Tag Archives: State Radio

Mixed Tape Monday: People’s Names Part Deux!

Welcome to another installment of Mixed Tape Monday, where I will WOW you with my wonderful compilation of music. Do to the overwhelming response of last week’s Name blog, here is a second helping of songs with names in the title.

 Today’s topic is People’s Names Part Deux!:

Song:              Kylie

Artist:              William Fitzsimmons

Album:            Until When We Are Ghosts

Song:              Johnny 99

Artist:              Bruce Springsteen

Album:            Nebraska

Song:              The Ballad of Carol Lynn

Artist:              Whiskeytown

Album:            Pneumonia

Song:              Jonathon Fisk

Artist:              Spoon

Album:            Kill the Moonlight

Song:              Billy Breathes

Artist:              Phish

Album:            Billy Breathes

Song:              Regular John

Artist:              Queens of the Stone Age

Album:            Queens of the Stone Age

Song:              Dani California

Artist:              Red Hot Chili Peppers

Album:            Stadium Arcadium

Song:              Mariano

Artist:              Robert Earl Keen

Album:            West Textures

Song:              Camilo

Artist:              State Radio

Album:            Us Against the Crown

Song:              Anna Begins

Artist:              Counting Crowes

Album:            August and Everything After

Song:              Roderigo

Artists:            Seven Mary Three

Album:            American Standard

Song:              Tommy Jackson

Artist:              Randy Rogers Band

Album:            Like It Used To Be

Song:              Ava Adore

Artist:              Smashing Pumpkins

Album:            Adore

Song:              Eric’s Trip

Artist:              Sonic Youth

Album:            Daydream Nation

Song:              Billy and Bonnie

Artist:              Steve Earle

Album:            I Feel Alright

Song:              Courage (For Hugh Maclennan)

Artist:              The Tragically Hip

Album:            Fully Completely

Song:              Tweeter and the Monkey Man

Artist:              Traveling Wilburys

Album:            Traveling Wilburys

Song:              Madame George

Artist:              Van Morrison

Album:            Astral Weeks

Song:              My Name is Jonas

Artist:              Weezer

Album:            Weezer (The Green Album)

Song:              Suzy Lee

Artist:              The White Stripes

Album:            The White Stripes

Great music awaits!


Mixed Tape Monday: People’s Names

Welcome to another installment of Mixed Tape Monday, where I will WOW you with my wonderful compilation of music:

 Today’s topic is People’s Names:

 Song:              Ruby’s Two Sad Daughters

Artist:              Walt Wilkins

Album:            Fire, Honey, & Angels

 Song:              Sherry Darling

Artist:              Bruce Springsteen

Album:            The River

 Song:              Melissa

Artist:              The Allman Brothers Band

Album:            Eat a Peach

 Song:              Jolene

Artist:              Ray LaMontagne

Album:            Trouble

 Song:              Suzie Blue

Artist:              Ben Harper

Album:            Burn to Shine

Song:              Oh, Josephine

Artist:              The Black Crowes

Album:            War Paint

 Song:              Capn Kirk

Artist:              Bob Schneider

Album:            I’m Good Now

 Song:              For Emma

Artist:              Bon Iver

Album:            For Emma, Forever Aga

 Song:              Mr. Larkin

Artist:              State Radio

Album:            Us Against the Crown

 Song:              Meanwhile, Rick James

Artist:              Cake

Album:            Comfort Eagle

 Song:              Suite Judy Blue Eyes

Artists:             Crosby, Stills, & Nash

Album:            Crosby, Stills, & Nash

 Song:              Amie

Artist:              Damien Rice

Album:            O

 Song:              Elias

Artist:              Dispatch

Album:            Silent Steeples

 Song:              Carl Perkin’s Cadillac

Artist:              Drive-By Truckers

Album:            The Dirty South

 Song:              Johnson’s Love

Artist:              Dwight Yoakam

Album:            Hillbilly Deluxe

 Song:              Amelia

Artist:              Erin Ivey

Album:            Sweet Little EP

 Song:              Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down

Artist:              Interpol

Album:            Turn On the Bright Lights

 Song:              Kathleen

Artist:              Josh Ritter

Album:            Hello Starling

 Song:              Slow Down Jo

Artist:              Monsters of Folk

Album:            Monsters of Folk

 Song:              Oh Maria

Artist:              Mudcrutch

Album:            Mudcrutch

 Great music awaits!


