Monday, September 26, 2005

ACL Update Saturday - Drive-By Truckers Posted by Picasa

ACL Update Saturday - Drive-By Truckers Posted by Picasa

ACL Update Saturday - Drive-By Truckers Posted by Picasa

ACL Update Saturday - Death Cab for Cutie Posted by Picasa

ACL Update Saturday - Death Cab for Cutie Posted by Picasa

ACL Update Saturday - Built to Spill Posted by Picasa

ACL Update Saturday - Asylum Street Spankers Posted by Picasa

ACL Update Saturday - Drive-By Truckers Posted by Picasa

ACL Update Sunday - Rachael Yamagata Posted by Picasa

ACL Update Sunday - Linda and Rachael Posted by Picasa

ACL Update Sunday - Deb and Rachael Posted by Picasa

ACL Update Sunday - Bruce and Rachael Posted by Picasa

ACL Update Sunday - Tristan Prettyman Posted by Picasa

ACL Update Arcade Fire Posted by Picasa

ACL Update Sunday's Dust bowl Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 25, 2005

ACL Update Sunday- Part 7

I finished off the weekend laid back on the grass listening to Jack Ingram. I’m pretty sure I’ve listened to him at this event before. He calls himself “country”, but he has a strong rock sound within that country. It’s a fun show and I suppose if I was up closer I would have enjoyed it even more.

And so we come to the end of another ACL Festival. I know we all had a great time again. Jim, don’t hurt yourself kicking yourself. I heard a rumor that the show has already been set for the first weekend in October next year. That is a great time for me, and I’m pretty sure I will be here again. I know I’ve left lots of stuff out and I hope to get the pictures posted soon. But for now, I’m signing off from Austin. Thanks for visiting my blog and don’t forget to bookmark this page for next year’s show.

ACL Update Sunday- Part 6

The Arcade Fire was the band I came to see. With the sun beating down, I decided to just get a good but long distance view of the stage and a nice view of the screen. So, were they everything people had been saying? I love the CD, but live is always something different. All I can say is that I am still kicking myself for not blowing off Lyle Lovitt (my favorite act on Friday) and seeing them at a club in town. I have no doubt these guys and gals would have blown the roof off of any club in town. The live show consists of about 9 members. I had trouble keeping track because they kept changing places and instruments. Female lead singer became accordion player, became drummer, became bells/percussionist. Violinist became deadly percussionist (more on that later). French horn player… just played the French horn. But, he did get into a pseudo fight with the male violinist. This guy, the violin player was totally crazy out there. At one point he was banging his sticks on anything that didn’t move. Later in the show he pretty much beat the crap out of a cymbal that was attached to a stand. He was actually hitting it as hard as he could and then picked it up and smashed it against things. And this wasn’t even the main attraction as the songs carried on around him. But he reflected the energy and emotion that everyone in this band carried. The music was good, they were fun to watch and they rocked the place. I am constantly amazed at the younger audiences and how they are accepting bands that might not have made it back when we were younger. This was easily my favorite set of the weekend. I need to see them in a smaller venue.

ACL Update Sunday- Part 5

While we waited for Rachael to sign our CDs, The Dove’s played in the background. I had not heard them before and really liked what they were playing. They are on my add list now. At this point, we all split off and did not regroup for the rest of the day. I went and laid down, because a)it was hot, b) I wanted my feet to be rested for the next band c) it was friggin’ hot. I found a nice piece of dirt with about 80 percent shade and relaxed for about 45 minutes.

ACL Update Sunday- Part 4

Up next was Rachael Yamagata. Mike, why didn’t I listen to you? She was fantastic. A great set, much more lively than I had anticipated. I thought for some reason that she was mainly a piano girl, but she actually spent more time behind her guitar (except when someone spilled a beer on her electronics and messed everything up for a few songs). Anyway, it was an excellent set and we couldn’t help but go buy her CD and get it autographed.

