DIVIDE AND CONQUER
THORN TREE IN AUSTIN
IT'S OVER NOW?
Carl Normal, frontman of popular Nineties punk-poppers Stretford, was determined to avoid the reunion bug at all costs after the band called it quits in late 2000. "I was the most resistant, but every time I'd go out, people would say, 'We want to see Stretford again,'" he says. "Recently, a lot of my band members started bugging me, and I kind of felt like there was a bit of a conspiracy going on." Even then, Normal held out until Chris Burton of the also-reuniting Friendly Truckers suggested making the show a benefit, and Normal suggested ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease, which claimed his mother several years ago. "All of a sudden, I was into it," he affirms. "I'm having fun with it now." So Stretford, alongside the Truckers and Richard Head, will bring Buzzcocks-style blasts like "Zerox Love" and "It's Over Now" back for one night only Saturday night at the Longbranch. After that, Normal, who got his graphic-design degree after Stretford disbanded, says no more. He's not entirely convincing, though. "I was trying to better myself and make a bit more money, but all I've done is incurred a bunch of college-loan debt," he says. "I kind of wish I stayed a starving musician."
Austin's newest singing-and-dancing sensation, Cedar Fever, blew the doors off the Mohawk last Thursday at the new Red River club's Boy Band Hoot Night. Although Southpaw Jones offered a poignant solo acoustic version of the Backstreet Boys' "Larger Than Life," and Golden Bear scored old-school points with NKOTB's "The Right Stuff" and the Dirty Hearts with Bell Biv DeVoe's "Poison," Cedar Fever left them in the dust with suggestive choreography, a panty-moistening cover of Backstreet's "I Want It That Way," and adorable jailbird outfits for their breakout single "Prison Bitch." The quartet's debut, Gratuitous Dudity, is primed to lead another generation of local tweens down the primrose path of notebook-decorating, clothes-rending, and incessant shrieking.
BULLET THE BLUE SKY
eccentric Randy "Biscuit" Turner. Music runs 2pm-2am at Emo's inside Saturday and Sunday, with Punkaroos, Honky, D-Day, Standing Waves, Jesus Christ Superfly, Texacala Jones, and a Biscuit tribute band with John Claude Axberg. Also a confession booth, barbecue, sweets, arts & crafts, and "general mayhem." See BiscuitFest.org for more.
Serial recorders Voxtrot have a disc due next month, but like this spring's Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives EP, it's not the local pop savants' first proper album. Instead, it's three-song "mini-EP" Your Biggest Fan, recorded in Austin and London. Pre-order the EP, available on CD and vinyl, at www.voxtrot.net. Meanwhile, the band plays Emo's Oct. 28 and swears it's taking November and December off to record that LP.
Momos hosts a rock & roll garage sale Oct. 12 to benefit breast-cancer research, with live music, body painting, $3 cosmos, and more. Drop off donations old CDs, music memorabilia, whatever after 7:30pm tonight (Thursday) at the club. The money goes to help local Tito's Texas Vodka rep Beth Bellanti meet her fundraising goal for the Oct. 27-29 "3-Day" charity walk in Dallas.
South Congress' center of fabulosity, Pink Salon, celebrates its lucky seventh birthday during First Thursday tonight. Artist David Ohlerking's portraits of the lovely Pink ladies will be on display, as Lila's Medicine and the Public Offenders provide music by which to enjoy the free cake and champagne. 6pm.
High-flying punk rockers the Riverboat Gamblers lost almost all of their guitars when their trailer was broken into Saturday night. The band was able to borrow enough instruments to leave on tour Monday but obviously still want its stuff back. Send any tips to email@example.com.
After all of the funerals this year, it was TCB's distinct pleasure to attend the nuptials of "Lady of Luxury" Juliana Gilchrist and Kit Morris at Mercury Hall Friday night, capped by Morris spiriting Gilchrist away on his Vespa. The K-Tel Hit Machine rocked the reception, and K-Tel's Trish Murphy promised that the Seventies specialists will soon undergo an "Eighties explosion," previewed with a glamtastic medley of the bride's favorite band, Duran Duran.