By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
To the chagrin of all immediate family members, we voted for Ralph Nader in last November's election. If we hadn't voted for Nader, well, we probably would've voted for Al Gore. And after Gore, we'd have written in Martin Sheen or maybe Kevin Kline, possibly Harrison Ford or Michael Douglas. Face it, the presidency is little more than the lead role in our longest-running soap opera, and those guys have at least shown that they can handle the part. Point is, voting for George W. Bush was never an option, never on the table, never conceivable for a second. We'd have believed in--and yes, voted for--Santa Claus, with the Easter Bunny as his running mate, before going with the Bush/Cheney ticket.
To sum up: We wouldn't trust Bush with our car keys, let alone veto power and first-strike capabilities, and we've made no secret of that fact. He looks like the kind of guy--and, hey, he probably is--who has one pet name for men (say, "buddy" or "major league asshole") and another for women ("babe" or "hon" or maybe "sweet pants") because he's not smart enough to remember who anyone is. Which is fine if you're batting clean-up on the company softball team, but doesn't really help during those tricky summit meetings. ("Hey, buddy, would ya mind not shooting and stuff at this other fella's country?") If you want proof that this country is belt-deep in mediocrity, look no further. At this point, a Jesse Ventura presidency seems almost inevitable, inescapable.
With all of that in mind, we're having trouble explaining the flood of inaugural party invites that began turning up in our mailbox as soon as Gore decided he'd rather knock back a few longnecks with Tom Petty instead of battling Dubya and his pop's lawyers. Maybe--surprise, surprise--Bush really means to unite instead of divide, like his speechwriters say. Maybe he's actually reaching out to friend and foe alike in this, his moment of triumph. Maybe he has somehow become a better man in these tense recent months.
Or maybe he just can't find his bong.
Whatever the case, we definitely plan on putting our differences aside and living it up with the par-tay party in Washington, D.C., on January 18, when Bush is inaugurated and/or the United States begins its slow descent into a hell of our own making (depending on whom you believe, of course), flitting from keggers to black-tie balls, and every other shindig along the Potomac. Check these highlights, and you'll see why.
Where: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Who: G.W. and his 1,000 closest friends, including ZZ Top
Price of admission to GWB's let's-repeal-Roe-vs.-Wade-now soirée: Several thousand in soft campaign cash. The chance to hear Billy Gibbons and crew break into "Pearl Necklace" during George and Laura's first spin around the dance floor? Priceless.
What: The Biggest Little Balls in D.C.
Where: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel parking garage
Upon hearing the details, Jenna Bush was overheard saying, "I already had my inaugural ball three years ago. What's so special about this one?" And, strangely, "Gibby was at that one too."
What: White Tie/Black Lung Ball
Where: Howard Johnson Motel, across the street from the infamous Watergate
Big Tobacco hosts this return to the Republican high life of the 1980s, and there is perhaps no better way to remember the Reagan years than a performance by Huey Lewis and his new backing combo, the New News, featuring most of the old News and Julian Lennon. Once inside, prepare to feast on a sumptuous buffet that includes a full range of Marlboro and--in an extremely rare bit of cooperation--Camel products. Says a Camel spokesperson, "Democrats bad, tobacco good."
What: An Ol' Dirty Salute to Ol' Glory
Where: Washington Monument
Blame this one on Cheney (street name: Washington DC), who spent a few weeks trading rhymes with the ODB (also known as Big Baby Jesus, Isis, and to his mother, Russell Jones) at Betty Ford a few years ago, when Cheney was trying to kick an addiction to mead and Dristan. Ever since then, Cheney and Ol' Dirty have been, you know, hanging, keepin' it fresh, etc. Cheney even asked his former rehab roomie to pen a theme song for the Bush campaign, but the tune, titled "Al Gore Can Eat a Dick in Hell," was scrapped because of problems clearing one of the song's samples. (Bit of trivia: The sample in question was actually taken from first-chair saxophonist Bill Clinton's rendition of "Heartbreak Hotel," from his appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show.) You can expect to hear the song in a different form at An Ol' Dirty Salute to Ol' Glory, the ODB's stops-pulling tribute to the United States and the nascent Bush presidency. Throughout the show, he'll be backed by the Boston Pops Symphony, under the direction of conductor John Williams, though there are plans for a short unplugged set at some point. Word is, Cheney will stop by to perform a special version of "You Don't Wanna Fuck With Me," from the ODB's 1999 album, Nigga Please. This is the party of the inauguration...
In case you missed it, and we definitely did, Rodney Williams (better known as Mental Chaos' DJ Rodney) has a new hip-hop show on KNON-FM (89.3) called The Cipher, picking up the slack after the long-running Knowledge Dropped, Lessons Taught left the air following DJ EZ Eddie D's retirement last year. The show is on Saturdays from 5-7 p.m. Check it out...
