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.