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Medley Fool

DJ Jester mixes and mashes up Willie Nelson, Ice-T, the Carpenters and LL Cool J

He's already spread his take on the Sound of Texas far beyond the Lone Star State. Last year's tour with Kid Koala -- a classically trained pianist-turned-turntablist -- was a crowning achievement. "When we were in London, Radiohead asked to put us on the BBC for this show they were curating," Jester enthuses. "Never in a million years would I think that me, a DJ from San Antonio, would be on tour with Kid Koala and then all of a sudden I'm on the BBC 'cause Radiohead wanted me on there. Wow! Nuts, man!"

That tour also inspired Jester to broaden his horizons. If all goes well, he's spent his last summer sweltering in the South Texas heat. "I was in Japan and I thought, man, I don't want to go back to San Antonio," he says. "I've been there since '94 -- I went to school there, but it was just time to do something else. So I moved to Austin, and worked on my new record there, did my odd jobs. And my lease runs out in May. Hopefully in June I'll be in New York."

Once there, he's hoping to finish up his next CD. "It's gonna be all done on a four-track," he says. "A lot of people are making their CDs just on their computers, but I'm gonna try to keep this one as analog as possible. Kinda get a real raw feel to it, kinda like old-school hip-hop. There's gonna be more compositions on it -- most of my old stuff has been more mixes, but I'm actually gonna start composing songs."

Scuttlebutt Caboose

In about three weeks, South By Southwest will be upon us again, and as usual, there aren't as many Houston bands on the bill as we would like, though this year the festival has woken up to the burgeoning hip-hop scene here. Last year's characterization of SXSW as "White by Whitebread" has been rendered mostly moot. Locals Gritboys, Zin, Chamillionaire and Color Changin' Click, Mddl Fngzpresented by Bun B and UGK, Studemont Project, S.M.U.G.G.L.A.Z., O.G. Style and DJ Chill will be playing the officially sanctioned Murder Dog/Damage Control showcases, which were put together by Press listings editor and KPFT DJ/freelance writer Matt Sonzala. In a major coup, Sonzala landed capital-B buzz artist Dizzee Rascal to headline the two-day event. Londoner Dizzee Rascal beat out Radiohead, Athlete, the Darknessand Floetry for the 2003 Mercury Prize, an award given to the musician or group that represents what is best and most fresh about British music. (Past winners include P.J. Harvey, Chemical Brothers, Suede, Portishead and Pulp.) Expect Dizzee's performance to be one of the most talked-about shows of the whole event.

Local rockers Linus Pauling Quartet and Fatal Flying Guilloteens as well as cacophony artistes Rusted Shut made the cut, as did reggae band Neutral Sisters, funk/reggae/rock/world-beatsters D.R.U.M., DJs Sean Carnahanand Henry Chow, and country band Hilary Sloan and Aunt Erma's Filling Station. Not a bad cross-section, though it could have been deeper in rock, blues, country, Latin hip-hop and rock en español.

Ergo, Super Happy Fun Land will host the second annual South By Due East fest on Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21. So far, Sonny Boy Terry, Poetry in Reverse, New Jack Hippies, Drop Trio, Secret Beat Society, Opie Hendrix, Chango Jackson, Quantum Five, Carrie Buchanan and Collective Hallucinationhave confirmed, and many others are expected to enlist.

Meanwhile, over in Austin, left-out Houston bands will be represented on the trade show floor by the Dingo Gold Records/TexasJam.com booth, which will be hosted by Mike Pruneda and Aerik from Hollister Fracus. (Along with fellow hard rockers Tin Henry, Hollister Fracus is signed to the Dingo Gold label.) If you want your band's music and promo materials to be showcased on the SXSW floor, contact aerik@hollisterfracus.com.

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