Scene, Heard

One Ton Records closes its doors

Citing exhaustion, Aden Holt has decided to take a hiatus from One Ton Records, a break that began July 9 and will continue until, he jokes, "I win the lottery." Meaning: One Ton is pretty much gone for good, ending the local label's five-year run as the best record label in town, at least according to the Dallas Observer readers who have voted in our annual music awards since 1997. Signing off and sounding off on One Ton's Web site (www.onetonrecords.com), Holt posted an open letter to fans and friends, explaining why One Ton is closing up shop after more than seven years, as well as taking a few moments to reminisce. Among Holt's more memorable moments in his tenure with One Ton include his first meeting with Doosu's Casey Hess ("this skinny kid with long blue hair and a swollen mouth") and pissing off Olivia Newton-John's lawyers (with One Ton's Grease tribute compilation, Sandy Does Dallas). Oh, and spotting Friend Matthew Perry in the audience at Doosu's Grammy showcase in Los Angeles.

For now, One Ton's catalog (and selected merchandise) will continue to be available, and the One Ton name will further stay in sight through Holt's sister business, One Ton Graphics. Holt will also go ahead with one of his other projects, Buzz-Oven, which has issued a trio of free, three-band samplers and sponsored a series of all-ages concerts around the area since it got off the ground last year. (Macavity and Jibe are rumored to be included in the next round of samplers/concerts.) Other than that, Holt says he and One Ton "will not actively be promoting, booking or releasing new material" from its roster, a group of bands that included, at one point or another, Slow Roosevelt, Buck Jones, Valve, Doosu, Jump Rope Girls, Fixture, Cottonmouth, TX and Holt's former band, Caulk. The one amendment to that statement is the long-planned release of Caulk's last live show, and that disc should hit stores sometime later this year. If nothing else, you can probably expect to see more of Holt's new group, Fivecat, now that he has a little more free time.

"The greatest thing about having this record label is listening to the music that it produced and making the friends that were made," Holt says in the letter on the label's site. "My goal in starting this thing was simply to put out great music by great people, and that is what I did. With 23 releases and five years as the best record label in town as voted by you. I never expected this to move past being more than a hobby. The support from all of the fans and the relentless talent emanating from every band I worked with snowballed into something bigger than I really ever expected." While we didn't always agree with Holt's musical tastes--sample: "one would hope that once the kids remove Caulk's second album, 1995's Love American Style, from their disc changers, they will issue a heartfelt apology to their stereos," from "Out Here," April 9, 1998--we always marveled at his ability to carve a fiercely loyal and surprisingly large following for One Ton and its roster. Don't bet against him giving it another shot at some point...

According to MSNBC's Jeannette Walls in the July 18 edition of her online gossip column, LeAnn Rimes and her actor fiance Andrew Keegan have split up, thanks to his on-set romance with actress Piper Perabo as they filmed Piece of My Heart. Footnotes to the above sentence: Keegan's previous claim to fame was using a Sharpie to draw a dick on David Krumholtz's face in 10 Things I Hate About You; Perabo's previous bit of notoriety came from her violently bad attempts to "act" in Coyote Ugly and The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle; and Piece of My Heart will more than likely be a piece o'shite. Walls' source also relayed the following bit of information: "Andrew said to Piper one day, 'Every time I see you, my lips get wetter.'" No word yet on whether or not Keegan has retrieved his testicles from Perabo's purse...

How many times will we see some variation on this headline--Dixie Chicks attempt to Fly to Wide Open Spaces--now that the band is attempting to wriggle out of its recording contract with Sony Music Entertainment? We've set the over-under at a dozen, though that all depends on how long Sony's breach of contract lawsuit remains in a U.S. District Court in New York (where the suit was filed July 17) and how closely The Dallas Morning News decides to follow the case. Sony's suit alleges that the trio--Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Martie Seidel--is making "sham" claims that the label isn't paying them what they're owed in order to nullify their current deal with Sony, which calls for as many as four more albums. Sony is also seeking a moratorium on any and all of Maines' "spunky antics." (OK, we made that last part up. Sue us. No, really, don't.)

Kathy Allmand, the Chicks' publicist, declined to comment for now, but you can draw your own conclusions from the group's comments to CBS' Dan Rather, when he interviewed them for 60 Minutes II last fall. When Rather asked about the almost $200 million Fly and Wide Open Spaces have racked up, Robison responded, "Hmm. You're depressing me because we see so, so little of that. I haven't done the math because even before we got our deal, everyone always said, 'Don't ever expect to make money with records. Records are a promotional tool that you use to be able to do live shows and make money elsewhere.'" She later added, "I'll just say that Sony Nashville has remodeled their new building. They remodeled on that." Maines joined in, "I don't even have $1 million in the bank. Tell me where this money goes. I have no idea."

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