Badu Backs Down, Lizard Lounge Branches Out and Mind Spiders Goes Under Surveillance.

Before moving on to this week's new local music news and notes, we should first update you on the lead item from last week's column.

Last month, you may remember, Erykah Badu came under some pretty serious international fire when she performed at a party for the tyrant king of Swaziland. And, despite condemnation from several human rights organizations, Badu refused to apologize for her performance or admit to any wrongdoing.

So staunch was Badu in her decision, that, as of press time last week, she was even scheduled to perform for a second African dictator this past Saturday at The Gambia's The International Roots Festival. Last Thursday, however, The Gambia's The National Organising Committee sent out a press release stating Badu's performance had been cancelled “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

Gotta say, they probably should have seen that one coming.

Moving on, the area around Kessler Theater is set to get a facelift beginning in July. According to the Oak Cliff Advocate, the nearly million dollar Davis Street improvements will include “bollards, bike racks, trees, planters and historically accurate streetlights,” and should be completed by January of 2015.

Sticking with the ever-evolving local venue front, Culture Map reports that Don Nedler, owner of Deep Ellum dance club The Lizard Lounge, has recently acquired Ellum's boutique dance space that was previously operating as Eden. His intent, he tells that site, is to “provide an alternate smaller space where customers can go on nights that the Lizard Lounge is not open.”In the coming months, Nedler plans on updating the club's sound system, among other improvements.

Then there's St. Vincent, who teamed with nationally award-winning Chicago-based coffee roaster Intelligentsia Coffee to release a signature coffee for the brand called, rather aptly, named Bring Me Your Mugs. According to the company, St. Vincent chose a sweet, citrus-forward Costa Rican coffee with notes of orange marmalade, brown sugar and lime zest. It'll be available at Intelligentsia locations around the country — sadly, none of which are in Dallas — as well as on St. Vincent's official website.

Also in the spotlight this week is Mind Spiders, which released a double music video for its songs “Skull-Eyed” and “City Stuff,” shot on multiple closed circuit cameras by Keven McAlester, who also produced the 2005 Roky Erickson documentary, You're Gonna Miss Me.

Likewise, Oak Cliff rapper Dustin Cavazos released a new video this week featuring several familiar locations from that neighborhood. According to Cavazos' Facebook page, the new song “I Wrote This Song For You” was written this past Sunday, just a day before the video was posted online.

On a down note, Austin outlaw country outfit Mike and the Moonpies suffered a rather crushing blow while performing at Uptown venue The Rustic this past Saturday. According to the band's site, the band's van, trailer and roughly $25,000 of gear were stolen from the parking lot of a Dallas La Quinta following the gig.

“The hardest part was losing the sentimental pieces,” says guitarist Catlin Rutherford in a press release. Rutherford, in particular, lost a mic stand with the words “Purple Sage” painted on the base that came from his family's now-closed dance hall of the same name in Uvalde. For a full list of gear to be on the lookout for — or to donate money to the band's gear replacement fund — head here.

Elsewhere: Girls Rock Dallas will kick off fundraising efforts for this summer's camps with a happy hour benefit this Saturday, May 17 at Black Swan; the Old 97's current album, Most Messed Up, debuted at No. 30 on the Billboard 200 and the top 10 of Billboard's Independent Albums chart, making it the highest debut of the band's two decades-long career; and Chambers announced that it will release its debut full-length for The Record Machine as part of a June 6 show at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton.

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