MINOR PRODUCTIONS WEBLOG 2005
December 12, 2005 -
I am laying low today after having completed four days of the most grueling production work I have undertaken since South By Southwest. Wednesday I drove Becky to a last minute solo piano gig at the swanky Hotel Valencia in San Antonio where she entertained at a reception for the Governor of New Mexico. We almost turned back several times because of the horrible freezing rain conditions, but after stopping for de-icer windshield fluid and stacked up traffic inside the loop, we made it there about 15 minutes late but just in time to set up and play a few songs before the speech. We got to sample some fine wine and cheese in the opulent lobby, and the hotel managers and valets were exremely friendly and accommodating to us. On the way home we were stuck in traffic on a slippery I-35 for over an hour just outside the city limits. We finally made it to the Chavez exit and celebrated our safe return to Austin with a hot bowl of Tortilla Soup at Casuelas.
Thursday I got up at 7:30 to get a head start on the Chronicle deliveries. It was bone chilling frigid but not as treacherous as the night before. I got most of it done by noon and left the rest for Jeff to deliver so I could get loaded up for a Houston trip. I took a system down to the Houstonian and set it up for New Orleans-based Susan Cowsill, whose band was entertaining at a Shell Oil employee party attended by many evacuees. She was going to play Band on the Run in its entirety but abandoned it for a fun medley of cajun favorites and some Fleetwood Mac and Pretenders. The Houstonian loading dock is one of the worst, a mile from the ballroom through a maze of long carpeted hallways and ramps. I got home at 4 in the morning, aching and exhausted.
On Friday I hauled 2 PA systems to the Chronicle Christmas party at the Legion Hall, with the gracious help of Motorcycle Mike and Dan the Luv Doc. KTEL Hit Machine played for 200 plus revelers in an over crowded tent. The show was awesome but I had to run around like a freak trying to troubleshoot some sub-standard power circuits. I ended up running extension cords to several different remote locations trying to figure out why my power amps kept cutting out. I finally checked a volt meter and realized I was getting only 80 volts out of a 110 circuit and my CD player wouldn't even spin right. It was nightmarish and I had a hard time having any fun, even though I saw many friends. Luckily the karaoke system upstairs required little maintenance.
Saturday, I loaded the PA into the Hilton downtown for another KTEL party. Allan Gill met me there to help me run the cables and mix the show, and I dashed home to load up the small system to play a wedding at Barr Mansion, a lovely historic farm house and rustic party barn off Springdale and 290, about 5 minutes from my house. It features the most convenient load in ever, through a sliding wooden door right to the stage. The show was fun, we played a lot of unfamiliar material including Sunrise-Sunset, Nadine, The Gambler, and Brandy, but my voice was shot from a cold I have been struggling with all week. No one seemed to mind and they wouldn't let us quit until we played London Homesick Blues.
I was caught off guard at the wedding when the wedding planner told me they were slightly disappointed we were only a five piece. I had completely forgotten that they requested I upgrade the band to include organist Matt, who was fired from Alterego last week for bailing out on our New Year's gig that has been booked for over 6 months. His other theatrical project band coerced him into ditching us, saying it wasn't a "legitimate conflict," so I am ditching him and the rest of that troupe, who have been a thorn in my side since they first recruited some of my best players. I've had it with the Cabaret drama. I'm working with some new ringers for gigs in the near future, and I am shopping for a different digital studio to mix the tracks Matt recorded. Cats always land on their feet, as the cliche goes.
After the wedding, I went home, unloaded one PA, and then drove downtown at midnight to retrieve the other. On the way home I stopped at Longbranch to wind down the week with a frothy pint and an awesome set by Bloody Tears, with Santa Randall blowing harp and passing out presents atop the bar.
I was thrilled to find out Neil Young will be at SXSW this year. I've been enjoying Prairie Wind, his new album recorded in Nashville while awaiting a life-threatening aneurysm procedure. I really admire his courage and tenacity as an artist. His new concert movie will be premiering in the Spring, and I look forward to seeing him onstage again. There's a new portrait of him available at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar that I may have to get.
I have been adding photos and many more entries to my Dylan chronology website. Tonight I spent some time researching the details of the unreleased tracks on the 3 record Masterpiecesimport set I got at Antone's records a couple of weeks ago.
I also am excited to see the Townes Van Zandt documentary, which I was honored to be invited to a screening of an early cut of. I was one of a consensus of musicians and film people who agreed that the original edit was just too bleak and I am eager to see how the unflinching portrayal of the boozing troubador has reportedly been artfully redeemed. Come to think of it, I could use a little cheer myself. Happy Holidays to all my former and future friends.
In October I played solo at Pete's Big Top in Houston and flew to Mke Foster's Pigroast in Louisiana and played several sets over the weekend. I had a nice time driving across the Mississippi River Bridge in Vicksburg and the levee. I drove by 3 different childhood homes on the trip.
