Across the Bar

X'd out; Columbia compiles rockabilly; Hellions tribute to the Circle Jerks; Gig plugs galore; And Street Beat is ch-ch-ch-changing?

Scene, heard

The X went out of business last week, reducing the number of good record stores in Denton (for new discs, at least) to, uh, zero; CD Warehouse doesn't really count. No reason was given for the shutdown, though we'd guess the store was hurt by longtime employee John Freeman's recent move to Dallas, meaning co-owner Trinidad Leal was left running the store pretty much on his own. And since Leal wanted to play more often with his band Dixie Witch, it's hard to find someone to mind the store, literally. Of course, that isn't the only reason, but that's the best we can offer, since the store's general manager, Craig Crafton, doesn't much care for our kind. CDX, The X's sister store, however, is still open. The loss of The X is definitely a blow to Denton record shoppers. As one resident pointed out, "In most college cities, the epicenter of cool is the local record store. As of right now, we don't even have that." One more reason to get out of Denton...

Uzigatodrummer Joey Salerno is booking touring acts at Club Clearview. Upcoming shows include The Onyas and The 45's on July 6, The Murder City Devils/The Yo-Yos/The Catheters bill on July 15, and Royal Trux on July 22. Not sure if this means Salerno is no longer plying his trade at Bar of Soap, but from the looks of things, that seems to be the case...

Be on the lookout for a pair of new rockabilly compilations from Columbia Records' Legacy reissue imprint, Whistle Bait: 25 Rockabilly Rave-Ups!! and Ain't I'm a Dog: 25 More Rockabilly Rave-Ups!! In addition to tracks from the likes of Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Johnny Horton, and Carl Perkins, the discs also include a few tracks by local boys Sid King and The Five Strings and Commonwealth Jones. If the name Commonwealth Jones doesn't ring any bells, that's because it is a pseudonym for the Blonde Bomber himself, Ronnie Dawson, back when Columbia tried to sell him as a black singer. Both albums hit stores on August 8, and both are definitely worth checking out...

The Hellions, which features former Rigor Mortis guitarist Casey Orr, will appear on a forthcoming tribute album to the Circle Jerks, due later this year from Hello Records. The disc--proceeds from which will benefit Jerks singer Keith Morris and his battle with Adult Onset Diabetes--also includes contributions from, among many others, Cobra Verde, Fu Manchu, Joey Ramone, Mike Watt, Kevin Seconds, Queens of the Stone Age, Sixteen Deluxe, and a collaboration between Superchunk and Go-Go's singer-guitarist Jane Wiedlin. Speaking of Sixteen Deluxe, the band has canceled its scheduled July 8 gig at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, because the band no longer exists. No reason has been given for the split, but singer-guitarist Carrie Clark, as quoted in the June 29 issue of the Austin Chronicle said, "I quit. Exclamation point, happy face." Though Sixteen Deluxe has dropped off the bill, The Playthings and Stumptone will still perform...

Cabe Booth continues his string of stellar Thursday-night bookings at the Curtain Club with a lineup on July 6 of Pleasant Grove, Ghostcar, and When Babies Eat Pennies. It's a good night all around on July 6; next door, in the Liquid Lounge, Jon "Corn Mo" Cunningham continues his monthly Children of the Corn Mo nights with a gig featuring Joe Butcher, Paul Slavens, and Asphalt the Recorder. But the fun doesn't stop there: On July 7, the Curtain Club will host Soak's final performance. Sorry, we promised ourselves we wouldn't cry...

If you happen to be in the area, Slow Roosevelt and International Sparkdome (former Brutal Juice screamer Craig Welch's new joint) will both be performing in the parking lot at Texas Stadium. The gig is part of the Pre-Metallica Tailgate Party, hosted by KEGL-FM (97.1) prior to the big Metallica/Kid Rock/ Korn/Powerman 5000/System of a Down shindig on July 9. You can't stop the rock...

While we're at it, we might as well plug a few other shows as well. Here goes: Baboon and Pinkston hit Trees on July 8; Doosu, Valve and [DARYL] play Curtain Club the same night; Austin singer-pianist Laura Scarborough and Earl Harvin drop by Gypsy Tea Room on July 7; Centro-matic performs July 7 at Rubber Gloves with Lo-Fi Chorus and Grand Champeen before heading out on tour; Slobberbone's Brent Best plays a solo set at Rubber Gloves on July 9. And on July 14, Weener makes a triumphant return to Trees...

The Staggers (formerly Riot Squad) will join a dozen or so punk bands at Waco's Heart of Texas Fairgrounds on July 15 for UnityFest 2000, a noon-to-midnight rockstravaganza. Other bands scheduled to appear include The Gargamels, Red Martian, The Disruptives, American Dream Dropouts, The Villains, Domestic Outbreak, and Numbskull. For more information, e-mail notarockstar@stupid.com. If we know Waco like we think we do (we grew up 20 minutes away in tiny West), that show should go over just great. Do you hear the sarcasm? Hope so, because we're laying it on pretty thick...

The Deathray Davies recently won the first round of Lucky Strike's Band to Band Contest at Hard Rock Cafe, besting Clumsy and Slow Roosevelt and picking up $1,000 in the process. The group releases its Matt Pence-produced second album, The Return of the Drunk Ventriloquist (its first for Erv Karwelis' Idol Records), on August 5 at Trees with Chomsky and an in-store performance at Good Records earlier in the day. To recap, we just mentioned every one of our supposed favorite Street Beat topics in one sentence. You may bitch, but you have to admit that's damn impressive. Well, maybe you don't...

Besides the Deathrays' shindig, other upcoming Good Records in-stores include sets by Austin's Knife in the Water and Stumptone on July 22 (prior to their show that night at Gypsy Tea Room), and Jetscreamer on July 28. If you haven't heard Knife in the Water's new album Red River, or last year's Plays One Sound and Others, you need to get on it. Seriously...

Finally, don't think this is intended as a retraction of last week's, uh, hysterical rant ("End hits," June 29), but perhaps we let things get out of hand, emptying too much of our smug, self-righteous (and more than a few would say "name-dropping") selves onto the paper, and needlessly at that. Or maybe, as our editor suggested, we just needed a hug. Either way, for the record, we don't hate all Dallas-Denton-Fort Worth bands (more than our fair share, sure, but why quibble), and there are, indeed, changes a-comin' to Street Beat, both cosmetic and substantive. The point of last week's put-your-head-on-my-shoulder diatribe was to stress that we are responsible for those changes, not--as a friend put it best--letters from "those sorry typo-mongering, Creed rip-off bands." OK, maybe it was the "whiny-babiest" column we've ever produced (courtesy of the same friend); at the time, it needed to be said. And, by some--just about everyone who read the caption to The Deathray Davies photo, for instance--somewhat misunderstood. Time to move on.

Send a waist-high stack of feathers and a travel-size container of tar to Street Beat at zcrain@dallasobserver.com.

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