Tag Archives: Austin City Limits Music Festival

You should be listening to Beck!

Beck is one of the most consistently eclectic and innovative musicians to emerge from the musical cauldron of the 90’s.  With a diverse array of influences and an ever changing body of work Beck Hanson is one of a handful of relevant musical refugees from the 90’s. 

He was discovered in 1991 during one of his club performances in Los Angeles.  Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore caught a backyard performance by Beck and touted his greatness.   1994 saw the release of Mellow Gold, his major label debut.  The album was a hit and the single “Loser” went to #1 on the Billboard chart.  His next release Odelay established him in the industry with both critical and commercial success.  The album won two Grammy’s

Beck discography:

  • Golden Feelings
  • Stereopathic Soulmanure
  • Mellow Gold
  • One Foot in the Grave
  • Odelay
  • Mutations
  • Midnite Vultures
  • Sea Change
  • Guero
  • The Information
  • Modern Guilt

Listening to him, you can hear pop, folk, hip hop, blues, funk, R&B, country, rock, and world music.  On wax, he is a musical chameleon yet uniquely original. He combines sounds and textures that would not sonically seem a fit but he makes them exciting and alluring. It’s as though he is resolute to recognize no musical limitations. 

Top 5 Beck Songs:

  1. Loser (Mellow Gold)
  2. Strange Apparition (The Information)
  3. E-Pro (Guero)
  4. Dark Star (The Information)
  5. Sexx Laws (Midnite Vultures)

The first time I saw Beck was the Guero tour where he had the puppet show.  It was a great show and incredibly entertaining.  The second was at my beloved Austin City Limits Music Festival. 

This blog is not meant to break new ground by spreading the word on the musical greatness of Beck nor is it assuming that everyone has or has not heard of him. 

Check Beck out at www.beck.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQdpU0qgv7Q

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzJXPEMDyMg

www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2pl_mjprKU&feature=related

Great music awaits!


2010 Music Festivals (a partial list)!

Spring has sprung and the concert season is nigh upon us!  SXSW kicked of the festivals and the summer concert series is just weeks away.  Here is a list of the music fests that will draw a litany of artists and hordes of people.  This list highlights the main( in my humbly superior opinion) music festivals that take place in the continental U.S.  Most festivals are three days long and I’ve highlighted some of the featured (great) artists.

Festival Date Partial Line Up
Coachellawww.coachella.com Apr. 16-18
  • Jay Z
  • Them Crooked Vultures
  • Gorillaz
  • Pavement
  • Thom Yorke
  • MGMT
New Orleans Jazzwww.nojazzfest.com Apr. 23-25
  • Lionel Richie
  • Simon & Garfunkel
  • Black Crowes
  • My Morning Jacket
  • Jonny Lang
  • Darius Rucker
New Orleans Jazz Week 2www.nojazzfest.com Apr. 29-May 2
  • Pearl Jam
  • Aretha Franklin
  • B.B. King
  • Van Morrison
  • The Dead Weather
  • Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Summer Campwww.summercampfestival.com May 28-30
  • Gov’t Mule
  • Avett Brothers
  • ALO
  • Yonder Mountain String Band
  • Umphrey’s McGee
Sasquatchwww.sasquatchfestival.com May 29-31
  • Band of Horses
  • Vampire Weekend
  • The National
  • Public Enemy
  • She & Him
  • Massive Attack
Wakarusawww.wakarusa.com June 3-6
  • The Black Keys
  • Slightly Stoopid
  • Widespread Panic
  • John Butler Trio
  • Blues Traveler
  • State Radio
Bonnaroowww.bonnaroo.com June 10-13
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • Kings of Leon
  • Jay Z
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Nora Jones
  • The Flaming Lips
Lollapaloozawww.lollapalooza.com Aug. 6-8 Not yet released but always a stellar lineup
Austin City Limitswww.aclfestival.com Oct. 8-10 Not yet released but always a stellar lineup

 The cool thing about the festivals is that if one takes place geographically close to you, you might catch some really good shows on both sides of the festival dates.

