Closing out a turbulent year
Last year was an especially rough one for the local music scene. Here's one last spin through the headlines before whatever havoc 2005 wreaks.
2004 on the Floor
The Ozomatli (above) riot at SXSW embarrassed the city of Austin so much it not only dropped all charges against the L.A. Latino rockers, but practically adopted them, hosting two more shows last year and another this month.
Joe's Generic Bar owner Joe Bates' still-unsolved October murder also sounded the death knell for live blues on Sixth Street.
Suffocating heat at the ACL Music Festival didn't prevent crowds from smashing attendance records or organizers from scheduling the 2005 edition for the exact same weekend.
Local radio welcomed looser classic rock formats at 103.5 and 102.3FM, at the expense of live deejays. Two urban stations in Austin were one too many, and Beat 104.3 became the all-talk "Coyote."
Punk mainstays Ignorance Park somehow managed to play more local gigs after two members were busted for trafficking marijuana in Missouri than before.
The ongoing alphabet soup between AMN, AMP, and ACTV exasperated everyone from staffers and council members to viewers, but the embattled music network managed to stay on the air.
Hole in the Wall and San Marcos' Cheatham Street Warehouse celebrated their 30th anniversaries, with the Cactus Cafe not far behind at 25.
Alejandro Escovedo beat back his hepatitis C enough to play enthusiastically received sets at the Continental Club during SXSW, the Texas Union Theater in October, and November's Por Vida tribute at the Paramount.
Thirty Three Degrees and Tower both shuttered, leaving Waterloo, Cheapo, Music Mania, and the new Sound on Sound as the chief non-big-box music stores in town. Downloaders hardly noticed.
Though amended to the point of being completely ineffectual, the smoking ordinance refused to die, and still won't. If anti-tobacco forces can ban smoking in British pubs, they can certainly find a way to do it here.
1) What Made Milwaukee Famous, Trying to Never Catch Up
Local Top 10
2) Shane Bartell, Too Soon to Say (Lilywhite)
3) Jesse Dayton, Country Soul Brother (Stag)
4) The Arm (Last Gasp)
5) Zykos (Post-Parlo)
6) Kevin Fowler, Loose, Loud & Crazy (Equity)
7) Coffee Sergeants, El-Ariesh
8) The Stepbrothers, Baby It's Over (Licorice Tree)
9) The Good Looks, Let the Needle Drop
10) The Real Heroes, Greetings From Russia (Rec Center)
1) U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Interscope)
National Top 10
2) Rilo Kiley, More Adventurous (Brute/Beaute)
3) Drive-by Truckers, The Dirty South (New West)
4) Kanye West, College Dropout (Roc-A-Fella)
5) The Faint, Wet From Birth (Saddle Creek)
6) Green Day, American Idiot (Reprise)
7) Franz Ferdinand (Domino)
8) The Cure (Interscope)
9) Probot (Southern Lord)
10) Avril Lavigne, Under My Skin (Arista)
Sunday's benefit at the Austin Music Hall for victims of the Southeast Asian tsunami sold out in six hours Tuesday reports its organizer, Texas Monthly senior editor and Wild Seeds head man Michael Hall. The line-up, Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Joe Ely, Alejandro Escovedo, Spoon, Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis, and Patty Griffin, has been well publicized, but the special guests have not. "I'm certain Willie will have guests," assures Hall. "He's calling Bill Clinton, so you never know. Maybe [Clinton] will get up there with his saxophone." Those who missed out on tickets but still want to help can send checks to the Austin Community Foundation (www.austincommunityfoundation.org), 816 Congress Ave. #1201, Austin TX 78701. Write Tsunami Relief on the memo line. All proceeds go to the Red Cross, CARE, and/or UNICEF.
Do They Know It's Willie?
Already closer than anyone at the Chronicle wants to acknowledge, SXSW 05 takes a walk on the wild side with a showcase and interview from Lou Reed. Here's a sampling of 400-500 bands who've accepted slots, with the festival reporting that 800 invitations have gone out. Check www.sxsw.com for added acts, and of course, stay tuned here.
