Saturday, September 15, 2007

ACL Day 2

I stayed for a much shorter time today, because the heat was stifling. I saw the following acts today:

  • Sylvia St. James
  • Dax Riggs
  • Back Door Slam
  • Railroad Earth
  • Stephen Marley
  • BeauSoliel
  • and a smidgen of Artic Monkeys

The highlights of the day were Back Door Slam, Railroad Earth and Stephen Marley. The only thumbs down went to Dax Riggs. (I'm mystified how he was booked for the festival to be bluntly honest).

Stephen Marley sounds eerily like his father, Bob. He did a full hour of Reggae with his own music, as well as three of his father's songs, Buffalo Soldier, No Woman No Cry, and Could You Be Loved. The band was tight, and the very large crowd was into it.

I don't hate Bluegrass, but I don't listen to a lot of it either. If all Bluegrass Bands sounded like Railroad, I would listen to a lot more. There was some shredding going on with between the mandolin, banjo, and violin players. They were trading 8's like it was going out of style.

Back Door Slam was an English Blues Rock Trio, reminiscent of Cream. The leader of the band, sings like Jack Bruce and plays like Clapton. I'd go see them in a heartbeat again, too!

Railroad Earth

Stephen Marley's Band

Friday, September 14, 2007

ACL Day 1

Well I just returned from my first grueling day at the Austin City Limits Festival. I'm covered with sweat, tired and have blisters on my feet. I saw the following bands:

  • One Mississippi
  • The Greyhounds
  • Asleep at the Wheel with Austin Celebrity, Ray Benson
  • Jesse Malin
  • Heartless Bastards
  • Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
  • Blonde Redhead
  • Big Sam's Funky Nation
  • Joss Stone
  • Spoon
  • Andy Palacio and the Garfina Collective
  • Queens of the Stone Age
  • Gotan Project
  • The Killers

For me the highlights of the day were Bela Fleck, Gotan, Big Sam's, and Andy Palacio. Bela and company are still amazing, with Future Man appearing to have some new tricks. At times during their set, he now plays a traditional drum kit with his right arm and foot, while keeping his left hand on the Drumitar. All I can say is wow!

Gotan was another surprise. They're a unique fusion of Tango, Nu Jazz, and Electronica. They drew a big crowd and with good reason. The other two bands were Funk/Gospel groups that just kicked ass, and took no prisoners. Everyone was bopping along.

I enjoyed the rest of the day. Although I would be hard pressed to say what I liked about Hearrtless Bastard and One Mississippi. The Killers were good, but had a larger buzz than I thought they deserved. I'm not sure what the fuss is all about.

I had wanted to see Bjork, but found myself too tired to last it out for the end of the night show. I know now that I will be exhausted when ACL ends in two nights.

The Calm Before the Storm

Asleep at the Wheel

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones setting up

T-minus 5 hours

I have my wristband, and ACL starts in approximately 5 hours. Will hopefully be able to report on things daily. My main objective today is to catch Bela Fleck.

More to follow ...

MNF Follow Up

The NFL acknowledged that the ref made a bad call in Monday's game. To add to the week1 strangeness, the Patriots were busted this week trying to intercept the Jets' defensive signals and were fined heavily by the league and docked a draft pick.

In both cases however, the L stays put for both the Ravens and the Jets. Gee, thanks NFL, I know fans in Baltimore and NY are much happier now!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

RIP: Joe Zawinul

Another of my Jazz heros passed away on this past Tuesday (9/11), Joe Zawinul. Once again, the hustle and bustle of normal life resulted in my missing the news, two days ago. Thanks to the Sonic Talk Podcast for mentioning this.

Fortunately, I was able to see the Zawinul Syndicate once. I would have loved to have seen him with Weather Report and Cannonball Adderley, however! I'll have to listen to Birdland and Mercy, Mercy, Mercy sometime this weekend.

NPR did a wonderful job looking at his life and art.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ravens vs. the Bengals on MNF

Well my Ravens opened their season with a Prime Time game this past Monday, against the Bengals. In keeping with their recent tradition of playing shitty on MNF and in the rain, they managed to turn the ball over 6 times and amass a ton of injuries. B.J. Sams our ProBowl caliber kick returner, has had a season ending injury at Paul Brown stadium for the last 2 years. (Talk about Bad Kharma!) Unfortunately, the special teams drop-off will hurt us.

Despite all of this, our D played fantastically in the 2nd half, and the Ravens took the lead in the 4th quarter, only to blow it on a stupid interception. Then, they almost tied the game with less than 90 seconds with a TD Pass from Kyle Boller to Todd Heap. Unfortunately, in what will go down as the worst fucking call I have ever seen in an NFL game, Heap was called for Offensive PI. The referee responsible needs to go back to officiating Pop Warner games. Of course, Billick sealed the deal, snatching defeat from the jaws of a tie, with some very questionable play calling.

For now, I'm telling myself it's only the first game of the season. The Jets are next, and are one of the few teams in the NFL worse off than the Ravens, injury wise. (Actually, both NY teams are in trouble already).

On the positive side, Willis McGahee looks like an upgrade from Jamal. And, the Austin City Limits Festival is less than 2 days away now!