Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas on July 21, 2009 · 25
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Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas · 25

Austin, Texas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
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Austin American-Statesman LIFE & ARTS Tuesday, July 21, 2009 D3 ELEVATORS: Band's highs, lows chronicled Continued from Dl productions of handbills, posters and stickers, is stuffed into a vintage-looking envelope. There's even one article from the American-Statesman, known in '66 as simply the Austin Statesman, discussing the Elevators; the photo of "Nightbeat" .columnist Jim Langdon, with suit, moustache, cigarette and slightly glazed expression is priceless. The oversized, 72-page book documents the sessions and releases in loving detail, acting as a thumbnail history of the band, its highs (sorry) and lows. (Texas fun fact: In mid-'60s Austin, one could get up to a 10-year sentence for trace amounts of weed, but peyote and .LSD were 100 percent legal. This might explain how psychedelic rock got started here and why the band decamped for the more liberal . San Francisco in '66.) Drummond moves through the band's depressing history (busts, police trouble, line-up changes, Erickson's precarious ' mental state) with a strong balance of detail and verve, augmenting the narrative with vintage photos and fliers. Early 1966 recordings, recorded right after the single "You're Gonna Miss Me" and compiled here as "Headstone: The Contact Sessions," show that the band hit upon its world-changing aesthetic early, a charged combination of Stacy Sutherland's twangy lead guitar, Hall's spacey electric jug, a tight R&B rhythm section and Erickson's extraordinary voice, part rocker, part blues shouter, part howling banshee of the scrub-brush West. No won-. der Janis Joplin sounds an awful lot like Roky on the Big Brother, and the Holding Company album "Cheap Thrills" how could you not want to sound like Roky after hearing his pipes? ' . It's a blast to hear "Psychedelic Sounds" and "Easter Everywhere" in their mono versions; every song is punchier, more alive and definitely more rawk. (Oh, Beatles fans, just wait Until you hear "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" in mono, coming to stores Sept. 9 you will not be the same.) But the highlights are the oft-bootlegged live recordings. "Live in Texas" documents sets broadcast on KAZZ-FM from the New Orleans Old World Night Club (1125 Red River St., now the site of ' a parking lot, more or less). It must have been a shock to hear "You're Gonna Miss Me" and that surreal electric jug coming out of your radio, but the really mind- Thursday. Feb. 10, 1968 Cljf Amain tatfgman Jim Langdon's Nightbeat Unique Elevators 'Shine With 'Psychedelic Rock oil WHERE THE ACTION WAS: Two Auitm night spots shared the mid-week tpotlisht (or hart twinging action on the rack 'n' roB beat Wednesday night, and neither rain nor hail could dampen the burning excitement that raged in both clubs. , At Die New Orleana Club it wa ROKY and the lift Floor Elevator! Halting out "Psychedelic Rock" for more than m people who Jammed the dub, while over at Swingers A Go Go, veteran rock W roll star JERRY LEE LEWIS put on a dazzling show for a full house of some 500 persons. Considering the weather, plus the fact that about 1,000 The band backing him this trip, mainly out of Memphis, did their share in putting on a good show too. At the end of one of the wilder numbers, the entire band, including the drummer, was standing and wailing atop amplifiers piano benches and trap stools. lieanwMe, at the New Orleans Club, "Psychedelic Rock' was showing its effect on the wildly entbuaiastie audience. The place was so jammed one could hardly move, which prompted owner ANDY PORTER to book the band for every Wednesday and Thursday night at the club from here on. I, for one, would be reluctant to try to define "Psychedelic Rock" or attempt to outline just what it is supposed to do. But this much is certain: the Elevators are a unique group. No one has ever heard anything quite like the sound they put out, anywhere, and their appeal ia.aot cSAfiaed-to members of the younger generation. This was apparent when scanning the crowd and discovering