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Trish Sans Darin

All America mourns as Houston's winsome sibling duo calls it quits

There are those who said it would never happen (and they said it wearing expressions of everything from faith to fear), but singing siblings Trish and Darin Murphy, and the band that carries their name, are soon to be no more. The rumor floated across this desk mid-week, and sure enough, a quick call to Darin's new Austin home confirmed the impending split. "Eventually," Darin reports, "you reach that point where the reasons to end outweigh the reasons to keep going."

The reasons to quit, apparently, include the upcoming departure of the band's drummer (everyone knows how much fun it is looking for a new drummer), and the logistical fact of Darin's new Austin homestead and Trish's new married life. Darin also skirts around the idea that the sibs' songbook had diverged stylistically into his songs and her songs (it works with bath towels?). Says Darin: "The directions we've been taking are different from one another. It's sort of been Trish or Darin," and who wants to make that choice?

So what's next? Well, Darin's in Austin writing with a bunch of different people and spending much time alone with his 4-track, and Trish is in Houston proceeding with what she describes as "more roots oriented stuff."

"I don't know about solo projects," Trish predicts, "but you'll probably see our faces popping up around in some sort of way."

For longtime fans who want to witness the final blow, here's some advance notice. T&D play an all-acoustic gig at McGonigel's Mucky Duck on Wednesday, December 21, and a full-band official farewell at the Satellite Lounge the following night.

Justice Records' long-announced and tentatively titled Hellhole compilation of Houston's garage and punk bands has finally got some bands to go with the concept, and from where I sit it looks like Jamail and company have put together an interesting mix, with nods to the tried-and-true but a definite lean toward relatively low-profile up-and-comers. HereÕs the list: de Schmog, Badger, Blueprint, Dixie Waste, Latch Key Kids, Smile 69, Saddlebag, Sad Pygmy, Keenlies, Violent Blue, Man or God, Jinkies, Clover and Well Fed Smile. Justice guy Gary Moore reports that the label will start taking bands into the studio next week to record new versions of already-selected tracks for the CD, which Justice plans to have ready for release on March 7.

Release Me... Celtic songstresses (songstri?) Ceili's Muse just keep adding musicians. Earlier this year founders Maggie Drennon and Mary Maddux found Melanie O'Sullivan at a Renaissance Festival and brought her on board, and now longtime soundman Chuck Ivey has been added to the band on bass. There's also the matter of a new CD, the group's second, called Ceili's Muse Live: Muse Secret #73, which title, Drennon tells me, is a private joke sort of thing. The CDs themselves aren't supposed to be ready until after this is gone to press, so I can't really comment on the product one way or another, but you can find out for yourself on Wednesday, December 14, when the four-piece celebrates with a CD release party at the Duck.

F.Y.I. -- The following is a list of musical artists who have played recently or will soon play in New Orleans, Austin, Dallas and/or San Antonio that have not announced dates in Houston: Bryan Ferry, Grant Lee Buffalo, Diamanda Galas and John Paul Jones, Sugar, Shawn Colvin, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Steve Perry. That's just off the top of my head. There's an assortment of reasons for the oversights (Clapton, for instance, played three nights of half-capacity private parties at Nawlin's House of Blues, and Dylan may yet be through our neck of the woods sometime next year), but fer Chrissakes, can't one of our town's promoters (or our town's one promoter) throw out a net and bring some of these folks to Houston? I mean, I couldn't give a shit about Steve Perry, but I kicked my ass all week after finding out -- too late to get in the car -- that a reportedly rejuvenated Dylan played a week of club dates a mere six hours east.

Just to make it a matter of public record (not that I don't, you know, trust the guy), let it be forthwith known that I possess, hanging from a paper clip on my dart board, a piece of paper signed by Planet Shock! manager Edward Maldonado and myself that constitutes a legal bet of $25. At issue? Whether or not Shock! will be signed to a major or "important" indie label by March 31 of next year. Maldonado is sure they will. I'm a cynical creep and a gambler.

Cassette of the Week: The band is called Dune, and the four-song paper-slipcased demo carries the title Small Grooves and the printed description "Psychadelical Grooviness," which, discounting the "al" on the end is still misspelled (look it up). One expects groove rock. One gets it. With sometimes distorted voices and fuzzed chord progressions, Dune reminds me, especially on "Let's Gravitate," of underproduced Weed, which is a pretty good thing. Elsewhere, though, the idea wears thin without any really compelling songs to drive it. Lot's of good wah-wah and a steady drummer, though, and the vocals, female on "Flowers from Her Garden" and male elsewhere, are at least understandable and more or less able to carry a tune.

 
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