Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hot 'n' Nasty

First there was Yacht Rock. Then Confidence Rock. Now the youth have rebranded yet another vein of our musical heritage.

Meet Roguish Rock. To hear Alamo Drafthouse programmers/Roguish behavior archivists Lars Nilsen and Zack Carlsen describe it, Roguish Rock is distinguished by coliseum-sized acts of autoerotic bombast that make witnesses cringe while secretly wishing they were the perpetrators. Nilsen and Carlsen present their full case at 10pm on Monday, May 11 as the Alamo Ritz's "Music Mondays" series presents "Hot & Nasty," a Roguish Rock retrospective featuring footage from Van Halen, Grand Funk Railroad, Edgar Winter, Black Oak Arkansas and more.

In lieu of a proper trailer, the Alamo offers this traumatically compelling clip of undeniably Roguish vocalist Jim Dandy Mangrum and Black Oak Arkansas performing "Hot & Nasty" in concert circa 1973.

Careful, kids. I'm pretty sure you can catch an STD from staring at that bulge for too long.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sprouts plans North Austin store

Sprouts Farmer’s Market plans to open a North Austin location later this year in the space vacated by Borders in the Great Hills Station shopping center at the corner of Research Blvd. and Great Hills Trail. The Phoenix-based grocery retailer is also opening locations in Rollingwood, Sunset Valley and Round Rock in 2009.

Sprouts is part of the discount natural food niche that targets those of us living downmarket from Whole Foods Market. The chain was founded in 2002 by the family of Henry Boney, who started the business that became Henry’s Farmer’s Market in 1943 as a street corner peach stand in San Diego.

In 1999, Henry’s was acquired by Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats along with San Antonio’s Sun Harvest. Wild Oats co-founder Mike Gililland started Sunflower Farmer’s Market (branded as Newflower in Texas) in 2002. Then Whole Foods bought Wild Oats in 2007 in a transaction that incurred the wrath of federal antitrust regulators, but not before jettisoning Henry’s and Sun Harvest to California-based Smart and Final. Jeez, that’s more incestuous than our local music scene.

Sprouts’ newly announced Great Hills location should keep North Austinites from smarting too much about having to drive way the hell south to get to Newflower. And no, I don’t know when or if we’ll ever get a Trader Joe’s here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Houston, We Have a Solution

Shockingly, if Texas were to secede, not everyone would be sad to see us go. Especially this Andy Cobb fella, though he does exempt "parts of Austin" from his hateful You Tube missive.

As for ZZ Top, well, look who they're making buddies with these days. Yep, that's Gub'nor Rick himself sitting in for Frank Beard in the pic next to the deer head.

Photo by Peggy Fikac/Houston Chronicle

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Talkin' Texas Secession Whites

Ask a Confederate apologist about the Civil War and he or she will invariably invoke the concept of state's rights. There's even a giant monument to the Confederate war dead in front of the Texas State Capitol (above) that suggests as much.

What the apologists and the monuments don't like to admit is that the state right of primary contention was slavery. John Aravosis at AmericaBlog points out a telling excerpt from the Declaration of Causes adopted at the Secession Convention of Texas in 1861:

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.

It's not uncommon for Texans to joke about secession. Most of the time, it comes from the same tongue-in-cheek pride that prompted Saul Steinberg's New Yorker map of the world. But there's a big difference between slapping a Texas flag-themed "secede" sticker on your bumper and the governor of Texas alluding to the threat of secession in front of an overwhelmingly white crowd three months after the first black president in U.S. history takes office.

By the way, since today is the 173rd anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, it should be noted that then-Governor Sam Houston opposed secession back in 1861 and was removed from office for it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wannabes, Ron Titter Band this Friday!

Now that we've shaken the rust off, come bask in the dank, musty goodness of The Ron Titter Band this Friday as we do show number two following our 17-month hiatus.

We'll be laying down the smackum yackum around 9:45pm at the fabulous Carousel Lounge. Then stick around for local beer light pop-punk legends the Wannabes and treat 'em right or they'll break out Bob Welch's "Ebony Eyes" on your skinny ass.

No cover. Plenty of free parking. It all happens this Friday in beautiful North Austin.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Poteet strawberry ice cream arrives!

I just made my first H-E-B Creamy Creations Poteet Strawberry Ice Cream sighting of the season.

As of about an hour ago, the H-E-B at Burnet and Allandale has this ritual springtime treat in stock. If you're a fan of strawberry ice cream who knows what's good for you, you'll pick up a carton soon because it won't be around for long.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Madam Mam's heads north

Fans of Thai food in North Central Austin rejoice. Madam Mam's is opening a third location next month across from the Alamo Drafthouse Village in the space formerly occupied by Shanghai River at 2700 W. Anderson Ln.

Though I spent many hours grazing at Shanghai River's "lavish" Chinese buffet during the 90s - informing everyone I dined with how much I loved the Lavish people and their cuisine - that restaurant became an inhospitable dump in its dying days. Any way you slice it, Madam Mam's is a considerable step up.

Here's to no more futzing around with UT area parking when I need a Panang Beef Curry fix.

Mayyors at SXSW 2009

One of the best sets I saw at SXSW this year was from Mayyors. No, they don't have a website or MySpace account.

Even so, this elusive Sacramento, Calif. supersonic spaz-punk quartet laid figurative waste to Spiro's in a manner that reminded me of when that space housed the Cavity in the early 90s. It was as if a hundred sun-warped hardcore singles were playing simultaneously at 78rpm on a shitty (but unimaginably loud) transistor radio. This was music you felt in your bones.

I reviewed Mayyors' take-no-prisoners squall here, but you can actually hear it for yourself at WFMU's Beware of the Blog.

Photo: Mayyors at SXSW 2009 from WFMU's Beware of the Blog

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Pancho's returns to New Orleans area

After shuttering their Metairie, La. location in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Pancho's Mexican Buffet returned to the New Orleans suburb last week with a raucous grand opening celebration.

Although this event has been mostly ignored by the mainstream media, historians will one day rank Pancho's return to Southern Louisiana on par with MacArthur's return to the Philippines or the Eagles getting back together.

To wit, here's a little footage of Panchito tearing it up next to the salsa bar.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The many moods of Pizza Land

I picked up this flyer for a new restaurant called "Pizza Land" at Tammy's Cleaners on Burnet Rd. yesterday. This humble takeaway joint is housed between Tammy's and Gyro Plus.

In addition to its namesake dish, Pizza Land boasts an extensive menu featuring Indian and Chinese food. Because you never know when you're going to want a side of fish masala with your pepperoni pie. They also plan to stay open until 3 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Is it just me, or does this place bear striking resemblance to the burned-out A+ Buffet, only without the buffet?