is that massive cloudburst on the horizon, and all the acts that applied "should've heard something by now," says the music fest's Creative Director Brent Grulke. That "something" might be a yes, no, or standby notice, with Grulke revealing that out of the 900-plus confirmed acts, at this point, there's a "bare minimum" of 30 more -- the vast majority of them local -- who'll be offered a last-minute spot. Such calls may result from conflicts, dropouts, or even making sure that particular nights at particular venues have a proper stylistic sense about them. "It's a double-edged sword," admits Grulke of dealing with these last-minute changes, as bands who don't want to get left out of a gig altogether become torn between loyalty to a non-SXSW venue that offers them a home and the "legit" showcase they may be offered at the last instant. "We're trying to be sensitive to the needs of acts we haven't been able to invite yet," says Grulke, only too aware of the ruckus raised in previous years by nonparticipant clubs who have claimed unfair treatment by SXSW. In any case, it's business as usual at the Chronicle: Here's the official call to arms for non-SXSW showcasers. Send info for all daytime, afterhours, or non/anti-SXSW gigs to citybeat@ austinchronicle.com or in care of the Chronicle, PO Box 49066, Austin, TX 78751 by March 7, and we'll dedicate our entire regular club listings section for that week to your deliciously subversive musical activities. On a bummer note, seems it's curtains for the traditional SXSW-ending Sunday afternoon 100-guitar jam at the home of Tom Pittman of the Austin Lounge Lizards. Pittman's moved from his longtime home on 38th, which housed the event, to a South Central Austin location. "Besides which," he adds, "I'll be in Carboro, N.C., anyway. End of an era and all that." Indeed it is. Looks like I'll be at the SXSW softball game early this year.
South by So Soon!
Are you still agonizing over whether or not to get a SXSW wristband this year? Well, time to make a decision. Said accouterments go on sale today, Thursday, through Star Tickets outlets, at $85 for the first 4,000. When those run out or March 8 rolls around, a limited additional amount will be made available at $105 each. The complete list of showcasing acts (so far) is up at www.sxsw.com, with the latest special event added being the Golden Arm Trio's siege of the Scottish Rite Theatre on Saturday night for an evening of silent films and live music by the likes of the Tosca String Quartet and other, as-yet-unnamed veterans of the Alamo Drafthouse's ongoing series. Another special programming treat will be two kid-band afternoon showcases Saturday at Steamboat and Sunday at the Hole in the Wall. Those will be all-ages shows, going 1-6pm, and featuring the cream of Austin's next generation of bands. Among those confirmed are Catscratch, the Snobs, the Disowned, Red Dye #4, Obstruction, Poisoned Policy, and the Distressed. Also coming together as we went to press is this year's free outdoor shows at Auditorium Shores. So far, look for a NARAS Tejano show on SXSW Thursday starring La Mafia, a Friday lineup including Local H, Vallejo, Damesviolet, and one more TBA, and Saturday expect a major local rootsy attraction to headline.
MTV's The Real World 12: Las Vegas has licensed the use of the new album Wherever You Are by locals Sundowner. The episodes featuring the band's music are scheduled to air June 2002, and the show itself is expected to come to Austin by at least 2112... Rhodes piano master keyman Dave Palmer has taken leave of Austin after a year-and-a-half stint here. Palmer, a member of the Earl Harvin Trio and a studio and stage hand whose credits include Chris Isaac, Fiona Apple, Seal, MC 900 Ft. Jesus, Lindsey Buckingham, and Paul Stanley, headed for L.A. a few weeks ago, citing financial and female concerns... The first show for the American People since their premature death will also be at SXSW. It was reported that they're breaking up, but Suzy Martinez says that even after Mike McCoy goes back to Kansas, the band will continue shopping their second album and work on a third one to be released by the end of the year... Buzz Moran and the folks who brought you Intergalactic Nemesis, an old-fashioned local radio show with voice actors, organist, and foley effects all onstage, have combined their silent-movie concept with the Mr. Sinus concept. The result is an old, Seventies kung fu movie where all the music, sound effects, and dialogue will be dubbed in live this Sunday at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown. Music for Kung Fu Masterpiece Theatre will be provided by -- who else? -- the Golden Arm Trio... Alamo musical accompaniment specialists the Asylum Street Spankers will be at the Saxon Pub this Saturday, joined by one of their former brood, Guy Forsyth... A wake/memorial for Melinda Michels will be held at Antone's this Sunday, 6-8pm. Friends are encouraged to bring photos and stories to tell; Thierry Le Coz and friends will perform... Feeling nostalgic for SXSW 2001? Check out the new Your Flesh, which just now is getting around to its coverage of last year's festivities. Even Pop Culture Press has a shorter lead time than that; the new issue of PCP is now in stores with SXSW Music and Film participants They Might Be Giants on the cover, plus Spiritualized, Red House Painters, American Analog Set, Nick Cave, Rick Trevino, and Graham Parker inside... Tim Kerr's band with the too-long name has an album out: Total Sound Group Direct Action Committee's The Party Platform ... Our Schedule Is Change on Estrus. Also on the label is the highly recommended cheap-ass compilation disc Estrus Double Dynomite Sampler, Vol. 3 with two tracks each from TSGDAC, Fatal Flying Guilloteens, Gas Huffer, Man... or Astroman?, Monkeywrench, and more... Aussie (that's short for Australia, not Austin) Phil Tripp says that among other treats, his nation will be "sending Russell Crowe back to SXSW [this year] to debut his new film doc on the band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts for the film side of the event." Ouch! What's Australian for "overkill"?...