Austin said a final citywide farewell to Clifford Antone last Saturday at the Palmer Events Center, where more than 3,000 people turned out for a free memorial concert. Lou Ann Barton and Derek O'Brien lent extra soul to Jimmie Vaughan & the Tilt-a-Whirl Band, Gary Clark Jr. inspired a standing ovation, brassy Angela Strehli eulogized her friend on "Austin's Home of the Blues," while Doyle Bramhall Sr. and the Charlie Sexton/Double Trouble combo likewise raised the roof. Stealing the show, however, was Antone himself, via an extensive slide show illustrating why Austin felt such a personal connection to him. Mayor Will Wynn, Willie Nelson, and B.B. King were only the beginning: Antone literally knew everyone, or at least that's how it appeared.
SIX STRINGS DOWN
Jay Clark, whose smooth sounds brought the Carousel Lounge's circus murals to colorful life for three decades, passed away from kidney failure last week at age 86. Clark, born John W. Clark in the North Texas town of Ennis on Nov. 19, 1919, was blinded in two separate childhood accidents and moved to Austin to attend the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. After graduating, he toured the state with the Swingsters and eventually took over that band before starting the Velvetones, who secured a seven-night residency at the Carousel shortly after the East 51st Street lounge opened in 1963. Though Clark became best known for his frothy Wurlitzer interpretations of popular big-band and swing tunes, "The keyboard wasn't his main instrument at all," son John W. Clark Jr. said Monday. "His main interests were the saxophone and clarinet." A stroke forced him to retire from the Carousel in 1998, the same year Clark was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame. He married twice and is survived by a brother, three children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
ELEPHANTS NEVER FORGET
The Hole in the Wall, the club that can't be killed (nor should it), rolls into its 33rd year with some remarkable resurrections of its own. Last weekend brought bygone indie-rockers Glass Eye (above) back for one last encore, this weekend it's cornfed cowpunks the Hickoids Friday and their twangier bastard heirs the Texas Sapphires Saturday. Once they scrub the floors really hard, the monthlong anniversary continues with Honky, Grand Champeen, Li'l Cap'n Travis, Moonlight Towers, and lots more. See www.holeinthewallaustin.com.
THE JESUS YEAR
There's nothing like watching people slurp pastel-colored daiquiris to the not-exactly-soothing strains of "Stigmata Martyr" and "Rose Garden Funeral of Sores." This unlikely scene played out last Friday at Selma's Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, where, opening for Nine Inch Nails' teeth-gnashing two hours, goth progenitors Bauhaus overcame the mortal indignity of playing during daylight hours with a 60-minute set of guitarist Daniel Ash's abrasive tones and cape-clad singer Peter Murphy's undead theatrics. A punky "In the Flat Field" and propulsive "She's in Parties" were especially crisp, and like many before him, Murphy saw his time in Texas as the ideal chance to voice his opinion of our president: "Please vote him out next time, for God's sake." Perhaps one of those eyebrow-pierced acolytes who danced so seductively during "Bela Lugosi's Dead" can brief him on the 22nd Amendment someday.
THE SKY'S GONE OUT
Still lacking a definitive nickname, the 2000s are threatening to become the first decade where methods of obtaining and listening to music drew more attention than the music itself. Don't blame the musicians, who have charted the double-ohs' highs and lows rather nicely. A somewhat belated Memorial Day Top 30.
THE NOT-SO-GAY NAUGHTIES
KID ROCK & SHERYL CROW, "Picture": Carpetbagging country duo comes up huge bemoaning the perils of touring.
ANDREW WK, "Party Hard": Boisterous schlock-metal confronts century's most compelling mystery: After the party, what then?
AVRIL LAVIGNE, "My Happy Ending": Canadian waif reveals unanticipated gravitas; sk8er bois struggle to keep up.
WILLIE NELSON, "Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)": The Brokeback set gets its own "Bloody Mary Morning"; middle America barely notices.
TV ON THE RADIO, "Staring at the Sun": Brooklyn bizarro rockers ditch navel-gazing for greasy sweatshop groove, defiant optimism.
BOB DYLAN, "Lonesome Day Blues": Elder statesman's grinding apocalyptic poem rings even truer after Katrina.
R. KELLY, "Ignition (Remix)": Before getting trapped in the closet, Kelly has cars, ladies purring like sleeping tigers.
MISSY ELLIOT, "Work It": Miss E flips Run-DMC's script, backward-masks a hip-hop classic.
SOCIAL DISTORTION, "Reach for the Sky": Put your hands where we can see them; the NSA already can.
EMINEM, "Without Me": It's hard out here for a pimp, especially one on TV all the time.
FRANZ FERDINAND, "Take Me Out": Rocking the Bloc Party with disco precision and an itchy trigger finger.
DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS, "Carl Perkins' Cadillac": Explains Sam Phillips' genius and Elvis' insecurity in one fell swoop.
50 CENT, "In Da Club": Even conscienceless, belligerent thugs need to relax.
JIMMY EAT WORLD, "Bleed American": Bush's Mesopotamian folly predicted with Hüsker Dü volume and speed.
COLDPLAY, "The Scientist": Stem-cell research disguised as communal heart transplant.
LIL JON & THE EASTSIDE BOYZ, "Get Low": Strip-club synths detonate coastal rap's remaining pretensions of superiority.
GRETCHEN WILSON, "Redneck Woman": Illinois barmaid shoots Jack Daniels, rejuvenates battered Southern pride.
THE KILLERS, "All These Things That I've Done": Vegas showboys tire of Morrissey, find unlikely inspiration in gospel.
LORETTA LYNN, "Van Lear Rose": Honky-tonk queen borrows Jack White's summer squall to stand up for traditional values.
INTERPOL, "PDA": Black-clad clairvoyants erase distance between sexy and creepy, NYC and Manchester, 1979 and 2002.
SPOON, "Small Stakes": Austin underachievers reach critical mass with stuttery ode to diminished expectations.
SNOOP DOGG, "Drop It Like It's Hot": Crip-walking on sunshine: Snoop's icy blood can withstand even global warming.
ARCADE FIRE, "Rebellion (Lies)": Hiding under the covers as civil disobedience, until strings sound call to arms. Cf. Editors, "Munich."
DIXIE CHICKS, "Travelin' Soldier": Best song about war in years is all but forgotten just as the real one starts. Cf. Bright Eyes, "When the President Talks to God."
WILCO, "Ashes of American Flags": ATMs offer no more, but no less, counsel than preachers or pundits. Moral bankruptcy laid bare.
KANYE WEST, "Gold Digger": Sexual politics explained down to the Geico policy; Jamie Foxx's Ray Charles schtick wasn't annoying ... yet.
THE WHITE STRIPES, "Seven Nation Army": Jack juggles militarism and pacifism; Meg warms up for Get Behind Me Satan.
GREEN DAY, "Holiday": Might have tipped the election if everyone who bought the album bothered to vote. Who's the American Idiot now?
JOHNNY CASH, "Hurt": Craggy icon turns junkie lament into national elegy. What have we become?
U2, "Vertigo": Dizzying trip down the rabbit hole proves even Bono doesn't have all the answers. Cf. Shakira, "Don't Bother."