Off the Record
Diary of a Madman
Chuck Loesch has survived all seven levels of Emmis Radio purgatory. The broadcast studio engineer started off in promotions, then climbed his way up from KLBJ, oldies, and Lonestar 93.3FM to weekends and overnight duty for 101X on the dial at 101.5FM, all while serving as facility manager. Since 2005, he's developed his specialty program, No Control, into a one-man metal empire, broadcasting weekly three-hour blasts of all that is heavy while co-sponsoring local shows like the monthly Black Friday series at the Scoot Inn. Now, No Control's been rewarded with its own channel, KLZT 107.1HD2, Austin's first 24/7 headbangers' ball. "It's going to be a continuous stream of consciousness, all of the different genres from black metal to doom represented in one big pile," says Loesch, who will handle all of the programming. Loesch considers the station first and foremost a tribute to the vitality of the local metal scene. "People thought metal in Austin died with the Back Room, but if you're out at Emo's or Red 7, you realize that audience is still there," he says. "We've got every single type and subgenre of metal here; whatever it is, you can find a band that fits that bill." Tune in or stream online: www.nocontrolradio.com.
Ten Local 'No Control' Favorites
Lions of Tsavo
Pack of Wolves
At All Cost
Empire State of Mind
The lineup for Beerland's 10-year anniversary celebration this weekend doesn't look much different from the rest of the venue's calendar, stacked with the finest garage punk and noise rock Red River has to offer, including Tia Carrera and Dikes of Holland Thursday, Flesh Lights and Bottle Service Friday, and the Crack Pipes and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth Saturday. The decade point makes an interesting marker regarding the expanding empire of owners Randall and Donya Stockton. In that time, the DIY entrepreneurs have reshaped East Austin through their partnerships in Rio Rita, Shangri-La, the Grackle, Liberty, and, until last week, the Good Knight, which closed abruptly due to its high overhead. "When it first opened, it was one of maybe two places you could get classic cocktails," says Randall, "but that niche is not so novel anymore." The Stocktons' portfolio expanded recently with chef Tom Spaulding's Live Oak Barbecue (2713 E. Second) and the reopening of the Legendary White Swan (1906 E. 12th). The Eastside dive and blues bar has already lined up residencies with the Lourdes (Tuesdays), Flyjack (Wednesdays), and, coming July 11, the Little Elmore Reed Blues Band, the longstanding Monday night house band at TC's Lounge – which recently came under new ownership by the Michigan-based parents of local saxophonist Topaz. "Before I got really deep into the bar business, I used to play in a few blues bands," Stockton says. "I saw it as a great opportunity to resurrect a neighborhood institution and fulfill a dream of having a blues club."
Heavier Than Thou
Stop me if you've heard this one: Three hardcore guys walk into a gym .... "I've heard it," laughs Red 7 General Manager Jared Cannon. "Worst story ever." Cannon recently opened the Monolith Training Center (12110 Manchaca Rd. #401), a neighborhood workout facility featuring everything from weighted kegs to Russian kettle bells, plus in-house massage therapy and fitness classes. His partners are veteran punk vocalist Mike Hill and Career Criminal's Richard Crenwelge, a certified strength-and-conditioning coach Cannon credits with helping him rehab from the back and shoulder injuries he sustained in a car accident six months ago. While some may argue that a punk lifestyle conflicts with gym membership, Cannon offers a 20% discount to members of the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. "It's helped me in achieving a balance to my blood pressure and focus," says Cannon, who's lost about 60 pounds over the last three years. "It's really nice to share that kind of personal growth with other people."
Local mod squad English Teeth recorded a series of protest songs with Will Ferrell cohort Adam McKay for Public Domain Protest Song, an online platform for artists to upload original music without copyrights or trademarks (www.publicdomainprotestsong.com). The initiative has garnered attention from Bill Maher and the Huffington Post, and on Thursday, July 14, English Teeth rallies in support of the effort at Lamberts. Don't be surprised if booster Wayne Kramer of MC5 drops by; the two join forces the following night at Mohawk for the Jail Guitar Doors benefit. "We're all very liberal and support fairly progressive groups," writes Teeth mouthpiece Kevin Hoetger, "but honestly we're just trying to start a dialogue and maybe raise some money for some worthy causes."
In what's either the ghost of Austin future or some new supergroup, Bob Schneider appears as a wedding singer, backed by local pop outfit Quiet Company, in Somebody Up There Likes Me, a new comedy from local director Bob Byington starring Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman. The cameo was filmed last Wednesday, June 29, and reportedly included a rendition of the Cars' "Double Life."
Still smoking from her new album, Steady Eye Shaky Bow, local stunner Suzanna Choffel has been confirmed for the next installment of Paper Cuts, the Chronicle's monthly free live music series at the Palm Door. RSVP for the July 19 exclusive gig – sponsored by Capital Metro, and featuring goodies from New Belgium Brewing, Deep Eddy Vodka, Vitamin Water, and Janitzio Mexican Restaurant – at austinchronicle.com/papercuts.
Longtime Red River shutterbug Michael Crawford has found a new way to preserve the scene. The Rock Garage Texas Live Concert Series and an album by the same name compile local acts fermenting sonic weirdness like leftover kimchi. The first installment's landed in local record stores, and he's hosting a three-night release party at the Scoot Inn, July 21-23, featuring most of the contributors, including Hickoids, Churchwood, Pocket FishRmen, Pong, and Amplified Heat.
Before appearing at the Jelling Festival in Denmark as part of the House of Songs initiative, indie folk Homewrecker Danny Malone recorded a double album, Balloons, in a 500-year-old castle with local producer Matthew Smith. "This place is literally magical; an alchemist built the castle to directly align with the sky in some sort of way," writes Malone, who headlines Mohawk on Thursday, July 14. "It's kinda like a hip-hop record. I can't explain how, but it is."
E Street Band guitarist Little Steven dubbed Moonlight Towers' "Heat Lightning" the coolest song in the world on his Underground Garage radio show. The single's been in heavy rotation ever since, with 15 plays daily on SiriusXM satellite radio. The Towers add another to the tab at Skinny's Ballroom Saturday, July 16.
Austin's Band of Heathens (see "Medicine Men," May 6) visited Memphis' legendary Sun Studios to cut a Charlie Rich cover, "Mohair Sam," that's now available for free download on the band's site. The full session will soon premiere at www.livefromsunstudio.blogspot.com. The Heathens stomp and holler next at the Parish on Saturday, July 16, with Cowboy & Indian.
OTR's going abroad and will return July 29. Try not to break anything while I'm gone.