Treatin' 'Em Right Since '69: A Tribute to Handsome Joel Svatek

Treatin' 'Em Right Since '69:A Tribute to Handsome Joel Svatek (Arclight)

Texas Platters

Treatin' 'Em Right Since '69: A Tribute to Handsome Joel Svatek

(Arclight)

Red River wept on Jan. 29, 2003, when its unofficial mayor, "Handsome" Joel Svatek, sustained fatal injuries after being rear-ended by a drunk driver. Even in death, Joel casts a long shadow over the "dogleg" where he spent so many nights, as illustrated wonderfully by Arclight Records' 2-CD tribute. Dominated by the sludgy, lumbering backwoods rock Joel favored, but nearly stolen by Holy Happy Hour Charlie's acoustic epitaph, "The Show Goes On," Treatin' 'Em Right was assembled with care and it shows. Heavy music is never heavier than when confronting the loss of a friend, and many songs, notably Dixie Witch's "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow," Magnet School's "LOTL," and Brewtality Inc.'s "The King of Red River," address the tragedy and/or Joel's life directly. Others are more oblique but no less powerful: Drunken Thunder's bluesy lament "Don't Answer the Phone," and Tia Carrera turning the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" into eight minutes of squalling eulogy. What little levity there is comes from Joel himself via his KAOS radio air breaks; the highest praise he could bestow upon a band like Mastodon or Honky, both included here, was that they "fuckin' rocked." Handsome Joel fuckin' rocked too, and Red River remembers.

***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Sabbath Crow
Carrion Highway Weird Sun (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Aug. 16, 2019

Texas Platters
USA/Mexico
Matamoros (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Aug. 16, 2019

More by Christopher Gray
Margaret Moser Tribute: Alvin Crow
Alvin Crow
Summer camp with the kids

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
That Margaret Moser, she’s a rainbow

June 30, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle