Dancing About Architecture
Goodbye to the Hole, hello Trail of Dead. Imus falls for the Flatlanders.
Last Days In The Hole
The Hole in the Wall's Debbie Rombach doesn't dispute last week's "Dancing" quote from her stating that "come July 1, I'll be out of a job." She did, however, call to add emphasis to her declaration, reminding the many highly perched readers of this column that, "I type really slow, but I know how to spell. I tend bar, but you already knew that ... " (For an expanded résumé, phone 472-5599). The major bad of the Hole's imminent closing does bring with it a few smaller goods surprisingly enough, such as the continuing series of unexpected reunions. Terri Lord says that she originally intended to keep the short but sweet (three songs) Sincola get-together this Friday a secret, but their name ended up forcing itself onto the flier she was making for the show. Her Raul's-era band the Jitters is also reuniting at the venue the following night (how 'bout that picture!), so perhaps the Sincola name merely felt the need for equal attention? In any case, the Sincola set comes as part of "Beloved Women of the Hole" night, which also features short sets from Jean Caffeine, Kathy McCarty, Texacala Jones, Pam Peltz, Handful, Annie Melvin, and Lewinsky. Saturday's Jitters appearance also features the Real Heroes, Swishbucklers, Split Lip Rayfield's Kirk Runstrom, and Mike Nicolai. The final night at the Hole, alas, would appear to be this Sunday, with Paul Minor's Superego All Stars, Sexy Finger Champs, Hognose, Mandible, the Tinys, and finally the Pocket Fishrmen closing the place down for good. Considering that, if memory serves, the old Electric Lounge burned down following a Fishrmen gig, perhaps all those who plan to attend should first familiarize themselves with the building's exits.
Tee Vee Tunes
Trail of Dead's appearance on The Late Show last week looked sharp, with Day-viddd Letterman appearing impressed rather than horrified by their onstage antics. "Despite their name," declared the late-night arbiter of taste, "they seem to be a really nice bunch of guys." After Neil Busch planted his bass neatly into the face of an upended speaker cabinet and the band appeared to be exiting prematurely, a concerned Letterman urged them to return and chided, "Don't neglect your studies!" It was the Flatlanders appearance on the Don Imus show last week, however (as opposed to their Letterman or Austin City Limits tapings) that helped chart the trio's Now Again on the Billboard 200 this week (No. 168 with a bullet). Imus, already a big fan of local reprobates like Kinky Friedman and Billy Joe Shaver, went ga-ga over the Lubbock gang and continued playing and plugging the group's music on his show from then till now. Look for him to do the same this Friday on Larry King Live, on which he guests. While we're on the tube, I should mention that Schlotzsky's is airing yet another four-week network, syndication, and cable "Music for Your Mouth" TV ad campaign -- this time for its new All American Angus sandwich -- using the creative talents of Austin animators, editors, and musicians. Continuing participants in the sandwich ads are Danny Levin, Jon Blondell, Rayvon Foster, and Darin Murphy, along with new additions Schrödinger's Cat. Hopefully this time, the creative team won't have to re-draw any of the spots because a character looks too much like the mascot of a certain non-local "home" of the blues. Meanwhile, a TV pilot with the working title "The Bonfire Bands" is scouting around Austin and San Antonio, where shooting began on June 22. Among other things, the crew will be filming Saucer's show on July 6, when the local "supergroup" featuring members of Vallejo, George DeVore & the Roam, Steamroller, and Cadillac Voodoo Choir play at the Red Eyed Fly. The show proposes to "take the viewer into the real world of the musicians ... what they do to pay the bills, who their families are, and the prices they pay for those few glorious moments on stage." Sounds like a setup for about 100 different musician jokes...
Blue Ribbon Grass
The South Austin Jug Band, featuring Warren Hood, called from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival to announce that they won first prize in the Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition. Seems that Hood, who became something of a local star this year at the Austin Music Awards by leading the musical tribute to his dad, Champ Hood, is starting to get notice in other parts. Winners get to play on the main stage at next year's festival. There were, in the band's words, 10 "excellent" bands competing against them, and they were surprised that they even made it into the finals, let alone won the top prize after the final round. The band reports that they feel it was their original material that made the difference.
I'm not completely sure who's in Fastball now that Miles Zuniga's number has been retired, and I'm starting to wonder if the band themselves know. Danny Crooks says their Steamboat gig has gone from June 12 to June 19 to June 29 and finally off into foul territory altogether. He's advising that the group call back when they've "got their shit together"... Of course, it's the Young Heart Attack, featuring Fastballers Tony Scalzo and Joey Shuffield, who currently appear to have their shit together, what with that indie signing recently. Then again, YHA member Chris "Frenchie-- Smith was way too busy being belligerent to me, and the pregnant woman between us, to discuss the matter last time we met. The Attack will be part of a monster lineup this Friday at Room 710, along with the Rockland Eagles (Cris Burns, Mark Hutchins, Andy Thomas, Jason Crow, and Ken Domaschke). New York's Cameo by Taters, featuring various members and special guests from the Big Apple's underground music scene (Tim Stegall!?), and Supagroup are also on the bill... Delbert McClinton has finished up work on his next album, slated for a September release. There's no title or further information available, beyond that he's been up in Nashville getting those last touches, like mastering, done on the disc. That and listening to his friend Imus talk shit about him, which as Joe Ely found out, is Don's way of saying, "I love you"... For those who've been worried, yes, there will be fireworks at Auditorium Shores on July 4 this year, though the loud noises will be provided by Tesla, Tommy Chong, Creedence Clearwater Revisited (Shouldn't that be "Revised"? Who the hell is in the band these decades anyhow?), Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe, Jackÿl, Skid Röw, Pödünk, and Ültr$#228;sönïc for $7 at Decker Lake by the Travis County Expo Center. Sörry, went a little ümläüt cräzy there... More music in unusual places: Shaker Dog performs at the Vortex Theatre on Saturday, July 6, 9pm, along with other groups who play an integral part in the Vortex, from actors to sound engineers. Shaker Dog was created from remnants of the group Texas God, which in turn is something of a spinoff from Lester Bangs & the Delinquents... Words from the dormant giant: SXSW.com is offering a chance for acts to tap into the European market at Popkomm (Aug. 15-17, 2002) for a discount. Right now, registrations for Popkomm are only 198 Euros plus VAT (regularly 220) when you download the special registration form from www.sxsw.com/popkomm. The annual music conference in Cologne, Germany, is one of the international forums for the music and entertainment industry worldwide, attracting more than 17,000 participants. After July 1, the price goes up to 290 Euros... A clarification from last week's column: Mark Rubin notes that "folks have been asking how I got my seven-piece Western swing band a gig in Croatia. To clarify: I'll be in Krakow, Poland, with Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars (franklondon.com/dsk), then off to Port Townsend to teach at the Fiddles Tunes festival (centrum.org/workshops/fiddle.html), and to appear with the Bing Bang Boys (markrubin.com/bingbang) and Houston based Texas-Polish fiddler Brian Marshall (markrubin.com/brianmarshall), who incidentally has a brand-new CD out as well. Then it's back to Europe with Frank London's band (franklondon.com/tour.html) till August. And then back to the Black Cat with the Ridgetop Syncopators (markrubin.com/ridgetop.html) for every Wednesday forever. Except when I head up to the National Folk Festival in Bangor, Maine, with Brian Marshall again. All clear?" Clear as the Krakow sky, Mark...