A week on the scene - Archer Avenue and Laura Canales passing
| Archer Avenue|
A 2004 gig opening for country traditionalists Moot Davis & the Cool Deal at El Paso's Moontime Pizza has opened up all kinds of possibilities for local rockers Archer Avenue. After the show, the members of Archer Avenue bonded with Cool Deal member Pete Anderson, one of the world's most brilliant guitarists and a Grammy-winning producer best known for his long stint as Dwight Yoakam's right-hand man. Anderson was impressed by their live show, and discussed the possibility of working with them.
The upshot is that in June, Archer Avenue heads to Burkank, California to record their full-length debut at Anderson's Dogbone Studios. Anderson - also the co-founder of Little Dog Records - will serve as executive producer on the sessions, with industry vets Tony Rambo (The Donnas, Dwight Yoakam) producing and engineering, and Sally Browder (Wayne Kramer, the Red Aunts) mixing, mastering, and editing.
Archer Avenue formed in 2003 from the remnants of local fixtures such as Face Down, Grey Ghost, and Psycho Plague. Last year, they released an EP titled Left of the Dial, and spent much of last summer touring the southwest.
La Reina's legacy
The pat response to the tragic passing of Tejano legend Laura Canales has been to say that she paved the way for other women in the male-dominated world of Tejano, that without her there would have been no Selena. While there's some truth to this, it's also inadvertently belittling, as if to say Janis Joplin deserves to be remembered primarily because she cut a path for Joss Stone.
Canales merits remembrance for her own achievements, which included an early stint with El Conjunto Bernal (like Canales, a product of Kingsville), a gig as lead vocalist with Snowball and Co. (later known as Felicidad) and a highly popular solo career. She also showed a willingness to buck showbiz convention by going back to school in her late thirties, to set an example for her younger fans.
Compiled by Gilbert Garcia