Thursday, October 07, 2010

2010 ACL Week - Wednesday (Day 1)

I’ve been apprehensive for weeks now about how this year, my last year at ACL, was going to go. The list of bands playing the event was the weakest (at least for us) since... Well, in the 9 years I’ve been going, this is the worst. Still, you never know what will happen. At least we have the clubs. Or so we thought. Searching on the web for a show tonight turned out to be just as bad. Only Jon Dee Graham was the type of quality performer that we were willing to pay for. What is going on?
But let’s start from the beginning.Jet Blue recently started direct flights from Long Beach to Austin. They also started trading mileage through American Express, while at the same time, Southwest stopped working with AMEX. It was a no brainer. So, for the first time, I had a wonderful quick flight (about 2.5 hours). I barely made a dent in my reading. The highlight was getting to hear most of Vin Scelsa’s show on Sirus/XM’s The Loft. I love listening to his raps and his interesting mix of music, but only get to hear him once in a while since he is only on twice a week and in the middle of the day. Coincidentally, he played several Austin based bands during his two hours, including: Alejandro Escovedo, Scrappy Jud Newcombe and Shawn Colvin. What a wonderful way to fly.
With Deb’s mom in town, Liz and I ended up at (I won’t say the name of the hotel, because it is designed to be cheap) a hotel near their house. Between my bugs and her interesting stains, it is a bit scary.

After settling in, and not having a real meal all day, we took off for our annual trip to Salt Lick BBQ. Now I love tradition as much as the next guy, but this is beyond tradition. It is a calling. It is... the devil waving you in. As you walk through their large gravel parking lot, the smell hits you like a ton of cow (or maybe that’s pigs). In fact, you don’t even have to get out of the car to smell it. In fact, I can smell it now. Oh wait, that’s because there is some in my fridge. Seriously, it is the best BBQ I’ve ever tasted. Just look at these pictures of the pit. Okay, I’ve got to stop because it is 2 in the morning and I’m getting hungry just writing about it.

You would think, with such a large state, there would be room to properly build roads and intersections. Apparently not in South Austin. We couldn't use the GPS that Deb loaned me (oh, that’s another story...The rental agency didn’t have any GPS’s because it was a local dealer and they only sold one a month. They didn’t have any maps either because... Ready? The company wants them to sell more GPS’s). So, the hotel we are staying at has an address which is actually just the highway it is off of. Her GPS wouldn’t let us type in the address. So, I pulled out my IPhone. And with that, we proceeded to drive around in circles for about an hour. We finally called Deb and she some how guided us in. But it is so strange, with highways intersecting and each one has a side road on each side. What a mess!

We finally ended up at The Continental Club to see Jon Dee Graham. I’ve seen him there many times over the years and he puts on a nice show. He rocks hard and has moments of brilliance, but over time, it seems to be missing something. Still, I love seeing him and will probably do so again. I’ve got a nice little performance linked in. The sound was too loud for the camera, but you’ll get a good feel for the show from it. Tomorrow, we are going to a benefit at the park that will feature Robert Randolph. Should be a great time.


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