I’m with C., this is really ridiculous. If I’m reading this right, then Congress Avenue is closed from 10th Street to Oltorf from 7am to 5pm today along with Oltorf between Congress and South First? That’s only two entries on a page that you have to scroll because there’s so many closed street listings. And would it kill them to include a map?
Forget trying to go down Lamar near 15th either with Eeyore’s going on today. It seems like Austin always packs way too much on the last two weekends in April, trying to take advantage of the mild weather before we all start baking.
I was very fortunate to attend an Austin City Limits taping on Sunday evening. This was my third in the past ten years. I saw Roky Erickson last November and got to see Hank Thompson & Ray Price with Junior Brown in 1999. I seem to have a knack for catching legendary musicians late in their careers.
This time it was “Pinetop” Perkins and Bettye LaVette. Ninety-five year old Perkins was up first. He arrived at the stage in a wheelchair and was helped up onto it by an ACL employee. He made it across the stage on his own and seated himself at the piano wearing an impressive red suit and hat. The backing band consisted of many local veteran musicians including Chris Layton, Mark “Kaz” Kazanoff, Gary Clark Jr. and also included another Blues legend, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, on harmonica. “Big Eyes” has played with “Pinetop” Perkins for many years both on drums and harmonica. I didn’t know this until I started checking him out after the show, but they were both in Muddy Waters band and formed their own Legendary Blues Band, appearing behind John Lee Hooker in The Blues Brothers. Wikipedia claims he’s the only other musician shown clearly on camera in that scene. Time to go check out The Blues Brothers again. KUT did an award winning documentary on Perkins last summer. It was kind of hard to hear Perkins over the band. They turned up his mike after the first song. He’s definitely showing his age, something to be expected at 95, but it was definitely a honor to be able to see him play, one of, if not the, last boogie woogie piano players. In a really weird coincidence, “Down in Mississippi” came on the stereo in the coffee shop where I’m working this morning.
Here’s the set list:
DOWN IN MISSISSIPPI
BIG FAT MAMA
Bettye LaVette was up next after a long intermission between bands.
Austinite Terrence Malick’s latest, Tree of Life, has been filming in here since February.
The Wife was in the GNC in Sunset Valley a couple of weeks ago and was told by one of the clerks that she had just missed Brad Pitt.
Today, she’s at ABIA heading out of town and spotted Sean Penn who she described as “taller than I thought”. I told her to tell him that she loves Bad Boys (no, not the one with Martin Lawrence and Will Smith) & Fast Times and to give him props for his appearance on the ”Fort Knoxville“ episode of Viva La Bam. We won’t speak of I Am Sam, Shanghai Surprise or the overacting in Mystic River. Penn also had a small part in Malick’s last film, The Thin Red Line, along with a ton of other well known actors.
Matt Dentler, who just recently moved on from doing the programming for SXSW Flim. blogged last year about an unexpected dinner with Malick that also included Richard Linklater and Francis Ford Coppola at Vespaio. Malick also produced the documentary about development and Barton Springs, The Unforeseen, which is currently playing at Alamo South Lamar (and mentioned earlier this week on this blog).
Aloha, Mr. Hand.
I must say that it appears that the ACL organizers are listening to feedback. The festival is the latest in the year it’s been and this is the best mix of bands in the last few years. I’m still just going to buy a 1 Day pass and try to catch some of the side shows this year though. Foo Fighters are a good choice for headliner. They crossed over to arena rock level with the last tour. I’m not that interested in fighting the ACL headliner crowds to see them.
I’m sure you’re dying to hear my opinion so here’s the names that I’ll pull out of the lineup:
M. Ward – I’d check him out though I wish he were with Zooey Deschanel doing She and Him instead.
MGMT - A little too electronic for me, but lots of people dig them.
Man Man – Caught them at SXSW this year. I’d see them again. Crazy stuff. I still need to post a review.
Vampire Weekend - They were the darlings of this year’s SXSW. Now you have a chance to see them.
Against Me! - No doubt to quell the complaints of the lack of harder stuff and the advanced age of most of the ACL artists in past festivals
Silversun Pickups - I’ve heard they’re better live than in recordings.
Gogol Bordello – They also made a splash at SXSW several years ago. You should’ve caught them at Emo’s, but they’ll still be fun at ACL.
