The Hot Spot—Have you noticed a white plastic banner that says "The Hot Spot" draped over the Ned's Downtown sign? As of yet, it's pretty much the only indication that the bar has changed hands to new owners, but I've been told that some other (and more noticeable) changes are in the works. I spoke with the Hot Spot's VIP services director last week, and he assured me that "The Ned's spirit isn't gone, it's just changed." He said the bar's focus will shift to an ultra-lounge club with a mix of live and deejayed music, VIP seating and European bottle service (you get a full bottle of booze, plus a selection of mixers for one flat fee). He also said that he wants to do "label scouting nights," where local bands can arrange to perform in front of record label executives from some big-name companies. But maybe he was just blowing smoke up my ass on that one ... it's hard to tell. More on that later.
South Austin Jug Band CD Release Party—Austin's premier newgrass troupe will launch their new CD, Dark and Weary World, at Puccini's Golden West Saloon this Friday, Oct. 14. SAJB puts on a great show every time they come through and it's definitely worth the $10 cover to see them. Special guest Susan Gibson opens things up at 9 p.m. Call 242-2353 for more information.
Femme-O-Lition Derby—The tagline on the e-mail I got goes something like this: "Love Femmes? Come to this show! Are you Femme? Come to this show! Don't know what femmes are? You need to come to this show!" If you really don't know, femmes are also commonly called lipstick lesbians, and the show in question is a queer femme cabaret to be held in Santa Fe—on the very same night as Fall Crawl, no less. Get the hell out of dodge and experience music, burlesque, fire, aerial acrobatics and lots of hot gay ladies. It's happening this Saturday, 8 p.m., at Wise Fool Studio in Santa Fe (2778 Agua Fria, in the Agua Fria Business Park, two blocks north of Siler across from Club Alegria). Tickets are $8 to $10 at septembersmith.com.
Chamber Music in Corralles—Another—and in some ways even more far-removed—alternative to this weekend's Crawl is happening at the historic Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales. At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, ArcoVoce will perform chamber music that goes a few centuries back. The project is made possible in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department ofCultural Affairs, and the National Endowment of the Arts. Tickets are $20 at the door, $18 in advance and $12 for students. Log on to musicincorrales.org for a list of presale locations.