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Hot Springs gallery owner books big exhibit 

Huge news out of Hot Springs: Joshua Varnedore, owner of Gallery 801, recently managed quite a coup when he booked the first U.S. exhibition of the artwork of Riceboy Sleeps. The show will open on Aug. 3 as part of Hot Springs’ monthly gallery walk. A collaboration between Sigur Ros’ Jon Birgisson and Parachutes’ Alex Somers, Riceboy Sleeps is an art and music side project for the Icelandic duo. Last year, they debuted a series of pieces framed in old window frames. Varnedore says that he sent an e-mail to the address on Riceboy’s website, expecting to get in touch with the duo’s manager and hoping for, at best, a “yeah, your gallery is cool, maybe we’ll keep in touch in the future.” Instead, he got a reply from Alex Somers and was soon talking to him and Birgisson over the phone. Varnedore played ambassador to Hot Springs with the duo, selling the city’s natural and historic beauty. For all the initial enthusiasm, a sticking point came when Varnedore discovered that shipping the frames over would be prohibitively expensive. But the intrepid gallery owner managed to find an abandoned house nearby with old frames that Riceboy liked even better than the ones they’d been using. Birgisson and Somers will be in town for the show, which will run through Sept. 7. Adding to the allure, shoegaze heroes Hammock will perform live for the first time ever at the after-party for the opening.

Mulehead’s song “Frankie Lee” is included on “Americana,” a forthcoming CD from Putumayo World Music. Mike Cusanelli, the former head of Zen Ark Records, which released Mulehead’s “Rocket Surgery,” is the connection. He’s now the vice president of record retail for Putumayo. The Mulehead track joins songs by artists like Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez, Robert Earl Keen and Old Crow Medicine Show.

The Boondogs will play AETN’s version of “Austin City Limits” July 25. At 7 p.m. the band will perform for an episode of “AETN Presents: Front Row” that’ll be aired on Aug. 15. The taping is open to the public. RSVP at www.aetn.org or 1-800-662-2386 before July 23.

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