Sunday, February 04, 2007

Austin entertainment ramble

We've been staying in more these days or keeping it low-key for several reasons. Between having no money for tickets, taking care of sick kitty-cats and my sick belly, and being bogged down with too-much-work, we tend to limit it to once or twice a week. KGSR has a new music series at the Mercury Hall on Thursday nights, it's free, and over by 10:00. Eliza Gilkyson played this week. She's a great singer/songwriter known for an anti-Bush theme or two (plus playing at Cindy Sheehan's Camp Casey in Crawford), and she has the great Mike Hardwick playing guitar in the band. Two Austin treasures.

We couldn't afford ($20 for) Robben Ford with Roscoe Beck on bass at the Cactus Cafe on Saturday (and I have it on good authority that David Grissom and Eric Johnson took the stage, plus the audience was filled with some of the greatest players in town (speaking of Austin treasures), but we did go over Flipnotics and saw Infinite Partials and Friends of Dean Martinez for a cover of $7.

Infinite Partials is a string band with their own sound, they were a really nice surprise, and they packed the house (they were the opener!). They rallied their peeps to come on out I guess. Listen to them at the link.

Friends of Dean Martinez were almost unadvertised. Their booking agent, website, and MySpace page had exactly no mention of this gig. I saw it listed in the Chronicle, so it was decided. It's tonight! Let's go. I believe the band has 3 official members on last count (living in either Austin or Tucson), but last night it was just one guy and a very powerful keyboard/lap steel setup. The sound is very southwest, like Calexico but more ambient/trance/psych (in fact this band has some connections to Calexico but I have trouble figuring out their twisted history with Friends of DM, Giant Sand and others). They have performed at the Alamo Drafthouse a few times, providing a live score for silent movies -- which is what the show was last night. The movie was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), which looks like one of the primary influences on Tim Burton. The sets were entirely make of painted paper and made for a very bizarre dark fantasy world. Friends of Dean Martinez' latest project was to provide music for Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation. I still haven't seen that one, and I even have a friend in it! She plays a nurse in a packing plant or something. So we really have no excuse not to rent it as soon as it comes out on DVD next month. Besides, I think the DVD extras will be worth the post-theatre viewing.

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