Tune In Tuesday: 5/18/10

Today’s installment of Tune in Tuesday features six random albums. 

Whiskeytown

Pneumonia

Whiskeytown is the springboard band for the genius of Ryan Adams.  A short lived group that only released three, albeit stellar, albums Whiskeytown helped herald the Alt/country scene.

Pneumonia is a phenomenal album that can be listened to from start to finish. 

Key tracks: Jacksonville Skyline, Sit & Listen to the Rain, Don’t Wanna Know Why

Until When We Are All Ghosts

William Fitzsimmons

William Fitzsimmons is the whispering hirsute folk singer that channels demons into lush, ethereal songs about love, loss, life, etc…  His music is mostly guitar and vocals with the occasional piano.  Soft, sparse, and not quite radio friendly) no poppy hooks or bombastic bass beats) his music is well worth checking out.

Key Tracks: Passion Play, Find It In Me, Forsake All Others

The Wind

Warren Zevon

This is the last album by the late, great Warren Zevon and was released two weeks prior to his death.  There is also a great documentary regarding the creation of this album and last days of Warren.  Keep Me in Your Heart is the closing song and it is amazing as is the eerie cover of Dylan’s Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.  There is a Who’s Who of rock and roll royalty that appear on this album:  Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Tom Petty, T-Bone Burnett, Jackson Browne, Dwight Yoakam, Joe Walsh, John Waite, Timothy B Schmidt, and Ry Cooder.

Key Tracks: Keep Me In Your Heart, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Disorder in the House,

Temple of the Dog

Temple of the Dog

This is the early grunge version of a super group and was spawned by the death of Andrew Wood (Mother Love Bone).  Members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden collaborate in this tribute to friend and fellow musician.  Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder have never sounded better than on Hunger Strike.  Such a contrast in vocal styles but a rocking duet none the less. 

Key Tracks: Hunger Strike, Wooden Jesus, Four Walled World, say Hello 2 Heaven

Us Against the Crown

State Radio

This is the debut for the Boston based trio that is fronted by former Dispatch member Chad Urmston.  State Radio is steeped in sociopolitical rhetoric and reggae vibrations.  I’m a huge fan of the band and have seen them live several times.  This is my favorite album that they have released. 

Key Tracks: Camilo, Riddle In London Town, People To People, Mr. Larkin, Right Me Up

Roadhouse Sun

Ryan Bingham

This is Bingham’s second album on Lost Highway and has not been hurt by his sudden popularity due to the release of the movie Crazy Heart.  He has a raspy, whiskey soaked voice that seems road weary despite his relative young age.  The fact that he does not follow the current crop of pop country is refreshing. 

Key Tracks: Day Is Done, Country Roads, Wishing Well, Snake Eyes

Read, review, and respond.

Great music awaits!


Mixed Tape Monday: Cities

Today is Mixed Tape Monday and today’s topic is Cities!

So, listed below are great songs that have a particular city in the title or referenced in the song. 

City Mixed Tape:

  • Atlantic City
    • Bruce Springsteen
    • Album: The River
  • Brooklyn Bound
    • The Black Keys
    • The Big Come Up
  • Toyko
    • Bob Schneider
    • Album: Lonelyland
  • San Francisco
    • Brett Dennen
    • Album: Hope for the Hopeless
  • Omaha
    • Counting Crows
    • Album: August and Everything After
  • L.A. Woman
    • The Doors
    • Album: L.A. Woman
  • Birmingham
    • Drive-By Truckers
    • Album: Southern Rock Opera
  • South of Cincinnati
    • Dwight Yoakam
    • Album: Guitars, Cadillac’s, Etc., Etc.
  • Chicago Promenade
    • Jason Isbell
    • Album: Sirens of the Ditch
  • Train to Jackson
    • Jeffrey Foucault
    • Album: Ghost Repeater
  • San Jose
    • Joe Purdy
    • Album: Take My Blanket and Go
  • When Jesus Left Birmingham
    • John Mellencamp
    • Album: Human Wheels
  • Jersey Clowns
    • Josh Rouse
    • Album: Subtitulo
  • Manhattan
    • The Kings of Leon
    • Album: Only by the Night
  • Lake Charles
    • Lucinda Williams
    • Album: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
  • The Road to Ensenada
    • Lyle Lovett
    • Album: The Road to Ensenada
  • Memphis & 53rd
    • Minus the Bear
    • Album: Menos el Oso
  • Jacksonville Skyline
    • Whiskeytown
    • Album: Pneumonia
  • Lynnville Train
    • Robert Earl Keen
    • Album: Gringo Honeymoon
  • Riddle In London Town
    • State Radio
    • Album: Us Against the Crown

