Music news



For comedian Doug Stanhope, propriety is the only taboo. The former host of Girls Gone Wild and The Man Show delights in pissing people off, from comedy clubs – he prefers bars and rock venues – and audience members to the entire nation of Ireland (see picture). Then there's the unfortunate anti-abortion activist who handed him a picture postcard of a dead fetus outside Club de Ville this spring and was roundly lambasted by Stanhope for distributing child pornography. The comic was in a much sunnier mood when TCB caught up with him doing laundry at his home in Bisbee, Ariz., last week.

TCB: What is the Austin incident you mention on your MySpace page?

DS: That's a bootleg DVD I try to keep in circulation. It was at [Capitol City Comedy Club]. Alex Jones was there, he was going to go up and introduce me. He goes on for 10 minutes, trying to cram every conspiracy he's ever learned into a drunken late-night crowd's head. Half the crowd knows who he is, so they're enjoying watching him snap, and the other half is really pissed. He almost gets into a fistfight with a guy from the front row, and right at the crescendo, he goes, "All right, here's Doug Stanhope."

TCB: Have you ever been booed off the stage?

DS: [In Ireland] I probably did eight of 20 minutes before they were frantically waving the [time's-up] light. To say I was booed off ... I say management was cowed into taking me off. I fulfilled my contractual obligation. I would have stayed up there and told them to go fuck themselves for another 12 minutes without any problem.

TCB: Is there any subject you won't touch?

DS: Yes. Any subject that has a greater than even likelihood of creating immediate physical harm. Like if I was playing for 9/11 survivors, I probably wouldn't goof on 'em.

Doug Stanhope plays Beerland Friday and Emo's Saturday.


Float away

Jack Jackson, the Austin graphic artist who drew countercultural comics (known as "Comix") and well-known events in Texas history with photographic detail, passed away June 8 in his hometown of Stockdale, near San Antonio. Jackson's God Nose, which he created in 1964 and handed out on the Drag, is considered to be the first underground comic, and his work was enormously influential in both the comic-book and poster-art communities. After moving to San Francisco in the late Sixties, where he was art director for the Avalon Ballroom, Jackson returned to Texas and drew the promotional campaign for Doug Sahm's 1976 LP Texas Rock for Country Rollers. He was 64 years old; see an expanded tribute in "Arts."


The city of Austin has officially designated Oct. 8 Randy "Biscuit" Turner Day, honoring the late Austin musician, artist, costume designer, and man-about-town. To raise money for the corresponding Biscuitfest weekend, Cafe Mundi is having a yard sale 8am-5pm Saturday, followed by a 6pm concert with Zookeeper, No!, the Delinquents, and others. Donations, cash and otherwise, are welcome; see

Last week's cover boys Sound Team have been taking the piss out of the UK press lately, telling their music is "hot new country." Q magazine knows better, pegging "The Fastest Man Alive" as "Whip-smart, American indie-rock from Austin, Texas." It's No. 40 in Q's "50 Essential Tracks to Download This Month."

Austinite and Dallas native Jack Ingram, whose "Wherever You Are" has dominated this year's Billboard country chart like the Dallas Mavericks have dominated the Miami Heat (so far), sang the national anthem at Game 1 of the NBA Finals in Dallas last Thursday. His follow-up, "Love You," was last week's Hot Shot Debut at No. 52.

Following Saturday's Echo & the Bunnymen show at La Zona Rosa, guitarist Will Sergeant will do it clean in the DJ booth at Beauty Bar. The needle drops at midnight.


Billy Preston, the gap-toothed keyboard genius and native Texan who died last week from kidney failure, played on approximately 14,995 albums in his 59 years, including the Beatles' Abbey Road, the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Stadium Arcadium. Born in Houston, Preston also appears on "You're an Ocean," the first song on Austin power-pop trio Fastball's 2000 album The Harsh Light of Day. "I know he was annoyed the song was in F sharp," says guitarist/singer Miles Zuniga. "The song was written in G, but we were always changing keys around to accommodate our not-so-great voices. He looked at us like we were crazy." Preston ran through several takes of the song with the band but left the studio before they could pump him for any war stories. "I don't think F sharp is a big piano key in any case," Zuniga sighs. "I wish we had just made it in G, but it was too late, everything else was already recorded. It would have been nice to hear him play in G."


Graham Reynolds' score to Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly will literally make your skin crawl: the film's first scene has tiny aphids swarming all over an animated Rory Cochrane (pictured), as Reynolds' skittering strings and eerie chimes replicate the paraniod ickiness to a "T." The music is often barely discernible, a toss-up between real and imaginary, just as the characters' subservience to a hyperaddictive drug known as Substance D has them constantly questioning their sanity. The special rotoscope animation, which Linklater first used in 2001's Waking Life, took more than a year to finish, affording Reynolds and his small army of musicians ample time to refine their ideas. "We experimented with all sorts of different sounds and gradually morphed it into what it is now," says the Golden Arm Trio mastermind. "The individual cues came from different places," he adds, citing Linklater's fascination with Last Tango in Paris and a stopgap version that scored several scenes with Radiohead songs. (A few remain in the film.) For his efforts, Reynolds and his girlfriend got to attend Scanner's premiere at the recent Cannes Film Festival and the afterparty on a six-deck yacht featuring marble bathrooms and a private concert by the Rev. Al Green. "It's pretty much out of the realm of what you can dream up," Reynolds says. The same applies to Scanner, which opens in Austin July 14.


Soon, like their idol Richard M. Nixon, Austin won't have the Yuppie Pricks to kick around anymore. Their swan song isn't until next month at Las Vegas' RollerCon, but Friday's third annual Beach Party at Emo's, with the Applicators, Rockland Eagles, Poor Dumb Bastards, Midgetmen, tiki torches, kiddie pools, and a $200 wet T-shirt contest, is the red-state rabble-rousers' last local hurrah. "Let's just say the theme of the show is 'Mission Accomplished,'" says frontman Trevor Middleton III. "We're moving on to new endeavors." At first, Middleton is coy about what those endeavors might be, but eventually divulges that Friday is his campaign kickoff. Suffice it to say, he's not running for county commissioner. "It'll either be governor or president," Middleton says. "When you're a celebrity, you're allowed to start out on top." In a way, he's a politician already: Middleton doesn't seem to mind that the Pricks are likely to be upstaged at their own farewell party. "The Applicators told me they'll be wearing their swimsuits," he vows. "They better, or we won't let them play."

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