By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
For every Chris Mars or Will Johnson and Centro-matic, there's a Phil Collins. Or Don Henley. Or, God forbid, Tommy Lee and his rapping penis. Guess what we're saying is when a drummer decides to step up to the mike, the results are, at best, mixed. Former Buck Jones drummer Cody Lee will be the latest to test this theory, since he plans to release his debut solo album, Living Stereo, on March 6. The disc will be a split release between One Ton Records and Stompbox Records and is a true solo recording, featuring Lee on every instrument on every song. If you happened to pick up a copy of One Ton's Big & Bothered Vol. 3 sampler, you probably have already been introduced to Lee's solo work; neither of the songs Lee contributed to that disc will show up on Living Stereo, however. Lee took the stage recently with one of his former Buck Jones bandmates, Burette Douglas, but don't expect a reunion anytime soon: Lee and Douglas, along with the Hundred Inevitables' Jeff Whittington and Clay Bergus, were undercover, performing as Sloaner, a tribute to Canadian pop rock's Sloan. (While we're on the subject, word is Douglas and his wife, ex-Buck Jones singer-bassist Gabby Douglas, are working on their own new album, which should be out later this year.) It almost goes without saying that Sloaner has upped the ante when it comes to covering the output of fairly obscure bands. All we need now is for Glen Reynolds to form the Bluetones cover band we've been hinting at for months...
Arlington's Laser Trax shut its doors for good last October, but at least one part of the record store/recording studio/performance space hybrid lives on, thanks to the new One Music Stop Recording Studio, just open in downtown Arlington. Owned and operated by the same team that ran Laser Trax--hey, the record store might not have worked, but the studio was doing quite well when the complex closed--the new, larger studio will continue to offer, as One Stop management says, "an affordable and quality recording option for emerging local artists, as well as the many we have built trusted working relationships with in the past." One Music Stop will share offices with OneMusicStop.com, an online resource for upstart bands. Always good to have another option...
Speedealer is back in the studio, beginning work on a follow-up to 1999's (and, thanks to a re-release, 2000's) Here Comes Death, while singer-guitarist Jeff Hirshberg seems to be moonlighting as an A&R rep for the band's label, Palm Records. Sort of: Hirshberg is trying to get Josh Alan (who we know as Dallas Observer contributor Josh Alan Friedman) signed to Palm. Alan was surprised to learn that the hard-rocking Hirshberg was a fan, and so were we, especially when we discovered that Hirshberg is also something of a classical music scholar. Which is obvious from Here Comes Death...
Longtime Mess/Darlington drummer Steve Visneau has officially joined Slowride, solidifying a lineup that includes guitarist Dan Phillips and our former next-door neighbor bassist Rob Marchant. Slowride's first local show with Visneau providing the backbeat was scheduled to happen--as of this writing--January 31 at Bar of Soap. A self-released, five-song EP is now available, and Visneau says the band has been busy recording demos and attracting interest from several undisclosed labels. And so are we...
Idol Records is set to branch out a bit in the next few months, releasing a pair of records--Pro-Electric and High Noon--by San Diego-based Gunfighter, whom some of you may remember when it was Kansas City-based Molly McGuire. The label will have its own showcase at the upcoming South By Southwest Music Festival, opening up the fest on Wednesday night (at the simply named Drink on 6th St.) with performances by Chomsky, Clumsy, and The Deathray Davies. Speaking of local bands and SXSW, Baboon, Brave Combo, Centro-matic, Earl Harvin Trio, Pleasant Grove, Slobberbone, Speedealer, Sub Oslo, and The Toadies have all been invited to perform at the annual shindig, which takes over Austin from March 14-18. More news as it comes. But, of course...
At long last, Peter Schmidt and Legendary Crystal Chandelier have found a new drummer: Brad Robertson, who used to play with, among others, Shallow Reign. LCC still has a few possible openings--Schmidt would still like to find a permanent keyboard player, for one--but now that Robertson has been added to the band, expect to see a lot more of the band. Schmidt would like to get another gig under the band's collective belt soon, but if that doesn't happen, count on seeing the band February 24 at the Liquid Lounge, which happens to be a CD release party for the band's forthcoming second effort Beyond Indifference. The disc will be officially released February 27 on Quality Park Records. So, you can wait to pick it up then, but you'd miss out on hearing LCC play the songs live, as well as performances by Pleasant Grove and a DJ to be named later. Keep that in mind.