AMN loses its plumbing while Cinemania sinks altogether
The plot surrounding the fate of music television in Austin continues to thicken. Perhaps the most interesting new wrinkle is that the Austin Music Network's current studios sit on land marked for redevelopment in the massive Mueller Airport overhaul, which the city green-lit last week. Among other things, this means the studios are now without sewer service due to preparations for the impending construction probably the most tangible evidence yet of the network's uncertain future.
Meanwhile, the city is studying AMN General Manager Louis J. Meyers' proposal to bring the network under the public-access auspices of ACTV, while the Austin Music Partners continue their campaign to assume control of Channel 15 when AMN's current contract expires at the end of September. Last Friday, AMP spokeswoman Connie Wodlinger sat down with "TCB" at Jo's Hot Coffee. While outlining AMP's proposal, Wodlinger estimated the new network's content would be at least 70% local, and emphasized that it would be receptive to all genres.
TCB: Why does Austin need this channel more than what we already have?
Connie Wodlinger: Well, it isn't a matter of more than what you already have, it's a matter of after September there isn't going to be a 24-hour music channel. Despite some misinformation that's been disseminated, there's no city money, and they've known that for a long time. ... The intent for the last year has been to find someone who can do it and fund it, and that hasn't happened.
It's not a simple thing, to put together a five- or 10-year business plan and a programming concept, and then go and line up investment banking that's willing to put very substantial dollars into an unproven model. Just as it's not easy to go to a major cable operator and make a distribution deal. I think all those factors have come together, and we have the ability to do that.
It's not about Louis Meyers, it's not about AMN. They're talking now about retaining the AMN name and logo, which is great, and doing this block of programming on one of the access channels. So that availability of local access still exists. It can exist in perfect harmony with what we're doing. It's not a competitive situation.
Cinemania, the Alamo Drafthouse/Emo's collaboration scheduled over Memorial Day weekend, didn't quite go according to plan. The plan was to sell tickets, and organizers pulled the plug last Thursday after only moving a handful. The film screenings were spread among the three local Drafthouses, while the bands (including a reunited Sebadoh) were rescheduled for later in the summer. Emo's owner Frank Hendrix listed a number of factors he thought contributed to the paltry sales: Many people had pre-existing holiday plans, the location at Two River Canyon is just too far-flung, and they ran out of time to adequately promote the weekend. But, he said, the sponsors harbor no ill will toward each other and in fact are already making plans to try again closer to town. Both the Alamo and Emo's were able to cut their losses to some degree, Hendrix added, but he still had to swallow a soda shipment that should keep Emo's in mixers for the foreseeable future and then some.
Memo to Maynard Keenan and All Other Visiting Rock Stars: We know George W. Bush is from Texas, but not all of us voted for him. Monday at the Frank Erwin Center, Keenan digressed from his band A Perfect Circle's brooding art-metal long enough to deliver an (admittedly humorous) soliloquy on the Californians' current chief executive and, inevitably, our own former Guv. Earlier, Dimitri Coats (pictured) led Burning Brides through a teeth-gnashing set that positioned the Philadelphia trio as the house band at a party hosted by Metallica, Nirvana, and Oasis and uttered nary a word about any elected officials, past or present.
Scene Stealers: The Kodiaks
As laid-back offstage as they are ferocious on, the Kodiaks are damn lucky to get through a show unscathed. Recently, lead singer Yoshi tripped over drummer Lisa's already broken ankle and came away from the Emo's gig with a face full of fiberglass. His onstage contortions and collisions are now so commonplace his mates hardly pay attention anymore.
"He's never floored me by running into me," insists guitarist Tom, who laughs recounting the time Yoshi jumped on the church pew near Beerland's stage and went straight through.
Guitarist No. 2 Mike describes these tirades as "apeshit," while Lisa confesses that sometimes she fears for her safety.
"Especially since Beerland got glass," she says.
The Kodiaks, who like Austin's the Ends adopt a common surname, traffic in songs as manic as their frontman who was regrettably absent from this Dog & Duck interview and as sharp and angular as the shards that frequently litter the floor after gigs.
French label Yakisakana just issued their debut 7-inch, "Watch My Soul," with another in the works for locals Super Secret. They couldn't find a bass player when they started 2½ years ago, but free food is another matter.
"We played a Japanese-American cultural event at the Caswell House on 15th Street," recalls Tom. "We made about 90% of the people leave, but we got free sushi."
The Kodiaks play Friday, June 4, at Beerland.
Slipped Disc: The Transgressors (Shamrock)
IT'S A SIN: Neither as perverse
as the Attic Ted nor as ethereal as Okkervil River, the Transgressors featuring former members of Chris Black & the Holy Ghost, including Black himself are still part of that twisted tree of macabre rural goth. Their closest analogue may be the haunted, hellhound-dodging reveries of Denver's Sixteen Horsepower.
SONGS TO LEARN & SING: While "Cuban Death
Waltz" has its heart in Morricone country and "Montoro" is a fractured south-of-the-border vaquero ballad (named for bassist/trumpeter Craig Montoro), "The Way of the Wild" and "The Beginning of the End" recall nothing so much as the overcast vocals and moody aesthetics of Liverpudlians Echo & the Bunnymen. Really.
CD release Saturday, June 5, at Club de Ville with the Bloody Tears and DJ Mike Mariconda.
Bullet the Blue Sky
Los Lonely Boys' Fillmore meeting with Carlos Santana was well documented in our "Live Shot" and a lengthy "Random Note" in Rolling Stone (D-12 cover), but Santana took such a shine to the San Angelo trio that after the show he invited them back to his house. The party lasted until 3am and ended with an invitation for LLB to lay down some licks on Santana's next album come September.
Tia Carrera also found themselves on the receiving end of some RS love, but not as much as they hoped. In his "Out There" column, Senior Writer David Fricke lauded the "A-bomb quality" of the local threesome's The November Session LP in the Prince issue, but the text is cut off midsentence. The missing words are ... still missing.
While driving through West Texas, noted songwriter Lee Hazlewood and his wife were enraptured by Shelley King's "Texas Blue Moon." Mrs. Hazlewood suggested it would make a fine duet with Lee's longtime muse Nancy Sinatra, who evidently agreed, because the song appears on the duo's new Warner album, Nancy & Lee 3.
Flutes Are Busting Out All Over: The normally demure woodwind is suddenly the hottest instrument in pop, appearing on recent hits by Usher, Petey Pablo, R. Kelly & Nick Cannon, and even the new Morrissey record. Flautists everywhere enjoy a level of street cred not seen since the heyday of Jethro Tull or at least En Vogue.