Off the Record

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State of the Union

Climbing up 10 spots from last year, Austin's C3 Presents ranked No. 13 among promoters on Billboard's annual year-end list, pulling in $32 million, nearly a third of which came from the 2007 Austin City Limits Music Festival. The booking and promotion enterprise hosted 494 shows (132 of them sellouts) for a total attendance of more than 815,000. In the same issue, Waterloo Records owner John Kunz offers some advice for labels: "Give up DRM [Digital Rights Management], accept reality, and acknowledge that the customer is always right. It's the ABCs of retail. The universe has changed, and we need to change. There is no terra firma out there; we are on a spinning log going down the river. And give us more vinyl."


Wall of Sound

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Photo by Sandy Carson

Sliced and slowed, Paul Wall (l) christened the new, two-story Club Fuse (505 Neches) on Friday night. Playing to some 150 people, the People's Champ karaoked over a 25-minute mixtape of Houston staples, including "Sittin' Sideways," selections from 2007's Get Money, Stay True, and his lone verse on Chamillionare's "N Luv Wit My Money."


Radio Birdman

Ending one of the longest-running weekly residencies in town, News 8 Austin correspondent and Chronicle contributor Andy Langer is stepping down as host of The Next Big Thing on KROX, his 12-year, Sunday night mainstay responsible for four hours of new and local alternative music. Instead, Langer is switching frequencies to fellow Emmis Austin Radio outlet KGSR, commanding the airwaves each weeknight from 6 to 10pm, followed by the usual specialty shows until midnight. "KGSR is very much the heartbeat of radio in this town," says Langer, who promises new tunes, vault selections, and "at least a few songs an hour that you wouldn't normally hear." Don't touch that dial.


LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN


Top 10 (inter)National

1) Radiohead, In Rainbows

Off the Record

2) Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Raising Sand (Rounder)

3) M.I.A., Kala (XL/Interscope)

4) Robert Wyatt, Comicopera (Domino)

5) Band of Horses, Cease to Begin (Sub Pop)

6) Boris with Michio Kurihara, Rainbow (Drag City)

7) Jay-Z, American Gangster (Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam)

8) The Shins, Wincing the Night Away (Sub Pop)

9) P.J. Harvey, White Chalk (Island)

10) Phosphorescent, Pride (Dead Oceans)


10 More Imports

1) Stephen Marley, Mind Control (Universal)

2) Dungen, Tio Bitar (Kemado)

3) Jens Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala (Secretly Canadian)

4) Amon Tobin, The Foley Room (Ninja Tune)

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5) Mick Turner/Tren Brothers, Blue Trees (Drag City)

6) Arcade Fire, Neon Bible (Merge)

7) Life on Earth!, Look!! There Is ... (Subliminal Sounds)

8) Michio Kurihara, Sunset Notes (20/20/20)

9) Andy Palacio & the Garifuna Collective, Wátina (Stonetree)

10) Tinariwen, Aman Iman: Water Is Life (World Village)


Top 10 Texas

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1) Brownout, Homenaje (Freestyle)

2) Okkervil River, The Stage Names (Jagjaguwar)

3) The Octopus Project, Hello, Avalanche (Peek-a-Boo)

4) St. Vincent, Marry Me (Beggars Banquet)

5) Li'l Cap'n Travis, Twilight on Sometimes Island (Glurp)

6) Bexar Bexar, Tropism (Western Vinyl)

7) Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)

8) Future Clouds & Radar (Star Apple Kingdom)

9) UGK, Underground Kingz (Jive)

10) Explosions in the Sky, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone (Temporary Residence)


10 More Locals for the Road

1) Bill Callahan, Woke on a Whaleheart (Drag City)

2) Leatherbag, Love Me Like the Devil (Superpop!)

3) White Denim, Let's Talk About It

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4) Lomita, Downtown Mystic (Indierect)

5) Belaire, Exploding Impacting (Indierect)

6) Krum Bums, As the Tide Turns (TKO)

7) Jana Hunter, There's No Home (Gnomonsong)

8) The Strange Attractors (Rare Dust)

9) Headdress, Turquoise (Totem Songs)

10) Peel (Peek-a-Boo)


10 Austin Acts to Watch in 2008

Balmorhea

The Bellfuries

Corto Maltese

Oh No! Oh My!

Follow That Bird!

Mrs. Glass

Mike & the Moonpies

Silver Pines

Goodnight, Fish

The Archibalds


Lark of the Border

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Illustration by Nathan Jensen

Tejano music legend Lydia Mendoza, best known for her 1934 hit, "Mal Hombre," died Dec. 20, in San Antonio, where she began her career in 1928 with La Familia Mendoza. Heralded as the Alondra de la Frontera (Lark of the Border) for her distinct 12-string acoustic guitar and vocal styles that bridged traditional Spanish musical styles, Mendoza, 91, recorded more than 50 albums for labels as diverse as RCA and El Zarape, paving the way for future generations of Mexican-American musicians. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1999.


Vote or Die

The rest of the industry may be changing, but the Austin Music Poll (p.50) remains the same. Cast your ballot before Jan. 31. The categories, with OTR's picks:

BAND OF THE YEAR: Okkervil River

MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR: Roky Erickson

SONG OF THE YEAR: "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb," Spoon

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Homenaje, Brownout

NEW BAND: White Denim

ROCK: Lomita

PUNK: Krum Bums

METAL: Lions of Tsavo

INDUSTRIAL/GOTH: Tungsten Coil

DJ: Table Manners Crew

INDIE: Spoon

JAZZ: Blaze

BLUES: Black Joe Lewis

HIP-HOP: Zeale 32

INSTRUMENTAL: Explosions in the Sky

EXPERIMENTAL: Bexar Bexar

COUNTRY: Dale Watson

BLUEGRASS: Onion Creek Crawdaddies

ROOTS-ROCK: The Gourds

FOLK: Peter & the Wolf

LATIN TRADITIONAL: Grupo Fantasma

LATIN CONTEMPORARY: Brownout

WORLD: Joel Laviolette & Rattletree Marimba

COVER BAND: Forever Changes

KID BAND: The Steps

NOVELTY: Sonic Uke

NONE OF THE ABOVE: Invincible Czars

FEMALE VOCALS: Dana Falconberry

MALE VOCALS: Ray Jackson, Lomita

ELECTRIC GUITAR: Jason Morales, Tia Carrera

ACOUSTIC GUITAR: Willie Nelson

BASS: Gian Ortiz, Amplified Heat

DRUMS: Chris Ortiz, Amplified Heat

KEYBOARDS: Pinetop Perkins

HORNS: David Chenu (saxophone)

STRINGS: Tosca String Quartet

MISCELLANEOUS INSTRUMENT: James Evans, Transmography (prepared guitar)

SONGWRITER: Randy Reynolds, Leatherbag

PRODUCER: Erik Wofford, various

NEW CLUB: Lamberts

LIVE MUSIC VENUE: Emo's

ACOUSTIC VENUE: The Parish

ALL-AGES VENUE: Red 7

RECORD STORE: End of an Ear

INSTRUMENT/EQUIPMENT STORE: Musicmakers

RADIO STATION: KVRX 91.7FM

RADIO MUSIC PROGRAM: The Next Big Thing, KROX

RADIO PERSONALITY: Deb O'Keefe, KROX

CONCERT POSTER: Mothfight (any)

LOCAL LABEL: Dead Oceans

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

C3 Presents, Andy Langer, Paul Wall, Lydia Mendoza, Austin Music Poll

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