Odds & Ends

This just in: Pleasant Grove drummer Jeff Ryan has left the band. Vocalist/guitarist Marcus Striplin cites "personal reasons" and says the band "is sad, but happy for him." The band will be trying out new drummers and hopes to have someone in place in time for their September 3 show at Sons of Hermann Hall.

I'm not huge on benefit shows. I mean, who do they benefit really? Not me. They usually seem like excuses to charge too much money and make people feel guilty about the plight of, um, monkeys in outer space or Tibetan slumlords. But there is a benefit on Saturday that seems worthwhile. Not because the proceeds go to cancer research--that's a good thing, obviously, but Baylor hospital benefits cancer research, and I wouldn't suggest you go there this weekend. No, this benefit is worthwhile because organizer Nicole Hernandez has put together a solid 12 hours of local music, from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., at Club Dada. Performers include Goodwin, Chris Holt, Colin Boyd and Neo Camerata. Admission is $10 ($5 for children, who can come until 9 p.m.), and proceeds benefit the Oasis of Hope.

This weekend's two-day Texas International Blues Festival at the Texas Tea House features Cold Blue Steel, former Point Blank singer John O'Daniel and former Johnny Winter sideman Uncle John Turner. Each night ends with a blues jam. Call 214-823-3966 for more information.

When the seriously warped Tom Heinl opened for Bobby Bare Jr. at the AllGood Café a few weeks ago, I promised him I'd write something about his hilarious live show next time he came through town. Of course, I was bumming a cigarette at the time and didn't think he'd return so damn fast. But Heinl is back this Monday at Trees, playing with indie darlings Sebadoh, whose amped-down acoustic set should complement Heinl's ultra-lo-fi stylings. Heinl is a Junior Brown-type basso profundo who sings songs about botched three-ways and being drunk at IHOP, but he sings to recorded tracks, what he dubs "stereoke." When Heinl first toured last spring as the opening act for the Decemberists, it was the first time he'd been outside Oregon. Since then, he can't seem to get back. Give him a proper welcome, would ya? And a cigarette, if you've got one.

Five Questions With...

Hip-hop stars are notoriously unreliable when it comes to press. Call the American Idol rep, and Diana DeGarmo will be dusting your office within the hour, but Ludacris, Dre, Cube, LL--these guys have better things to do. Like, I don't know, shooting hoops or dipping their nose hairs in gold. So when a press agent promised an interview with Snoop Dogg to promote his upcoming appearance at Saturday's Linkin Park show and, even better, his after-party that night at Erykah Badu's badass Black Forest Theater, we should have known better. We should have known that the phone wouldn't ring. It's just that we wanted to interview the Dogg so badly. Well, finally the phone did ring, but it was Diana DeGarmo, promoting last week's appearance at Nokia Live. Typical. Still, we figured we'd go ahead and ask her the five questions we'd already sent through Snoop's convenient Shizzolator.

There is a rumor that yo' ass no longer smoke weed. Dog(g), level wit us. Could this be true?

I'm just really excited to be a part of this amazing show. This is the most amazing, amazing show ever.

Why is yo' ass touring with Linkin Park, yo? They straight-up bootleg.

Hmm, maybe you're thinking of last season. This has John Stevens, and the fabulous George Huff, and LaToya London...

Dat's cool. So, what's yo' favorite TV show n' shit?

American Idol! Oh, and also, I like Days.

Have yo' ass ever shot anyone? And if so, who's yo' favorite?

It doesn't matter that Fantasia won, because we're all winners. Fantasia and I are still best friends. I'm best friends with everyone, really. Even you. You're my best friend.

Recently yo' ass hosted Girls Gone Wild, know what I'm sayin'? Tell us: Is yo' ass a leg or a wing mutha?

Are you saying I look fat in this?

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Sarah Hepola

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