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Photo By Seabrook Jones


Lights Out

Austin composer and Brown Whörnet co-founder Peter Stopschinski is recovering from severe facial injuries suffered in a beating March 17 on Sixth Street. According to friend and collaborator Graham Reynolds, Stopschinski was walking to his car when he stopped to assist a woman who was having trouble standing up. An unidentified man, whom Reynolds says may have been her boyfriend, slammed Stopschinski to the ground from behind and began punching him repeatedly in the face, shattering the bones around his eye socket. The assailant ran away after bystanders pulled him off Stopschinski, who was able to call his girlfriend. She took him to the hospital, and a specialist in Houston repaired the injury by implanting titanium mesh in his skull. He's expected to make a full recovery and will suffer no permanent vision damage, though he's been unable to work since the incident. "He's getting a little better each day," says Reynolds, who adds there's been talk of a benefit (Stopschinski did have insurance) but nothing definite yet. The night before, San Francisco noisesmiths Oxbow touched off a melee at Spiros when frontman Eugene Robinson refused to put his pants back on, and Spiros bouncers rushed the band when they kept playing after the power was cut. No one was seriously hurt, and the whole entertaining yarn is at www.cmj.com/relay/?p=1693. Finally, the Associated Press reported Tuesday that police had issued arrest warrants for Billy Joe Shaver (left) after the Waco honky-tonk hero reportedly shot and wounded a man he said was threatening him with a knife outside Papa Joe's Texas Saloon in Lorena last Saturday night. Shaver surrendered to McLennan County authorities Tuesday and bonded out of jail in time for his Waterloo Records in-store, marking the release of new Compadre album Greatest Hits (see "Texas Platters").
TCB
Photo By Gary Miller


Bullet the Blue Sky

At a press conference announcing the Rolling Stones' summer European tour last month, Mick Jagger said last October's Zilker Park show will be part of a DVD package the band is preparing for release later this year, along with the Brazilian concert that drew more than 1 million people to a beach near Rio de Janeiro. In other Zilker happenings, the Austin City Limits Music Festival lineup will be unveiled May 15, and some 1,500 subscribers to e-list www.aclfestival.com will find out Tuesday if they won a chance to buy $50 three-day passes for the Sept. 14-16 festival.

Headhunters bartender and local promoter Wendy WWAD and the Lonestar Rollergirls got a shout-out from Quentin Tarantino on Late Night With Conan O'Brien Monday night. Wendy and friends introduced Tarantino to Irish Car Bombs while he was in Austin filming Grindhouse, which opens Friday. Elsewhere, Grindhouse co-star Kurt Russell was seen shakin' it to Southern Culture on the Skids at their Continental Club set last Tuesday.

Several pieces of equipment were stolen from Faceless Werewolves' car while it was parked at the Alamo Drafthouse Village last weekend. Missing are a blond Epiphone Hollowbody Casino and left-handed turquoise Fender Mustang guitars, two guitar cabinets, and the car stereo. Contact www.myspace.com/thefacelesswerewolves with any information.

... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead's latest album, So Divided, was named to a list of more than 60 recordings under consideration for the 2007 Shortlist Music Prize last month; Midlake was the only other Texas act to make the list, with The Trials of Van Occupanther. Ten finalists will be announced later this month, chosen by a jury including Franz Ferdinand, KT Tunstall, Panic! at the Disco, and 2006 winner Sufjan Stevens.

True Believers at the original Waterloo Records, circa 1983
True Believers at the original Waterloo Records, circa 1983 (Photo By Bob Zink)


Silver Streak

Austin music landmarks don't come much more recognizable than Waterloo Records, which celebrates its silver anniversary this month. "It started out at 1,000 square feet, which is about six and a half times smaller than the store now," says owner John Kunz. Waterloo opened in 1982 in the recently closed Soccer World building on South Lamar and expanded that location three times before moving to its current home at Sixth and Lamar in 1989. Although file-sharing and the rise of iTunes have endangered record stores, particularly independent ones, Waterloo has stood firm. Kunz says that although sales were down for the first time ever last year, around 5%, and are off about the same amount this year, it's not so bad considering industry sales as a whole are down 20%. Furthermore, he's hopeful Monday's agreement between EMI and iTunes to eliminate digital-rights management (i.e., piracy protection) from downloadable songs for a slight fee increase will help stop the skid. "Once we can get everyone to do that, Waterloo and lots of independent stores around the country can have digital stores to add to our Web-based stores," Kunz says. Ruthie Foster and Carolyn Wonderland have been added to April 15's all-day free concert in Waterloo's parking lot, and, clarifying what TCB reported last week, this weekend's True Believers shows at the Continental Club (see Music Listings) are indeed open to all.
Attack Formation's class of 2007
Attack Formation's class of 2007 (Photo By John Anderson)


Plan of Attack

Even outsized ensembles like Arcade Fire and Polyphonic Spree have nothing on Austin avant-strange collective Attack Formation. "It's a band," says founder Ben Webster, "but in a bigger sense, it's a community. We're up to like 189 people now." Not all 189 appear on new Australian Cattle God album We Are Alive in Tune, out Tuesday, but enough do that several songs are listed under pseudonyms such as Reaganometry, Butcher Bear, and Strong Silent Type. "We're trying to distinguish between what we're all working on together and what a few of us are doing by ourselves," notes Webster, adding that although 25 people play on the new album, their touring party usually numbers seven or eight. The 8-year-old concern, which plays Wednesday at Beerland with Gorch Fock, is constantly writing and recording, says Webster, and it fell to former Cling guitarist Stephen Ceresia to piece together the album at his home studio in Bastrop. "We could put out two more records right now with the body of work we have," Ceresia says. Webster, a die-hard hip-hop fan, wants Attack Formation's music to have that same go-for-broke feel, live or on disc. "If you're the person doing it, you're scared as shit," he says. "At the same time, you're loving it."


The Peel Sessions

Local indie rockers Peel's self-titled debut, released April 3 on Peek-a-Boo Records (see the Chronicle review here), is drawing high praise. "Our obsession with Austin bands continues," remarked Dallas blog Gorilla vs. Bear in February, likening the album to Pavement and the Apples in Stereo. Most of the album is the 2-year-old ensemble's demo that Peel was ready to self-release but re-recorded when Peek-a-Boo owner Travis Higdon signed them. "We went back and did it all at once, so it would sound cohesive," notes singer/guitarist Dakota Smith. "Or as cohesive as we can sound." Peel formed in typical Austin fashion: Smith met the original drummer, who has since left the band, at a make-up store ("I was trying on eye shadow"), and they found their bass player on CraigsList. Their blend of electro smoothness and loose-knit jamming mirrors Smith's summary of Peel's creative process: "We don't always sing on the songs we write chords to," he says. "It's a very collaborative process, sometimes competitively collaborative, because you're trying to get lyrics and vocal melody to an instrumental part before somebody else does." Peel plays Friday at Beerland.

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Music news

Christopher Gray, June 29, 2007

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Christopher Gray, June 22, 2007

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Attack Formation, Peel, Waterloo Records, Peter Stopschinski, Billy Joe Shaver, Rolling Stones, Quentin Tarantino, Faceless Werewolves, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

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