Graying halo-haired hero to the turtleneck set, Wayne Coyne slid down the chimney from Oklahoma to deliver a sackful of art pieces to Waterloo Records last Wednesday. For an in-store appearance that only came together at the last minute, according to owner John Kunz, the Flaming Lips frontman materialized a line of autograph-seekers that stretched out the door at times and moved like molasses as the singer yakked with fans. Coyne's handmade creations included the "Skull Mega Box," a glass display case containing an upside-down white chocolate skull being sawed in half by a clear vinyl EP of the first Lips record with a bloody brain descending from it. He also brought "Fuck You Frog," a toad-shaped audio memo recorder, loaded with a personal message, sitting in a puddle of "frog piss-flavored hard candy." Even with $250 and $35O price tags, fans scooped up the limited quantities as the hours crawled on. Afterward, Coyne headed to the Museum of Human Achievement to visit Zac Traeger of kindred locals Zorch.
My name is Kevin. I'm a 29-year-old musician from Texas. Thanks for the guitar strings you got me last year. I broke every last one of them. This year, I'd like tickets to see Murder City Devils at Mohawk on Jan. 5. If you can work up enough Christmas magic, I'd also like tickets for Eyehategod at Red 7 on Dec. 30. I've been pretty good this year: I didn't get arrested even once, and I'm helping raise money for a mobile food pantry this month. Please be generous to the slacker musicians of Austin and all the people who do selfless work in the community like HAAM and SIMS. And don't skimp on the coal for whoever stole my bicycle from outside of the Scoot Inn. You keep believing in me, I'll keep believing in you.
Cheer Up Charlie's got the boot. The popular Eastside bar and music venue vacates its space at 1104 E. Sixth after Jan. 15. The ousting results from the property being purchased by La Corsha Hospitality Group, which will open a bar there called Wonderland. CUC owner Tamara Hoover and manager Maggie Lea assured patrons in an open letter that "nothing is dying" and that they plan to find a new home for the queer-friendly haunt. Hoover told "Playback" she's only considering locations where they can host live music, a factor determined more by neighborhood than facilities. "We never really had enough space to have shows at our bar, but our attitude has always been, 'We can make it work,'" she noted. A valuable venue for Austin's emerging acts and smaller touring artists since 2010, CUC's digs also provided stage space during festivals like Chaos in Tejas and South by Southwest, where in 2010 they were booked by renegade concert promoter Todd P and hosted Moby and Skrillex the following year. With their exit, that strip's independent vibe erodes.
Austin's newest music venue, the Roost, will be open before year's end. Occupying the main suite of a strip mall on the decidedly north side Wells Branch Parkway, it lies closer to Pflugerville than Downtown, but that's the idea: to give the north Austin, Round Rock, and Pflugerville crowds a premier venue to see live music.
The Roost comes courtesy of a familiar face to the music scene, veteran booker David Cotton, along with his brothers Jimbo and John Cotton, and John Greenwood. Their 76-year-old mother Janet Cotton will do the accounting. The group renovated the 3,400-square-foot room, which once housed Ropers Night Club, and built a custom stage under the acoustic considerations of Christopher Cross engineer Chet Himes, who also designed its speaker system. Early bookings include Carolyn Wonderland, Shinyribs, and Reckless Kelly, with Joe Ely slated for New Year's Eve.
Overall, the vibe's been carefully considered. Ropers' dance floor was repurposed into furniture, a massive library of Texas-centric vinyl will serve as house music, and the walls are slated for decoration from David Cotton's epic stash of Austin concert posters as well as the wooden sign from Steamboat.
"I knew I'd been collecting artifacts all these years for some reason," smiled David Cotton. "Now I can give people a glimpse at what we were so lucky to see back in the day."
Naturally, Cotton, who slots bands at Threadgill's and the Saxon Pub, will oversee booking at the Roost. He offered W.C. Clark as an example of a weekly happy-hour performer.
"People from Round Rock need a place where they can hear great original music," added John Cotton. "We're not competing with Austin. We're an expansion."
• The GSD&M Holiday Special: Green vinyl 45 of Dale Watson's "Deck the Halls" featuring the altered refrain of "Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-y'all!" Holiday novelty gold!
• Honky Tonk Holidaze soundtrack: Hilarious Christmas musical about a magic dust-addicted Santa's trouble in Texas, written by red-eyed cosmic cowboy Wild Bill (see "Sad, Bad Santa," Dec. 13).
• Holiday HAAM Jam Vol. 3: Features Joe Ely, Reckless Kelly, Sons of Fathers, and more playing Christmas songs. Benefits Health Alliance for Austin Musicians.
• Ornaments by Chris Gage: Local vet's instrumentally wondrous holiday carols.
• A Very Blue Rock Christmas: Yuletide recordings from Wimberley's Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio includes Ruthie Foster doing "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and David Wilcox's "Rudy Rap."
• Kimberlee Leber, O Come All Ye Faithful: Urban folk/jazz singer-songwriter carols about Santa and the Bible.
› Max Frost's "White Lies" soundtracks a flashy new commercial for the Beats by Dre headphones. The 21-year-old local singer even gets screen time in the star-studded 30-second spot which features Serena Williams, Young Jeezy, and Nipsey Hussle grooving to his track.
› Charlie and Will Sexton are listed as official members of a new band called the Nauts, which stars Dave Matthews and Jakob Dylan. The group's reportedly been working on an album.
› Ray Price has sung his last song. The 87-year-old Texan and elder statesman of country music died at home in Mount Pleasant on Monday following a long bout with pancreatic cancer. Price's sophisticated presence and mournful voice could be heard on over 80 country hits, including 1956's "Crazy Arms." Tickets are being refunded for his Jan. 22 performances at the Paramount Theatre.
› Residual Kid records with Dinosaur Jr. frontman J. Mascis in January. The locals' drummer, Ben Redman, will no longer keep the beat for eye-dilating space rockers the Boxing Lesson, since that job has now been filled by original Supersuckers pounder Dancing Eagle.
› Continental Club spokesperson Dianne Scott said she's hopeful Steve Wertheimer's new soul-themed bar and venue, C-Boy's, will be open on New Year's Eve. Final inspections are scheduled for this week. C-Boy's sits where grimy rock dive Trophy's used to be.
› Gary Clark Jr., who received two Grammy nods, wasn't the only Austin-grown musician nominated for a phonograph-shaped statuette this month. Onetime locals the Greencards' "Sweetheart of the Sun" was nominated for Best Folk Album as was Sarah Jarosz, who's also in the ring for Best American Roots Song. James Cotton's "Cotton Mouth Man" earned a Best Blues Album mention, while Brownout guitarist Adrian Quesada played guitar with nominees for Best Tropical Latin Album, Los Ángeles Azules. Sarah and Shauna Dodds are up for Best Recording Package for their elaborately lunar art direction on Reckless Kelly's Long Night Moon.
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