HAAM Day to the rescue!
Cured by HAAM
Last Wednesday, I woke up early and brushed my teeth for 15 minutes, hoping a lengthy scrub down would offset years of neglect. When I arrived at Authentic Smiles, the receptionist inquired how long it'd been since my last visit to the dentist.
"More than 10 years," I replied, the last time being my senior year of high school when they dosed me with magnificent drugs and excavated my wisdom teeth. After filling out a few forms, a hygienist plopped me down in a big chair and went to work examining my mouth, taking X-rays, and ultimately violating my chompers with tiny power tools for a much needed teeth cleaning.
When I was properly de-plaqued, "rock & roll dentist" Dr. Shane Matt arrived to chat about music and announce that I was the proud owner of three cavities, which they drilled and filled several days later.
The best part of getting my teeth fixed was that it didn't cost me a dime. Since April, I've been a member of Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, which provides low-cost health care for performers. Since enrolling, I've begun seeing a physician regularly and attended a hearing clinic in which they cast a mold of my ear canals and made me customized decibel-reducing earplugs that I've since used every night.
After years of living uninsured, where the extent of my medical care was getting free parking-lot AIDS tests, ditching emergency room bill collectors, and asking my roommates, "Does this look infected to you?," HAAM's comprehensive coverage has had a surprisingly profound effect on my life, inspiring me to take pride in my well-being, including eating better and exercising regularly.
For musicians with more dire concerns, HAAM proves invaluable. After Dave Duet, vocalist for punk & roll revelers El Pathos, sliced his hand in a carpentry accident, his physician at Seton made him an appointment with a HAAM-affiliated hand specialist who discovered his tendon had snapped and performed immediate surgery. Days later, a bacterial infection overtook Duet's hand and he went under the knife again – and again and again.
"I was in the hospital for 32 days, during which I had 13 surgeries," recalls Duet.
Six month later, Duet's hand remains bandaged, and HAAM continues to assist him with wound care and physical therapy.
"One of the prescriptions they had me on was listed as $1,700 for a three-month supply. With HAAM, I paid $15, so that was amazing."
In April, Duet returned to the stage with his arm in a sling and tubes sticking out of his hand. That's his part of the unspoken deal: HAAM heals, he plays.
"Without knowing HAAM was there, I would've been worrying instead of healing, and I sincerely doubt I would have a hand. I'm beyond grateful," reflects Duet. "The fact that it exists on a charitable donation has to be the coolest thing about Austin for me."
Indeed, a big chunk of their yearly budget gets raised on HAAM Benefit Day, Tuesday, Sept. 24. It works like this: all over town, from 6am to 2am, musicians are performing at various local businesses, from Whole Foods to Whataburger and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Each of those businesses donates 5% or more of the day's profits to HAAM. They also collect donations from people like you. Last year HBD raised over $300,000. Consider how many cavity fillings that could pay for.
In addition to regular Benefit Day performances, HAAM has stepped up their game this year with the All ATX Concert at the Moody Theater, featuring Christopher Cross, Jimmie Vaughan, Eric Johnson, Suzanna Choffel, Monte Montgomery, Ray Benson, Charlie & Will Sexton, Quiet Company, and more. Tickets, on sale now at www.acl-live.com, also raise money for HAAM.
Next Tuesday, show your support for the healers of music by hitting some participating business – full list at www.myhaam.org – and drop a little extra cash in the bucket so HAAM can keep Austin groovin' in good health.