a good many soiddle-agera swinging right along. Radio station KAZZ-FM was on hand Wednesday ant presented a M-minute. live broadcast of the band from the club. KAZZ staffers BILL JOSEY and RIM KELLY are among the band's biggest supporters. In ail, it was a wailing evening, and from the size of the crowd on hand for the band's debut at the New Orleans, it looks as though the scene can do nothing but grow. Among the mementos in the 'Sign of the 3 Eyed Men box set is this 1966 article from the Austin Statesman about Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators. blowing stuff is on "Live in California," which documents '66 performances at the Avalon Ballroom. The recording quality is shockingly good and the covers of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me" and Buddy Holly's "I'm Gonna Love You Too" show just how far ahead of the curve the Elevators were. This is pure psychedelic punk rock, mind-expanding and smart and raw. "Death in' Texas" compiles some shows from 1967 and 1973, proto-metal reunion material! The CD called "A Love That's Sound" is an assemblage of tracks for the band's "lost" third album, also known as "Beauty & the Beast." Those sessions eventually became the much-maligned album "Bull of the Woods." Sutherland was running the group; Erickson is only on four songs. But there are amazing moments. Sutherland's guitar is at its strangest, and "May the Circle Remain Unbroken," the album's final song, will smash your heart into tiny, pyramid-shaped pieces. The box is limited to 4,000 copies and costs roughly $150. Of course you need it. Early in the Elevators' career, Tommy Hall tapped onetime Austin songwriter Powell St. John to contribute some material. St. John then a beatnik moving into hippie style who had once played at ThreadgUTs with Janis Joplin and Lannie Wiggins in the trio the Waller Creek Boys . knocked out songs over the Elevators' first two albums, including "Kingdom of Heaven," "Monkey Island" and "Slide Machine." After forming, then leaving, the band Conqueroo in Austin in '66, St. John headed to San Francisco in the late '60s to form the band Mother Earth. These days, he plays with Erickson's old , band the Aliens, and that crew backs him on the surprisingly spry "On My Way to Houston." In fact, the unrecorded Erickson song "Hardest Working Man" opens the disc, St. John's voice a weird Dylan-ish instrument sitting over Doc Ward's . big drums and lightly fuzzed chordings. St. John's harmonica drifts in and out of the songs. The Dylanisms become more pronounced on the title track, "I Loved the Way You Played the Piccolo," a lovely piece of folk double-entendre with Austi-nite Ralph White on violin. And you have to love "Song of the Silver Surfer," a (no kidding) ode to the Marvel Comics character, reminding you that the herald of Galactus was an acid-achievers icon. This seems appropriate St. John was present at the creation and remains a psychedelic warrior of the first order. So ... who wants to book him with the Aliens on a bill with Roky and his newest outfit? I volunteer my backyard. -; 912-5926 MUSIC: Woody Allen to jazz up Paramount this year Continued from Dl i ! , larity in an ever-changing music industry. "The reason to sign with a major label is to get distribution and to have someone pay to have the record made," Wommack said. "Because of the success with Los Lonely Boys, we have a great relationship with RED distribution (a division of Sony), so they'll be handling that for us." And with labels strapped for cash, it's easier and less frustrating to just make the record yourself and receive a bigger piece of sales revenue. The Sahara Smith album is being re-; corded at T-Bone Burnett's studio in Los Angeles, with "Raising Sand" engineer Emile Kelman producing. - Michael Corcoran Helping hands for Tony. In April, pedal steel guitarist Tony Locke was badly beaten by a bandmate on the Wayne Hancock tour. The aftermath photo was so gruesome it would've made Jerry Quarry wince. Although he's recovering nicely, Locke missed almost three months of work and ' has massive medical bills, so a bunch of his friends are playing a benefit concert Monday at the Continental Club. The De-railers, White Ghost Shivers, Erik Hokkanen, Jungle Rockers and many more are on the bill, emceed by Wammo. The