September 21, 2005
I've had some fun and unusual gigs this summer. Becky and I provided music for my Dad's 70th birthday party August 20. It turned into a great singalong with many familiar faces from his illustrious past. On August 26th I played a fun solo show and hosted the amazing folk duo Chris and Aurore at the Dandelion Cafe. They're like Dylan and Joan's passion crossed with Emmy and Gram's charm and Sonny and Cher's style. On the 31st I got roped into judging a karaoke contest final in Cedar Park that turned out to be rigged. We gave the Luther Vandross guy all the points but the Selena girl took home the grand prize.
Andrew put me on the guest list for Son Volt on our shared birthday Sept. 16. They were amazing and Andrew rocked with them like the spirit of Woody Guthrie riding Crazy Horse. Afterward I had an impromptu cake and pizza gathering at the Hole while PONG blew the roof off. The next day Alterego got rave reviews at the Del Lago resort on Lake Conroe, mainly for playing "Could I Have this Dance" twice in a row because the mother of the bride couldn't find her husband in time.
I have been researching Bob Dylan's first show in Texas after reading in Levon Helm's autobiography that it was the first time the Band ever backed him up. I spent days at the Austin history center, the Austin library, UT's LBJ center and the PCL putting the set list together from various reviews. In the process I got on a roll and expanded my Dylan page into a fairly comprehensive historical timeline and archive of some his milestone performances. The Statesman used some of my research in an upcoming article this Sunday that discusses the monumental Texas concerts and Dylan's amazing new documentary that came out on DVD yesterday.
PAUL'S FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN PAGE
Austin American Statesman
Sept. 22, 2005
"Just when you thought Austin music's history couldn't get hipper, Hole
In the Wall booker and budding Bob Dylan fanatic Paul Minor recently came
across this obscure tidbit: the first live performance of Bob Dylan with
the Band (Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and
Garth Hudson were called Levon and the Hawks at the time) was Sept. 24,
1965, in Austin. Crank up "The Basement Tapes" this Saturday to celebrate
the 40th anniversary of the concert at the Municipal Auditorium (later
Palmer Auditorium). To find out more details about the half-acoustic/half-electric
show, plus the band's wild night at the old Villa Capri, read an account
in Sunday's Life & Arts section. By the way, tickets to the show, Dylan's
Texas debut, were $3.
-- Michael Corcoran"
STATESMAN FEATURE ON DYLAN'S FIRST AUSTIN SHOW
I'll be returning to Matt Hubbard's studio on October 2nd to record a new acoustic album, with Matt on piano and harmonica, Conrad Choucron on drums and Jeff Johnston on bass and various carpentry tools.
The mailman lost my rent check so while I was covering for it at the landlord's office I asked for new carpet. Be careful what you wish for, because Becky and I are going to be moving the furniture around all next week, now that she has just moved back in and gotten sttled. I'm so glad to have her back in the house.
I got an e-mail from my high school history teacher, touching base after 20 odd years and giving me some nice positive reinforcement for my recent exploits. He is the one who took us to Big Bend, and he once pointed out my Neanderthal eyebrow ridge in an encyclopedia one time. It's called an "epicanthan flap."
Sir Karlos has officially earned himself outside kitty status for awhile. He has been getting under foot constantly and going numero dos behind the couch. He has been very defiant about it, even going right in front of us as we sat talking in the living room. He seems determined to be banned from the house, but I guess I'll bring him in before the next big storm hits.
I saw a powerful set by Young Heart Attack at a benefit at Emo's last night. The crowd was sparse but they rocked like Wembley stadium. I am planning to be at ACL fest rain or shine. Maybe it will be cooler and less crowded if the skies are cloudy.
I got some disturbing news about the SIMS Foundation. They are having a major budget crisis. I think mother nature has washed out a lot of people's donation budgets. They've simply run out of funds and they have been forced to eliminate the Executive Director position and suspend services to their counseling clients for a couple months. It looks bad, but there is a chance it could turn out OK if they are taken under the wing of a larger, better-organized and better-funded charity. I am sure we will be hearing more about this one as it unfolds.
All lovers of the outdoors should check out the Hole's new rear patio area. I've been working on making it more user friendly, getting the safety lights dimmed and adding some lattice and posters to make it a bit cozier. In these oppressive times for the nightclubs, the places with the best patios are going to prove the best survivors. Any lawn furniture donations gladly accepted.
Austin Music Co-op
Hurricane Housing Project
Would you like to help with a very special hurricane relief effort? The Hole in the Wall and other local businesses are sponsoring housing, clothing and food for displaced New Orleans musicians and their families at the former Austin Music Co-op space at 5413 Guadalupe. Matt Meshbane is the new director of the Co-op and can be reached at 740-7832 to arrange for housing.
The Hole in the Wall will be having an a series of events to raise awareness and funds for this program and passing a special hurricane hat between sets at regular shows. We hope to raise several thousand dollars over the next couple months to cover the expenses of this unique relief effort.
We are working on locating displaced musicians and their families, and we hope to eventually help these people put together events at the Co-op facility and local clubs where they can perform to raise money to get back on their feet.
We will be accepting donations of food, clothing, bedding and toiletries
and we are also signing up volunteers to
helpwith relocation logistics, transportation, and meal service, etc.
Slices and Ices and Cream Vintage will also be on hand at these events with special offers for supporters.
Any bands confirmed on the upcoming schedule who would like to volunteer to make their shows an official "Night of the Hurricane" benefit please inform us as well.
The owner of the Music Co-op property also has several vacant hospital and school properties in Palestine, TX and other communities that could house up to 500 people, so we will be in need of resources to pursue that possibility also as the demand arises. Let us know if you'd like to get involved in this special project.
Ray Davies writes about New Orleans
Health Alliance for Austin Musicians
offers low cost primary medical health services, basic dental care, and mental health counseling for local professional musicians. It is easy to qualify, and there is space available now.
One page applications are available at a growing number of music stores and clubs, including Hole in the Wall, Affordable Sound, Waterloo Records and Ruta Maya. Please contact your friendly street level ambassadors Chris Gates, Wayne Nagel or Paul Minor for more details, or call 322-5177 to schedule an intake appointment. Tell all your music pro friends and please feel free to print and distribute the online application.
Austin Chronicle item on Health Alliance by Chris Gray
Statesman article on Health Alliance by Michael Corcoran
Check out this slideshow from Free For All 6/19/05.
Feast your eyes on mouth watering restaurant reviews of my favorite east side taco joint Las Casuelas and another new favorite the Dandelion Cafe.
August 11, 2005
My summer vacation was awesome. I visited my dear Aunt Suzanne in Cypress off 290 on the way in to Houston. In downtown Houston the first night, I hung out with my friends Pete Gordon and David Beebe at Pete's very cool club the Big Top on Main St. next door to the Continental. They had a very authentic Hank Williams tribute band playing for tips, and I caught up with my friend Chappy. I stayed with El Orbit guitar guru Jim Henkel and we had a pleasant breakfast at Le Madeline on Studemont.
I drove 6 hours the next day on I-10 to an area on the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain. It was good to see my old friend Mike in Mandeville, and the first night we drove around his quaint community with a cooler of beer looking at his construction jobsites. The area is very suburban and somewhat whitebread. There was a Starbucks and a bunch of strip malls. I kind of felt the first hints of some culture shock creeping in. We ended up later at a little roadhouse where a generic blues band was playing Steve Miller and Creedence and the local color was raising hell. We caught up and reminisced for awhile back at his house before he crashed. I got online and found a bookmark on his laptop about the Acadian trail, a link to a fascinating article in the Austin Chronicle written by my friend Margaret Moser about her experiences exploring Cajun Country.
The next morning he got called in to work and I slept late. When I got up, he was mowing the yard and then he took a long nap. I began to get very antsy. I called some friends back in Austin to say hi because I felt so far from home and out on a limb. I was getting kind of stir crazy, and I suddenly decided to bail on my plans. Mike woke up and put his wife and 3 girls in the car to go see their in-laws. I asked him if he wanted to go to Lafayette with me and he passed, so I got back in the truck and took off. I called my cousins and explained how my plans had changed so I wouldn't be able to visit them in Reserve this time around.
I drove all over the region Saturday afternoon looking for the ultimate Cajun cultural experience. I ate a crawfish platter at the Palace Cafe in Opelousas. I went to several zydeco clubs north of Lafayette that were closed or in questionable parts of town. I missed the weekly Liberty Theater show in Eunice by a few minutes. There was a great radio station that kept talking about a store called the "best stop" that had the best boudin cracklins in the world. I ended up in Broussard south of Lafayette at a fundraiser concert with a bunch of southern soul bands. The R&B slow jams were nice, but it wasn't exactly what I had in mind, so I headed into town and got very lost trying to find the local strip of nightlife scene. I finally pulled into a local bar with a youth hostel across the street. The club is called the Blue Moon Saloon and Billy Joe Shaver played there last week, but the fire marshall shut it down for the weekend.
The French travelers on the balcony called the night manager who very graciously came to check me into me a bunk. I walked across the street to the art bar and when the band was done the doorman "Sweet T" agreed to let me play some songs acoustic. I made some decent tips, some new friends, a bunch of free beers, some excellent quesadillas, and they let me check my e-mail to touch base with my folks and update them on my new itinerary. When I got back to the hostel there were some employees and guests hanging out after hours for awhile. It felt good to have a home base.
I slept great in my bunk. One of the French guys told me about a big Zydeco concert on the Atchafalaya basin levee at a place called Whiskey River. I ate in downtown Lafayette at a place called Dwyer's that had a 6 dollar plate lunch special including 2 huge catfish fillets, dirty rice smothered in pork roast gravy, creamy spinach casserole and rolls. I was stuffed senseless. After a short nap, I played some Hank songs with a couple of the French guys who were bunking in the hostel. We had some pretty good international harmony going.
I drove 20 miles on the interstate to Henderson for the Zydeco show. There is a dirt road that goes over the levee and it ends up at a big rustic roadhouse on stilts overlooking the landing with houseboats tied to rotting docks. The swamp was beautiful with big jumping fish and swooping egrets. There was an 8 piece band playing some of the most authentic cajun boogie music I've ever heard, rubboard, fiddle and all. My French friends arrived and we drank some beers and tapped our feet. After awhile I got brave and asked a couple of local ladies to dance. The Cajun 2 step goes both ways unlike the Texas 2 step, but all structure was thrown to the wind when we started spinning around the floor.
That night I hung out at the Artmesphere bar again and completely dominated the weekly rock trivia contest. After the game I played some more songs for the friendly crowd. I met some ecstatic girls who sang some songs with me and they invited me over to their A-frame house on the edge of town to watch a Bob Marley DVD. I got back to the Blue Moon around 3, got a great night's sleep, checked out of the hostel and drove back to Austin. Back in Austin Tuesday night there was an amazing show by Peter and James, an unbelievable soft rock duo from Houston who worship Ambrosia and Christopher Cross and count members of Small Stars, El Orbits, Baby Girl and L'il Cap'n Travis among their devotees.
I missed Roky Erickson's birthday party while I was out of town, but I heard from some participants it was mind blowing. Roky played for over an hour with his band the Explosives, which now includes Alterego bassist and proud new papa Chris Johnson. They will be psyching out legions of fans at the ACL Festival in September.
Roky Erickson & the Explosives
Aug. 6, 2005
It's a Cold Night for Alligators
The Beast Is Coming
Creature With the Atom Brain
You're Gonna Miss Me
I Walked With the Zombie
Happy Birthday to Roky
Today we met with a very high ranking University collection curator who is going to help bring some heavyweight experts to the Dylan forum that I'm helping organize next spring. Later I saw the great Minutemen documentary "We Jam Econo" at the Alamo Drafthouse. Their song "Bob Dylan Sings Propoganda Songs" was widely misinterpreted. Maybe Mike Watt could come to the conference and set the record straight.
Here's a link to the trailer for the new Bob Dylan Documentary coming out on DVD and PBS in Sept. and an insightful New York Times review of the film.
Jenni has packed up her pinecone collection and will be moving out tomorrow while I am making deliveries. My dad's 70th birthday is next weekend and the Louisiana cousins will be in town. I am looking forward to showing them around.
On Friday, August 26th I'll be playing a solo show at Dandelion Cafe hosting Chris and Aurore, an awesome acoustic folk duo who are in town playing 2 shows at the Hole.
Alterego's album is finished and I have combined it with our first demo and some live stuff to make a 22 song compilation called Alteregomania. We hope to film a DVD at Mercury Hall sometime in September.
Superego bassist Andrew Duplantis will be at Stubb's playing bass with Son Volt on our co-birthday September 16, and the afterparty will be at the Hole with PONG at midnight.
July 31, 2005
Just a quick update on some interesting things going on over here in Paul's world.
Guy Fantasy of the Small Stars has informed me that the song we wrote together "I Turn Music Into Money" is going to be featured in a documentary film about the follies of the music industry, with some major stars being interviewed. He claims it will be making actual money, and I should get my publishing paperwork straight before it comes out. He should know.
I have been asked to serve on a committee with high-ranking professors
at University of Texas who are putting together a big Bob Dylan Symposium
next spring. We have met a couple of times and it is coming
together as a major deal with several departments at UT, including Harry
Ransom Center, College of Communications and School of Music all very much
involved. There is a chance that Dylan will appear if his tour
schedule permits, but there will be many famed scholars, authors and musicians
for sure giving lectures, films and concerts on Dylan's music and mystique.
I was asked to step in for Landis and play some guitar at a San Antonio Country Club wedding with El Orbits last night. They are a band I admire very much and I've always wanted to play with David Beebe, a good friend and true Texas music hero of mine. The gig was wild. I left Austin a couple of hours early and drove through the scenic Hill Country to avoid the maddening traffic I got caught in on my last 2 trips down. I ate at a great barbecue place on 281 where Pres. Clinton stopped once in 1998. I played lead guitar on a bunch of songs I've never played and sang a bunch of tunes. It went over very well. These guys don't believe in breaks so we played 4 hours straight. I did get to eat some good cake though. It was so damn rockin. I was exhausted the next day.
I will be staying over at David's place above the Continental Club in downtown Houston Thursday on the way to Mandeville, Lousiana. I'll probably swing through the neighborhood I grew up in on my way out of town. Unlike the Austin landscape which changes overnight, last time I checked, the east end of Houston was just as I remembered it from my childhood there in the mid-seventies. I hope to meet some long lost cajun cousins Saturday or Sunday in Reserve, LA. After my dad's 70th birthday party in late August I am planning a trip back to Marfa and Big Bend with some friends.
Subject: Dylan setlist archive on your website
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 20:52:15 -0400
While surfing the internet, I came across your Bob
Dylan setlist archive posted on your
website and wanted to pass along a small piece of information. ›The last entry on your list
28 January 1976"
I was fortunate enough to have been at that Joni Mitchell show and the
venue was, in fact, Palmer Auditorium, though I think at the time it
was more commonly being called Austin Municipal Auditorium. ›It was an
amazing surprise when Bob just wandered out unannounced. ›I'm pretty sure Joni didn't
say a word, before or after. ›He just came out and sat down beside her, they dueted on a
couple of songs, and then he split. ›This was way back before the days of the
"Never-ending tour" when he's been out everywhere for years now. ›Back then Bob
sightings were pretty scarce so it pretty much blew everyone's mind. ›We were all asking
ourselves "Was that really him? ›Did that really just happen?" ›Anyway, just thought I'd
let you know where it actually was, for whatever it's worth.
Subject: Palmer Auditorium
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 20:11:53 -0500
From: paul minor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Organization: minor productions
What a great e-mail to receive from you today. This historic venue
is the same auditorium
where Dylan rehearsed and played his first show with The Band in September of 1965. It
is currently completely gutted and scheduled for a complete renovation as the "Long
Center for the Performing Arts."
I know of Elvis appearing there in the early 70s and I saw shows there
by Neil Young and
Talking Heads in the 80s. It was also the site of JFK's banquet that was completely set
up but never happened on the evening of his assassination in '63. A musician friend of
mine is on an advisory committee for the new facility and he plans to encourage the
inclusion of a small museum to recognize these and other historic events on the site.
You may be interested in a Bob Dylan conference being planned at University
next Spring. You can check back on my site for updates as it materializes.
Thank you so much for the information.
July 12, 2005
I played a bar in Birmingham called the Nick once in 1986, while on tour with my very first band. We were on the way to New York to play CBGBs. We had an awesome time at that gig. I remember all the bar staff were these larger-than-life Amazonian women and they showed us youngsters a hell of a time after the show. I heard recently this place the Nick is still kicking and doing roadshows.
I enjoyed a Saturday off last weekend for a change. I got some new speakers installed in my truck. It's a 2000 Chevy. I had to replace my old 1980 model because it was costing too much to keep on the road, but it was my best friend and I miss it. It sputtered and backfired alot.
Here's a photo of old blue thunder.
I've been shopping for t-shirts at every thrift store in town. I am in the midst of a t-shirt revamping, all my old ones are worn out and too loose. I am in the market for medium size tees in colors besides black or white. The best I have found are at Cream Vintage, all the Goodwills and Salvations in town are totally picked over. I saw one today with the logo for Dixie Youth Baseball. I was in this little league in the late 70s and my all-star team got our butts kicked up the road in the next parish by the team from the league that allowed black players. I should go back and buy that shirt. It's yellow and 50/50 with a confederate battle flag motif.
I had a meeting at the laundromat with the director of SIMS Foundation, which provides health services for musicians. They are very intrigued about the idea to create a community center for musicians. We actually drove around for awhile brainstorming and looking at spaces while my clothes tumbled dry. Here's a personal vision for the Musician's Cultural Resource Center, also known as Groover's Paradise.
Jeff Johnston and I drove up to Willie's Picnic in Fort Worth Stockyards on the 4th. It was an awesome spectacle and thanks to friends with the Kinky Friedman campaign, we were backstage hanging with Dylan band members Charlie Sexton, Denny Freeman, Tony Garnier, & Elana Fremerman for the evening. Elizabeth McQueen of Asleep at the Wheel watched the show with us, and later we cruised the Stockyard restaraunts but couldn't even buy a mad cow steak on the 4th of July.
Click here for Bob's July 4 setlist, which was excellent but too short. The band was on fire and Bob's voice was powerful.
I looked up Willie's picnic review from two years ago with Neil Young. There was some news about the Hole in the Wall in there reopening with a quote from me. I am still there booking shows two years later. Look for my photo in next week's issue online, in an item about health services in the music section "TCB" column. Here's a transcript of Dylan's 60 minutes interview.
I just posted some more text on the section of my website called "Run-ins
with Rock Royalty."
I finally got around to recounting the story of our re-enactment of the movie "The Last Waltz."
Fun facts for new friends: I'm 6 ft, 160 lbs. I have never been married or had any kids. I have a master's degree from St. Ed's. I cut my own hair. I like to mow the yard. I like to read musician biographies, but I hate popular magazines. I read the New York Times online every day. I never cook, I eat out at least once a day. I take baths, seldom take showers. I have low blood sugar, so I don't do coffee or sodas, occasionally a half a Dr. Pepper.
I love music, especially Willie, Neil Young, Dylan, the Band and the
Kinks. I usually look up Dylan's nightly set lists online after
each show. I listen to music on vinyl mostly, but I am digging the
CD player in my new truck, currently spinning Ramonesmania. I have
over 100 compilation CDs I have burned. I avoid commercials
and "news" on the radio like the plague. I rent a lot of documentary
DVDs. My favorite TV show is Antiques Roadshow. I am
a fan of musician photography. I have
also collected and typed out the lyrics and chords
to over 200 classic songs. I am in the Texas Music Hall of Fame.
I live in a small 2 bedroom cottage just up Red River St. from downtown
Austin and UT campus. I have had many housemates, the
latest is an artist from San Francisco who found me on Craig's
list and she is moving to VA in a couple weeks. I am thrilled
that Alterego piano player Rebecca Gatchell
is moving back in next month.
June 10, 2005
The past wells up like an angry zit sometimes, forcing you to confront it or live with the aggravation. I had 4 nights of strangely nostalgic and ghostly gigs last weekend. On Saturday, I played a solo set at the Spiderhouse. In the late 80s, I had a band called Roman Candles and we practiced in the basement of the house that is now Spiderhouse. Whenever I am waiting in line for a latte there amongst all the laptoppers and hipster kids, I can't help but think about how I woke up on New Year's Day 1990 on a couch in that same room hungover as hell with the Rose Bowl parade blaring on the TV.
Last week, of all things, a guy e-mailed me to say he was interested in doing a "Where are they now?" feature on Roman Candles for the online indie pop fanzine Ear Candy. I tried to convince him it was pointless, but he insisted, and so I found myself catching up with the old gang and digging up my worn out cassettes. So in case you want to refresh your memory about our small role in the late 80s indie rock drama that was dubbed "New Sincerity," knock yourself out...
EAR CANDY ROMAN CANDLES FEATURE
Saturday night I took in the new movie "Lords of Dogtown," about the late 70s skateboard scene in Orange County. The subjects of this movie and its accompanying documentary "Z Boys" were my heroes when I was in Junior High in Louisiana. I vividly remember all of their exploits from the pages of the skateboarder magazines that I decorated the walls of my adolescent bedroom with.
On Sunday, my former housemate Courtney Shayne, visiting from school in Humboldt County, CA, and I took a trip up to Ginny's Little Longhorn for her birthday. Dale Watson dedicated "Lonesome Fugitive" to her and we did a smooth two step. At the bar, a woman recognized me from my first band in High School, the Urge. She said her good friend and she were our groupies and followed us around. They had been at Ginny's together the week before.
Sunday night at the Hole, DJ Headphone (pictured) rocked the clock radio CD player at Becky and Courtney's birthday bash. The Small Stars came by to groove along after their victorious 2 night stand at Zach Scott, and Black Joe wrapped up the night with a wild set of downhome blues.
Monday night, I was nominated to host a memorial tribute to Sims Ellison, who died 10 years ago this week and inspired the creation of the SIMS Foundation in his honor. Andrew, Landis, Rob Gaines and I played a set of rock and roll classics before his parents and board members made some brief remarks in tribute. It was hard not to think about how many of our favorite songs are about tragedy, loss, loneliness, redemption, survival and other heavy themes. From the Fugitive to Powderfinger, it seems like someone's always suffering a painful setback and then life goes on. At the climax of the show, Andrew, Shandon Sahm, Kyle Ellison, Sumner Erickson, and Dave Derrick played a powerful version of Roky's "You're Gonna Miss Me" that resonated with the cosmic connections to all the great ones that were just one degree off that stage but still rocking somewhere out there.
I bought a great book I have been wanting to read for some time. Levon Helm's "This Wheel's on Fire" is one of the best rock recollections I have read yet and it is full of intense trials by fire on the roadhouse circuit of the 60s, punctuated by huge moments of glory and devestating tragedy.
Tuesday was night four of my whirlwind tour and it was a great time.
I played solo at the Hole and opened for the incredible Alice Spencer.
She is back with a great new old timey swing and blues standard project
called the Monkey Butlers. After the show, a few good friends came
over to take in a screening of the Rock and Roll Slideshow.
Now its a mighty long way down the dusty trail...
- Mott the Hoople
Speaking of living in the past, Alterego's debut album Rock and Roll
is finally complete and ready for release in a couple of weeks.
The tracks are:
1. Rock & Roll Radio
2. C'est La Vie
3. Bring it on Home
4. What's Goin' On
5. Let's Stay together
7. 'Til There Was you
8. Wichita Lineman
9. Whiskey River
10. I'm Your Boogie Man
11. Sir Duke Breakdown
April 15, 2005
I finished my taxes and it's always such a great feeling to drop it in the mail and get closure on another fiscal year. Doing all the accounting forces me to consider how much of my livelihood is being derived from doing what I love, and it's gratifying to know I can make a living this way. I bought some new speakers to celebrate, and Minor Productions now has a full range of systems, everything from 12" 300 watt EVs on stands to 1400 watt 2-Way JBLS on Dual 18" Subs.
I just found out about Bob Dylan coming to Willie's 4th of July picnic this year and I am so psyched. I've been reading a book about the Rolling Thunder Revue of 1975 which features some fascinating larger than life character studies of people like Rambling Jack Elliot, Joni Mitchell and Kinky Friedman, who I am now fully supporting for Governor in 1996. "Friedman's just another word for nothing left to lose..."
I also leafed through the new book on the recording of "Like a Rolling Stone" which manages to make a pretty strong case for the revolutionary impact that the song had on music in the social context of the time. I also bought a bootleg DVD of "Eat the Document" which documents Dylan's 1966 electric tour with the Band and contains the infamous outtake of Dylan & Lennon cruising incoherently across the Thames in the back seat of a town car. My new DVDs of the Beatles at Budokan and The Clash at the Us Festival are amazing as well.
Tonight I picked up a last minute job mixing the Asylum Street Spankers at Flipnotics and tomorrow I am providing a medium size 2 Way system for Fastball at the Four Seasons.
Here's an amazing Bob Dylan setlist from a recent show, with recently added Austinite band members Elana Framerman and Denny Freeman, who just played at the Hole in the Wall a few weeks ago with Jane Bond.
Buffalo, New York
Shea's Performing Arts Center
April 13, 2005
1.The Wicked Messenger
2.She Belongs To Me
3.It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
4.Queen Jane Approximately
5.Cold Irons Bound
7.Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
8.Man In The Long Black Coat
9.Cat's In The Well
10.Ballad Of Hollis Brown (acoustic)
11.You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
12.Like A Rolling Stone
13.Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
14.All Along The Watchtower
Sunday, March 20, 8pm
HOLE IN THE WALL
Bob Dylan Hoot Night
"For someone who doesn't live here, and doesn't even play here all that
often, Bob Dylan sure seems to love Austin musicians...
Dylan is not expected to show up for the Hole in the Wall's March 20 hoot night in his honor, but organizer Paul Minor allows, "Maybe some people who've played with Bob" will be there to join the Damnations, Scott H. Biram, Michael Fracasso, Superego, Beaver Nelson, and the Small Stars.
Local artist Federico's subterranean homesick mural outside the Hole (pictured) will stay up after the hoot...
The show is free, but a $5 donation for the SIMS Foundation is encouraged..."
Like pages ripped directly from my personal appointment book, won't you please join me at the following festive occasions.
Minor Productions will be producing, booking, promoting and stage managing
all of these
March Festival Week Events
Joe Ely, Michelle Shocked, Britt Daniel, Steve Wynn,
Carolyn Wonderland, Billy Joe Shaver, Bob Dylan Hoot Night and more.
Sunday, March 20 -
HOLE IN THE WALL
SIMS Foundation Presents
Bob Dylan Hoot Night:
8:00 - Pistol Love with Brothers Lazaroff and Elizabeth McQueen
(Serve somebody, Takes a lot to laugh, Cold irons bound, Silvio, Highwater,
One too many mornings, She belongs to me, Summer days)
9:00 - Kevin Brown, Will Sexton & John X Reed (Billy, From A Buick Six,
Love Minus Zero/No Limit, Shelter From The Storm, Tom Thumb's Blues,
Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat, Desolation Row)
9:30 - Michael Fracasso (Tangled Up in Blue, All Over Now Baby Blue, Po Boy)
10:00 - Scott H. Biram (Someday You're Gonna Need My Help, Oxford Town,
Hollis Brown, Peggy O, Don't Think Twice )
10:30 - Mario Matteoli (Song to Woody, Don't Know Why, Spanish Boots of Spanish Leather )
11:00 - Small Stars (Rainy Day Women, Tonight I'll Be Staying, Subterranean Homesick)
11:30 - Carolyn Wonderland (It Takes a Lot to Laugh, I Believe in You, Meet Me in the Morning)
12:00 - Damnations (If You're Gonna Go, I Threw it all Away, One More Cup of Coffee)
12:30 - Maya Ohara (He Was a Friend of Mine)
12:40 - Beaver Nelson (Changing of the Guard, Day of the Locust, Isis)
1:00 - Matt Hubbard (It Ain't Me Babe)
1:10 - Li'l Cap'n Travis (Lay Lady Lay)
1:20 - Landis Armstrong (Buckets of Rain)
1:30 - Superego All-Stars (Absolutely Sweet Marie, You Ain't Going Nowhere)
1:40 - Dylan Goodhue (All Along the Watchtower)
1:50 - Buddy Llamas (Like a Rolling Stone)
The latest news at Minor Manor is the addition of new housemate and
production assistant Dylan Goodhue, freshly arrived from the great white
north. His debut showcase at Matt Hubbard's Free For All Sunday,
Feb. 6 left a serious impression on many a guest star musician in the house,
and he has converted our jam room into a digital demo studio, achieving
a monolithic sound with the house drum kit and bass rig. He will
be on hand for Minor Productions SXSW PA jobs and he is assisting with
several support vocals on the new Alterego album, nearly completed with
tracking at Hubbard's Hideout. Since arriving, Dylan has already
picked up live mixing jobs at Continental and Emo's, so look for him behind
the board. Check out his white trash Canadian southern rock
outfit White Cowbell Oklahoma.
Thursday, Dec. 24, 2004
A Quick One
Chepo Pena of Jawwas belts out "Summertime Blues" shortly before smashing his guitar to bits at last Saturday's Who tribute at the Parish. The 12-band, 41/2-hour show had any number of memorable moments: Paul Minor of Superego (right) windmilling away on "My Generation," The Fall Collection's radiant "Pictures of Lily," King Tears' forceful "Mary Anne With the Shaky Hand," Rockland Eagles' rousing"Join Together," Moonlight Towers' menacing "The Seeker." Johnny Walker of Ignorance Park joined Tia Carrera for thunderous versions of "Young Man Blues" and "Baba O'Riley," before Grand Champeen took everyone to the woodshed on a "Won't Get Fooled Again" that left guest Jason Morales guitar in the same shape as Penas. These kids are definitely all right.
Subject: Looking for information on Oh Yes My Friend - D is
Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2005 23:52:54 -0500
From: Brian Dismukes <email@example.com>
I was cruising around looking up information on my last name and came
across your album /Oh Yes My Friend/ which has a song titled "D is for
Dismukes". I can't seem to find the track anywhere or the album. Is
there a MP3 download I can get or some information on how you came up
with the title?
Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2005 01:40:22 -0800
From: paul minor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Organization: minor productions
To: Brian Dismukes <email@example.com>
CC: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
There is a very loud indie rock band in Austin called the Dismukes.
named themselves after an old family-run pharmacy in Austin, sadly no
longer in business. I wrote the song with them in mind, and they played
on the track, which is in the key of D. The lyrics don't make any
reference to the title, they are vaguely about camaraderie and killing
This band does not play together very often anymore, but I did notice
they are doing a reunion show sometime this week. They might have a
t-shirt for you if someone has any stashed away.
Thanks for getting in touch,
Subject: Los Chigros
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2005 16:59:31 +1030
From: Craig & Cathy Schier <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hi there, I'm interested in contacting the band 'Los Chigros' as it
my family name and we thought it was quite a unique name. Wondering
where the name came from .
Cathy Schier (nee Chigros)
Subject: Re: Los Chigros
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2005 02:02:16 -0800
From: paul minor <email@example.com>
Organization: minor productions
To: Craig & Cathy Schier <firstname.lastname@example.org>
BCC: glenn <email@example.com>
Hey that's funny. I got another e-mail like this from a guy named
"Dismukes" the other day. There are references to a band named
Dismukes on my website. When was the Los Chigros show? I'll look at the
other bands and see if it jogs my memory.
I honestly can't remember who is in the band Los Chigros, they
gone from the local radar. I seem to remember my friends Glenn and Sara
being involved. I could explain the politically incorrect wordplay that
they got their name from, but I'm sure you can imagine.
take it easy,
Subject: Re: Los Chigros
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2005 16:29:03 +0000
From: "Glenn Benavides" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Los Chigros was a band based on a drum lesson. While i was giving sarah
baugh drum lessons, and
one point i started bringing a bass guitar to play along with her as she got better and better, one
sunday we asked dana smith ( former "Pork" goddess ) to come along and play electric guitar along
with my bass and sarah's drums, later on Ash Grey, came in to play left handed lead guitar, Dana
came up with Los Chigros which meant absolutely nothing.
Hope youre Well
FYI look for Corky's feature on CROW in this week's XLent (page 26)
Subject: Paul W
Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2005 02:05:01 -0800
From: paul minor <email@example.com>
Organization: minor productions
To: Daniel Carney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I got my Paul Westerberg tickets for Tue, March 8. Could I get
you to do me a favor?
I would love to have a compilation CD of some recent solo stuff that he is likely to
play at the show. I have all Replacements albums,14 songs, and
Mono/Stereo, but I am sadly out of the loop on the more recent solo
stuff. I was thinking you could refer to some recent set lists such as
below and pick from these as likely live choices. I am not familiar
with "My Dad" "Final Hurrah" "Mr. Rabbit" "Let the Bad Times Roll"
and a few more from this one. thanks amigo. - Paul M
Paul Westerberg and his Only Friends
Mar. 8, 2005
La Zona Rosa, Austin, TX
IŪll Be You
Kiss Me On the Bus
If I Had a Hammer
Merry Go Round
Someone Take the Wheel
No Place for You
Making Me Go
As Far as I know
Born For Me (mic problem)
Looking Up In Heaven
How Can You Like Him
If Only You Were Lonely (about 10 seconds of it--"I wrote that when I was like six years old")
Crackle and Drag
Swinging Party (Troy Nelson jumps on stage and is removed, Paul says "Don't hurt him")
What a Day for a Night
Waitress in the Sky
Knocking on Mine
CanŪt Hardly Wait
23 Years Ago
I Think I Love You
Encore: Alex Chilton
Subject: New Willie & Bob date
Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 21:19:54 -0800
From: paul minor <email@example.com>
Organization: minor productions
The Austin Chronicle reports new Willie & Bob ballpark tour today.
Do you have any other dates for this new tour?
"Anyone too preoccupied to catch Willie Nelson at his two-night Backyard
stand during SXSW, have
no fear: He and buddy Bob Dylan continue their minor-league ballpark tour at the Dell Diamond July 3..."
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