Read, review, and respond.

Great music awaits!


Tune In Tuesday: 4/20/10

Today is Tune In Tuesday.  As you might have guessed, I listen to a lot of music.  I listen at work, while I drive, while I drive to work, in the house, driving home, doing yard work, just about anywhere and anything I’m doing involves music. 

Driving is where most of my listening happens during the day and sometimes night.  My vehicle of choice and necessity, I have a brood of kids and 3 dogs, is a Chevy Tahoe, affectionately referred to as the “Ho”.  Aside from the ample space needed for carting afore mentioned brood and dogs, the Ho has a great Bose stereo with a six disc changers.  Six slots of pure musical pleasure. 

Each week starts out with me selecting six random discs from my imposing musical collection.  Once selected, they are inserted into the musical pleasure slots and then I hit the random button. 

The thought behind Tune In Tuesday is that I will tell you what is in the changer for the week and give you a little background on the album, artist and key tracks.

This week, here is what is in the changer:

 1.      Drive-By Truckers: The Fine Print (a collection of oddities and rarities 2003-2008)

This album is a collection of covers, alternate versions of songs from already released albums, and a few odds and ends.  The cover to Tom Petty’s “Rebels” is pretty cool as is their cover of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”.  Patterson Hood handles the majority of the vocals on the album.  For me, the stand out cover is Warren Zevon’s “Play it all Night Long”. 

 2.      Steve Earle: Townes

This album is a complete cover of Townes Van Zandt.  “Lungs” is the standout track for me.  Tom Morello (the Nightwatchman, Rage Against the Machine, Street Sweeper Social Club) plays on the album as does Steve’s son Justin. 

 3.      Amos Lee: Last Days at the Lodge

This is the third album by the Philadelphia singer/songwriter.  He has got a voice that just captivates you.  “What’s Been Going On”, “Street Corner Preacher”, and “Baby I Want You” are three really solid songs. 

 4.      Slaid Cleaves: Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away…

This Austin based singer/songwriter has a way with the words.  Lyrically superior to the vast majority of artist out there, his voice is calm and inviting in a way that brings it all together.  “Beautiful Thing: is by far the best track while “Hard To Believe” and “Dreams” are right up there.  This is an album that can easily be listened to start to finish several times.

 5.      Bob Schneider: Lovely Creatures

Another Austin icon, Bob really runs the musical gamut on this one.  “40 Dogs (Like Romeo and Juliet)” is a great song and the most Bob like song on the album.  He gets pretty musically diverse as the album progresses.  “Tarantula” is just pure fun that will have you moving wherever you are.

 6.      State Radio: Let It Go

 This is the third full length album for the Boston based sociopolitical trio.  I’m a huge fan and love all of the music that they have done to date.  Their music is a bond between my oldest son and I can’t ever here it without thinking about him and the trips we have taken to see them live.  “Calling All Crows”,” Knights of Bostonia”, and “Blood Escaping Man” are great but then again, so is the whole album.

So, check them out and let me know what you think.

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!


Concerts

We hear a song, purchase/download some music; it raises our awareness of the band and then we become a fan.  The concert is the culmination of our musical inclinations.  It is the holy grail of the musical experience.  At least, in our mind, it is. 

