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10 days of the '90s: A slew of 'nostalgia' in Austin clubs

Staff Writer
Austin 360

Put your ear to the ground this weekend and you just might hear the wistful opening guitar of 'Mayonnaise,' the ghostly Kim Deal vocals of 'Where Is My Mind?' or Stephen Malkmus politely inquiring how the voice of Rush singer Geddy Lee got so high. Don't be alarmed that's just the sound of the nostalgia coming, as Monday's Smashing Pumpkins show kicks off a coincidental but striking 10 days of the '90s (and a bit of the '80s) in Austin music venues. From the mega-popular '90s alternative rock of Stone Temple Pilots and the Smashing Pumpkins, to the once-obscure but hugely influential songs of the Pixies, Pavement and Guided By Voices oh, and the Black Crowes, working hard somewhere between the two poles the end of September heralds a rush of the old-school so far unseen in Austin this year.

To guide you through the onslaught, we've put together this user's guide to the six acts guaranteed to make Austin party like it's 1995. Grab a flannel shirt and prepare to go back in time.

— Patrick Caldwell

Also contributing: Michael Corcoran, Joe Gross and Chad Swiatecki

Smashing Pumpkins

6 p.m. Monday. Stubb's, 801 Red River St.

Essential album:'Siamese Dream'

Essential wardrobe: A black-and-silver 'Zero' shirt

Drink at show: Anything involving vodka

MVP no longer with the band: Former drummer Jimmy Chamberlin — and everyone else. With one original member, call them the Billy Corgan Experience.

Cash-in factor: 5, since there's no accompanying greatest hits record

Success in their day: Multiplatinum records, magazine covers, MTV Video Music Awards ... 1995-'97 was a good time to be Billy Corgan.

Cost: $37.50-$42.50 — at least before it sold out

Song you will definitely hear: 'Today,' and probably '1979'

Song you are unlikely to hear: 'Frail and Bedazzled' would be a nice treat.

Worst follow-up project: Remember Zwan? No? That's for the best.

Successful follow-up project: We'll find out at this show


7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Austin Music Hall, 208 Nueces St.

Essential album: 'Doolittle,' which the band will play — plus b-sides! — in its entirety.

Essential wardrobe: Vans' I-swear-I-didn't-make-these-up 'Death to the Pixies' shoes.

Drink at show: They're from Boston, so Sam Adams.

MVP no longer with the band: There have only ever been, and only ever will be, four Pixies.

Cash-in factor: They've never been shy about saying the reunion's largely about money, but the live show is still excellent.

Success in their day: Bigger in the U.K. than in the U.S., where it took 'Surfer Rosa' 17 years to go gold.

Cost: $39.50-$45

Song you will definitely hear: 'Wave of Mutilation,' the song so good they'll play it twice.

Song you are unlikely to hear: Don't get your hopes up, 'U-Mass' fans.

Worst follow-up project: Even David Lovering's magic show is cooler than Joey Santiago's band with his wife, the Martinis.

Successful follow-up project: Kim Deal's '90s-classic alternative rock band the Breeders

The Black Crowes

7 p.m. Saturday. Stubb's, 801 Red River St.

Essential album: 'The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion,' which spawned four hits.

Essential wardrobe: Your best beard in honor of singer Chris Robinson.

Drink at show: Any beer but Miller, which once fired the band from a tour because Robinson ragged on the brand.

MVP no longer with the band: Hard-core fans would point to guitarist Marc Ford, whose licks are missed.

Cash-in factor: The three-hour, half-acoustic/half-electric sets the Black Crowes have been playing are not the work of a lazy band.

Success in their day: Two platinum albums and a string of minor hits — plus a dedicated fan base.

Cost: $35

Song you will definitely hear: Count on either 'Remedy' or 'She Talks To Angels.'

Song you are unlikely to hear: They love digging into the back catalog; we can't make any predictions.

Worst follow-up project: Original bassist Johnny Colt has a bad habit of dropping in to briefly play for terrible bands — notably Rock Star Supernova and Train.

Successful follow-up project: Chris Robinson's solo record

Stone Temple Pilots

6:30 p.m. Saturday. The Backyard at Bee Cave, 13742 Bee Cave Parkway

Essential album: Ignore derivative debut 'Core' in favor of smashing sophomore record 'Purple.'

Essential wardrobe: For a bunch of people who listened to a lot of radio in 1995, flip-flops and khaki shorts rule.

Drink at show: In honor of the in-and-out-of-rehab front man Scott Weiland, something hard. Possibly scotch.

MVP no longer with the band: Improbably and awesomely, STP has always been the same four dudes.

Cash-in factor: Surprisingly low. They're still releasing new material, and they still believe in it.

Success in their day: The nerds listened to Pavement in 1994. Everybody else listened to STP — more than 17 million albums sold so far.

Cost: $43

Song you will definitely hear: You can bet one of your kidneys on 'Trippin' On a Hole in a Paper Heart.'

Song you are unlikely to hear: Bubblegum radio single 'Days of the Week' — or anything else off 'Shangri-La Dee Da.'

Worst follow-up project: Army of Anyone — all of Velvet Revolver's cliché, none of the cheesy charm.

Successful follow-up project:Scott Weiland's 1998 solo album '12 Bar Blues'


7 p.m. Sept. 28. 7 p.m. Stubb's, 801 Red River St.

Essential album: 'Quarantine the Past: The Best Of Pavement'

Essential wardrobe: Receding hairline

Drink at show: Something watery, domestic

MVP no longer with the band: Gary Young, but he's been gone since 1993

Cash-in factor: High but nobody seems to care

Success in their day: Pelted with mud during Lollapalooza 1995, defined indie rock for a generation

Cost: $37.50-$40, before it sold out

Song you will definitely hear: 'Cut Your Hair'

Song you are unlikely to hear: 'You're Killing Me'

Worst follow-up project: Gary Young's Hospital

Successful follow-up project:Stephen Malkmus' solo albums.

Guided by Voices

6 p.m. Sept. 30. East Side Drive In, 1001 E. Sixth St.

Essential album: 'Bee Thousand'

Essential wardrobe: Wright State T-shirt

Drink at show: Budweiser

MVP no longer with the band: Guitarist Doug Gillard

Cash-in factor: As good as ever

Success in their day: Cult audience

Cost: $20

Song you will definitely hear: 'Cut Out Witch'

Song you are unlikely to hear: Not one you'd know.

Worst follow-up project: Boston Spaceships

Successful follow-up project: Robert Pollard's 'Not In My Airforce'