Off the Record

Music News

Transmission's Fun-sultants: (l-r) Graham Williams, James Moody, Johnny Sarkis, Adi Anand, Matt Bearden
Transmission's "Fun-sultants": (l-r) Graham Williams, James Moody, Johnny Sarkis, Adi Anand, Matt Bearden

Milo Goes to Austin

Transmission Entertainment doesn't do anything by the book. The local concert promotions enterprise announced the lineup for its fifth annual Fun Fun Fun Fest this weekend at Waterloo Park with a mock-epic press conference in early August, complete with a PowerPoint presentation on "Marketing and Research for Fun" ("Stage diving is forecasted to increase at least 100% in 2010") and a moment of silence for Ronnie James Dio. More importantly, when Devo canceled last week due to guitarist Bob Mothersbaugh severing a tendon in his right thumb, Transmission pulled an absolute ace from its sleeve: the first reunion performance by L.A.'s hardcore Descendents in close to a decade. While this year's lineup – most notably Mastodon, MGMT, RJD2, Bad Religion, the Hold Steady, and Friday night kick-off "Weird Al" Yankovic, plus last-minute adds Cults, Washed Out, Nortec Collective, and the Antlers – should further the festival's national profile, Transmission's most excited by what's been dubbed "Circus Maximus." That's the traditional Yellow stage area hosting everything from a mechanical bull and bungee rocket to free vintage video games and an Air Sex Contest. "When you mix wrestling, Monotonix, and Mariachi el Bronx," surmises Transmission principal James Moody, "it should get interesting back there." Booker and festival founder Graham Williams takes it one step further, "It's like Austin's World's Fair but way more messed up."

F3F Facts

• Parody kingpin "Weird Al" Yankovic has only performed in Austin once, at the Paramount Theatre in 2004, on his Poodle Hat tour. He opened with "Angry White Boy Polka."

• Punk rock scholar Greg Graffin is signing copies of his new memoir/manifesto Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science, and Bad Religion in a World Without God at BookPeople on Saturday, Nov. 6, 6pm. Meanwhile, the Riverboat Gamblers cover "Heaven Is Falling" on the new Bad Religion tribute album, Germs of Perfection, which is available for free on MySpace.

• The upcoming debut from Austin's the League of Extraordinary Gz features a cameo from fellow FFFF stoner Devin the Dude, among others.

• Chapel Hill, N.C.'s Polvo first reunited at the behest of Explosions in the Sky, which curated the 2008 UK edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival.

• Lo-fi wizard Ariel Pink guests on Black Nasty's viral jam "Mayonnaise Pen" from last year's Shark Tank.

• Former Wax and 22 Jacks frontman Joe Sib hosts Complete Control, a punk and hardcore specialty show that airs every Monday on 101X (12mid-2am).

• Detroit's the Gories released a rare split with Lord High Fixers, Tim Kerr's mid-1990s garage punk project.

Big Freedia is prominently featured in "Where They At," a photo exhibit helmed by onetime Chronicle contributor Aubrey Edwards, capturing the phenomenon of New Orleans' Bounce scene.

F3F by the Numbers

Bands: 74

Stages: 3

Wrestling rings: 1

Afterparties: 25

Tattoos received for the second annual scavenger hunt: 20-plus

Wieners for the veggie hot dog eating competition: 200

Customized porta-potties: 1

I Can See for Miles

Asleep at the Wheel, 1972
Asleep at the Wheel, 1972

"Sometimes it feels like a 100 years," laughs Ray Benson, driving to the voting booth Tuesday morning, on the occasion of Asleep at the Wheel's 40th anniversary. After last year's Willie and the Wheel reboot and the recent Leon Rausch collaboration It's a Good Day, the local Western swing institution's rolling as hard as ever. Both marquee guests will be on hand for the Wheel's historic 40 bash at the Long Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, Nov. 5, which boasts original members Lucky Oceans and Leroy Preston, Texas Playboy Johnny Gimble, local ringers Cindy Cashdollar and Maryann Price, and Commander Cody airman Andy Stein, who appeared on the band's debut album, Comin' Right at Ya, released just prior to the Wheel rolling into town in 1973. In fact, the only notable alumnus missing is bassist Tony Garnier (1976-78). "Bob Dylan wouldn't let him have the night off," the Wheel spokesman quips. To further commemorate the occasion, Benson compiled, in no particular order, his Top 40 favorite songs of all time.

