Scene, Heard

Prize Money's back, kinda

When Prize Money releases its new CD, All Eyes On the Prize, on September 19, it will mark a new beginning for both the band and one of the labels helping to release the disc, etherStream. Prize Money is essentially a retooled and recharged version of Slowpoke, back in business after a short layoff brought on by the group's abortive deal with Geffen Records. (Here's the short version: After releasing the band's second album, Virgin Stripes, in 1998, Geffen was swallowed whole by the Universal Music Group early last year, and UMG decided it no longer required Slowpoke's services.) During the past few months, etherStream has been laying low as well--from what we can tell. But now the digital record label--founded by Carpe Diem Records founder Allan Restrepo and Todd J. Anstis back in 1998 as sort of a regional MP3 clearinghouse--has returned with its highest profile project yet, and its first band signing. It seems to be a smart one so far, since Prize Money will definitely be maintaining a high profile during the next few weeks. The Matt Pence-produced All Eyes On the Prize, a split release between etherStream and One Ton Records, will have an official coming-out shindig on September 21 at Curtain Club, where along with performances by Prize Money, Clumsy, and Fivecat, copies of the disc will be available for the low, low price of $5. But wait, there's more. The band is also throwing a listening party at Gypsy Tea Room on September 14, with a screening of the video for the album's first single, "Rock 'n' Roll Girlfriend," filmed recently at Trees by Pennywhistle Park's Lindsay Romig. (Prize Money will also play a quick set that night.) The group will also perform at Good Records on September 21 at 7 p.m., with another release party in Fort Worth at the Ridglea Theater on October 5. So, everyone who thought Slowpoke disbanded, well, you're sort of right. But mostly wrong. Or something like that...

Just as the "record heat" (which, incidentally, was a friend's idea as a substitute for our Hear, There section) has finally begun to break--it broke our spirits long ago, but that's beside the point--Muddy Waters and the Flying Saucer are teaming up for the Lower Greenville Avenue Music Festival and BBQ Cookoff, which will feature performances by Slobberbone, The Deathray Davies, Slick 57, and Speedtrucker. The fest happens September 16 from 2-10 p.m. in the parking lot adjacent to both bars, and for $20, you can pit your grill skills against any and all comers, with the winner receiving gift certificates and such. The festival is supposedly designed to "increase awareness of restaurants, bars, and live music venues on the southern end of Greenville Avenue," or so says Saucer owner Shannon Wynne via his press flacks. Judging by all the people who end up passed out in their own funk on our front lawn after overserving themselves at the various restaurants, bars, and live music venues on the southern end of Greenville, that area definitely needs more attention. (Lower Greenville? What's that?) Maybe then, all the drunk drivers leaving our Lower Greenville neighborhood at 2:30 a.m. can remove all of the street signs with the back ends of their luxury SUVs, instead of most of them. And, oh yeah, if only a few more people knew about Lower Greenville's bars and live music venues, we could stop having people over altogether, since they wouldn't be able to find a parking spot within miles of our houses. That would be great. Can you hear the sarcasm? Because we can't lay it on any thicker...

Even though temperatures have fallen all the way into the 90s recently (brrrr--someone get our coats!), it might be a little too soon to start thinking about Christmas. Actually, it's way, way too early to start thinking about anything other than how we're going to afford the electric bill and why exactly God or whoever hates Texas. But that doesn't mean we won't tell you about the Idol Records Christmas compilation that will be hitting stores in the next few months, featuring contributions from [DARYL], The Deathray Davies, Valve, Chomsky, Pinkston, and The Adventures of Jet, among others. We heard Pinkston's excellent cover of the Kinks' "Father Christmas" earlier this year (ask a friend, someone probably has it), and you can hear AOJ's offering, "Waiting for Christmas," at www.mp3.com/adventuresofjet. We were so caught up in the spirit, we tried to get people in the office to pick secret Santas. After a thorough beating, however, the plan was put on hold until December. Or at least until we can locate our left thumbs...

They were Slowpoke. Now they're Prize Money. But they're still Slowpoke. You know, inside.
They were Slowpoke. Now they're Prize Money. But they're still Slowpoke. You know, inside.

We wouldn't expect to see it in stores for a couple of months or so, but the second Legendary Crystal Chandelier is apparently nearing completion. LCC's heart and soul, Peter Schmidt, has been working on the as-yet-untitled disc for much of the last year with James Henderson in Denton. From what we've heard live, we can hardly wait, and we know you can't either. Just shut up and agree with us...

If Johnnie Taylor's recent death has you wondering exactly why people call him the best singer to ever come out of Dallas, a good place to start investigating is Fuel 2000's new reissue of Taylor's Funksoulbrother album, a collection of songs recorded in the mid-1970s after Stax Records' demise. Actually, no one is sure exactly when the songs on Funksoulbrother were recorded; Taylor himself only vaguely remembered the sessions when they were previously issued in 1996. Not that it matters: Funksoulbrother is Southern soul at its best, whether it was recorded 20 years ago, or 20 years from now. Pick it up...

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