Odds & Ends
Tae Quon, D'oh: Calls to AAT HQ are usually from annoying PR reps begging for their terrible emo-funk-fusion band to receive coverage, so it's not often we get calls like this:
"Hi, this is Tommy Quon. I wanted to talk to you about a few projects I'm working on, and I thought--"
"Wait. Tommy Quon?"
Longtime Dallas Observer readers (or VH1 Behind the Music fanatics) should recognize Quon's name, as he was the manager behind the phenomenal rise--and equally phenomenal fall--of Vanilla Ice. Robert Wilonsky wrote at length ("Ice Ice Maybe," July 4, 2002) about the relatively healed relationship between the Carrollton rapper and the Plano manager, though in the years since that mending, Rob Van Winkle hasn't exactly recaptured fame. Thing is, Quon wasn't calling about the Iceman.
Turns out the local guy behind various second-rate hip-hop, Latin and R&B acts from the Dallas area is now trying his hand at, um, New Age. His hopes now rest on the shoulders of Fort Worth native Danny Wright, whose New Age career stretches over two decades and was the subject of an Observer feature in 1995. Wright was recently dropped from Atlantic Records, but Quon, an admitted fan of New Age artists like Jim Brickman, apparently sees something that Atlantic doesn't.
"I wanted to get him to release a ballroom CD, because that's so hot right now," Quon says, and he also plugged Wright shows in April at venues like the Lakewood Theatre and the Texas Motor Speedway. Well, the formal restaurant at the Speedway, anyway, though I'd love to see a New Age take on the "Star-Spangled Banner" at a NASCAR event.
As if to remind us how "important" he is, Quon filled our chat with tons of name-drops for his managed artists (Marcos Hernandez, Blessed Union of Souls, Ice's stepfather Byron Mino), but we had to ask--why would anyone want Quon's help after such notorious press over the years?
"The relationships I've had with people have been very important," Quon says. "I have my supporters, and I have my people that aren't exactly in my camp. One thing is, you keep working at what you do, and this is what I do. After Vanilla Ice, it's hard to follow that. My relationship with Ice today is...I've at least stabilized his career. We're making some inroads slowly that will keep him going for a while. I'm doing that for a lot of my acts."
So there you have it, local bands. Who needs fame, fortune and progress when Tommy Quon can "stabilize" your career? We won't hold our breath about Wright's New Age resurgence, but at the least, here's to hoping Quon continues the ballroom "craze" and puts Ice on Dancing With the Stars.
Good times: Believe it or not, Good Records' new location on Lower Greenville Avenue is actually running in tip-top shape. The clerks and owners have finally gotten around to decorating the huge space and so far, so good. Same can't be said for the store's Web site, which still doesn't have any stuff for sale, but at least it lists the store's amazing in-store calendar for the next two weeks. Good Records is picking up a boatload of SXSW spillover, so check goodrecords.com for the full list of free March concerts. Of particular note this week is this Tuesday's delectable out-of-towner bill, starting with Chicago's Aloha and ending with Detroit's Saturday Looks Good to Me--the 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. showcase is worth leaving work early to see.
Handstamps: Friday night's a tough one for locals, as Midlake's opening gig for Mates of State (in which the Denton band will debut more songs from the superb, hype-worthy The Trials of Van Occupanther) competes with a showcase hosted by local MP3 blog gorillavsbear.net's Chris Cantalini and headlined by white-hot Pitchfork Media darlings Tapes 'n Tapes. Oh, and the incredibly striking Silk Stocking headlines Double Wide that night too. What to do? We'll probably run across town and see 'em all...Local heavy-hitter combo the Deathray Davies and the Drams play the Barley House on Saturday for free, which should be the best local after show for the Toadies in town...The unbelievable shoegaze-meets-Travis of Pegasus Now plays its club debut at Rubber Gloves on Sunday...We couldn't help but laugh at this last-minute announcement: Third Eye Blind is playing the grand opening of the...wait for it...Fox Sports Grill in Plano on Monday. Remember them? They had that song. Um, something about Superman? No, that was Our Lady Peace. Man. How come we can't remember which generic late '90s hit 3EB played? It'll come to us.
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