Erykah Badu – She’s amazing. Again, glad to see they’re branching out a bit from the typical ACL fare.
N.E.R.D – See above.
Raconteurs – Rocked it at ACL two years ago and we don’t have to worry about Meg White ruining the whole thing and canceling it.
Mars Volta – I loved At The Drive-In and the first two Mars Volta records. They lost me with Amputechture and I haven’t even checked out the new one. Stiil would be worth checking out if you missed them last week.
Beck – Still kicking myself for missing his SXSW performance in, what was it? 1993? 1994? Should be good.
Who’re you going to see?
Guanabee (via Austin Soundcheck) is starting a rumor that Prince might be playing ACL this year based on his recent addition to the Coachella lineup and that they claim to hear Prince in the Car Stereo (Wars) teaser mashup of ACL artists that was released earlier this week. I can hear Gnarls Barkley, Silversun Pickups and Raconteurs in there among others, but nothing jumps out at me as a Prince track. Just because The Purple One is playing one major festival this summer doesn’t mean he’s playing others.
However, I’ll add that Prince has had locals Groupo Fantasma as his backing band on more than one occasion and he did play a private party at The Belmont last year, so he’s got Austin ties these days. Maybe it’s not so far fetched. We only have to wait 5 more days to find out for sure.
I tried to stop at P. Terry’s on Friday after work to pick up dinner for the kids and I, but was thwarted by APD and crime scene tape. Josephine St. was blocked off at Barton Springs Rd. and Butler Rd. was blocked off at Lamar Blvd. along with tape all around the perimeter of P. Terry’s. I could see a couple of employees inside the burger stand and several standing around in the parking lot. I checked the Statesman for the last two days and didn’t see anything. Does anybody know what happened?
I was really annoyed that they weren’t open as I had my heart set on one of their burgers with jalapenos. I hope no one was hurt.
I got even more annoyed when I got to South Congress at Riverside. I started to turn south to find an alternative to P. Terry’s only to run into a mass of stopped traffic because of the hot rod rally. I ended up hooking into the parking lot of Freebird’s to get back to Riverside and head east to avoid the traffic problems. Speaking of the hot rod shenanigans, The Statesman ran a nice article on Steve Wertheimer and the Continental Club on Saturday.
I was lucky enough to get a day pass for Monday’s panels at SXSW Interactive. I’ve been meaning to post this for a couple of weeks, but both of my kids picked up some sort of stomach flu and then I came down with the SXSW Plague, aka SXSARS. I attended five panels that day:
- Scalability Boot Camp
- A Critical Look at OpenID
- Browser Wars: Deja Vu All Over Again?
- Transforming Hospital Systems: The Digital Future of Health Care
- Building Portable Social Networks
Before I get to the recap of the panels that I attended, I thought I’d highlight some general things about SXSWi this year. The big news that’s already been hashed to death was the audience revolt during the Mark Zuckerberg interview. Apparently, the Frank Warren (PostSecret) keynote was pretty good. Zappos gets the marketing genius award for being prescient enough to hand out ponchos during a downpour around lunch time. At one point as I walked to Taco Shack for a quick lunch, nearly every single person within sight downtown was a walking advertisement for Zappos. Sorry, didn’t get a shot of it, but there are plenty of photos on Flickr.
Oh, the parties. I did manage to make one or two of the insane number of parties. I went to the Laughing Squid / blip.tv thing on Friday night. It was completely packed with people overflowing into the Tap Room (formerly B Side). I attended the Frog Design Party on Saturday night. There was plenty of space there with the outdoor bars and performances. I caught a couple of songs with Groupo Fantasma. The bar lines were long throughout the night with people throwing down mixed drinks and green beer. I’m assuming the green was for frog and not an early nod to St. Patrick’s Day. I was turned away like many others by the massive line at the 16bit party at Scoot Inn. Apparently, the capacity had shrunk since booking the event. I returned to the Scoot Inn later in the week for the music festival and thoroughly enjoyed myself however (more on that later). We had the Metroblogging Meetup at Rio Rita on Sunday.
I brought my 9 year old to ScreenBurn Arcade on Sunday as well. It was all Guitar Hero and Rock Band this year . Dell had a bunch of real guitars modded to play guitar hero. The Boy also got a chance to play Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii which had just been released that day.
Check out the panel notes with photos after the jump.