If you have attended any of the above or one not listed, let me know what was great about it and who you saw.

As mentioned in previous blogs I am a ACL acolyte and would strongly recommend that if you have the time and disposable income, you need to check itout.

Great music awaits!


Missed and Must See Concerts!

So, this week has focused on music in a variety of, genres, decades, degrees of greatness and what some might call an assault to the auditory senses.  To wrap up this fine week of blogging, I am going to take my writing cue from some of the responses to the Concert Blog.

Over the course of my musical life, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to see all of the shows I’ve seen.  In addition to that, I’ve had the ability to create a personal library of considerable size in both CD and digital format.  However, being a music devotee, I want more.  I want more CD’s, more digital files, and more opportunity to catch live acts.  I look back at the missed opportunities to see some amazing shows and kick myself for being too lazy, too late, or at times even too responsible to attend certain shows.

Today we are going to talk about concerts in both past and future terms.  Confused yet?  Good, me either.  I will keep this in a Top 10 format and will list the concerts that I missed or at least wished I had the opportunity to see and I will also list the concerts that I want to see before I am unceremoniously taken from this lovely thing some call life.

Top 10 missed opportunities:

  1. Pink Floyd Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour
  2. U2 Joshua Tree Tour
  3. Guns N Roses & Metallica (I realize that tour was plagued with problems but at long as I am dreaming, if I had attended, it would have been a flawless, musical love fest with duel encores)
  4. Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA Tour (I’ve seen Bruce on several occasions but this tour was sort of a revival and they went all out and played monster sets (3-4 hours).)
  5. Uncle Tupelo (This band was such a tinder box of musical genius that there was no conceivable way for it continue.  I’ve seen both bands from the former temperamental leaders (Jeff’s Wilco & Jay’s Son Volt) and would have loved to catch them early.)
  6. Led Zeppelin Reunion (This was never an option or an opportunity but man what a treat that would have been.)
  7. The Black Crowes (I had free tickets at Will Call for an early show they did in Dallas when they opened up for ZZ Top.  I never made it to the show for various and sundry reasons.  Looking back none of the reasons were reasonably worth what I missed.)
  8. 2002 Austin City Limits Music Festival (This was the inaugural musical voyage for ACL and it had a great lineup of bands on the rise as well as the ARC Angels reunion show.)
  9. Farm Aid 1 1985 (A great event with a stellar line up.  Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Billy Joel, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, B.B. King, Waylon Jennings, to name a few.)
  10.  Nirvana (Just to be part of that bit of musical history.)

Top 10 Must See Acts:

  1. My Morning Jacket (Amazing live shows and wicked cool music)
  2. Red Hot Chili Peppers (I just dig them)
  3. Neil Young (Musical icon)
  4. U2 (They are awesome)
  5. John Mellencamp (Great catalog even when he was Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, and John Cougar Mellencamp)
  6. Phish (Ultimate Jam band that took the torch from the Grateful Dead)
  7. Paul McCartney (Come on, he is a friggin’ Beatle)
  8. Lyle Lovett (I like all his music even the song from the Stuart Little soundtrack and well, he was married to Julia Roberts!)
  9. Counting Crows (I realize that despite their latest release, they are in the twilight (or beyond) of their career but I really dig their live albums and think they would be fun to see live)
  10. The Eagles (I am a huge fan and begrudgingly have never seen them.  In my defense, their exorbitant ticket price is one key factor to this dilemma.)

So dear reader, who is on your concert list?

 Great music awaits!


You should be listening to The Raconteurs!

The Raconteurs are supplementary proof of Jack White’s (The White Stripes, Dead Weather) musical brilliance, greatness, importance, etc…Formed in Detroit, Michigan (picture my surprised face) and featuring members of assorted other bands such as Jack Lawrence (The Greenhornes, Blanche), Patrick Keeler (The Greenhornes), and Brendan Benson.  The group actually began as a duo (Jack and Brendan) recording one song and then morphed into a four piece band and an album worth of material.

Their debut album, Broken Boy Soldiers, was released in 2006 and was nominated for two Grammys: Best Rock Album and Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocals for “Steady as She Goes”.  In 2008 they released their follow up Consolers of the Lonely.

