a week on the scene


After shutting its doors for more than two weeks, punk-rock mecca Taco Land re-opened on Saturday, May 31 and celebrated the return of 70-year-old owner Ram Ayala to prime bartending form. The club temporarily closed last month while Ayala recuperated from a heart attack

Ram Ayala gives his regards to the Grim Reaper. Photo by Mark Greenberg
and triple-bypass surgery. His fragile condition had prompted some concerns within the local rock community about the future of San Antonio's premier underground-music source. Taco Land's re-emergence was commemorated by sets from Boxcar Satan and the Mechanical Walking Robot Boy.


If you think you've recently detected a change in White Rabbit's booking policies, your imagination isn't working overtime. The club, best known for bringing an oddball combination of reconstructed hard-rock warhorses (Thin Lizzy) and indie-rock veterans (Frank Black) to town, is no longer booking touring shows. And while it will continue to feature local bands, it's drastically scaling back its dependence on live music, in favor of a neighborhood bar ambience. The club is in the process of installing pool tables and dart boards in its main room and aiming for an older clientele. As if to put an exclamation point on the change, White Rabbit is now hyping its "big-screen, big-sound" TV, and encouraging sports fans to catch Spurs playoff action at the club.


Last September, Austin City Limits - the long-running, much-respected live-music show on public television - tried its hand at organizing a bonafide music festival and drew more than 75,000 over two days to Austin's Zilker Park. On the heels of that success, the event's organizers have decided to expand the festival this year from two to three days (September 19-21), with the intent of showcasing more than 100 acts. Last week, ACL announced that Polyphonic Spree, the Mavericks, Kings of Leon, Caitlin Cary and Tift Merritt have been added to the eclectic lineup. Previously announced performers include R.E.M., Al Green, Ween, Lucinda Williams, Liz Phair, and Rosanne Cash. The full lineup for this year's Austin City Limits Festival will be announced June 12. •


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