Off the Record
The Parlor family has extended its matriarchy to include the Monarch, the multievent center located in central Austin's Lincoln Village complex, between I-35 and Highland Mall. DAG Presents' Deborah Gill and her daughter Singer Mayberry of the booking venture Tangled Snark (see "Parlor Game," Feb. 27, 2009) tested the waters there in 2008 with an indie summer music series and sold-out metal plundering from Opeth, High on Fire, and Baroness that October before acquiring the building earlier this month. "It's a nice change to not have to deal with Downtown," enthuses Mayberry, whose dark pop outfit Red Leaves recently issued an immaculately packaged new EP, Trouble in the City of Water. "It's such a huge building that it creates so many different possibilities." Indeed, already on the books is a performance from comedy duo Le Sexy in the 278-seat theatre Saturday, Jan. 16; a free show from Austin steampunks MothFight! Friday, Jan. 22; and the garage sale experiment, Monarch Music Swap, the next day. An art exhibit from Christa Palazzolo, Ryan Davis, and Dustin Michael Pevey opens in the lobby tonight (Thursday, Jan. 14), with accompaniment from locals School Police and Pure Ecstasy. There's also a weekly Sunday yoga session and private events, not to mention the winter classic Blue Genie Art Bazaar, and some recent upgrades increased the capacity in the auditorium to 1,200, comparable to the outside stages of Mohawk and Emo's. "The biggest challenge is just getting the word out to people and outsider promoters," Mayberry stresses. Rest assured, there will be plenty of Parlor pizza on hand. www.themonarchtexas.com.
Here Come the Warm Jets
The highly anticipated Sixteen Deluxe reunion at the Mohawk in March will now double as a CD release party. Bunkhaus Records, helmed by Chronicle Sports guru Mark Fagan, is issuing Year One, coupling the noise pop outfit's five-song cassette demo from July 1994 – responsible for first attracting the attention of local label Trance Syndicate – with live recordings from the release show for 1995's Backfeed Magnet Babe at Liberty Lunch. "It took a full afternoon of going through my cassette tapes to find it," recalls Fagan, who went to high school with bassist Jeff Copas and co-produced the sessions with former-Ed Hall and then-Deluxe drummer Lyman Hardy (another high school friend). "We're excited, and we're at an age where that doesn't happen as much anymore." Help induct Sixteen Deluxe into the Austin Music Hall of Fame by voting in the Chronicle Music Poll, which closes Jan. 29, and check out the demo version of "Baby Headrush" at austinchronicle.com/thenextepisode.
The Dynamo Volition
Austin's Grooveline Horns are to Jason Mraz what Grupo Fantasma occasionally is to Prince: backing brass section and official afterparty house band. Having previously worked with the Scabs, Willie Nelson, and Dave Matthews, the three-man funk outfit – trombonist Reggie Watkins, trumpeter Fernando Castillo, and saxophonist Carlos Sosa, the president of the Texas chapter of the Recording Academy – hooked up with the San Diego-based pop singer last year, and plans for an overseas tour are in the works. "Jason raps with us every now and then onstage," relays local MC Zeale, who sat in for the last leg of the tour, which included appearances at the Frank Erwin Center and Antone's in September. "I was pretty nervous before we went, so we did a little beat-box circle with Bushwalla before the show, and that became a bit of nightly tradition." Aside from his Tuesday residency at Lucky Lounge with Boombox ATX, which also features the Grooveline Horns, Zeale's been making cameos with locals Los Bad Apples and L.A.X, but his main focus currently is finishing his new solo album with European producer Marko Jelic in time for SXSW. "We're on terrain that hasn't been touched," Zeale beams. "It's an original hybrid of hip-hop and electronica, very edgy and aggressive, but with a bit of pop touch."
Kill the Moonlight
Judging by the numbers, the music portion of South by Southwest may have hit the proverbial glass ceiling. In 2009, the annual multimedia festival notched a record number of showcasing artists – about 1,950 acts from 57 different countries – and total visitors, but Music Festival registrants dropped roughly 10%. According to the report by Greyhill Advisors presented to City Council on Monday, SXSW boosted the local economy by $99 million, a slight dip from 2008's $104 million. "Corporate travel tends to be the first thing trimmed," says Ben Loftsgaarden of Greyhill Advisors. After receiving more than 10,000 showcase applications this year, one-fourth of which were foreign, SXSW now readies for the March dance. "It's going to be in the same ballpark," informs SXSW Creative Director Brent Grulke. "Any decrease in acts would be directly tied to the amount of available venues." Meanwhile, confirmations continue to trickle in – besides the 1,000 bands already confirmed at www.sxsw.com. Chicago's lonely hearts club band Cheap Trick headlines Auditorium Shores Friday, March 19, and for the third consecutive year, NPR Music broadcasts live on opening night (March 17) from Stubb's with a bill that includes Spoon, which is taking the Strange Boys on tour soon after. Better still, now that the annual Austin Music Awards have been moved to Saturday night at the Austin Music Hall, OTR might get to stop in for once. Other notable additions include She & Him, Broken Social Scene, Midlake, the XX, Califone, Fool's Gold, and Jesse Dayton's Captain Clegg. Don't expect to see any of those acts at the Bat Bar or Lone Star Lounge in the Austin Convention Center. Word has it that DirecTV won't be filming the festivities this year.
• After the Gold Rush: Brothers and Sisters leader Will Courtney is pulling up stakes and moving back to California. "I wish it was more dramatic like some bad band breakup or something, but the truth is that I just got engaged and we sold our house at this make-us-move price," Courtney confides. "All of my old friends are still there, so I'm looking forward to getting back and doing a record."
• The long-awaited collaboration between Roky Erickson and Okkervil River, True Love Cast Out All Evil, is being released through indie beacon Anti- April 20. An extension of the Rokkervil mash-up at the 2008 Austin Music Awards, the album pulls from more than 60 previously unreleased field recordings, some of which were recorded during Erickson's tenure at Rusk State Mental Hospital. "You get a sense of Roky's personality in listening to those recordings," commented producer Will Sheff at the 13th Floor Elevators frontman's annual SXSW Ice Cream Social last year. "Roky sounds awesome."
• Local pianist and Orange, Texas, native Marcia Ball is joining the ranks of Janis Joplin and George Jones in the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony takes place at the Bob Bowers Civic Center in Port Arthur Jan. 23.
• Once a month, the Senior Activity Center (2874 Shoal Crest Ave.) transforms into the Austin Acoustical Cafe, an intimate performance space for emerging singer-songwriters. BettySoo takes the stage Saturday, Jan. 16, 7pm: www.austinacousticalcafe.com.
• Coinciding with the Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival this weekend at the Palmer Events Center, Stratocaster master Redd Volkaert is making his Red River debut on Friday, splitting the difference between Honky and Bob Bleed at the Red Eyed Fly.
• Starting this week, OTR helps break down the week in local music news on KUT's Texas Music Matters. Tune in Fridays (noon-1pm) and Sundays (6-7pm), or download the resulting podcast: austinchronicle.com/earache.