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Photo By Courtney Chavanell


Whut It Dew

Houston rapper Trae put Red 7 in a state of "Swang" Saturday night, bringing the Restless tour, named after his new Rap-a-Lot LP, to a restive crowd of about 300. Though Trae didn't appear until 1:40am, he instantly won over the audience by telling them, "This is my second home." His ballistic beats – part 50 Cent, part DJ Screw – and scowling persona ("I do this asshole by nature style") did the rest. His multitude of openers, meanwhile, put on a virtual how-to clinic of Gulf Coast rap: catchphrases universal ("Girl gimme that pussy"), regional ("Chunk up a deuce"), and local ("Get ya Horns up"); DJs that knew when to drop Chamillionaire and Trina; and MCs tossing CDs and wads of dollar bills to the crowd. Besides directing traffic on the crowded stage, the harried promoter, who was more entertaining than some of the rappers, announced special guest and onetime No Limit soldier Mia X will host Club 504 at Red 7 Wednesdays in October. The clinics will continue.


In Memoriam

Bill Ellison, a founding member of Austin rock & roll satirists the Uranium Savages, passed away Aug. 30 after a long illness. He was 66. Ellison graduated from Houston's Westbury High School and lived in Austin until 1981, when he moved to the Rio Grande Valley to sell real estate on South Padre Island. He is survived by his parents, wife Margaret, two sons, and two sisters; there is an online guest book at www.legacy.com/Link.asp?Id=LS19067558X... Vanessa Jo Alvarez, founder and owner of Red River ink & piercing parlor True Blue Tattoo, passed away Sept. 1 in Austin. Alvarez was 35 and remembered by friends as kindhearted, creative, and outgoing; survivors include her husband, musician Charles Alberty; her parents; sister; and two brothers. Alvarez's online registry is at www.legacy.com/Statesman/Obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonId=19129937... Dewey Redman, the jazz saxophonist who recorded with Keith Jarrett, Charlie Haden, son Joshua, and childhood friend Ornette Coleman, died Sept. 2 in Brooklyn from liver failure, The New York Times reported. Redman, 75, was born Walter Redman in Fort Worth and played in the same high school marching band as Coleman. He attended Prairie View A&M University and taught elementary school for several years in Bastrop, coming to Austin to play weekend gigs. "I still love Texas – I'm a Texan, you know," he told a sold-out Bates Recital Hall in 1999... Finally, the Chronicle family lost one of its own on Aug. 12 when Laura Carrico, wife of longtime photographer John Carrico and mother of their two sons, succumbed to cancer at age 48. Condolences to all.
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    The ACL Festival turns five, and the weather gods (might) give Austin a break. Trae tears up Red 7, and the obituary roll call grows.
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Christopher Gray, June 29, 2007

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Christopher Gray, June 22, 2007

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