ACL Update Sunday- Part 3

We then split up. Maria and I went to see a Columbian band she had waiting all week for. Once again, with no announcement from the stage beforehand, they were replaced (couldn’t get a flight in) by some country band (I was so pissed at this point I couldn’t even tell you who they were). We marched off, along with several other Columbian nationals that we had met. At this point I went to the information booth to see who else had canceled. I could help but start my rant when I got there. That got the attention of a higher up who listened and told us where to write to complain. He then gave us a couple bottles of water. I guess I felt a bit better.

ACL Update Sunday- Part 2

We start off at Tristan Prettyman’s show. Maria, Deb, Linda and I where to share only two shows today. We missed half of Tristan’s show, but enjoyed what we did hear. She plays acoustic guitar and sings very personal songs. She had the women in the audience going fairly crazy.

ACL Update Sunday- Part 1

Today was going to be a challenge. We knew going in that it was going to be hot. I don’t think we thought it would get to… 107 degrees. And it felt every bit like it. There was no wind most of the day and not a cloud in the sky for relief. What a scorcher. I had decided that I was not going to try and do battle down in the pits today. So, most of the pictures did not turn out that great. The other thing we weren’t prepared for was the dust. Although this is the same field as every other year, the wind from the previous days and then the heat today caused dust clouds to raise and stay afloat throughout the day. If I can figure out why Blogger isn’t uploading my pictures, I’ll pass on an amazing picture I got of the dust. Lots of people were wearing surgical masks or bandanas over their mouths. Every exposed inch of my body had dirt on it. I’m surprise the drain didn’t clog when I finally get my shower tonight. But as always, I’m getting ahead of myself.

ACL Update Saturday - Part 5

I joined back up with Deb and Linda (yes a new name here… we met up with Linda early in the day and she just started following us around) and we finished off the night with the Drive-By Truckers. I love these guys. They are a southern fried rock and roll band with a conscience. They tell stories of despair and deal with issues that LS (do I have to say their name?) would never have thought of attacking. And the three guitar and slide attack can be overpowering. It was a good show and a nice way to end the night. As we left we were able to hear some of Oasis’ set. We were too tired and the crowd was too big, so we skipped it. They sounded really good though. We ducked the rain and got a bit of wind to cool us off. Not sure what tomorrow will bring (okay actually I am because I was late getting this out, but I wanted to sound dramatic).

ACL Update Saturday - Part 4

By the time Death Cab for Cutie came on stage, all the kids (okay, many were of drinking age, but that was about the oldest around us) were crowded in pretty tight. I had been on my feet a long time and this was going to be a painful show. But, Death Cab delivered a solid performance and that helped minimize the pain. Unfortunately, the vocals were too low in the mix. The audience made up for that by singing along with many of the songs. I have only listened to their latest CD, but this show makes me want to go back and check out the older stuff. One of the things that struck me most about them was there unassuming attitude on stage. They were just regular guys who were somehow suddenly famous. Their following is a bit strange. A young guy who was no were near 18 yelled out, “I love you”, to the lead singer. Not too much later another guy yelled “I want to have your baby”. I’m not sure how he was planning to do that, but I got a good laugh out of it.

ACL Update Saturday - Part 3

We all split up and I decided to check out Built to Spill so that I could have a good spot for Death Cab for Cutie. I ended up right up front, and was probably the oldest person there. Not generally a problem for me, but the older crowds that are up front are a bit more fun for me to hang around. I did meet up again with a brother and sister who had been living in their car for a few months as they traveled around the southwest. Nice people with their heads on very straight. We had a few minor problems with the kids around us, and it was nice to have someone I could actually talk to near by.

Built to Spill is an interesting band. They have three guitars and push a mid-tempo rock attack. The leader of the group at times sounded like Neil Young, but that may have just been the sound system. Overall I liked their style.

ACL Update Saturday - Part 2

Our first full concert was The Asylum Street Spankers. Great name and it fits. They are a bluegrass based band; sort of. They actually went in several directions moving from 30's swing to a medley of TV themes. But there were two very big highlights. The first was called something like Hick Cop and was a combination of a country music and rap with lots of explicit lines and parts of the theme from The Beverly Hillbillies. The second highlight was a bluegrass version of NIN's "Closer (I want to f*** you like an animal)". The intensity of the original performance was replaced by the insanity of the whole band making animal sounds instead of singing the word "animal". I was laughing so hard I almost fell over. Check them out at: .