"Lovesick Blues," Emmett Miller/Hank Williams

"Choo Choo Ch'Boogie," Louis Jordan

"I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen," Bing Crosby

"Take Me Back to Tulsa," Bob Wills

"Roly Poly," Fred Rose/Bob Wills

"Night Life," Willie Nelson

"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," Bach

"You Don't Know Me," Cindy Walker

"Straight, No Chaser," Thelonious Monk

"The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me," Roger Miller

"God Will," Lyle Lovett

"Jole Blon," Harry Choates

"Milk Cow Blues," Bob Wills

"Funny How Time Slips Away," Willie Nelson

"Waltz for Derby," Bill Evans

"Luther's Boogie," Johnny Cash

"That's All Right Mama," Arthur Crudup

"Here, There and Everywhere," the Beatles

"Blue Monday," Fats Domino

"Jezebel," Golden Gate Quartet

"Please Send Me Someone To Love," Percy Mayfield

"Ode to Joy," Beethoven

"People Get Ready," Curtis Mayfield

"What's Going On," Marvin Gaye

"Sympathy for the Devil," the Rolling Stones

"Try a Little Tenderness," Otis Redding

"New San Antonio Rose," Bob Wills

"So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)," the Everly Brothers

"Skylark," Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mercer

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow," Harold Arlen

"Summertime Blues," Eddie Cochran

"Dusty Skies," Cindy Walker

"My Cherie Amour," Stevie Wonder

"Michelle," the Beatles

"This Could Be the Start of Something Big," Steve Allen

"Nuages," Django Reinhardt

"Desperados Waitin' for a Train," Guy Clark

"If I Had a Boat," Lyle Lovett

"Miss You," the Rolling Stones

"Dublin Blues," Guy Clark

Random Play

Lyle Lovett closes out Austin City Limits' 36th season and historic tenure at Studio 6A on the University of Texas campus on Monday, Nov. 8, tying Willie Nelson for most appearances on the program with 12. There will not be space-available tickets for the taping, but a simulcast is taking place at Hogg Auditorium. The new Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theater is scheduled to open Feb. 24, 2011. Complete details at

The fifth annual HAAM Benefit Day on Sept. 21 shattered records across the board, raising $195,000 for the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians through pledges and donations at more than 200 local businesses, bolstered by nearly 150 live performances.

On what would've been the original cosmic cowboy's 69th birthday, the Doug Sahm monument, illustrated by Kerry Awn and located on Doug Sahm Hill next to the Long Center, will be unveiled on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2pm.

Curious about how the Black Angels landed "Young Men Dead" as the new theme song to the video game Fable III? The Austin Music Foundation hosts MasterSource Music Catalog founder Marc Ferrari for the panel Music for Money: Song Placement in Film & TV at the Parish on Monday, Nov. 15, 7pm. Ferrari will be accepting demos for future consideration, and local bands can take part in the boot camp's trial-by-fire listening session by submitting a song to

Giving the Chronicle Music desk a collective hernia, the first batch of confirmations for the 25th anniversary edition of South by Southwest was unveiled in record time on Tuesday afternoon. Highlights include Erykah Badu, A Place To Bury Strangers, Chico Trujillo, El Guincho, Fujiya & Miyagi, Givers, Liam Finn, Mark Eitzel, and Austin's Iron Age. Showcase applications are being accepted through Friday, Nov. 5. For the current list and complete details, see

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Fun Fun Fun Fest, Transmission Entertainment, Ray Benson, Asleep at the Wheel, Lyle Lovett, Austin City Limits

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