I just read that the Austin Chronicle has Alejandro Escovedo on its cover this week. I am certain that Alejandro is the record holder for being on the cover of the Chronic the most times, and it's fitting, given that he is top of the tops in the the "sacred cows" of the Austin Music Mafia.
I like his music and his shows are pretty good, for the most part. Also, I must say that the Austin Music Mafia has been very kind to me (in person and in print) for many, many years, dating back to my UT days in the Schlitz Quarts. However, I never cease to be amazed at the exposure still given to the local artists (all extremely talented and with great stories of struggle and perseverance) from the early to mid 80's "New Sincerity" music movement. The stuff, past and present, is good, and I wonder if the obsessive press regarding this stuff is an effort to turn on the music writers and scenesters outside of Austin to the musiclal "promised land" legacy of Austin; especially since once you leave the 787-- zips and the radio signal capacity of KGSR the stuff is more or less off the radar. Excepptions are, of course, the oasis public radio stations such as Marfa Public Radio, KPFT, KSYM and the KUT San Angelo franchise. Best bet for Alejandro is to make Springsteen put his money where his mouth is and take him on a national tour as his opener (this actually happened in Houston). How great would it be if Houston bands like the Midols and the Dishes (and the Judy's- from HOUSTON/PEARLAND- NOT AUSTIN!) had been given a once every three year cover story on the Press or Public News? Would anyone have read? I don't actually know. Austin does have the sheep/herder deal going where the AMM actually does succeed in pushing the chosen ones, at least to the loyalists. This is a very good thing, yet also an artistically limiting scope for the whole scene. I'm not actually knocking it- it works! Something to think about.
I'm not sure of the point of this post other than to point out that Alejandro Escovedo is once again on the cover of the Chronicle. Oh yeah, and he has a new album out with Chuck Prophet, a guy who's music began entartaining me back in '99 when I worked with Keith Coit at the Big Time Cafe (RIP to both). - David