Joe Cripps is back in the D-D-FW area again, following a brief trip to Brazil to play a few shows with Brazilian singer-songwriter Nando Reis, whose latest record for Warner Brazil featured Cripps' drumming. Reis, also a member of the Titas, invited Cripps, Barret Martin (former Screaming Trees drummer and Cripps' partner in the Wayward Shamans), and their keyboard player to play a few shows with him, and while there, they ended recording another album with Brazilian producer Tom Capone. A return trip is already in the works. Cripps won't be here for long though; following a show at Dan's Bar by his erstwhile band Norte de Habana on January 20 (Cripps promises rum will be drunk, and dances will be danced), he'll head to Seattle to finish work on the Wayward Shamans' album, as well as getting his drum on at a few local shows...
If you missed The Polyphonic Spree's Christmas shindig at the Lakewood Theatre, don't fret: The 20 or so members of the Spree will be appearing at the Ridglea Theater on February 10. You can see at least one member of the band in action before that, when Flipside (featuring trumpet player Chris Curiel, who also plays in The Polyphonic Spree) performs at Good Records on February 7 at 6 p.m., prior to the group's performance later that night at Elbow Room, representing the Creative Music Alliance. Head to www.goodrecords.com for more on the store's upcoming in-stores. And head to www.dfwscene.com for no information about anything...
ForwardNotStraightwill debut on KTCU-FM (88.7) on January 18, settling into its every-Thursday slot in The Choice's lineup. At least one of the hosts of the new show, Steve Levering, is no stranger to KTCU. Levering was one-half of the popular The Tom and Steve Show, which recently wrapped up its run at the station. Co-hosting with Levering will be Scott Waldrop, who also manages the Spoonfed Tribe Collective. The show, which airs from 9 p.m. to midnight every week, will feature "the best music in the world, ever," including Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Neutral Milk Hotel, the pAper chAse, Lift to Experience, Mandarin, and Yeti, among others. Of course, if they were really planning on playing "the best music in the world, ever" they'd include some of Scene, Heard's rare solo nipple gong recordings. They're obviously afraid of greatness. Wait, make that pure greatness...
Baboon celebrates the imminent release of its new live album, A Bum Note and a Bead of Sweat, with a show at Trees on January 20. The band will also host a barbecue at Good Records earlier that day (4 p.m., to be exact). Release shows are also planned for Fort Worth (January 26 at the Ridglea Theater) and Denton (February 3 at Dan's Bar). Brave Combo is also releasing a new record in the near future, a children's disc--titled All Wound Up: A Family Music Party--they recorded with frequent Grammy nominees Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer. The band will hold a record release party for the album on January 26 at the Czech Club. And speaking of children's entertainment, Mr. Peppermint (also known as Jerry Haynes, Gibby's daddy) will celebrate his 74th birthday at Club Dada on January 31, with appearances by Muffin, Mr. Wriggly Worm, Sara Hickman, Little Jack Melody, Speedtrucker, and more. Tickets are $20, and since all the money benefits diabetes research, well worth your money. Scene, Heard has a heart--we just usually forget it in our other pants...
SuperSport (you may have been familiar with the band in the past when it was known as Super Sport 396) was planning to release its second album, Nowhere Fast, in December, followed by the requisite release shows and promotional push. They were, that is, until drummer Trip Huey was hit by a car on his way to work. So, while they haven't been able to play any shows during Huey's recovery, singer-guitarist Chris Radle reports that the disc is indeed out, available via Amazon.com, or on the band's own Web site, www.supersport-396.com. An actual release show is still in the works, and in the meantime, SuperSport will slowly get back on its feet with a gig at Galaxy Club on January 21, followed by a show at Bar of Soap on January 26 with Clumsy, which has its own album--Center of Attention Deficit Disorder--out now on Idol Records. If you like the Replacements, and you do, pick up a copy of the Clumsy disc. Just do it...
Texas expatriates Calla recently released their second album--Scavengers, co-produced by ex-Swans frontman Michael Gira--on Young God Records. The disc features, among other things, the band's take on U2's "Promenade" (from Unforgettable Fire); an earlier import version of the album includes Calla's version of Steve Miller Band's "Dear Mary." Calla, which features Sean Donovan and former Factory Press members Aurelio Valle and Wayne Magruder, is planning on playing a few local shows in March around the time of South By Southwest, possibly with Grandaddy. Possibly with someone else. That's what possibly means, after all...
Flickerstick has finished filming Bands on the Run, the VH1 reality series scheduled to debut on April 1. (We won't make any jokes involving the phrase "April fools." Promise.) What is Bands on the Run exactly? Well, originally, we thought it was going to be pretty much an on-the-road-again show, with four bands followed by cameras, kind of like The Real World with a soundtrack. And that's close, but it's actually a contest too; the bands have one week to promote their gigs, and the goal is to make as much money in ticket and merchandise sales as possible, or else they will be eliminated. One group is cut after four weeks, with a second band getting the hook four weeks later. You can get behind the music when Flickerstick plays on January 19 at the Curtain Club, with Lewis, Stara Zagora, and Hi-Fi Drowning. Fun times...
Cover charges: Bluh and The Good Sons pay tribute at Club Clearview on January 19; Pointy Shoe Factory and Lo-Fi Chorus are at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios on January 19, Dixie Witch plays there the next night, and Red Animal War opens for Cave In on January 21 at Rubber Gloves; Vibrolux performs at Curtain Club on January 18.