Due in large part to Jack’s already impressive musical profile, they quickly hit the festival scene and played, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Lollapalooza.  They also opened for Bob Dylan on part of his U.S. tour. 

The Raconteurs Discography:

  • Broken Boy Soldiers
  • Consolers of the Lonely

Top 5 Songs by The Raconteurs:

  1. Steady As She Goes (Broken Boy Soldiers)
  2. Broken Boy Solider (Broken Boy Soldiers)
  3. Salute Your Solutions (Consolers of the Lonely)
  4. Many Shades of Black (Consolers of the Lonely)
  5. Hands (Broken Boy Soldiers)

I was fortunate enough to catch them in Austin in 2006 and thoroughly enjoyed the show.  I’ve seen them twice and also caught Jack White’s other love child The Dead Weather as well.  I’m beginning to think that Jack cannot focus on one thing for too long.  And for that, Jack, I thank you!

Check out The Raconteurs at www.theraconteurs.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7aOWIFgIZQ

www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B7npSXQkxE

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm4_htUbgrU

Great music awaits!


Last night I pushed the bounds of parental responsibility!

Last night I pushed the bounds of parental responsibility.  I took my oldest son (14) to a State Radio concert at House of Blues in Dallas.  It was not the show that pushed the boundaries; it was the time at which he returned home.  And that time, dear, sweet, gentle reader was, after midnight.  Can you hear Eric Clapton playing as you read?  Why? You might ask.  Well, he had a song called, wait for it….. After Midnight!

And I digress!

So, back to the point, Cade and I have always shared a special musical bond.  As a baby, I would always have music playing and to get him to sleep, I would have to stand and rock him to R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts”.  As he got older, he became fascinated with the cadence and delivery of the Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Also, much like me, he would connect to certain lyrics and relate them to certain things in his life.  Most of what he shared, with me, was songs about fathers and sons, family, etc…. 

So, for the last fourteen years, I have had the pleasure of expanding his musical horizons and forming this unique bond.  I have taken proper measures to not, intentionally, prematurely expose him to inappropriate lyrics or subject matters.  At fourteen, he has yet to listen to any of my old school rap CD’s. 

Over the years, we have acquired quite a soundtrack to our lives.  He is open enough to initially listen to anything I play and independent enough to make his own informed decision of good or bad music.  Oddly enough, we tend to agree more than not.  The one glaring difference is the current radio friendly Pop and R&B music that he likes.  The difference there is more of an age and experience thing.  I’ve got Milli Vanilli to live down and he, too, will have his musical regrets.

Here is where I really get to the point!

The concert began at 8:00 and the Austin, Texas band Full Service, relatively promptly, took the stage and played an interesting 30 min. set.  Their sound was a combination of bombastic rock and quirky, yet endearing, stage personality.  After the first few songs, I warmed up to their sound.  However, 30 minutes was just enough time.  The kazoo song was funny and interactive with the crowd.

The same thing cannot be said for the second opening act, American Fang.  This band, out of Houston, Texas was torturous at best.  The lead singer pranced around and screamed while the skinny leg jean guitarist struck customary rock posses and feigned indifference to the crowd.  The music was redundant and lacked creative merit. 

State Radio was great and played about an hour and fifteen minutes and did a commendable job of offering tracks from each of their three full length albums.  Cade knew the words to every song and sang along while taking pictures and recording video with his phone.  This was our second time to see State Radio and Cade’s second concert.  You might recall, from a previous blog, that I took him to Austin City Limits Music Festival a few months back. 

So, last night, I kept my son out late, on a school night, and then, fed him McDonald’s at midnight.  Not exactly a Father Knows Best type move, but for one more day, I was still cool and relevant to him.  We shared an experience that I won’t forget and hope that he, too, holds dear. 

And, yes, he got another State Radio T shirt and a CD.  I might be totally irresponsible, but I’m not a jerk.

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to G. Love & Special Sauce!