All Tomorrow's Parties
Alabama Thunderpussy, the Album Leaf, Ambulance LTD, American Music Club, Amplified Heat, Apocalyptica, Apostle of Hustle, the Arm, Nic Armstrong, Ash, Athlete, Austin Theremonic Orchestra, Awesome Cool Dudes, the Black Halos, Black Moses, Bleach, the Bloody Hollies, Bonk, John Butler Trio, By Divine Right, Laura Cantrell, Cephalic Carnage, Charanga Cakewalk, Chingo Bling, Chingon, Meg Lee Chin, the City Lights, the Coolies, the Crimea, Crooked Fingers, Kacy Crowley, the Crystal Method, Crystal Skulls, the Cuban Cowboys, Cut Copy, the Czars, Daaraj, Walter Daniels/Wade Driver, Darediablo, Jesse Dayton, the Dears, DJ Jester the Filipino Fist and QuadRod, the Donnas, Johnny Dowd, Edith Frost, Kathleen Edwards, Endochine, Experimental Aircraft, Faceless Werewolves, Jason Falkner, Fatal Flying Guilloteens, the Fighting Brothers McCarthy, Ruthie Foster, the George W. Bush Singers, Eliza Gilkyson, Gnappy, Gorch Fock, Grady, the Greencards, Grupo Fantasma, Guitar Wolf, Caroline Herring, Robyn Hitchcock, Hobble, Hot Hot Heat, Billy Idol, Jetscreamer, Daniel Johnston, Laika & the Cosmonauts, Jon Langford & the Sexy, Ben Lee, Gary Lucas & Gods and Monsters, Aimee Mann, Marlowe, the Meat Purveyors, Metal Urbain, Midlake, Milton Mapes, the Mobius Band, Mono, Ronnie Montrose, Moonlight Towers, M. Ward, Nashville Pussy, the Octopus Project, Of Montreal, Anders Parker, Piccola Orchestra Avion, Pig Destroyer, the Pink Swords, Plastilina Mosh, Pong, the Pretty Please, Radar Bros., the Raveonettes, the Real Heroes, Gruff Rhys, Stan Ridgway, Rockland Eagles, Scott H. Biram, Charlie Sexton, Michelle Shocked, the Silent League, Sleater-Kinney, Son Volt, the Soundtrack of Our Lives, Mavis Staples, This Microwave World, Th' Legendary Shack*Shakers, the Six Parts Seven, Trashcan Sinatras, Patricia Vonne, the Waco Brothers, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Whitey Houston, Zykos
The Austin Music Poll is a post-holiday tradition that carries the added bonus of having absolutely nothing to do with either red or blue states. The ballot is here. "TCB" humbly offers the following recommendations:
BAND OF THE YEAR: Tia Carrera
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR: Shane Bartell
SONG OF THE YEAR: This Microwave World, "December Was a Sham"
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: What Made Milwaukee Famous, Trying to Never Catch Up
NEW AUSTIN BAND: The Arm
PUNK: The Applicators
DJ: DJ Mel
POP: Sound Team
JAZZ: Paris '49
HIP-HOP: Tee Double
EXPERIMENTAL: Attack Formation
COUNTRY: Kevin Fowler
BLUEGRASS: Grassy Knoll Boys
ROOTS ROCK: Jon Dee Graham
FOLK: White Ghost Shivers
LATIN TRADITIONAL: Del Castillo
LATIN CONTEMPORARY: Patricia Vonne
WORLD: Tucker Livingston
COVER BAND: Pudge Zeppelin
KID BAND: Misspent Youth
NOVELTY: Jolly Garogers
NONE OF THE ABOVE: Gorch Fock
FEMALE VOCALS: Carolyn Wonderland
MALE VOCALS: Ben Hotchkiss, the Real Heroes
ELECTRIC GUITAR: Redd Volkaert
ACOUSTIC GUITAR: Scott H. Biram
BASS: Billy Dee
DRUMS: Erik Conn, Tia Carrera
KEYBOARDS: Graham Reynolds, Golden Arm Trio
HORNS: Joey Ficklin, Gorch Fock (trombone)
STRINGS: Rob Bernard, Damnations (banjo)
MISCELLANEOUS INSTRUMENT: John Pointer, Beatbox (mouth)
SONGWRITER: Jesse Dayton
RECORD PRODUCER: Young Heart Attack, Mouthful of Love
NEW CLUB: Redrum
LIVE MUSIC VENUE: The Parish
ACOUSTIC VENUE: Flipnotics
ALL-AGES VENUE: Stubb's
RECORD STORE: Sound on Sound
EQUIPMENT STORE: Rock n Roll Rentals
RADIO STATION: KVET-FM
RADIO PROGRAM: The Afternoon Show, KVET-AM
RADIO MUSIC PROGRAM: Next Big Thing, 101X
RADIO PERSONALITY: Paul Ray, KUT
BAND WEB SITE: MySpace.com
LOCAL MUSIC TV SERIES: Local Live, KVR-9
MUSIC VIDEO/DVD: Robert Earl Keen, Live From Austin, TX (New West)
CONCERT POSTER: Attack Formation, the Sword, Whiskey Bar, Sept. 9
JOURNALIST/CRITIC/WRITER: Chad Holt, Rank and Revue
COVER ART: The Stepbrothers, Baby It's Over
ROADSHOW: Wilco, ACL Fest
HALL OF FAME: "Blues Boy" Hubbard, Chris Gates, Cornell Hurd, Dale Watson, Freddy Krc, Jeff Pinkus, Larry Seaman, Rick Broussard