ACL tickets went on sale today, $160 for a three day pass. Just playing with the idea at this point. Other people are suggesting All Points West as an alternative, which I’m down with despite Vampire Weekend being there.
Also, I’m updating the site a bit. After two and a half years of cutline, I’m trying out atahualpa (which I’m also running on foglands). It’s going to take some time to get it to work like I’d like but it feels good to mix things up.
Check out this panorama from stage right of The Raconteurs set back in Austin. I found myself in two minutes, plus (bonus!) one of the two short people I was with. You can find us faster? Regardless, a fun effect at full screen.
UPDATE: I don’t know why you guys are having trouble with this. It’s as plain as day. Just find this part.
After hopscotching across every single city Southwest Airlines serves today I’m finally back home tonight. The last day of Austin City Limits was fantastic, a great way to close out. Neko Case and Gillian Welch were the best vocalists I saw all weekend (my poor decision to skip Allison Krauss for Beck was slightly absolved when she made an unscheduled day three appearance). The Octopus Project was oddly interesting and infectiously excited to play their weirdness for such a large crowd. Choosing Blues Traveler over Okkervil River was probably the bad call of the day but frankly by that point I was so tired I just needed somewhere to sit to quietly breathe my dust quota in peace.
The Raconteurs were intense but sporadic, though overall I was glad to have seen them. Jack White very much gives off the vibe of the rockstar who’s not long for this earth, his OD coming down the line. Maybe he’s made a conscious fashion decision to bring back the heroin-chic thing but I doubt it. We finished off the night with Band of Horses who pretty much played straight through the album Z gave when I was in Newtown. There’s an ongoing debate about the correlation between a frontman’s beard length and resultant cheesiness of a band’s radio-friendly love songs (Christopher Webb trails Iron & Wine’s Samuel Beam in one metric but not the other throwing the math into disarray).
Coming into town this afternoon was really the first time I’ve felt like San Francisco was home. Maybe a deliriously long weekend sleeping on the floor in a Benedryl induced haze is what it takes to make me feel that way. Thanks again to JP for making this all work – she’s got a flickr set up that trumps mine.
A lot more sun, a lot more dirt, a lot less beer and a ton more water on day two of Austin City Limits. Honestly, today was a down day musically. I missed the Old 97′s and José González (both, scheduled way too early). MGMT was too far off to really hear properly, Man Man was intriguing in a Tom Waits ripoff kinda way but odd for odd’s sake only goes so far. John Fogerty sounded exactly like he did the last time we went to see him play. The Black Keys tore shit up but objectively my musical subconscious just keeps classifying them as the new Bearded White Stripes. When The Raconteurs are playing tomorrow I can’t get too excited about the BWS tonight. Beck just looked uphappy to be playing, stumbling, forgetting lines, turning away from the microphone before he finished lines. And not particularly cool dude, to cut the set fifteen minutes short and refuse to come back for an encore. Some artists are just better in the studio.
The attendance today had to be way higher than yesterday – it was nearly impossible to move around without getting lost in a swarm of people going who knows where and getting to and from venues (see the video below for the kind of crowd I’m talking about). Also, it was dusty dusty dusty, cattle stampede levels of dirt in the air. Tomorrow I may bite the bullet and employ the “sit down between the two best stages and wait for them to come to me” strategy.
A quick update before heading out to finish off the process of being roasted alive at ACL day two today. Seen yesterday – Vampire Weekend, Del tha Funky Homosapien, Patty Griffin, Jenny Lewis, a little David Byrne, N.E.R.D., The Swell Season and Manu Chao. Jenny Lewis was a highlight though they stuck her in the crappiest covered stage making it difficult to see. Particularly good was Rise Up With Fists – I’ve embedded a version from some sort of Sarah Silverman Hee-Haw thing below. The Swell Season was unbelievable, melancholic and uplifting. Glen Hansard’s guitar is completely untuneable and Markéta Irglová had piano issues but they still destroyed with whatever parts of instruments they had left. Manu Chao closed the day with a never-ending & never-wanting-it-to-end party. I don’t think he played Bongo Bong but there was a bunch of other stuff of Clandestino (like Desaparecido, which rocked).
All in all it’s been a good time so far, other than the fact that I can’t breathe at the place I’m crashing due to high levels of allergens put out by a truly evil cat. I can’t believe I unjustly placed that mantel on pure sweet kind little Chloe when it’s this Mia critter that would have killed me already without the magical power of Benadryl intervening.
My biggest regret is not bringing a long lens for my SLR – I didn’t realize that the part where they said no photographic equipment with detachable lenses would be completely unenforced. My TX1 is growing crappier by the day but feel free to check out my ACL flickr set if you have suitably low expectations. I’ll be trying to improve that over the next few days.
I’m off to Austin, TX (deformed steer capital of the world) this afternoon for Austin City Limits. There are technically only two intervening states between here and there (Arizona & New Mexico, if you don’t find yourself sucked into the Vegas vortex) but that’s still two time zones, 1750 miles and an additional fifty degrees Fahrenheit to deal with. Not to mention I’ll be arriving unarmed and will have to make an emergency shotgun purchase at the Austin-Bergstrom duty free shop.
Oh, I almost forgot to add this (I’m a sucker for worthless seizure inducing widgets). These are the bands I’m planning to see.
Thanks YJ, for pointing out that the Austin City Limits schedule is out (minus rumored phantom non-Foo Fighters closing act). I’m totally psyched about this show – here’s a first pass at a working schedule (the presumptive republican nominee put his up here). Of local interest – Allston’s Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed is playing on Saturday (unfortunately, against Del tha Funkee Homosapien of Gorillaz and the brilliant Deltron 3030 fame).
I didn’t go see Radiohead last night at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in St. Louis. This is my karmic penance for mocking the city’s cultural offerings. But luckily enough, I am going to see Beck, Manu Chao, David Byrne, The Raconteurs, Gnarls Barkley, N.E.R.D, Erykah Badu, Iron & Wine, G. Love & Special Sauce, Neko Case, Band of Horses and the Silversun Pickups this September.
Oh, and The Swell Season, Drive-By Truckers and Roky Erickson.
And Del the Funky Homosapien. And The Old 97′s. And José Gonzalez. Now I’m starting to get excited. Come join us in Texas!
Death Cab for Cutie will not be there but if you haven’t heard their new song (I Will Possess Your Heart) it’s worth a listen.