TCB: SXSW News
Sahm Enchanted Evening
Just like his late dad Doug, skunk-haired local glam-rocker Shandon Sahm is not at all shy about offering his opinions. Sahm wrote all the songs on his new album, Good Thoughts Are Better Than Laxatives, save a cover of the elder Sahm's eternal "She's About a Mover." He also played all the instruments, excepting guest shots from brother Shawn, bajo sexto ace Max Baca, and ex-Pariah bandmate Dave Derrick. While unloading a box of CDs at the Convention Center, Sahm was more than happy to comment on SXSW, the music industry, and more.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH ROCK & ROLL TODAY: "You can take your parents to a lot of these rock shows. That's how safe it is."
WHY HE'S CARRYING ON THE ENVELOPE-PUSHING TRADITION ESTABLISHED BY IGGY POP:
"I'm trying to put the danger back into rock & roll."
WHAT HE WANTS PEOPLE TO ASK AFTER SEEING HIS SHOW:
"'Did that guy just fuck his guitar onstage?'"
ADVICE FOR SXSW BANDS WITH MAJOR LABEL DREAMS:
"Don't come here expecting to get signed [off the street]. A&R guys are coming here to see a band they already know about."
LOCAL BANDS HE THINKS HAVE HAD THEIR DAY IN THE SUN:
"Vallejo and Bob Schneider. Their time is over."
AND ONE HE LIKES:
"The Spiders. Not enough bands are doing something new."
WORDS TO LIVE BY, COURTESY OF HIS DAD:
"Just go with your heart."
Shandon Sahm plays 3pm Thursday at Cheapo Discs, 5pm Friday at the Crazy Lady, and Elysium's Handsome Joel benefit on March 17 before a week-long Midwest tour, where he'll open for the Dictators and the Datsuns.
The Write Stuff
Wednesday, "TCB" had the pleasure of appearing on the "Writing About Music" crash-course panel with Jim Carroll of the Dublin daily, The Irish Times. Before a surprisingly large audience, we explained how we were inspired to become music journalists -- for Carroll, it was reading "the James Joyce of rock & roll," Irish writer Bill Graham -- and how we determine which albums are worth writing about (they just sort of leap out at you). Basically, our advice to would-be writers was just do it, because if you're passionate enough about music, the words, and hopefully the paychecks, will soon follow. After all, it beats writing about high school football, albeit just barely.
Ask a Townie
"TCB" wanted to know how Austinites in the trenches are coping with SXSW, so Wednesday we asked Club DeVille doorman Joe Frisbie.
MOST ANNOYING THING ABOUT SXSW: "Everyone's false sense of entitlement."
STUPIDEST QUESTION ASKED BY AN OUT-OF-TOWNER: "'Do you guys have bands here?' -- when there's a band playing."
BEST AUSTIN BAND ONLY LOCALS HAVE HEARD OF: "Winslow."
BEST WAY TO RELIEVE SXSW STRESS: "Choking someone from Los Angeles to death."
SXSW Photo Quiz
These people are ...
a) international musicians waiting to clear customs at the airport.
b) music journalists whose invitation to the SPIN party got lost in the mail.
c) former major label executives in the unemployment line.
d) SXSW volunteers who finally got a bathroom break.
Last minute SXSW schedule changes:
THE B-52s (drop): The Athens, Ga.-based New Wave stalwarts were forced to board up the "Love Shack" when guitarist Keith Strickland's father died.
COCO CANDISSI (add): The hard-edged, mixed-gender Austin synth-rockers take the stage 9pm Friday at Spiro's, preceding Brazilians MON and DJ Fausto.
BRENT PALMER (add): The Austin singer-songwriter, who has been winning both accolades and airplay for his Boomerang Shoes EP, now closes out Saturday night at the Pecan St. Ale House with a 1am set.
SXSW-related quotes "TCB" overheard:
"Can I take a shower?" -- the drummer for Japanese metal monsters Electric Eel Shock, clad Chili Pepper-style in only a strategically placed sock
"I'm just trying to stay awake." -- Beerland's Billy Stockton, looking forward to a pre-showcase nap
"We're about to get naked and stick things in assholes and sing songs about Jesus." -- Dillinger 4 bassist/vocalist Patrick Costello, outlining the Minneapolis punk rockers' game plan
Pick of the Litter
Who various people that "TCB" ran into are excited about seeing:
KEVIN RUSSELL, the Gourds: "Tony Joe White. He's my guru."
NIKKI ROWLING, Austin Music Foundation: "The Spiders, because I haven't yet."
BILL ANDERSON, Meat Purveyors: "Probably the same two or three bands on our label we see every year."
NED STEWART, Grand Champeen: "The Cherry Valence. They fuckin' rock."