ACL Update - Saturday Part 1

Saturday was a mess. Most of the no-shows because of Rita hit us on Saturday. After waiting an hour in the heat (at least there was a breeze) they announced that Kathleen Edwards was being replaced by a Louisiana version of the White Stripes. This pair was bad; or at least not ready for this. Part way through one of their songs, they just stopped and looked at each other. This wouldn’t have happened if the management of ACL hadn’t mismanaged the relationships it had with local talent. Austin is one of the richest sources of music in the nation. Not one (that I know of) of the 8 or 9 replacement bands was from Austin. Only FEMA could have screwed this up more.

Meanwhile, they asked Tracy Bonham to do a solo show (as a replacement band) since she was performing with Aqualung. She stole a couple of members of Aqualung for a couple of songs and played with another woman (sorry, can’t remember her name) for awhile. It was a nice try, but again, there were dozens of Austin performers who could have filled in. While I’m on this rant, understand that everyone was in town. Bob Schneider had played shows during that weekend. Alejandro Escovedo and Jon Dee Graham were playing shows. All it would have taken was a phone call. Colin Herring was in town too along with that whole Sin City group. Okay, enough ranting for now.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

ACL Update - Friday Part 6

The signing made us miss most of John Prine’s show. Everyone we talked to loved it as he kept the band simple and played both old and new songs. He was, like so many others, political. He even changed the lyrics of a song to point a finger at the current administration.

As the sun set in Austin, the stage was set up for 18 people. Yep, it was time for Lyle Lovitt’s Large Band. I’ve never seen Lyle and the sight and sound of 18 musicians, and not just musicians but musician’s musicians, was fantastic. The full 18 only did a few songs at the beginning and at the end. The rest of the time he moved around between a 5 piece and an 8 or 9 piece band. Many of the band members have either been long time members of his band or are part of rock and roll history or both; with too many to mention here. It was a great show. I did have a few complaints: It took forever for him to get on stage (the band did a whole solo piece first), he did an extended joke asking the audience to guess whether band members drove trucks, and he gave the cellist an extended solo. During a full show, this is all fine. But with only an hour and a quarter to work with, he could have tightened up his set a bit. It was the best show of the night though.

ACL Update - Friday Part 5

No time to waste, we had to go all the way across the field to see Lucinda Williams. Amazingly, we were able to get on the center isle and within about 15 feet from the front. The wind was keeping us cool, even as the temperature reached into the high 90’s. While we waited, we sat next to a guy who owned a record store in New Orleans (check out although they are out of business right now). He has been in Austin since the storm and doesn’t know if he will be able to go back. His store is in good shape, but all of his customers are gone and it will be some time before he will be able to open up again.

Lucinda was in the same spirit as when we saw her a couple of weeks ago. She was happy and really enjoying being out there. The set was more country than rock this time, probably because she was in Texas. One of the highlights, again, was her new song Jailhouse Tears. Someday she will record it with someone like Hank Williams III and it is sure to be a country hit (although radio may have a problem with some of the lyrics). At the end she did two songs of redemption; the second being “Get Right with God”. She was having so much fun at that point that she was wiggling her hips big time. And we were all having a blast watching.

We decided to do the autograph thing with Lucinda. Unfortunately she wasn’t doing the picture thing. But we had a great time in line sharing stories. One of my favorite stories of the weekend was from a woman who had driven out here because her friend at the last minute decided to not go. The flake was avoiding her as late as the Wednesday before the show. The highlight to the story was while she was trying to contact the flake, a call came in from the flake’s business partner wondering why her partner had locked herself in the closet afraid to talk to the storyteller. I had trouble getting past that, “locked herself in the closet” line: We were laughing so hard.

ACL Update - Friday Part 4

While they set up the stage for Steve Earle and his band, Kasabian played on the next stage. We really enjoyed the music. It had a New Wave energy and reminded me a lot of the Buzzcocks.

