Please Don't Eat the Dailies
As I sit here typing up this column for the first of the Chronicle's SXSW 02 dailies, the Austin Music Awards are just beginning, fittingly enough, at the Austin Music Hall. There, members of the Austin music community are applauding the best, or at least most popular, Austin musical acts. Perhaps Toni Price is crossing the stage right now, preparing to utter a short acceptance speech, or maybe KGSR's Kevin Connor is using the occasion to present a check for $217,000 to the SIMS Foundation, raised from sales of the local AAA frequency's annual CD, Broadcasts. I don't want to get off on a rant here, but if the station would wise up and eliminate the middleman by simply releasing the exclusive, limited edition all-star discs directly onto eBay, the take would likely be closer to $1 million. Speaking of charitable donations, note that there's a SIMS Open House Thursday afternoon, 3-6pm, at the new Hard Rock Cafe on Sixth, featuring music by local songmeisters Darin Murphy and Kacy Crowley. Learn more about the foundation's goals of aiding musicians with mental/emotional health problems.
A Jewel by Any Other Name
Well, now -- surprise, surprise! My editor has come in early from the Music Awards, and relates that he was over at La Zona Rosa beforehand to see the governor's opening SXSW remarks (see p.12 for the full report). Governor Rick Perry was just giving the stage back to Junior Brown when he recounted how Russell Crowe had recently told him he'd been listening to and greatly enjoying Junior's tuneage. Makes Crowe's musical taste sound pretty good, says my Ed, until Pop Culture Press' Luann Williams whispered that after his good words for Brown, Crowe's next paean of praise was for simpering poem-waif Jewel's recent works. Ah, well, what do you expect from a guy who mere nights ago used his star power and fat wallet to keep a certain popular Red River hangout open until 8am? I doubt if he'd gotten enough sleep since to thoroughly recover by the time he had his audience with the guv. Earlier in the week, as things segued from SXSW Film to SXSW Music, other men of Dollarwood were spotted around and about, from Elijah Wood to Ethan Hawke and all the way down to ... Pauly Shore?!? Yup, the sap's sap himself had a film admitted by SXSW, but after it was optioned by Miramax and withdrawn from the festival, his visit was expected to be cancelled as well. They Might Be Giants attended the screening of the documentary about them (Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns) and hung around chatting afterward for a bit, while Flaming Lips main man Wayne Coyne popped in to show a preview of the band's Christmas on Mars feature film. Said clip of the flick runs again on Saturday during the Midnight Shorts program at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown, but I've no word on whether Coyne is sticking around for the rerun.
Somebody Get Me a Shot
Leading up to SXSW Music proper, you could taste the anticipation on bands like Cruiserweight, for instance. At the local pop-rockers' showcase last night, A&R reps from Elektra, Columbia, and Dreamworks were expected to attend. Of course, weirdness has already been in full swing at places like Beerland. During a party there for the Troma Films freaks (like Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman), travelling band of mutants Friends Forever showed a new way to hold up a mike: by having one band member bend over, drop trou, and allow the non-business end to be inserted. Things also went afoul at the Mercury's Guided by Voices Hoot Night Tuesday night, when some boy genius decided to blindly throw an empty beer bottle in the air, to come to earth he knew not where. Unfortunately, "where" was on the dome of Fivehead member John Hunt's girlfriend. Cries of "Is there a doctor in the house?" were met with, "Yes, Prescott Curlywolf just played." Thus did Curlywolf member and MD Ron Byrd reportedly transport the unlucky lass to his nearby office for repair. Of course, worse things can happen to a person, as the following item illustrates.
As Fear Factor host Joe Rogan has said in voicing his affection for our fair city, Austin isn't really part of the South, it's its own special, separate place. In this week's big music news, young country hitmaker Pat Green is no doubt wishing he'd come to Austin last week instead of hitting the spring break haven known as Corpus Christi. As you've probably heard, Green was assaulted in Corpus by students from Minnesota, as an 18-year-old would-be tough guy beat him severely enough to put him in the hospital with an eye socket fractured in three places, plus other injuries. Green's manager says the assault was random and the drunken jock didn't know or care who he was attacking. Green missed his show that night, but at last report is expected to make it to his gig closing the Austin Livestock Show and Rodeo this weekend.
The granddad of Austin country, Don Walser, also ended up in the emergency room recently with what may or may not have been a mild stroke, depending on which doctor you talk to. He's currently in rehab at St. David's, with visitors like Slaid Cleaves popping in to sing and play a couple of tunes (quietly) in his hospital room. It's still up in the air whether he'll be able to make it to what was to have been his showcase and is now a tribute for him, Friday, 10pm, at Antone's.
Billy Joe Shaver, who recently managed to find the time between international tours to have the triple bypass he was to have undergone last year, has just won the Association for Independent Music (AFIM) award as Best Country Album of the Year for The Earth Rolls On.
And finally, the ever-ailing Brit Jones of Stickpony ended up in the hospital once again, no doubt due to flaming innards like usual, but is out and says the band will make their scheduled slot at the Hole in the Wall as part of the club's "Blow a Townie" afternoon showcases.
So now it's time for me to get back out there and see some bands who one day will get their honors, maybe along the lines of a box set like the one Rhino Records has just announced for ZZ Top in the fall, or a series of classic reissues, like the ones I just received advances of from Dual-Tone. The label's CDs of the Reivers' long out-of-print Capitol Records discs Saturday and End of the Day will be available to the public in about a month. Or maybe they'll be forgotten to everyone but you -- but isn't that enough?
The folks at local alt.rock indie KROX (aka 101.5FM), and the kids at KVRX, UT student radio (91.7FM), finally managed to get their slate of live guest appearances to me in time for this daily (look in the Austin Music Awards issue of the Chronicle for KGSR, KLBJ, and KUT). Check 'em out while you're whizzing from club to party to home and back:
KVRX Thursday: Mazarin (7pm), Paul Burch (8pm), Acid Mothers Temple & Ultrasound (9pm), Seaworthy (10pm); Friday: Imperial Teen (7pm), Early Day Miners (8pm), the Mendoza Line (9pm); Saturday: Lesser (10pm), Franklin Bruno (11pm), Vue (midnight); Sunday: T-Model Ford (8pm), Mr. Scruff (10pm), Her Space Holiday (11pm), Neutral (midnight), ENE (1am).
101X Thursday: X-ecutioners (2:15pm),
Quarashi (2:30pm), Riddlin Kids (3pm), Unwritten Law (3:30pm), the Ataris (4pm), Local H (4:30pm), Lo-Fidelity All Stars (5pm), Marah (5:30pm); Friday: Chevelle (2pm), Masonic (2:30pm), Hekill 3 (3pm), Active Radio (3:30pm), Endochine (3:45pm), Mushroomhead (4pm), Pushmonkey (4:15pm), Starsailor (4:30pm), Spoon (5pm), Jason Schwartzman of Phantom Planet (5:30pm); Saturday: Coco Candisi (2:15pm), Shatzi (2:45pm), Rubberhed (3:15pm), Cowboy Mouth (4pm), Harlow (4:15pm), Bare Jr. (4:30pm).