music starts at 6 p.m. The cover is $10. -M.C.' The Woodman cometh. Woody Allen and Diane Keaton are headed to theParamount Theatre this year not together on the ', screen, but separately in person. Clarinet buff Allen is bringing his New Orleans Jazz Band to the Paramount Dec. 28. His "Annie Hall" co-star Keaton will talk Nov. 6. Also coming to the 1,100-capacity theater is Rufus Wainw right (Nov. 4), Wynonna (Dec. 4), "Mr. Warmth" Don Rickles (Dec. 10 and 11) and Mavis Staples and Booker T (March 26). - M.C. The Austin invasion. Six of the 10 top-tier acts at the Free Press Summer Fest, which takes place Aug. 8 and 9 at downtown Houston's Eleanor Tinsley Park, are from Austin. Explosions in the Sky, River-boat Gamblers, the Sword, Octopus Project, UME and What Made Milwaukee Famous join Prince Paul, Broken Social Scene, Of Montreal and Devin the Dude at the top of the poster. Tickets are $12 at the gate each day. Promoter Don Schwarzkopf hopes to rebound from last month's near-disaster-ous sixth annual World Beat Music Fest in Houston, which drew about 500 fans to see pricey headliners Chaka Khan and Steel Pulse. Love the University of Houston Daily Cougar's headline of that bust: "Turnout affects festival's success." , - M.C. Tex-Mex high-tech. CD release shows are as part of the scene here as out-of-control guest lists, but Patricia Vonne's 10 p.m. set Friday at the Continental Club could be the very first iPhone application release show. For a mere $1.99, fans of the Latina blues rocker can download Vonne's three albums, plus videos and a photo gallery. The self-titled app was designed by Austin-based software developer AVAI Ventures. -M.C. Ghostland Observatory, which sold out two shows at the Whitewater on the Horseshoe amphitheater in New Braun-fels this past weekend, has signed a deal with Southern Comfort liquor to play several free concerts across the U.S. this year. The only way to get tickets is to sign up for Southern Comfort's text-messaging list. None of the free shows, is in Texas. . .. Tastemaking Internet radio station WOXY is making like Heartless Bastards and relocating from Cincinnati to Austin. The ATX version hopes to broadcast by Sept. 8 at the South Congress Avenue offices they'll be sharing with ME TV. ... The next Farm Aid, starring Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, will take : place Oct. 4 in suburban St. Louis. ... Ted Roddy will have a special guest on bass for his tribute to Elvis Presley on Aug. 8 at the Continental Club: Duke Bardwell from the King's TCB band circa 1974. ... Country rockers Reckless Kelly recently donated $30,000 the proceeds from their Celebrity Softball Jam at Dell Diamond to two youth baseball leagues. ... Every local band should have a night like the Mercers , had Friday at the comfortably crowded Parish. It was a release party for the new CD "Hovercraft," and the audience was severely digging the epic sound created by singer Peter Wagner, the driving rhythm 'section of bassist Bryan Ray and drummer Ethan Herr and sound spicer Erik Ray on keyboards. dosi't r:.iss SEivr:.uair.'onE's EAttLY Bins SALE! Ail Sewing Equipment On Sale! This Saturday Only v A 5 SAVE &me $14,000 CO OFF MSRP OR SAVE$10,500 0 For 72 Mo. .If., HOME IS WHERE THE HEART OF TEXAS IS. 9 trSi'ilri i 3 fB ini .This is i Ml M jJWSW W 1 W9 K 1 it 2009-2010 edition TiAiUALGUiDETO' LIFE IN CENTRAL TEXAS All about Austin Local and Regional Maps Festivals ' Entertainment Outdoors and Recreation Golf Community Resources Business Education And more! BARNES: Austin notables remember CBS legend Continued from Dl ages, and a surprise visit by the teetotaling dean of men, one Arno 'Shorty' Nowotny. Cronkite also talked at length and with excitement about the space program, especially the new Apollo program that would put a man on the moon. ... An hour went by, then two. Not a one of us had moved until he rose to leave after almost three hours." Public relations leader Elizabeth Christian: "In the '70s, the annual Gridiron Show featuring a huge majority of the area's print, radio and TV journalists spoofing politics and politicians was a very big deal, a sell-out show at the Paramount Theatre every year. It was a labor of love and a showcase of reporters' 'talents.' ... One year I was both in the chorus and the