The Austin Chronicle


By Christopher Gray, April 25, 2003, Music

Roller Drama

Neither side is saying much because attorneys are involved, but there's been a coup d'état in Austin's roller-derby ranks. Several skaters have broken away from Bad Girl, Good Woman Productions to form their own federation, the Texas Rollergirls. One rollergirl, Melicious, says the split came due to "growing pains" and a desire to be more "community-based." Meanwhile, BGGW issued a succinct press release Monday, stating in part, "Bad Girl, Good Woman Productions, All-Girl Roller Derby Entertainment wants to make it clear that we are not affiliated with this group." "This is no fun at all!" added BGGW "She-EO" Heather Burdick via e-mail. Small wonder: Four of the five squads -- all but the Putas del Fuego -- have joined the Rollergirls, but since BGGW owns the team names, they now go by "Gun-Totin', Rough-Ridin' Rodeo Sweethearts," "Engine-Revvin' Frisky Felines," "Groove Thing Shakin' Disco Divas," and "Sexy Schoolyard Scrappers." The upstart league has its first bout 7pm, Sunday, at Playland Skate Center (8822 McCann), with refreshments by Beerland and music by the Sexy Finger Champs and DJ Shiv. Tickets are $10.

DJs Screwed?

Eeyore's Birthday, that proto-Austin celebration of bare feet, psilocybin, and drum circles, turns 40 years old this Saturday amid a patchouli-smelling cloud of controversy. For the past several years, a group of DJs have set up on the north end of Pease Park, adjacent to the area occupied by Eeyore's proper, and have steadily drawn greater and greater numbers; estimates have gone as high as 1,000. For Eeyore's organizers, who originally gave the DJs their blessing, the increased crowds meant increased liabilities in terms of medical, security, and trash cleanup, so the overseeing board voted to disallow the gathering. Scott Sexton of the Friends of the Forest Foundation, the group that stages Eeyore's as a benefit for area nonprofit agencies, says diplomatically, "It has nothing to do with the type of music, what they look like, anything along those lines." Not surprisingly, the DJs see it a bit differently. Coy West of the 626 Soul collective freely admits, "It's their permit; it's their event" but says he still thinks the decision is based more on a general distaste for dance music among Eeyore's old guard than any legal concerns. "We prided ourselves on bringing in hundreds of people who wouldn't have come before," he adds. Reached for comment in the Hundred Acre Wood, Eeyore himself said, "Oh, well. Life goes on." As ever, the drum circle and costumery run 10am-dark, with nonamplified music by Ghandaia, Alpha Rhythm, and the Gustavo Rodriguez Band, while West, DJ Mel, Chris Specht, and Merrick Brown pack up their wax for Ruta Maya coffeehouse, where they'll spin from 10pm-close.

Fuzz Buster

Austin will be a little less groovy, baby, come the end of May when Fuzz Club den mother DJ Sue moves to L.A. Originally from the East Coast, Sue says she's moving out West to pursue her interest in photography and perhaps go back to school. As for the Fuzz Club, "I thought I'd do it for a couple of months and wound up doing it three years." Believe it or not, her first Clubhouse was the seriously South Austin Chaparral Lounge. "I was new to the idea of setups," she says. She then spent several months at Nasty's before coming to rest, and thriving, at Beerland, where Sue found a kindred spirit in owner Randall Stockton. "He loves the music as much as I do," she says. Tearing it up Saturday will be the Ka-nives, featuring Matt Murillo of Houston mod squads the Jewws and Junior Varsity, and New Orleans' All-Night Movers. A reincarnated version of the Sir Finks will play the May 24 finale, as Sue bids adieu to the growing number of people who share her affinity for kitschy hairstyles and high-energy Sixties sounds. At the beginning, she says, "People would come in and say, 'What is this music?' Now the same people are dressing Sixties and they know all the songs." She also counts herself lucky because, by DJ standards, she doesn't have all that much inventory: "I tend to move a lot, and my friends won't help me if I have too many records."

Mixed Notes

Speaking of records, don't forget the Austin Record Convention this Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm, at the Crockett Events Center, 6301 Hwy. 290 E. The festivities include two screenings of the movie Vinyl, featuring commentary from jazz historian, American Splendor subject, and Chronicle contributor Harvey Pekar. Showtimes are 9:45pm Saturday at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown and 9:45pm Sunday at the Alamo Drafthouse Village... Billy Bob Alert: Thornton, now on a first-two-names basis with all of Austin, was partying with some Alamo colleagues at Stubb's last Friday when he took a liking to happy-hour roots-rockers Otis. Singer Brett Humphries says the Levity star held up a napkin with the message "You guys are fuckin' great!"... Phillip Niemeyer of Black Lipstick called to say the band's recent Mercury show was prematurely dubbed a CD release, since debut Converted Thieves wasn't then available. It is now, he says, so Lipstick is playing a free show Friday at Waterloo Records, 5pm.

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