Welcome to Munchkin's Domain, The Mag's new music and entertainment column. I'm James Grau, the Ugly Munchkin himself, and I look forward to bringing you up-to-date news from the Lawrence-Kansas City area.
Hats and shoes off to Anne Tangeman and her column, ``Tuning In,'' for which this is a replacement. Tangeman, also of the Micromag zine, will be bringing in photos of local shows and other events, so if you see her out and about, fix that hair and look sharp, `cause she's always got her camera.
Now, here's the scoop.
Final editing begins this week on Steve Buscemi's reading of the William Burroughs novel ``Queer.'' The project, organized by James Grauerholz at William Burroughs Communications, was recorded by E.J. Rose at Red House Studios in Lawrence.
Buscemi, known for his roles in such films as ``Reservoir Dogs'' and ``Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead,'' was in town last month for three days and put in a five-hour reading session each day. Rose, who felt honored to work with Buscemi, said he was an incredible reader and one of the nicest people he's met.
Lawrence's Panel Donor has a new drummer, Cliff Scurlock, and are practicing to record later this month at Egoless Studios.
The band is on a new label from Chicago called Quality Control. Pinebender, a Chicago act, is the only other band currently carrying the Quality Control name.
Brandon Aikin and Jeremy Sidener, both founding members, hope to have the full-length album released in September. Panel Donor's next scheduled show is July 24 at The Bottleneck, 737 N.H., where they will open for the Starlight Mints.
An old familiar face was back in town last week to visit friends and family. Erik Bauer, a Lawrence native and Kansas University graduate, was visiting from Tubingen, Germany, where he now resides.
Bauer started the Working Class Pig record label there in 1997, and has put out separate split 10-inch records of Lawrence's The Hefners and Kansas City's The Masons and has also released records from an assortment of German underground bands.
The Hefners played the Replay Lounge, 946 Mass., with Denver's The Down and Outs on May 23, Bauer's first night in town.
Speaking of The Hefners, bassist Billy Lamboley is starting his own record label, Terciopelo, which is Spanish for ``velvet hair.''
Lamboley plans to release recordings of The Hefners and The Teriyakis in which he also plays. The test pressings for The Hefners new six-song, 7-inch record called ``Hefner Style'' are already back, so contact Lamboley for a sample.
Julia Surrendered's self-released, three-song EP, ``Sweet Little Superstar,'' which was produced by Chainsaw Kittens' Trent Bell, has been causing a commotion in the industry.
According to the band's manager, J. Breadwell at Slumlord Productions, there is major label interest and possibly a slot on one of the national charts.
Julia Surrendered also has a CD out on Popadelic records.
Hopefully you didn't miss out on the Link Wray show May 26 at the Grand Emporium in Kansas City, Mo. Wray, 69, proved that he can still burn it up and rocked a house packed full of both old and new fans.
Wray has been a legendary rockabilly star since the 1950s and will most likely continue to be so in the 2000s.
Heavy hitters Cassius demonstrated their tricky timing prowess with a jagged set opening for Bait & Tackle's final performance May 21 at The Bottleneck.
And finally, check out a band called the Texas Meat Purveyors. Described as a post Bad Livers or ``punkgrass'' group from Austin, they will be playing June 10 with Fear & Whiskey at the Hi-Jinx Lounge, 1117 Mass.
They also will be playing an in-store that same day at 6 p.m. at Love Garden Sounds, 936 1/2 Mass.
-- James Grau is the music writer for The Mag.