Enough people left after Asleep at the Wheel to allow us to get right up front. Steve Earle came out with “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” playing on the sound system and proceeded to give us a rockin’ political set. “Usually”, he said, “When we play festivals we just play the hits… but”. He then played several songs from the new CD, “The Revolution Starts Here”, but did get a few hits in, including Jerusalem and Copperhead Road. His wife, Alison Moorer joined him on stage for a few songs. He kept his comments to a minimum and let his music do the talking; but it spoke loud and clear.

ACL Update - Friday Part 3

Instead of seeing the Ditty Bops, we… decided to do our shopping. Let’s see… One t-shirt for me, a poster of course, and the CD and DVD from last year’s show. Maria bought… I’m not sure what they are, but she assured me they were made of metal. Actually, they are very cute toys… I think.

We had a bit of time before Steve Earle hit the stage so we decided to catch the end of the Asleep at the Wheel show. As you can see from the pictures, the fans where enjoying the swing time. And no, this was not a religious moment for Ray, or even a Celine Dion moment (maybe I should have said a Darth Vader moment). He was simply saying “Who me?” to the local cop who pulled him over in his Hot Rod Lincoln. Lots of fun for everyone.

ACL Update - Friday Part 2

Kate York and the Ditty Bops both decided or where unable to make it into Austin so ACL less than an hour old was causing us to make changes in our schedules. We decided to check out Kate’s replacement, Kate Earl. This stunningly beautiful Alaskan woman couldn’t have been much over 20, and her innocence seemed to show. It was very sweet to see as she sang songs about her younger brother and her late father (he died the day before her sweet sixteen). She sounds like Fiona Apple’s close cousin, but doesn’t have her knack for words just yet. She is young though. We enjoyed her set and look forward to revisiting her somewhere down the line.

ACL Update - Friday Part 1

They were late. I think they are always late. Why can’t they get this right? This is the fourth ACL and you’d think they would have it down by now. So, they opened about 15 minutes late, but then we had to wait since we were way back in line. Most of the Austin Collins Band set played while we were in line. It was nice getting serenaded by this local alt-country band. But it would have been nicer to be in front of the stage.

Acl update

Kathleen Edwards no showed and was replaced by a southern version of the White Stripes. No thank you.

Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

Acl update

What rain? It isn't even noon and it is so much hotter than yesterday. Rita went way east and we may get no rain. Tracy Bonham is playing on the stage next to us. She sounds great. Kathleen Edwards is up next. More later. Oh, still behind on the posts from yesterday. They will appear tonight.

Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

Friday, September 23, 2005

ACL Update - Thursday Pre Shows - Part 3

Yes, they are sophomoric. Yes, they are crude, rude and have no redeeming value to humanity (unless you want to consider Bob using his hands to show some of his sexual techniques). So why are they a must see band? Lots of bands can reach their level of intensity (okay, maybe not lots, but they exist). But no band… no band gives you: Rap, rock, metal, funk, rockabilly and “Saturday in the Park”, all in the same show (sometimes several in one song), and done with the power, skill and sexuality that bands normally only hope to achieve with one style. When Bob Schneider wants to turn it up a notch, he is a tremendous performer; and the Scabs seem to bring that out in him. This is especially true during ACL week, when he knows there are lots of fans from around the country here to see the infamous band. This was my second time seeing them and my first time up front. What a trip! Everyone is just bouncing around, dancing and totally in to it all. If the Scabs play every year the night before ACL, I plan on being there.

ACL Update - Thursday Pre Shows - Part 2

Colin herring was up next. He had his own steel guitar player, "my dad", he announced to us. Then he went on to tell us that this was his first sober performance in years, having just gotten out of rehab 30 days ago. He reminded us of a nervous and shy Ryan Adams. I really love his CD and look forward to seeing a full show some day.

Opening for the Scabs was Dames Violet. They are a modern rock band with a big sound. They remind me a lot of Palo Alton but not as dark. Most of their songs were very radio friendly, although I'm not really sure I know what that means anymore. They were a nice warmup for the main attraction. Sorry, no pictures.