After years of pathetic inadequacy and months of trial and error installation attempts, Austin's legendary Hole in the Wall finally has a state of the art new sound system to rival any small venue in the shitty p.a. capital of the world. The heart of the new system is a 1400 watt QSC stereo power amp that drives a pair of 2-way Klipsch cabinets and a smaller pair of Soundesign speakers that fill in the gaps in the back of the room. The stage has also been completely rewired with its own breaker box providing clean distortion-free power that doesn't blow a circuit when you turn on the smoke filter machine and the margarita maker at the same time. The glorious new vocal mix has bands raving, audiences cheering, and deafened bartenders screaming "What?" Those discouraged by previous upgrade attempts should give the new rig a listen.
Jonny Flambeaux and I have got things squared away at our new bachelor pad and musical playground. We got the upright piano installed with only minimal damage to the houseframe, and our collection of vintage instruments, amps, organs, recording machines, microphones, percussion, and various pleasure devices continues to grow. Soon to be added to the inventory are a digital 4-track, and a Hammond B-3 I got my eye on. Due to an unusually severe tax bill from Uncle Sam this season and a dearth of Argyles gigs, major investments are on hold for awhile at Nickel & Dime Corporate Headquarters, but our dream of a fully stocked and loaded in-house recording facility is becoming a reality, and we will soon be set up to record cd quality music at the drop of a dimebag. Superego's next album will be comprised mostly of material recorded at the new crib, and hopefully some other local favorites will roll some tape under our roof in the near future. The house has already seen late-night jams by members of the gourds, damnations, earthpig, fastball, do it now, orange mothers, dieselhed, loose diamonds, dumptruck, and many more, so the possibilities are overwhelming. Come on over...
I am currently collecting vhs and super-8 footage for a video for the song "Operation in Progress" by Spoon which leads off the free for all vol. 2 compilation. It will feature the Spoon boys in performance and acting casual at prestigious local landmarks such as Tamale House #3, Electric Lounge, the Centennial apartment ruins, an illegal poppy field somewhere in the nabe, and of course in and around the beloved hole. Britt Daniel has only one creative input to the process, which is to say, "We just want to make sure that we look cool." Since I do not have access to any special effects or fancy digital editing tricks, that remains to be seen. Look for the vid on Austin Music Network sometime this summer.
In celebration of the Hole's 25th anniversary and the Free For All's third in September, plans are underway to throw a Free For All Music Festival at the hole for 10 days in a row, no cover, and a different host act each night. I am presently getting the headliners booked and a groovy logo and poster together, so see the link for more details.
For some much-needed variety, Superego will be branching out to some other venues this spring, including Stubb's, Liberty Lunch, Blondie's, and maybe even some exotic international venues. Here is the full schedule.
I have given the Argyles official notice of my intent to retire from the cover band road circuit as of Jan. 1, 1998. It's been a fun ride, but ever since I joined the band, it has been slipping further and further downhill. The expenses are higher than ever and the paychecks are fewer and farther between, so I am concentrating on developing other entrepreneurial endeavors. I plan to put together a new, much more streamlined, and casually-assembled party band next year and advertise with a few local agents, in hopes of landing a wedding gig or two a month in town, but the days of renting a truck and hauling a huge p.a. system every weekend to Houston or Dallas are soon to be history.
I am also arranging some trips for this summer, since I have some plane tickets to use from playing last year's continental airlines christmas party. If things go as planned I will be appearing at a club on the beach in Costa Rica for a week in July or August with whoever shows up to accompany me, and I am looking into similar pick-up gigs in Portland and San Francisco with a couple of cats I know out that way. Just an excuse to get out of town and jam with some old friends in some idyllic locations, which is my idea of the perfect vacation.
Tonight it is down to the old watering hole for the damnations, and maybe scuttling over to stubb's for the gourds.
"I think about what I did tonight as I kick a can into the gutter, another night on this sorry town, the thought of it makes me shudder, in the street as I walk along, at my feet, I see a silver coin, but I don't even bother trying to pick it up, cause I know that nothing's gonna change my luck..."
"Walking Home Drunk" circa 1988 Roman Candles.
Friday night Dieselhed was incredible at the Ritz Lounge. The place was jumpin' and alot of my pals were there to show support. It is such a rare treat to catch a set by those guys, but I am glad it doesn't happen too often or I would probably lose my appreciation for them. I gave them all free for all cds, but neglected to get anything from them. oh, well i already have a couple t-shirts.
Saturday I woke early and met them for lunch at the tamale house #3 on airport, where I have eaten brakfast at least twice a week for the last 6 or 7 years. Good things stay the same...like the hole in the wall.
Saturday's cable tv appearance by Superego was short and sweet, but Saturday night I kept running into people who saw it and dug it. One guy even introduced me to his friend Margo, the singer from Cowboy Junkies, one of my old favorites. I also met Matthew Sweet and tried to reaquaint myself with one of the Beastie Boys who was in town at the electric lounge, but I kept missing him. I don't understand these personalities coming to town during the big schmooze fest but remaining under wraps when it comes to the public contact. I was escorted none-too-graciously form Matthew Sweet's bus by his superuptight manager, who also happens to manage my friends Fastball. He is doing a great job of it as you can tell. He insulated his client from a very dangerous character that night who wanted nothing more than to share some genuine appreciation. Sweet acted like such a tight ass primadonna that night that i had to bypass his latest album, even though his previous work has been so influential to me.