Egg on Our Face -- It wasn't until after last week's Todd Snider show at the Big Easy that we discovered the mandolin/fiddle player for the opening act, the South Austin Jug Band, was a local boy. Had we known about 21-year-old string phenom Dennis Ludiker -- an East Valley High alum who packed a car for Austin after graduation -- we'd have rolled out the red carpet.
Even so, we were lucky enough to wangle an invite to the after-party at the Ludikers' split-level house in the Valley, where Jug-ers and friends sat in a circle in the living room, practically chain-smoking a whole slough of sizzling gypsy jazz numbers on guitars and fiddles. Onlookers gawked, high school friends milled around the back-porch keg, some old guy in an antique wooden wheelchair called out requests and when JayDean "Mom" Ludiker, a respected local violin teacher, took to the fiddle, we thought the whole damned house was gonna burn down.
It goes without saying that next time the Jug Band's in town, we'll be the first to let you know.
The 4-1-1 on 420 -- Crunchy stoners and pro-pot propagandists will be protesting in 200 cities worldwide this weekend to pose the following provocative question to the world's politicians: Where's Dave? I mean, Is anybody else hungry? I mean, Why should a drug with proven health benefits be illegal? There, that's the one. While many cities -- Portland, Prague, Potsdam (naturally) -- will be staging marches in protest, local spliffsters Spocannabis will voice their dissent through the glory of rock, with a show at the Big Easy this Saturday, May 7. The lineup includes, among others, the Seattle band 5 to 1, Kite (Coeur d'Alene) and local punk-metal screamers Status-Nine. The show lights up at 7 pm. Tickets are $20 at the door.