stage designer. Somebody managed to talk Cronkite ' into making a cameo, and '.. we were all aflutter. Luck of the draw: Mr. Cronkite was to say a few words and then introduce the next act of which I was a part! He read the four or five people's names in the skit with me and then, and THEN, it was MY turn to hear my name read by the great Cronkite! But alas, someone, who will go unnamed, had changed Mr. Cronkite's script to read 'Lizzo Christian,' my most-hated nickname. That beautiful baritone will . forever be in my memory for so many reasons, not the least of which was hearing it intone the dreaded 'Lizzo' and still having to go on with the show with a smile on my face." Former television anchorman Neal Spelce: "At age 80, he underwent bypass surgery in April 1997. My quintuple bypass followed in June 1997. Checking with him later that summer, I called him to ask how he was recovering. Typically -Walter, he said he was leaving in a few minutes to 'test my new arteries on the tennis court.' Philanthropist Nancy Scanlan: "My only personal encounter with Walter was about 15 years ago when I was asked to photograph daughter) Kathy Cronkite's second son's christening. ... I felt so privileged to be with the Cronkite family and watch them interact, and Walter was just the sweet, avuncular gentleman with his family that I expected. He seemed very comfortable in his own skin and very proud of his daughter and her family. ' Of course, I felt like I'd known him for years!" Nonprofit manager Pamela Clark Mayo: "In 1983 I was the new executive director of the Arthritis luutujiu lor uie uesi uus- sible guest of honor for our ' retired. A pre-gala cocktail party in a private home allowed the top tier of donors a chance to visit with Walter and his wife, Betsy. Cronkite was then presented with : a gift, a windbreaker with the Texas flag on the back. Cronkite tried on the jacket and the band immediately played 'The Stripper.' Amer-. ica's avuncular newsman immediate complied with the music. He turned his back to the audience and let one shoulder of the jacket slip off while he looked back at the audience and winked. The crowd clapped and egged him on. He did the . same thing with the other . shoulder. The crowd roared. For that group of philanthropists, Cronkite became the most trusted man to make a party fun." Stage manager Bob Tolaro: "I had the privilege four years ago of stage managing the Texas Medal of the Arts at the Paramount where Walter was given a lifetime achievement award. Well, to show what a sense of humor he had, even at 87, while Bob Schieffer was introducing him Walter snuck right by me before he was supposed to go out. He stood behind " , Schieffer and every time Schieffer gave him an accolade, Walter shook his head 'no' as if Schieffer was lying. The audience just roared until Schieffer finally realized what was going on." News 8 Austin's Rachel Els-berry: "My favorite memory of Cronkite happens at every UT game since he is the voice of the 'We're Texas: What Starts Here Changes the World' ads. It makes me proud that his authoritative, deep, seasoned voice represents UT to people across the country. Cronkite will always be the voice of the University of Texas at Aus- . tin and the contributions its graduates have made to the world. We're Texas and so is Walter Cronkite." WAR IS HECK OR ATUEAST SURREAL JULY 2V22 wmr . v TUMI "4 MASH (ins) AAman groundbreaking black comedy baut the Korean War. TUE AT 7; WED AT 9:25 Catch-22 (iwo) Based on the novet by Joseph Heller TUE AT 9:20; WED AT 7 Sue Patrick x. The Texas Long horn Football Schedule Tee Texas football logo on the front with 2009 football schedule on the back. Burnt Orange, generous unisex fit, 100 cotton. Available in sizes s, m, I, xl and 2x. Reg. 14.99 Early Bird Special J Now 9.95 P J. 1 E; --iris The Foxcroft 29.95 Sale All previously reduced ' Spring and Summer , ' ' ? Foxcroft blouses V regularly 58.00-72.00 Now 29.95. Choose from stripes, prints, ginghams and more. Missy sizes 4 -18, Petite sizes 2p -1 6p and Women's Sizes 14w - 24w. Austin Snow Globe Complete with bats! Musical base plays "Deep in the Heart of Texas 39.95 5222 Burnet Rd. 512-452-7701 Monday-Saturday 9 JO- 00 Sunday 12:00-5:00 i'tii 'mi tu M iiCTMiirris;".!-

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