Graham Drout is a great front man who puts together great bands. That said, it seems like every time I mention his Iko-Iko - which is not often enough - it's to announce ye olde personnel change. Julian Kasper has departed the long-time Tobacco Road houser. He and his wife, who's studying clinical psychology, got an offer they couldn't refuse - full tuition at SMU in Dallas for her to complete her Ph.D. and him to finish his master's. The new line-up, then: Danny Swetland remains on drums, Glen Caruba on percussion, and Drout, with new members Larry Williams (slide) and Mike Bower on guitar and vocals. The pressure's on the new guitarists - they're filling a spot that's been held by such greats as John Wenzel and Nick Kane. Check 'em out at the Road on weekends, and at other gigs around town.
Yo, visual artists. (I know you're out there, else there wouldn't be an Asylum, yes?) Saturday is the deadline for anyone interested in exhibiting their work at the big Lollapalooza bash up in Orlando on August 20. SoFlo native and Jane's Addiction front man Perry Farrell is selecting what will be featured in the megaconcert's art tent. You need to send Polaroids (or, I suppose, any photograph) of three or four pieces you'd like to display. Include name, address, day phone, and don't expect to get the photos back. The address is Theresa Conroy, c/o Triad Artists, 10100 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067.
Try, try, try, and still screw up. I raved last week about the cool new record store, Flippers. What I didn't do was bother to give you a clue as to how to get there. Duh. Flippers is at 223 NE Second Ave. in the heart of downtown Miami. The phone number is 374-3860.
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A&R execs never take phone calls, rarely open their own mail, and generally hate to be bugged by gnats like you (and me). So it's pretty def when the jackboot is on the other foot. MCA, which recently won the label wars to sign the Mavericks, has opened a pop/rock scouting office in Nashville, to be run by Kurt Denny, the director of A&R for the label. Denny swears he'll actively pursue pop, rock, metal, and alternative acts "east of Arizona and south of Virginia." The kicker is that Denny claims he's more than eager to hear from anyone with a tape or tip. His address is MCA Records, 54 Music Square East, Suite 302, Nashville, TN 37203. His direct phone line is 615-256-2002 (press 2) and his fax is 615-242-5313.
Guitarist Scott Taylor has left Picasso Trigger to save his hearing - he, like too many rockers, has suffered damage from years of volume. Axe slingers should call 255-7243 to audition for the plum gig. Note to all: use ear plugs whenever possible, have your hearing checked, and wish Scott the best.
Shows your stuff: Monaco is back, set to play Washington Square on Friday, along with Quit, the Itch, and the above-mentioned Picasso Trigger (with who-knows-who on guitar). Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids open for Last Crack Sunday at the Button South. And Debbie Gibson plays Sunrise on Tuesday.
Butthorn of the week: The Miami cops who are strictly enforcing noise ordinances in Coconut Grove. They're even busting clubs that feature acoustic acts! As one musician whose career is being inhibited by this fascistic clampdown says, "Instead of stopping the flow of crack, they're stopping the flow of music. It's getting awful hard to make a living." How certain acts can even be heard over the din of traffic, clatter of chatter, and other ambient racket common to the entertainment hub is not known. Maybe the pigs can run a few clubs and musicians out of business. What the hey. The financially destroyed can always resort to selling crack.