Scene, Heard

Prize Money's back, kinda

Astrogin, which features Last Beat Records owner Caron Barrett, will release its debut on September 19, a CD single that benefits the Wipe Out Kids' Cancer charity. The disc features two versions of the band's song "Shine," one with backing vocals provided by some of the kids from WOKC, and was produced (in part, at least) by Nick Griffiths, who has previously worked with Pink Floyd and Joy Division, among others, as well as overseeing reconstruction work on Last Beat's studio. If you are not familiar with Wipe Out Kids' Cancer, the locally based charity raises money for pediatric cancer research. Astrogin will preview its new release, when it performs at the Hard Rock Café on September 15... In similarly worded, if completely unrelated news, Colin Cancer reports that his band, The Visitors, is in the market for a new guitarist. If you are that guitarist, or know someone who is, e-mail the group at TheVisitors@cbgb.com. If you aren't that guitarist, and have never heard of The Visitors, e-mail us at zcrain@dallasobserver.com, and we can talk about beard maintenance and the importance of Jolt cola...

Pleasant Grove is one of the bands that has been asked to perform at this year's CMJ Music Marathon, which happens in New York on October 19-22. Besides for the upcoming re-release of an expanded version of its debut on Last Beat and Germany's Glitterhouse Records, the band--with fairly recent addition, drummer Jeff Ryan, formerly of Fury III--will also contribute a new recording to a forthcoming compilation due out on Summer Break Records. Summer Break, by the way, is the label that will release Todd Deatherage's new record in the near future. That's what Deatherage hopes anyway...

In case you missed it--and unless your remote control was busted, you probably did--Brave Combo performed in Los Angeles recently as part of the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. It was pretty much standard Brave Combo fare. It did, however, contain the added bonus of watching Lewis watch the band, scrunching up his face while he concentrated on the music, tossing off sweat and Brylcreem like greasy water sprinkler, and nodding his head in agreement with every note of both songs, which he pronounced "good tooones." In fact, the camera stayed on him as much as it did the Combo, leading to some surreal, yet surprisingly entertaining television. And no, we don't know why we were watching either...

Reed Easterwood and his band Junky Southern will be releasing their seventh album, Go to Work Tomorrow You Fuckin' Jerk, on September 23 at Barley House, and September 29 at the Gypsy Tea Room. Sooner or later, one of Easterwood's records must catch on. They're just too good not to; give it a listen and you'll hear why. Another gem from the hardest-working white boy this side of Will Johnson...

And speaking of Will Johnson and Centro-matic, their next record, South San Gabriel Music/Songs, will hit stores in late September on Idol Records. The band has tentatively scheduled an official release party for October 20 at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, with friends and neighbors the Baptist Generals. All the Falsest Hearts Can Try, Centro-matic's latest album, was just released overseas by Munich Records to warm reviews, leading the band to pencil in a European jaunt in December. So Johnson and crew will be momentarily slowed...

Pinkston, The Mag 7, and Valve will vie at the Hard Rock Café on September 14, as part of Lucky Strike's Band to Band competition. It's the third round of the contest; The Deathray Davies and Dollybraid won the previous two outings. The three winners are scheduled to compete in the finals on November 3. The winner gets a firm handshake and hearty congratulations. Or was it money? Come to think of it, we think it was money...

Shows what you know: The Polyphonic Spree performs September 15 at the Gypsy Tea Room, with Drums & Tuba (who'll perform earlier that day at Good Records) and Sub Oslo; Crash Vinyl opens for Samiam and The Impossibles at the Galaxy Club on September 16; and the latest installment of Subtronic Theatre happens September 14 at Liquid Lounge. Get you some.

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