I've been meaning to write about the ACL Festival last weekend and since I’m experiencing a complete writer’s block with another project, here we go.
ACL reflections (I spent a long time linking these songs so listen to them or I will wish ill upon you):
1) I missed The Mountain Goats because I didn’t get out of work early enough.
2) The Black Keys, who are awesome, were not awesome live.
3) A combination of the mild heat and the 16OZ can of
’s own Green Leaf tea sloshing around in my stomach made me sick and I left after two hours so I wouldn’t be someone’s memory of a vomiting festival goer. Austin
1) I arrived in time for Pete Yorn, who was amazingly unexceptional, so I cut his crowded set in half and visited Bear in Heaven. They were a band to see, and I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time at Yorn’s show. Pete Yorn is the Dane Cook of music and if you know Pete Yorn and Dane Cook but still don’t know what I’m talking about, I would like for you to identify yourself. But Bear in Heaven. Underappreciated. Awesome.
2) The Dough Rollers held my attention after The Gaslight Anthem could not. The Dough Rollers are a foot-stomping, old-timey, blues-roaring duo. Quite impressive. I found out the next day that the lead singer is none other than
Harrison “Han Solo” Ford’s son.
3) After a few false starts, I settled at a three-drum set group called Beats Antique. Very talented, these kids. They even gimmicked a belly dancer for some of their songs. On top of her being brow-perspiringly desirable, her moves were original and not primarily, or secondarily for that matter, belly dancing. There was mechanical rigidity to her movement that I don’t know how to categorize. Anyway, I love her.
4) While tip-toeing over crossed legs and intimately brushing past sweaty men and women in bikinis, a man called out, “Hey, Crabby!” Naturally, I turned. He was an old man in a collapsible chair beside an equally old woman. “You can’t walk past here unless you have a smile on your face.” I laughed and continued on. I wasn’t mad. I wasn’t bothered by anything, in fact. I just scowl.
5) I lost a solid hour catching up with friends I hadn’t seen for a while but ended up at LCD Sound System. For a bunch of middle aged unsexy musicians, they had a packed . . . field and their show was engaging and fun. I was, of course, drunk by then so I’m perhaps not the most reliable source.
6) Muse. Ah Muse, how I don’t understand your appeal. They were the Saturday headliner and people were going completely ape shit over them. They put on an aesthetically pleasing performance, but I’m apparently the only person in
who thinks their music is boring and unoriginal. Austin
1) The Constellations were my Sunday highlight. I chanced upon them and took them first to be clowns by their ridiculous hip. But if they must be clowns, let them be clowns of cool. The link is the best sound I could find but trust me when I say that the two women are stifled on record 'cause live, they held the band together.
2) Sunburns. Sore neck. Aching back. Dusty feet. $7 beer. $5 Torchy’s taco.
3) Let me first say, lastly, that I love The Flaming Lips. I love The Flaming Lips. But they spent more time on their presentation than did playing music. Yeah, if you’re a rock star, you can make your audience meow like a cat but that doesn’t make it right. The looping video of a nude woman dancing was, perversion aside, very interesting and kept the slow moments dynamic, but I found The Lips’ reluctance to perform to be arrogant. They redeemed themselves by ending the show with one of my favorite songs ever written, “Do You Realize??” and thus concluding my time at ACL, for I couldn’t think of anything more exhausting than staying for two hours of soft rocking Eagles.
3.1) Flat tire upon returning to my car. Air compressor. A rush home.
3.2) I witness a three-car collision and heroically stop to check on everyone. Flashing police and ambulances. People shouting in Vietnamese. Cops shouting in English. I go home and sleep. Strange and unusual weekend.