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Field Trips

It took 22 years, but Austin finally made the cover of Spin. Sort of. An Armani Exchange-clad Britt Daniel is next in line for the Porta Potty on the May issue's foldout cover, ahead of RZA, Jeff Tweedy, Perry Farrell, and the guy from AFI. Inside, Daniel confesses to never having visited a "chill-out tent" (yeah, right), and Spin speculates this year's Austin City Limits Music Festival will include both "old-timers" (Bob Dylan, Crowded House) and "people who just sound like old-timers" (Wilco, Norah Jones). According to rumor, under-40s will have to make do with some combination of the White Stripes, Arcade Fire, Interpol, Arctic Monkeys, and Modest Mouse. Find out for sure May 15. Meanwhile, TCB breaks down the rest of the Austin-heavy issue (Ghostland Observatory, Bill Callahan, Riverboat Gamblers) on the ol' TCBlog, and if ACL isn't enough festival for you, $35 presale tickets go on sale today (Thursday) for C3 Presents' newest palooza, the Big State country fest Oct. 13-14 at Texas World Speedway outside College Station (www.bigstatefestival.com). That lineup won't be out until June, but TCB will wear a Texas A&M jersey to UT's next football game if some permutation of Pat Green, Jack Ingram, Cory Morrow, Kevin Fowler, Reckless Kelly, Asleep at the Wheel, and/or Robert Earl Keen doesn't make the list. Aggies also love Willie Nelson, who turns 74 Monday and will be honored with a hoot night at Antone's.
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Hannibalism

Sixty-eight years old and as spry as a cricket, R&B's Mighty Hannibal is storming the Scoot Inn Saturday, with the Strange Boys and Carrots riding shotgun and Golden Boys opening. Born James T. Shaw in Atlanta's Vine City neighborhood and performing since his dad put him in the church choir at age 2, Hannibal was labelmates with James Brown on Cincinnati's King Records, selling around 300,000 copies of "Baby, Please Change Your Mind" in 1962, while two of his mates in teenage doo-wop group the Overalls became Gladys Knight's Pips. "I've worked with a lot of beautiful people," he says, listing Joe Tex, B.B. King, and Bobby "Blue" Bland. After a spell in L.A., Shaw returned to Georgia to sing for St. John & the Cardinals, whose drummer, Denis St. John, went on to form "Champagne Jam" Southern rockers Atlanta Rhythm Section. In California, he befriended Texas-born blues-slinger Johnny "Guitar" Watson. "The only time we would fight was over a girl," he says. "Then we'd go smoke a joint and say, 'Hey man, that's over.'" Celebrated heavyweight fighter Joe Louis was also a fan. "He used to pay me $100 just to sing 'I Got a Woman' just like Ray Charles," Hannibal swears. Even better, he once found himself in the back seat of a car with Brother Ray at the wheel. "Let me repeat that: He was driving a car," he says. "Ray had more nerve than a toothache and more guts than a hog," continues Shaw, who lost his own sight to glaucoma a few years back. "I said, 'Look where you're going!' and he said, 'Hell, I can't see no how!'" Look for The Resurrection of the Mighty Hannibal next month. "I lost my sight, but I didn't lose my charisma," he says. "I'm still the baddest mamma-jamma I know."


Hippie Dipping

After 15 years of mysterious smoke clouds billowing over South Congress Tuesday evenings, "hippie hour" is no more. Planning a June move to San Diego and trying to make as low-key an exit as possible, Toni Price abruptly ended her wildly popular Continental Club residency earlier this month. "We're still trying to talk her into a farewell show on June 2, but it's not looking like it will happen," says the Continental's Dianne Scott. While they may have lost their queen, Austin's 4:20-friendly throngs needn't despair, at least not this weekend: Reggae-rock bros Full Service release their Good Question EP with an acoustic show at Drag pizza joint Mellow Mushroom Friday, and Tribal Nation, Scorpio Rising, Wajumbe, Rattletree, and the ever-present drum circle jam Eeyore's 44th birthday party in Pease Park Saturday.


Michael Malone, 1942-2007

Michael Malone, the former Austinite and tattoo artist known as Rollo Banks, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his Chicago home April 18. Malone, 64, suffered from diabetes and a debilitating leg injury received last year. Credited with helping bring tattoos out of the sailor/biker/prison subcultures, Malone was also, by virtue of his friendship with former music columnist Michael Corcoran and marriage to senior writer Margaret Moser, Chronicle family. "It's hard to remember when tattooing was a real underground art instead of the Hallmark greeting card it's become, but Rollo was part of the reason it went 'from the gutter to the curb,' as he always joked," she says. "He was one of the true visionaries of the art, a pirate with ink in his veins." After inheriting legendary Honolulu tattoo shop Sailor Jerry's in 1973, Malone, a California native, moved to Austin in '84 and opened China Sea Tattoo near the original Chronicle office in West Campus. He tattooed a number of local musicians, including Jimmie Vaughan, Keith Ferguson, Preston Hubbard, and Chris Gates of the Big Boys. "Rollo was an artist," says Gates, who sports several Banks tattoos. "He would sit there and encourage you to think of something new. He wanted to do stuff he hadn't done, which is why he liked Austin." One of Banks' most famous tattoos is the full-body, Japanese-style mural of Godzilla characters on Atomic City proprietor Prince, which took a decade to finish and made the pages of Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal. "Combining new mythology with the old style made it a one-of-a-kind, groundbreaking tattoo," Prince says. "At that time, it had never been done before." See further Rollo rememberances in "Page Two," "After a Fashion," and online.
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Photo By Mary Sledd


Down the River of Golden Dreams

Okkervil River's repertoire would sound just fine backed by frontman Will Sheff's acoustic guitar alone, but add full string and horn complements and backup singers on loan from folk-rock kinsmen Brothers & Sisters, like the local sextet did last Saturday at Hogg Auditorium, and the songs' scruffy charm increases tenfold. With Sheff's lyrics already seesawing between tenderness and turbulence, the evening's lush instrumentation made the group a sort of Americana Cure, most notably on the "Love Cats"-like swing of new number "A Hand to Take Hold of the Scene." It also made a ghostly frame for Sheff's oceans of longing on main-set closer and Black Sheep Boy standout "For Real." "It feels a little weird playing in a room so many people have suffered over tests in," chuckled Sheff before dedicating the Fugs' "I Want to Know" to "the acquisition of knowledge."

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Music news

Christopher Gray, June 29, 2007

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Christopher Gray, June 22, 2007

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Spin, Britt Daniel, C3 Presents, Michael Malone, Rollo Banks, Mighty Hannibal, Okkervil River, Toni Price, Eeyore's birthday

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