Police on My Back
Since the Mardi Gras riots in early 2001, the Austin Police Department and large beverage-consuming masses of citizenry haven't gotten along. After storming the Mercury (now Parish) last February for what many saw as specious reasons and clashing with a local band this New Year's Eve, the latest round came Wednesday night at BMI's Latin rock showcase, from the critically acclaimed and bilingually beloved Ozomatli.
Ozo tradition dictates a drum-led procession out of the venue to close every show, which they did, only to be met on the street by two APD officers who ordered them to cease and desist. Drummers Willy Abers and Jiro Yamaguchi didn't desist fast enough for the officers' liking, and were arrested Abers for disobeying a lawful ordinance, a Class C misdemeanor, and Yamaguchi for the much more serious third degree felony charge of assaulting a police officer, though serious doubts exist over how much assault took place. To hear one Chronicle writer who happened to be there tell it, the cops flat plain flew off the handle. "They did nothing to help themselves," she said.
By Thursday evening, both band members and their manager, Amy Blackman-Romero, who was also arrested, had been released. The band's "special guest" slot at the Esquire showcase Saturday night at Stubb's was still on at press time.
Also shut down by the APD was dirty blooze trio Grady's roving flatbed-truck live performance.
Afterparty of the Night
... took place across the highway south of Cesar Chavez Wednesday night, where everyone who ever hung out at Beerland's Disco Hospital whiled away the wee hours enjoying the Manchesterisms of hosts Mona Jane and Austin's A Tiger Named Lovesick. A hazily reconstructed roster of all locals: This Microwave World, Single Frame, Attack Formation, Dead Whale Tide, ...Trail of Dead, Young Heart Attack, The Action Is, DJ Pandora. Plus a whole bunch of people from San Francisco to Scotland and points beyond. Estimated departure time: 4:20am.
What's Your Ring Tone?
This one came from old "TCB" friend Jenny Sperandeo, who used to live in Austin, manage Whiskeytown, and go see the Drive-by Truckers at the Hole in the Wall. Now she works for Virgin in L.A. and has a cell phone that rings to the Facts of Life theme song. Here are the locals' favorite ring tones. Rock on!
Johnny Walker, Ignorance Park
"If I had one, it would be 'Guns of Brixton' by the Clash."
Jeff Copas, Beecher
"It sounds like a Star Trek phaser."
Ron Byrd, Prescott Curlywolf
"'Ode to Joy'"
Al G., the Ends
"I used to have a cell phone, and it had 'Sonic Reducer' on it."
Peter Elliot, Peter Elliot & the Sellouts
"The phone I had before this had it where you could program your own, and I did the bass line to [the Clash's] 'Magnificent Seven.'"
"The grass may be greener on the other side, but it's just as hard to cut." Little Richard, in a rare moment of clarity at his inspirational and impassioned, yet not always entirely coherent, SXSW keynote address
Carrie Clark of Austin's the Pretty Please had the worst rock morning ever readying for the tight local trio's day show at Room 710. A broken pedal, two busted strings, and a blown amp. "All before lunchtime," she groaned.
"We're playing again somewhere tonight, but I don't know where it is." Brighton, UK's Clearlake at their Emo's Thursday-afternoon day party
Among the many SXSW visitors to Beerland was Snoop Dogg's personal hero, the guy who created Girls Gone Wild. But no camera. "He was actually looking for Emo's," doorman Ray Buhay noted.
Vacillating between Clearlake and Broken Social Scene, who won longest sound check of the afternoon, and basically just milling around Emo's courtyard, "TCB" hit upon a trifecta of Electric Lounge classmates: former Adults Paul Ahern and Peter Simonite, and poetry-slam princess Hilary Thomas. Ahern and Chris Deaner, who's gone from the Adults to +/-, are still producing their staring contests (look for them at Austin's Alamo Drafthouse next month). Simonite has recently done videos for Spoon and Zykos, while Thomas has set herself up as a writer of educational media. "I don't have to work full time to get full-time pay," she said.