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When we first heard rumors of the Toadies' demise, the idea seemed impossible. It was, we figured, like making it through Vietnam and choking on a pretzel on the flight home. Obviously we were wrong--hey, there's a first!--but you do still have a few chances to say goodbye. Believe they call it "closure." The band has set the dates for its short farewell tour, which kicks off September 23 at Austin's Waterloo Park. The group--featuring Baboon's Mark Hughes on bass for these final shows--will also play San Antonio's Sunset Station on September 27, Houston's Aerial Theater on September 28, the Bronco Bowl Theatre on September 29 and The Pavilion in Lubbock on September 30. And then that's it, forever or for now, depending on your level of optimism. We wouldn't bet too much scratch on a reunion anytime soon. You'll need it to get into the high-priced, KDGE-FM-sponsored shindig at the Bronco Bowl anyway...

Quote of the month: "I've hit the motherfucking lottery." That's manager Paul Bassman describing the last several months of his career, marked by Flickerstick's Bands on the Run win and ensuing Epic Records contract and Drowning Pool's now-platinum sales, as well as the smaller success of Seven Channels, a band he co-manages. There will more than likely be a few people with intentions of duplicating Bassman's recent track record--segue in progress--hanging around the North Texas New Music Festival on October 12 and 13. Or so you'd like to think. Last year, there were A&R reps from Columbia, DreamWorks, Epic, Universal, Island Def Jam, Lava/Atlantic, London/Sire, Maverick and Warner Bros., among others, at the festival, and most of them will probably be back this year. Just remember, bands: Don't sign anything until everyone's gotten a chance to buy you dinner. Actually, you'd probably be better off not signing anything, but maybe you'll get lucky. It's worth a shot. Probably...

Little Grizzly will release its second album, I'd Be Lying If I Said I Wasn't Scared, on September 25. That's when you can get it in stores, at least. But if you turn up at Dan's Bar on September 13, you can have a copy of the record before anyone else. Well, except for the other people who show up and buy it as well. The band--singer-guitarist George Neal, drummer Colin Carter and brothers Jacob and Matt Barnhart, on bass and guitar, respectively--recorded the disc at The Echo Lab, and three-fourths of Centro-matic show up on the record. We'd be lying if we said you shouldn't pick up a copy or three, because you should. Go see them at Dan's Bar, too, because they are LOUD. And that's a good thing...

Chao's debut, Hitsthemiss, will be available from Last Beat Records later this month, and if you saw the "band" at Gypsy Tea Room over the weekend, you might already have a copy of some of the songs from it. The disc--Captain Audio singer-guitarist Regina Chellew's solo bow--features a pair of covers: The Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" and Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay," a duet with Pleasant Grove's Marcus Striplin. Other than Striplin's appearance, however, the rest of the album belongs to Chellew, who plays pretty much every note heard on the record. Her erstwhile band mates, Josh Garza and Brandon Curtis, are in New York concentrating on their own project, The Secret Machines, so Captain Audio remains on hold. But judging by the little bit we've heard of Chao so far, Hitsthemiss is more than good enough to take its place. Damn it, will you just listen to us for once...

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Bo Diddley will play October 14 at the Ridglea Theater, and he's found a pretty good group of musicians to back him up: Eleven Hundred Springs. The local boys will open the show with a set of their own material, then stick around to support Diddley. No word on if Bo Jackson will be making an appearance. That's right, son: We're old-school...

We've been due for the Big Payback for a few years now; the only question was when and how it would be delivered. We'd deserve whatever we'd eventually get, the thinking went, because that's what happens to people who are paid (haha) to criticize other people's art (haha). Whether it was a beat-down from Jim Heath or marrying a Matchbox 20 fan, we'd deserve it. As it turns out, we've been able to avoid the former--so far, anyway--but now the sickening specter of bad taste has caught up with us. Recently, our brother announced that his favorite band--of all time, since the beginning of rock and roll--is, uh, um, Stone Temple Pilots. Not only that, but he also said, with any luck, his 4-month-old son's first concert will be an STP show. So that's what we get for making fun of your favorite bands for a living, for doing our best to save you from the worst. It's just sad that an innocent little boy had to get dragged into it. We hope everyone's really freaking happy...

Show up: The Faceless Werewolves open for the White Stripes at Trees on September 13; Deadman supports Clem Snide at Gypsy Tea Room on September 14, and Clem Snide drops by Good Records earlier that afternoon for a little in-store goodness; Baboon, the pAper chAse and 90 Day Men are at Curtain Club on September 14; Dead Sexy and the Sparrows perform at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios on September 15; My Spacecoaster and Eniac play September 13 at Liquid Lounge.

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