G. Love & Special Sauce is the Philadelphia based trio that fuse classic R&B, with bouncy, messy blues, and pure Philly soul.  While the music is easy on the ears and frisky enough to make your body move, it is hard to categorize.  With hints of hip hop, funk, rock, retro-soul, patches of folk, the occasional trippy psychedelic, and some Rasta shout outs, G. Love’s music is immersed in the laid back; life is a party, let’s get to know each other better kind of way.   While musically, he is like a mad scientist, more often than not, the experiments work.  Over the years, he has crafted a distinct sound for his band.

G. Love (whose Christian name is Garret Dutton) is the vocalist, harmonica player, guitarist, and face of the band.  Currently, Jeffrey Clemens is on drums, Timo Shanko plays bass, and Mark Boyce tickles the ivory.  A road weary veteran of the festivals and small venues, G. Love has built a solid reputation and impressive fan base with his live performances. 

G. Love, Jack Johnson, and Donavon Frankenreiter released a live EP that was cleverly named “Some Live Songs EP”.  Tracks 1-5 were recorded on pro surfer Kelly Slater’s radio show.  Jack, G. Love, and Donavon have all appeared each other’s records and at one time were all on Jack’s Brushfire Records label. 

G. Love & Special Sauce Discography (this list includes G. Love’s solo ventures)

  • G. Love and Special Sauce
  • Coast to Coast Motel
  • Yeah, It’s That Easy
  • Philadelphonic
  • Electric Mile
  • The Hustle
  • Best of G. Love and Special Sauce
  • Lemonade
  • Super Hero Brother

Top 5 G. Love & Special Sauce Songs

  1. Rodeo Clowns (Philadelphonic)
  2. Let The Music Play (Lemonade)
  3. Willow Tree (Yeah, It’s That Easy)
  4. Free At Last (Electric Mile)
  5. Baby Got Sauce (G. Love and Special Sauce)

 I’ve actually been fortunate enough to see him several times over the last several years.  I caught a free concert in the early 00’s in Dallas, I also saw him when he was touring with Jack Johnson in 2004, and have seen him two or three times at Austin City Limits Music Festival. 

Check out G. Love & Special Sauce at www.philadelphonic.com.

G. Love & Special Sauce’s music is available at iTunes, record stores, and www.philadelphonic.com.

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Them Crooked Vultures!

Them Crooked Vultures is the musical love child of Led Zeppelin and Nirvana consummated in the California dessert. The group was conceptualized in the mid 00’s but did not officially form until 2009.  Their self titled debut album was released in November 2009.

 The musical triumvirate, which I think sounds cooler than super group, of John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Dave Grohl ( Nirvanna & Foo Fighters), and Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) play bombastic guitar driven rock that is in your face and unapologetic.  This is to say, they play rock music as it should be played.  I am sorry to say, that I missed them when they played the Austin City Limits Music Festival last October but heard good things about the show. 

Jones, as expected, plays bass and keyboards, Grohl is back behind the kit, and Homme riffs on guitar and covers the vocals.  As is to be expected with a band that has this type of pedigree, the elephant in the room is, does the hype equal the output.  And the simple truth is no, but the reason is that there is no way that it should.  I mean we are talking about the founding members or Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and the talented Josh Homme.  How can anyone live up to that expectation?  Grohl captured lightening in a bottle with the Nirvana and Foo Fighters but how lucky can one guy get. 

Given that Homme sings and plays guitar, it has a certain Queens of the Stone Age feel but as the album moves on, it just rocks.  It has moments that recall Zeppelin and others that have the feel of three guys having a quickie because it feels good and in this case, sounds good. 

I think the album is really entertaining to listen to and does not require a lot of thought which is what a good rock record is all about.  You can listen and not feel like you wasted your time, nor will you find yourself trying to decipher and find the hidden meaning behind the lyrics.  You will tap your feet, strum your fingers, bob your head, listen, and take pleasure in the music.  This is the kind of music that would have Beavis and Butt-Head rocking out, playing air guitar, and thinking that it did not suck. 

Check out Them Crooked Vultures at www.themcrookedvulters.com

Great music awaits!