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Beerland incident gives folks a scare

Staff Writer
Austin 360

Austin's music scene experienced a scare last week when Elliott Turton, bassist for the Indiana band Waxeater, received a severe electric shock while performing at Beerland on June 26. Turton was awake and talking by the end of the week after spending two days under sedation, according to posts from Turton's father, Kelly Turton, as well as his bandmates on Waxeater's Facebook page.

Beerland owner Randall Stockton, who was not present at the time of the incident, reopened the club on Tuesday after an electrician determined it was safe for bands. "He spent a couple of hours checking the breakers, the grounds, the wiring, everything," Stockton said. "He said that it was safe to have people back in and play." There were no incidents at subsequent shows last week. The electrician was unable to examine Turton's equipment, which included a bass with an aluminum neck, so the cause of the incident remains a mystery.

Beerland booker Max Dropout, who was also not present, said this was the first time such an event has happened at the club. "I have a very heavy heart about this," said Dropout, whose real name is Max Meehan. "I really hope he is OK."

On Saturday, Beerland held a benefit for Turton, with several bands including Wiccans, Quin Galavis, Air Traffic Controllers and Breatherholes, a new band featuring former members of Wild America.

"All proceeds (are) going to Elliott's medical expenses," Dropout said. "I want to help in whatever way that I can, and I think a lot of other people do, too."

— Joe Gross

The music never stopped. When Beerland reopened on Tuesday night, the club showed no signs of slowing, with a Friday-sized crowd on hand to see Austin bands Black Gum, Love Collector and Dikes of Holland, whose high-energy punk, courtesy of raging guitar work and vocalist Liz Burrito (who channels Springsteen-meets-revival-preacher with a tambourine), gets everyone out of their seats.

A few blocks down the road, rising psych rock group Holy Wave, sharing a bill with fellow Austin psych-dealers Hellfire Social, wowed the inside stage at Mohawk with a set that was equal parts melodic and face-melting. Holy Wave heads into the studio this summer with producer Erik Wofford of Cacophony Studios, who worked on the Black Angels' first two albums, "Passover" and "Directions to See a Ghost."

Houston folk rocker Elaine Greer and Austin indie pop group the Sour Notes kicked off their tour Thursday at the Spiderhouse Ballroom with eight bands representing different local scenes. Quin Galavis, who is a member of post-punk trio the Dead Space, showed off his mellow side with a set of singer-songwriter fare before a packed crowd on the ballroom's bar stage. On the main stage, Celeste Griffin, lead singer for local soul outfit Monarchs (equal parts Cat Power and the Band), was barely able to contain herself as she belted out songs from her upcoming album, "The Rise and Fall." Later, local guitar and drums duo Agent Ribbons delivered punchy, bare-bones cabaret rock with a hefty dose of theatrics (including a guest tambourine player in an "Eyes Wide Shut" mask) and Dani Neff, fronting hard-edged Austin trio Megafauna, shook the room with jarring '70s rock guitar licks.

— Peter Mongillo

Waiting for Willie.The red-headed stranger didn't announce the lineup for his Fourth of July picnic, held in Fort Worth, until less than a week before the event. Willie and Family, Jamey Johnson, Ray Price, Asleep at the Wheel, Johnny Bush, David Allan Coe and Ray Wylie Hubbard were among the artists who performed. Check for a show report.

— Peter Mongillo

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