Monday afternoon the Chronicle music brain trust, dwindling down to three this year, cast our annual ballot for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Owing to the absence of "troublemaker" Margaret Moser, the ballot was dispatched with minimal bickering, though we did honor Moser's wishes and nominate the Sir Douglas Quintet as our No. 1 choice a no-brainer if there ever was one. (It only took 15 years to get on the ballot, so congrats, Doug.) We eliminated about half the candidates straightaway because they weren't rock & roll enough: the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, the Dave Clark Five, Miles Davis, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, and Cat Stevens. (Send complaints c/o Darcie "No Relation" Stevens.) John Mellencamp and the J. Geils Band couldn't muster the necessary support, though we suspect the royalties from "Jack & Diane" and "Love Stinks" will help ease the sting. That left Black Sabbath, for about the fourth year in a row; Lynyrd Skynyrd, proof Hall voters are morons (except us); the Stooges, yet another band that should have gone in long ago; Blondie (yay!); Navasota's own Joe Tex; the Sex Pistols, somewhat under protest; and the Patti Smith Group, because Lenny Kaye is an honorary Austinite after his Por Vida contributions. We suspect things will get a lot hairier in the years to come, as more New Wave, hip-hop, and metal acts become eligible; in fact, we're still scratching our heads wondering why the Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, Joy Division/New Order, and Thin Lizzy weren't listed. At least R.E.M. should be on there next year.
Lawd I'm Just a Country Boy in This Great Big Freaky City
The increasingly popular [austin swim], a weekend-evening watch party featuring the Cartoon Network's [adult swim] bloc and live music, is on thin ice. Organizer and longtime local rocker Troy Dillinger says he hopes it will go ahead as planned this weekend, but he's not making any promises. Dillinger received a cease and desist letter from the Cartoon Network Thursday, asking him to please stop using the name and showing the cartoons. Dillinger agreed to stop using the name, but fans of the event have organized a petition to ask the network to let them continue broadcasting. Dillinger suspects the Missouri-based company that markets [adult swim] is behind the order, because [austin swim] is promoting the programming better than they are. "It's probably a political thing," he says. "I think we might be making them look bad." If that weren't enough, the Austin Daze compound on East Fourth Street, which has hosted [austin swim] since June, has decided to double the amount it charges Dillinger to rent the space. Dillinger, who once sold a guitar to come up with the rent money, vows the show will go on next door at the Red Scoot Inn, in fact. "We've got a really cool audience that loves what we're doing," he says, "so we're gonna keep trying to do it for them."
Asylum Street Spankers manager John Riedie and others are working to put together a citywide event Oct. 16 for the Tipitina's Foundation, which is helping New Orleans musicians get their lives back together. "I've been bugging people left and right," says Riedie. Eleven clubs are in so far, with Louisianans Theresa Andersson, the Jazz Vipers, Bruce Daigrepont's Cajun Band, Joe Krown Trio, and jazz lion Henry Butler on board to join locals the Spankers, White Ghost Shivers, Gnappy, Jazz Pharoahs, the Resentments, Guy Forsyth, and more. "Right now I can't tell you who's playing where," admits Riedie, who also hopes to enlist the Gourds and Supagroup. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Several more New Orleans musicians, including Irma Thomas, some Neville Brothers, Willie Tee, George Porter Jr. and Leo Nocentelli, the Subdudes, Rosie Ledet, Marcia Ball, and maybe Dr. John, will gather at Austin's Wire Studios next week to record the benefit CD Sing Me Back Home Songs of Faith and Funk. Proceeds will go to several New Orleans charities including the Tipitina's Foundation, and the CD will be packaged with a DVD of Royce Osborn's documentary All on a Mardi Gras Day, which aired on PBS in 2003.
Tip On In
STREETS OF BALTIMOREDale Watson is saying so long. On the longtime honky-tonk stalwart's Web site, Watson says he will relocate to Baltimore as of Jan. 1 to be closer to his kids. "It's simply a decision to spend more time with my family," he writes. Watson is also set to appear in the movie Austin Angel, which starts shooting in March, and his album Heeah which, he notes, will likely be retitled is due soon on Palo Duro Records. But that might be all we hear from him for a while. He anticipates his time in Maryland as "possibly a rest for good, but definitely a rest that is needed." Watson and his Lone Stars return to the Continental Club Oct. 17.
GROOVE TUBEMusic + Entertainment Austin, the new Austin Music Network, had its official debut as scheduled Saturday. The station had been broadcasting videos and club listings on Time Warner Channel 15 since AMN went off the air Sept. 1, but Saturday it added live personalities. In other local music TV happenings, the KVRX-produced Local Live returned to KVR-TV last week with Bavu Blakes. Upcoming are the Invincible Czars Friday, Smog Oct. 11; America Is Waiting Oct. 18; and the Arm Oct. 25. Local Live airs 9pm Tuesdays on Time Warner Channel 16.
THE HEAT IS ONStock up on earplugs, because Amplified Heat is recording a new album. After taking a summer hiatus to write, the brothers Ortiz are ready to start laying down tracks for the follow-up to last year's In for Sin. "We're still heavy, but we've slowed things down," reports bassist Gian Ortiz. "It's more of a groove, like early ZZ Top." Ironically, Ortiz says the trio has put in more hours since drummer Chris Ortiz moved to Houston in January than when he lived in town. "It's caused us to get together more often," he says. "When he lived here, we were lazy as fuck." The brothers shake off the cobwebs Oct. 13 at Antone's with Dixie Witch, Adrian & the Sickness, and Velvet Brick.
BISCUIT IS SERVEDEmo's is hosting memorials for departed Austin punk icon Randy "Biscuit" Turner (below) this weekend. Saturday's 2-7pm gathering encourages poetry, tributes, and costumes, while Sunday's agenda is all about the music, including Exene Cervenka, the Dicks, Punkaroos, Pong, a reunited Pocket FishRmen and Sexy Finger Champs, the Yuppie Pricks, the Delinquents, the Slurpees, and one of Turner's final projects, the Areola 51/Naugahyde Dream Sequence/Insect Sex Act configuration. Admission is free but donations go to help Turner's mother defray funeral expenses and to establish a gallery of his artwork. To help singer Gary Floyd raise travel fare, the Dicks are also playing Friday at the Ritz with Hobble, Oh, Beast!, and Trashcan Baptism.
The Black Angels, Austin's answer to the narcotic drone of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Secret Machines, signed to Seattle's Light in the Attic in August, the label that will release their four-song EP next week. "It sounds like Da Nang and Qui Nonh on January 30, 1968," says keyboardist Jennifer Raines. The local quintet already have a self-released EP; its "The First Vietnamese War" even won Track of the Week on BBC Radio-1 deejay Zane Lowe's Fresh Meat show earlier this year. "We had a lot of people over there trying to talk to us," says Raines. "We're definitely going out there next year." First they're headed on a three-week tour of the Midwest and East Coast after next Friday's EP release at Austin YouthWorks with Ghostland Observatory, Dallas' Strange Boys, and more. Not bad for a band together less than a year, and one that had trouble finding a drummer at first. "We e-mailed this girl to play drums, but she thought Black Angels was a virus, so she wouldn't open it," says Raines. "Two or three weeks later she read it and it was just asking her to play drums."
Angels in America
TCB returns Oct. 20. Go 'Stros!