Across the Bar

Rick's Place burns; Chomsky is still looking to be Born on the Web; Tony Edwards makes a break; Baboon shows us their cans; Plus, much, much more

Rick's Place--the anchor of Denton's Fry Street for years and home to more drunken frat boys ('scuse us, fraternity members) than a South Padre Motel 6--suffered an estimated $100,000 worth of damage following an early morning fire on August 16. Of course, it wasn't quite as bad as some had originally reported: By Wednesday afternoon, the scuttlebutt was that Rick's had burned to the ground, even though, other than a few broken windows and a fashionable all-black back wall, it looks virtually untouched. Still, although the initial rumors made the situation out to be far more dire than it is, one rumor has turned out to be true: Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, as well as Denton fire marshals, are treating the fire as intentional--as in, arson. It's too soon for investigators to have any idea who's responsible. The fire is, in fact, just the latest in the club's recent troubles. Rick's lost its liquor license on July 21 thanks to red tape--paperwork not completed, fees not paid--and business has slowed considerably as the club has been forced to operate on a bring-yer-own basis coupled with having a higher cover charge. Lost in the confusion stemming from the fire is the fact that there did seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for Rick's: From what we gather, the club was to have received a temporary liquor license on August 24, with a full license in place a few weeks later. Unfortunately, it appears as if the light was merely someone dropping a lit match into a pool of gasoline. This probably won't be the last you hear of this...

Chomsky recently was named among the last five semifinalists in the Born on the Web contest sponsored by Ultimate Band List, located at www.bornontheweb.com. The band joins four other groups in the pop category--Bobby and the Magnetic Flux, Kelly Brock, Strange Radio, and Volitions Guilty Pleasures--all of whom will have their fates determined by celebrity judges 'N Sync and Aimee Mann after listening to an MP3 of each band; Chomsky submitted "2 Steps," off last year's A Few Possible Selections For The Soundtrack Of Your Life. The winners in each category (other categories include urban/hip-hop, rock, electronic/dance, and country) will receive $10,000 in cash, $5,000 worth of equipment, and another $10,000 in promotion, via the ARTISTdirect network. Also, one grand-prize winner (chosen by the ARTISTdirect editorial committee) will perform at the Fan Nation Festival in Las Vegas September 29-October 1. Good luck, fellas...

Prize Money--featuring members of Slowpoke--will release its debut album on One Ton Records in September. The group filmed a video for the first single, "Rock 'n' Roll Girlfriend," on August 20 at Trees. The band plays August 26 at The Aardvark in Fort Worth with Valve, and on September 1 at Trees, opening for Shiner and [DARYL]...

Dallas mavericks Ruffled Feathers--a band that also features at least one former member of Slowpoke, Chris Purdy--has signed with Houston-based label Copper Records. The group, which includes drummer Kyle Thomas, guitarist Jared Young, and bassist Herman Suede, will begin recording its debut for Copper in a few weeks, with a January 2001 release date tentatively scheduled. In the meantime, you can catch Ruffled Feathers at Barley House on August 25...

Speaking of One Ton, the label's longtime second-in-command Tony Edwards recently left his job after more than two years to take a position as marketing assistant at the BMG Distribution branch offices in Dallas. His post at One Ton, officially director of promotions and marketing, has been filled by Ryan Glenn. But don't worry: We're sure Edwards will be sloshing his rum-and-Cokes around Deep Ellum clubs just as much as he ever did...

If you can't wait for Baboon's forthcoming live album--and it should be in stores by October--pick up a copy of Show Us Your Cans, the new benefit compilation issued by KEGL-FM (97.1). The Baboon track appears alongside unreleased material from Hellafied Funk Crew, Pornlab, Pimpadelic, Edgewater, Drowning Pool, Jibe, and new music from Bowling For Soup, The Nixons, and more. OK, maybe you should just tape it from a friend. Actually, you might as well buy it, because after all, the money goes to a good cause, namely the TJ Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer, and AIDS research. You can find it at all Wherehouse Records locations for, naturally, $9.71...

Laser Trax Records is hosting a pair of shows to push its recently released compilation, Garage Nights at Laser Trax Vol. III. First up is a gig at the Ridglea Theatre on September 28, followed by another at The Wreck Room on October 6. In related Laser Trax news, Darrel Smith, Jr.--a Laser Trax employee--will release the new album by Shmunks For You (tentatively titled Burn Religion Burn) on his label, Sign Guy Records. (According to Laser Trax's Scott "The Gannon" Cannon, the Shmunks' disc is a "much-anticipated-in-the-Christ-Punk-scene album right now. We'll have to take his word for it.) Smith's label just put out its first effort, a compilation tape called Soundcheck To An Empty Room. To help sell copies of the tape, Shmunks For You, 10% Effort, and The Bored Agains will perform at Laser Trax on August 26 at 8 p.m. Now, if we only could figure out what "shmunks" means...

As usual, the latest Good/Bad Art Collective benefit--Benefit 60: "Hot Buns in the Summer--benefits everyone. The Denton outfit will "celebrate the new school year and Labor Day weekend" with an all-day (and probably most of the night) concert on September 2 at the G/BAC compound featuring two stages and grub courtesy of Steve's BBQ. Performers taking one of the two stages include: Jeweled Handles, Mandarin, Stumptone, Lift to Experience, Lo-Fi Chorus, [DARYL], Those Peabodys, Pointy Show Factory, The Secret Machines of Captain Audio, Mission Giant, A Roman Scandal, DJ ReRog, DJ Thesis, The Olive Group, Heaven is a Hotel, and Vena Cava. Doors open at 2 p.m., and it only costs $6 to get through 'em...

The sounds of Deep Ellum, and beyond: The New Year (yep, it's that band) makes its Dallas debut on August 25 at Gypsy Tea Room, with Centro-matic; Back to School Hip-Hop Jelly (as opposed to jam, get i-...ah, screw it) at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios on August 26; Band on the run Flickerstick hosts a CD release party for its debut, Welcoming Home the Astronauts, on August 26 at the Curtain Club, with Pop Unknown and Rope Lab; Pleasant Grove and Little Grizzly stop by Liquid Lounge on August 24--so come by and wish Pleasant Grove singer-guitarist Marcus Striplin a happy birthday.

Finally, as much as we like Weener--whose next scheduled show, unfortunately, happened to be at the now-charred Rick's Place--we're even more excited that the original (uh, Weezer) is at long last coming back to town and will perform September 12 at Deep Ellum Live with Dynamite Hack. If it were up to us, there would have been a different opening band. Take a guess.

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