Playback's 20-Hour HAAM Benefit Day Itinerary
6am: John Pointer, Whole Foods, 525 N. Lamar
8: Emily Bell, Whole Foods, 525 N. Lamar
9: the Sieker Band, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, 13376 N. U.S. 183
10: Paula Nelson Band, Whole Foods, 525 N. Lamar
11: Lorrie Singer & Bradley Kopp, Torchy's Taco's, 1311 S. First
Noon: Aunt Ruby's Sweet Jazz Babies, Lamberts, 401 W. Second
1pm: Shinyribs, Whole Foods, 525 N. Lamar
2: Tex Thomas, ThunderCloud Subs, 2801 S. Lamar
3:30: Kalu James, Ray Benson's Roadhouse, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
4: SaulPaul, Texas Hillel, 2015 San Antonio
5:30: Jitterbug Vipers, Maria's Taco Xpress, 2529 S. Lamar
6: Graham Wilkinson, Whataburger, 601 Barton Springs Rd.
7: Frank Smith, Wooldridge Square Park, 900 Guadalupe
7:20: Grace London, Maria's Taco Xpress, 2529 S. Lamar
8:30: Rick Broussard's Two Hoots & a Holler, Antone's, 2015 E. Riverside
9:45: Leopold & His Fiction, Holy Mountain, 617 E. Seventh
11: Horse Opera, Continental Club, 1315 S. Congress
12am: the Golden Ghetto, Volstead, 1500 E. Sixth
1am: John Wesley Coleman, Hotel Vegas, 1500 E. Sixth
Antone's For Sale
As reported on the Chronicle blog Tuesday morning, Frank Hendrix has put Antone's nightclub up for sale. It's his last stack of chips to cash in after selling Emo's to C3 earlier this year.
Initial reactions in the music community view the sale as Hendrix, who bought the club in 2010, refurbishing and flipping the club for a quick buck, similar to his used car sales detailed on the Discovery Channel's Texas Car Wars, but Hendrix says his heart's just not in the club business anymore.
"I gave up on wanting to dominate the world a long time ago," admitted Hendrix. "I'm happy with where I'm at, and I want to enjoy my declining years not sitting on a barstool."
Hendrix shifts his focus to the oil business. He's currently working in Palestine securing oil leases for companies and producing and starring in the pilot for a reality TV show about oil exploration.
"I'm 53 and don't run as fast or jump as high anymore," he says. "Antone's needs to be owned by someone with youthful enthusiasm who will take this dynamic brand in new directions."
He confirmed that after relocating the club to East Riverside and expanding its format away from pure blues, Antone's is again profitable. One day after the story broke, Hendrix told "Playback" that lots of potential buyers had already "come out of the woodwork."
› Mike Judge appeared onstage at Emo's last Friday to receive props from rap legends the Geto Boys, whose track "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta" Judge used to hilarious effect in his cult classic film Office Space. "This mutherfucka cracks me up," observed Scarface. See this week's piece on Geto icon Bushwick Bill, p.55.
› Dave Mustaine confirmed his plans of moving to Austin during Megadeth's set opening for Iron Maiden at the Austin 360 Amphitheater last week (peruse Earache! music blog "No Prayer for the Dying," Sept. 11). "Still looking, still coming," announced the heavy metal house hunter.
› DJs Secondliner and Shorty Stump, who run the Second Sunday Sock Hop, debut their new party Cold Lampin', consisting exclusively of golden era hip-hop vinyl cuts, this Saturday at Hotel Vegas.
› Utopia Fest happens this Friday and Saturday. Meet me at the BYOB, Hill Country campout in Utopia, where !!!, Aaron Freeman (aka Gene Ween), Galactic, and Blackalicious all play in addition to a solid bill of Austin bands, including Brownout, which jams with Parliament Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell.
› Scoremore, which specializes in booking emerging hip-hop talent in Texas, canceled Chief Keef's performance at Emo's last Wednesday, citing recent no-shows and jail concerns from the mumble-mouthed rising star of Chicago rap.
› Performers at next Wednesday's Petty Fest at Mohawk include Norah Jones, Doyle Bramhall II, Jakob Dylan, Jason Isbell, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Ian McLagan, the Whigs, and the Heartless Bastards' Erika Wennerstrom, all covering Tom Petty songs. Proceeds benefit musician assistance charity Sweet Relief.