KATRINA & THE WAVESNo two Southern locales have a stronger kinship than Austin and New Orleans. Besides an almost obsessive appreciation for food, drink, and music, both steamy cities share an overall tempo much more relaxed than the rest of the country. But, when it comes to marshaling money and supplies for our beleaguered neighbors to the east, Austin has been anything but slack. A number of benefits were held over Labor Day weekend; many more are in the early planning stages. What follows is as complete a list of relief shows as TCB had Tuesday afternoon. All proceeds from the following shows go toward the American Red Cross and/or other organizations aiding New Orleanians' long journey toward recovery. Please do what you can. For a complete listing of Katrina-related relief efforts, see Politics, p.28.
1) ATX Magazine's Fall Fashion Fling at Emo's outside, with the Chapters, Pompeii, and Cassette. Free chair massages for Katrina evacuees; donation points for clothing, nonperishable food items, and cash.
2) What Made Milwaukee Famous, the Glass Family, the Lord Henry at the Parish.
3) Jerry Jeff Walker, Jack Ingram, and 1100 Springs, presented by KVET/KASE, at Stubb's. Doors at 7pm.
4) "Katrina Is a Bitch" benefit at Austin Daze, 1300 E. Fourth: Carolyn Wonderland, Echo Base Soundsystem, King Tears, Groovin' Ground, Blaze, Brownout!, and more. 6pm-2am.
5) ATX Magazine's "Fall Fashion Fling" at Redrum with the Mack Price Trio, 2 Guy Trio, and Ameritrash. See Thursday for details.
6) "Long Live New Orleans" fundraiser, featuring the Waxploitation DJs, at Red's Scoot Inn. Special set of New Orleans funk at midnight. DJs also spinning classic New Orleans R&B and soul 6-8pm at Gene's PoBoys, East 11th Street and Rosewood Avenue. $5 donation suggested.
7) Cyril and Gaynielle Neville, their son Norman Caesar, and Papa Mali & the Instigators at the Saxon Pub. Not a benefit per se, but "these people need to work," says the Saxon's Dave Cotton.
8) ATX Magazine's "Fall Fashion Fling" at Tambaleo with Sydney Price and DJ Toddy B. See Thursday for details.
9) New Orleans Relief Fund Jazz Band at the Austin Farmers' Market, Republic Square Park. 10-11:30am.
10) Saints football and music all day at the Shoal Creek Saloon.
11) This Damn Town, the Apeshits, and the HotRails at Beerland.
12) Elizabeth McQueen & the Firebrands and Brothers Lazaroff at Hole in the Wall.
13) Heybale!, Jon Dee Graham, Fastball, Alejandro Escovedo with Charlie Sexton, Ian McLagan & the Bump Band, James McMurtry, and Dan Dyer at Antone's. $20.
Next Friday, Sept. 16, finds Marcia Ball, Joe Ely, Delbert McClinton, and Asleep at the Wheel at "Sixth Street for Bourbon Street," which will close down UT's bacchanalian drag from Red River to Congress... Clifford Antone, meanwhile, is organizing a Sept. 21 benefit at the Frank Erwin Center. Willie Nelson has signed on to headline... Abra Moore, King Tears, the Golden Apples, Jade Day, and Greg Vanderpool of Milton Mapes play a fundraiser and collection drive at Ruta Maya Sept. 21. The South Congress coffeehouse is also hosting a hip-hop benefit Sept. 29 and offering free cover at its Sept. 18 Queen hoot night for Katrina evacuees... Marcus Allen, Broken Down South, Rocket Surgery, and the Gustavo Rodriguez Band play a benefit/collection drive Sept. 24 at the Rosemount on Williamson Creek, 4509 E. St. Elmo Rd.... Mike Dickinson of Chicken Ranch Records wants to put together a benefit; interested bands and clubs should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Austin Music Co-op is housing several displaced New Orleans musicians and their families... Cyril Neville of the Neville Brothers and Funky Meters has relocated to South Austin, telling the Chronicle's Daniel Mottola, "People here have made me feel so welcome"... A Web site aiding displaced New Orleans musicians is at www.tiannahall.com/NOAHmission.html... Sara Hickman, Tee Double, and many other local musicians are donating the wholesale costs of CDs sold at CDBaby.com to relief efforts... Beerland bartenders have started a "Red River Relief Fund," reachable at 7111Ú2 Red River, Austin, 78701... Because of Katrina, KOOP radio (91.7FM) has postponed its fall fundraising drive. Call 472-1369 for details.
