Mandarin Makes Its Debut

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Pantera appears alongside The Supersuckers, Tom Waits, Steve Earle, Joe Strummer, and Fastball's Tony Scalzo, among others, on Free the West Memphis 3, a disc benefiting Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, three teens from West Memphis, Arkansas, wrongly convicted--or so many people claim--of murdering three children in 1993. Well, Pantera doesn't actually appear on the disc, but the group's song "Fucking Hostile" (from 1992's Vulgar Display of Power) is included, rendered almost unrecognizable by former Breeder Kelley Deal. If the cause sounds familiar, you might have seen one of the two fascinating documentaries on the so-called West Memphis 3, 1996's Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, and this year's sequel, Revelations: Paradise Lost 2. The album, compiled by Supersucker Eddie Spaghetti, also includes contributions by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder (who fronts the Supersuckers on a cover of X's "Poor Girl"), and a reformed Killing Joke. You can hear for yourself when Free the West Memphis 3 hits stores on October 10, courtesy of Koch Records and Aces & Eights Recordings...

Speedtrucker, which counts Metallica front man James Hetfield among its fans, recently released Another Roadhouse Girl and Fifty Bucks, their first studio album and second release of the year, following on the heels of Live at Muddy Waters. The band--singer Michael Cox, guitarist Josh Davis, bassist Rocky Garza, drummer David Mitchell, and former Spot guitarist Chad Rueffer--were joined in Oak Cliff's SpiritHouse Studio by Reggie Rueffer (Chad's brother) on fiddle, and Cricket Taylor on background vocals. Among a slew of originals, Another Roadhouse Girl also features Speedtrucker's take on Johnny Cash's "All I Do is Drive" and Johnny Paycheck's "Never Met a Girl I Didn't Like," as well as songs by Marty Robbins and the Bottle Rockets. And during its every-Thursday gigs at Muddy Waters, the band has been known to break Jerry Reed's "East Bound and Down," better known as the theme from Smokey and the Bandit. Fun fact: Besides laying down a mean country shuffle, Mitchell also teaches English at Woodrow Wilson High School. Of course, the only day job he could hold that would be less country than schoolteacher would be that of "revenooer." Just watch a rerun of The Dukes of Hazzard and you'll realize what we mean...

We've often been accused of regularly bringing up The Nixons just so's we can bring 'em right back down, finding ways to work the band's name into Scene, Heard only so we can use it as a punch line and a punching bag. And we'll admit...well...if that's not the truth, it's within spitting distance. Judging by singer Zac Malloy's September 12 posting on the group's Web site, www.nixons.com, this could be our one last chance. We'll let Malloy break it to you himself: "We will be playing dates in our home region throughout September"--including gigs at the Curtain Club on September 29 and 30--"then we will 'pause.' We are not breaking up...just taking a break to do some other things. I've personally had my mind and heart on doing a project on my own for a while and will explore that. The guys will be doing other music projects as well. So that, as they say, is that, at least until the inevitable reunion show next year. Now we begin the excruciating wait for Malloy's solo debut. Wait, we meant the wait for Malloy's excruciatingly solo debut. Hey, we have to get our shots in while we can...

Bluh--a tribute to Blur featuring James Henderson (Legendary Crystal Chandelier, .357 Lover), Chomsky's Glen Reynolds and Matt Kellum, and Mark Hughes (Baboon)--makes its debut on October 12 at Club Clearview. As we've previously reported, the band focuses more on Blur's earlier material, long before "Song 2" became the soundtrack to every sporting event and shite action flick to come down the pike, with Henderson, Reynolds, and Hughes sharing lead vocals. Even with Bluh up and running, Reynolds and Hughes haven't blown their previous cover, however: Weener performs October 7 at the Curtain Club. And since all four members of Weener (including singer-guitarist Jason Weisenburg and drummer Ben Burt) were at Deep Ellum Live for the recent Weezer show, and Weezer did play four new songs, maybe the group'll have some new material. Probably not...

Macha and Bedhead playing together at CMJ Music Marathon? That's what the fest's Web site, www.cmj.com/Marathon, says anyway, but don't expect a full-on set by the latter group. Though the Bedhead name is more or less officially retired (a forthcoming loose-ends-tying disc on Touch & Go should close the books for good), Matt and Bubba Kadane will indeed be appearing at the CMJ shindig with Macha. It will be a reprise of the two bands' collaboration from earlier this year, Macha Loved Bedhead/Bedhead Loved Macha, which included a curious take of Cher's comeback hit, "Believe." The CMJ Marathon is scheduled to take place October 19-22 in New York, and will include a number of other local acts. The Limes--whose second album, Turn Your Lights Off (complete with a cover of The Smiths' "London") will be released in October on Luis Lima's Deluxe Records--will also be playing at CMJ, along with Pleasant Grove and Texas expats Calla. OK, then...

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Zac Crain
Contact: Zac Crain

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