Monday, September 20, 2004

ACL with the bands and the burn

What a weekend. The Austin City Limits music festival was both exhilarating and exhausting. Sunburnt, dirty feet, murky beer-brain, lungs and tongue taste of burned butt (thank you Parliaments and void for discipline). Ah yes, the festival mind, with a complete lack of intelligent decision making tendencies.

A couple of opinions, take them as you wish.

Jack Johnson: The surfer vibe is always appreciated here. Tiki things and ukuleles are a big thumbs up. G-Love worked really well with him too. Jack's voice is beyond comforting. It is warming, relaxing, and anxiety messaging. Like audible morphine. He should sing to burn victims or some shit.

Ben Harper: overrated. He appears to be a good musician, and has something to say, but if Marley ever comes back from the dead - Ben better be ready to give back 90% of his set. The other ten belongs to Fogerty (CCR) and Kravitz. I actually dug the new gospel pieces though. Left before he finished. Too much Marley-ness and not enough dope being smoked. I thought you were gonna burn one down?

Wilco: fantastic group. Cornucopia of instrumentation and a lead singer with frown-dimples. There were like, sixteen of them up there, and all the teenagers in front of us were rockin' it like teenagers tend to. I was tempted to take them all out for tattoos and Budweiser after the show. But then I remembered that I don't like hanging around the recently post-pubescent, and decided against offering the invitation.

The Pixies: I like them, I really do (not my favorite band, but I have much respect for all that they have done for live, acoustic music). But I wish they weren't so damned old. Their music is the music of youth, not the music of soccer mom and the poster boy for better middle-aged healthcare. They played a few songs, and then shuffled off stage as if they had stayed up past their bedtime. Where is my mind? Somewhere back in the early 80's is my guess.

Modest Mouse: I like two of their songs, and was really looking forward to their performance. They played one of them (Float on - yes, I know, it is already overplayed, but I don't listen to radio much). Something was seriously wrong with the acoustics on that stage. Sounded like they were singing to us from under water. Their show caused me to have weird nightmares about having to refill the air in my tires repeatedly (one blew up while I was filling it - a real fear of mine). Strange.

Cat Power: BEAUTIFUL voice. A very, very, talented artist. Very humble as well. She played on the same stage as Modest Mouse, shit acoustics and all, yet still sounded as wonderful as the birth of your first child.

Back to the mines.

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