PETROL-FIEDGasoline prices keep going up, and no one seems to know when or if they'll ever come down. Though everyone with a driver license is feeling the pinch of $30-50 fill-ups, touring bands are getting hit especially hard. Dozens of Austin bands tour regularly, but since most don't have any kind of label support, they wind up paying for their trips entirely out of pocket.
"Now it takes about $90 to fill up a 15-passenger van, which are terrible on mileage to begin with," reports singer-songwriter Jeff Klein, who says he'll try to cut costs on his next jaunt by "tour-pooling" with Joseph Arthur. Benjamin Howard of Youngmond Grand estimates they spent $250 to go 1,400 miles to and from the recent North vs. South festival in Lawrence, Kan.; last year, the same amount of money could take them 1,000 miles farther to and from Tucson. If Gorch Fock hadn't saved in advance for its recent West Coast trip, "we never would have survived," says drummer Jason Morales, who saw prices well over $3 per gallon.
So how do bands survive? Some raise their asking price, or pass the hat among friends and family before setting out. Others are very interested in the new biodiesel fuel. Milton Mapes singer Greg Vanderpool says finding alternative streams of income is crucial: "We were on one of those Starbucks compilations this year, and that put enough money in our account to allow us to go out and play."
If it gets much worse, reckons Moonlight Towers guitarist Jacob Schulze, there's no telling what might happen. "Maybe we'll have to rotate who gets to eat," he says. "Like, every third day, one of us puts their per diem in the gas tank."
BULLET THE BLUE SKYMembers of the local music media, including TCB, Chronicle Associate Music Editor Darcie Stevens, and Austin Music Commission Chair Teresa Ferguson, toured several Austin clubs Thursday to assess the preliminary effects of the smoking ban (below). It's obviously too soon to tell much of anything, but we did enjoy the always-pithy Holy Happy Hour Charlie at Headhunters, Armadillo poster artist Jim Franklin's stirring karaoke rendition of "My Guy," and a fine reception at the Austin Music Museum. By Monday, the ban was already revealing unforeseen effects. "Now, when smokers go outside for a cigarette, their nonsmoking friends go outside with them," said Beerland owner Randall Stockton. "So that's even more people who aren't drinking."
Sounding suspiciously like a musician, Woody Wiedeman cites "creative differences" as the reason he and wife Adriana have divested themselves of interest in Room 710. Besides tending newborn Weston, Wiedeman has taken some soundboard shifts at Emo's and begun booking several shows at the Red Eyed Fly, the first of which is Sept. 23 with Grady, Amplified Heat, and Duke.
Local musician and booking agent T.J. McFarland passed away from hepatitis C complications last week at Hospice Austin's Christopher House. He was 58. Credited with discovering Don Walser, Wayne "the Train" Hancock, and Kimmie Rhodes, the Lubbock native moved to Austin in the early Seventies and played drums for Alvin Crow and Joe Ely, before founding a booking agency that handled Crow and R.C. Banks, among many others. "He was not a headliner, but he was the most talented man I knew," McFarland's sister C.K. told the crowd at his funeral Tuesday, which included Crow, the Flatlanders, and Ray Benson. His longtime friend Virginia B. Wood has much more in "Food-o-File," p.44.
WednesdayNightDinners is hosting an evening of music, food, and art benefiting the Handsome Joel Foundation 7-10pm Wednesday at the AMLI Lofts courtyard, Second & Lavaca streets. Patrice Pike, the White Ghost Shivers, and Paris '49 provide the tunes, while Arturo's and the Clay Pit handle the eats. Tickets are $15.
The Austin Music Network's efforts to continue as an Internet-only station have hit a snag. Though staffers hold out some hope of being folded into the ACTV umbrella once the city chooses a new management company for its public-access channels, it looks more and more like the end of the line. Recover, Damesviolet, Truepenny, Saturday's Radar, Leaving July, and more play AMN's last stand 6pm tonight (Thursday) at Headhunters.