For the first time in more than three decades, the surviving members of Faces – Rolling Stone Ron Wood, Rod Stewart, Kenney Jones, and local pianist Ian McLagan – rehearsed at an undisclosed location in Europe on Nov. 19, testing the waters for a possible reunion tour. "We were either going to sink or swim," surmises McLagan. "It's amazing how the stuff came flying back." Stewart opened the session with "Stay With Me" from the raucous supergroup's 1971 touchstone, A Nod Is as Good as a Wink … to a Blind Horse, while Rod the Mod's touring bassist Conrad Korsch sat in on bass for the occasion, temporarily filling the shoes of longtime Austin resident and Pete Townshend collaborator Ronnie Lane, who passed in June 1997 (see "Here Comes the Nice," Dec. 8, 2000). While no plans are set in stone, McLagan says Woody's in fine form ("He's drinking a lot of coffee") and expressed interest in both a world tour and writing new material. "People seem to only remember the stories of debauchery and drunkenness, but we were a great band," concludes McLagan, who kicks off a three-week, Thursday night residency at the Lucky Lounge with the Bump Band tonight (Dec. 4). "I want to bring the Faces to Austin."
Following in the wake of Scratch Acid's scorching return two years ago (see "The Greatest Gift," Sept. 1, 2006), bastard offshoot the Jesus Lizard is reuniting its classic lineup – David Yow, Duane Denison, David Wm. Sims, and Mac McNeilly – for All Tomorrow's Parties' the Fans Strike Back festival in Minehead, England, May 8-10. "The two aren't directly related," says Sims, now an accountant in NYC. "But in the back of my mind, I was thinking that if the Scratch Acid shows were a lot of fun, then this probably would be too." The outing coincides with the reissuing of the band's essential Touch and Go Records catalog – 1991's Head and Goat, 1992's Liar, and 1994's Down – whose remastering is being overseen by original engineer Steve Albini. No local dates have been scheduled, but Sims expects that to change. After all, the Jesus Lizard cut its teeth here. "Before David and I moved to Chicago, we worked on a handful of songs that Duane was interested in recording in an abandoned house in East Austin whose electricity had not been turned off," recalls Sims. "All I remember was that someone knew someone that had been evicted, and Poi Dog Pondering lived next door." Local tribute act Jazzus Lizard signals the second coming at Room 710 on Saturday.
• Local producer Frenchie Smith won't rule out the possibility of long-gone noise-pop outfit Sixteen Deluxe reconvening. "If it were to happen, we would need to figure out a good cause and then figure out how to play together again," he says. In the meantime, Smith has his work cut out for him at the Bubble. He's putting the finishing touches on the untitled third LP from Australia's Jet ("It's a very fresh and exciting rock & roll record") and has a long local itinerary that includes Scorpion Child, the Steps, and the Petals.
• No one spurred more vivid flashbacks this year than the Butthole Surfers, who wrap up their latest campaign next Friday in Brooklyn. While no other dates have been booked, bassist Jeff Pinkus says the band will play a few more shows, "If we don't die or kill each other." Another rarities compilation is also being discussed.
• The Reivers' reunion earlier this year went so well that the local New Sincerity stalwarts have started fresh under a different moniker, Right or Happy, and are preparing for a recording session in February. "I'm not sure what era it belongs to," says singer/guitarist John Croslin, "but it's less the Eighties." Catch version 3.0 at Ruta Maya on Jan. 24.
• The Arc Angels bring out the ghosts of Christmas past on Friday with a two-night stand at Antone's, Dec. 5 & 6. Other annual holiday gatherings include a shot of Paul Ray & the Cobras' rattle and hum at the Continental Club, Dec. 20, followed by the Skunks on Dec. 26.
• In the spirit of the season, the Chronicle Music staff compiled its wish list of Texas-tied reunions: classic era Fabulous Thunderbirds, Buick MacKane, Two Nice Girls, Poison 13, the Moving Sidewalks, Killbilly, Ed Hall, Cotton Mather, Cherubs, and P.
• Twenty-seven-time Grammy Award winner and longtime humanitarian Quincy Jones, who produced Michael Jackson's Thriller and the "We Are the World" benefit, will be the keynote speaker at the 2009 South by Southwest Music Conference. Heralded as one of the most influential jazz figures of the 20th century by Time, Q is working on a documentary on Brazil's annual Carnival festival, along with a duets album with Stevie Wonder and Tony Bennett.
• Longtime local drummer Michael Bannister, who backed Lucinda Williams and Doug Sahm, among others, died Nov. 22 of an apparent suicide in Arizona. He was 58. A memorial show is scheduled for Tuesday at the Cactus Cafe with Peter Case and Gurf Morlix.
• After hosting Paul van Dyk in October, the Sky Lounge (416 Congress) is quickly becoming Austin's cloud nine for electronica. Genre kingpins the Crystal Method raise the dopamine levels on Friday.
Having finally exhausted the last inch of her storage space, Maryann Price is parting with some personal memorabilia through eBay (www.stores.ebay.com/
the-intramodality-institute). Considering the local chanteuse has lent her vocal talents to Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks and Asleep at the Wheel, not to mention the Kinks' Preservation Act 2, Price should be sitting on a small fortune. "Like my late husband, Tary Owens, I saved copies of everything over the years – show posters, handbills, studio recordings – with the full intention of selling it all one day," Price smiles. Nothing is priced to move, but all reasonable offers will be considered; haggle at firstname.lastname@example.org. As for the Kinks' widely rumored reunion, Price remains a bit skeptical. "I've heard things for years now," she laughs. "I got an e-mail the other day from Ray [Davies] asking me if he could be my friend on YouTube, so maybe he was trying to reach me for that. We'll see."
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