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 V.13 No.14 | April 1 - 7, 2004 

Blue Note

Chris Smither

Chris Smither always manages to sound real on his records. Like he's living the songs he sings every day. In a sense, that's exactly what the 50-year-old acoustic bluesman is doing—living the very truths he sets to music. Smither's childhood wasn't unpleasant, but it wasn't stable either. His parents, both university professors, moved the family from Miami to Ecuador to Texas to New Orleans to Paris back to New Orleans, all by the time Smither was 13 years old and already fascinated by music.

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Aural Fixation

Another March has passed, and with it another installment of the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, where several of us go every year to scout the newest, coolest bands. OK, we all see a few older cool bands, too, but most of the reason we go every year is to give you a brief preview of bands to watch when we get back. Plus, it keeps us from killing ourselves (and each other) the remaining months of the year. Here we go with SXSW 2004 Top 10:

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Franks and Deans
Courtesy of the Artist

EVENT HORIZON (Thursday, Feb 23)

Franks & Deans • punk rock, rock 'n' roll • Shrewd • Punctured Muffler • Silent Crush • metal

At some point during the progression of meta-ultra-postmodernism, it was only natural that a band covering Rat Pack Tunes revisioned as rambling ska paeans or blisteringly buoyant punk anthems based on the imbibing and love-making habits of dudes like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin would rise from the rocanrol cauldron. We'll it's 2017 and such has indeed come to pass. The name of the band is Franks and Deans. They've succeeded by inflecting the sweepingly romantic, sometimes melancholy and nearly always self-referential ditties of these post-war, pre-rock vocal heroes with with good-natured rhythms and danceable guitar leads—as well as an updated fashion sense that seems to borrow more from ZZ Top's summer style guide than from Robin and the Seven Hoods—that adds affable nuance to legendary, mid-century American popular music. Band members Rob DeTie, Pip Ullemeyer, Hoss and Arpee Sampson III await your indulgence at Low Spirits on Thursday, Feb. 23, and the admission price of $5 sure as heck beats dropping “Three Coins in the Fountain.”
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Today's Events

Desdemona • folk at Blue Grasshopper Brew Pub Taproom

Tomorrow's Events

Open Mic at Blue Grasshopper Brew Pub Taproom

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