The concert is the musical equivalent of craps (the game of chance, not Jack in the Box 2 for $1 greasy tacos passing through your bowels)

Some nights go like this:

You purchase your ticket with the expectation that it will be musical bliss and a night to remember.  You get there, fight the crowd, listen to the mediocre, at best, opening act, and wait impatiently for the headlining show.   After what seems like an eternity, out stumbles the drunk/high lead singer, forgets the words to your favorite song, becomes enraged at the crowds displeasure and walks of the stage giving you the double fisted one finger salute. 

While other nights go like this:

You show up at some little dive barbeque joint and begin to think the show has been canceled because there are only four cars in the parking lot.  You go in, order some food and a beer, take you pick of the abundantly available tables and notice two chairs on the stage and a couple of guitars.  You take a seat, sip your bear and out strolls the singer and his buddy and the play for several hours, come sit down and thank you for coming to the show and take your request and play it before the night is over.

I’ve regaled you with some stories of concerts from my past and touted the greatness of Austin City Limits Music Festival but today, I’m going to chronologically list the concerts, to the best of my recollection, I’ve attended over the years.

Year Band
1983 Quiet Riot
Interesting Facts
7th grade, first concert to attend and broke my ankle that afternoon after being chased by a large classmate who took off his belt and began swinging it at me.  I left the hospital on crutches and planned on going to concert while my mother drove along beside me screaming at me to get in the car.  Being 12 and disabled, mom won and I missed the concert.  I did, however, get the t shirt as a consolation prize from my buddy who I gave the ticket to.
1985 Def Leppard
Interesting Facts
My first official concert that I actually got to attend.  Reunion Arena in Dallas, TX.  Oddly enough, I do not remember much about the concert other than it kicked much 14 year old musical butt.
1985-1989 Tom Petty

Stevie Nicks

Elton John

Don Henley

White Snake

Tesla

The Cult

Metallica

Interesting Facts
This period was the high school years and while there are funny stories, time has blurred the lines a bit.

  • One concert I went to with a group of girls and as soon as we got to Starplex Amphitheater, they all had to go to the rest room.  So, they opened the passenger door and all took turns squatting in the parking lot under the shroud of secrecy that was the afore mentioned door.  Don’t worry ladies; your identity is safe with me.
  • Another concert had some of the above mentioned girls and on the way home we got lost and drove around through an amazing fog which we likened to the moors, a Sherlock Holmes reference at the time, and eventually made it home.  Some of attendees were really upset with the turn of events.
  • White Snake concert we bought tickets from scalpers and got totally ripped off but thought we were so cool because we were seeing White Snake.
  • Metallica was an amazing show and the first time I had seen mosh pits and thoroughly enjoyed the frantic pace of the music.  Some fans really enjoyed the show and started lighting the lawn on fire and once security came out, the fire just seemed to move to another location.

 

1989-1992 Travis Tritt

Shenandoah

Various country acts at Billy Bobs

Interesting Facts
Some of my buddies were really in to country music and I would often tag along because I had nothing else to do and wanted to make some new female acquaintances. The Shenandoah concert was particularly memorable, not because the concert was good, in fact, I never actually saw them.  I got kicked out of the bar because I was 18 and using a fake ID to buy beer.  My buddies, of course, stayed and watched the show.  The crushing event of the night was that the girl I took to the show also stayed inside and I sat alone in the back of my friend’s truck for several hours.  The night was not a total loss, because I drank all of the beer in the cooler while sitting in the parking lot of Billy Bob’s.
1993-1995 Lots of local acts in the musical mecca of Denton, TX

Rush

Interesting Facts
The Rush show stands out for two reasons:To procure the tickets for this concert, my buddy and I left Denton very, very early on a Saturday morning after a very, very, late Friday night to go to Lewisville Mall to get tickets.  We arrived way too early and drove to Braums and got a double order of biscuits and gravy.  While this might not read as funny as it was, we were way hung over and those biscuits and gravy were the magic elixir that restored our health. Night of the concert we pick up our dates, have dinner and head to Dallas.  There is mild drinking, as colleges kids are known to do, and before you know it, we are on the floor of Reunion Arena basking in the glory of Rush.  On the way home there is some conversation of the concert and the girl that I took begins to nod off a bit and then suddenly hurls into and on the door.  We stop and ask if she is ok and she looks at us as if nothing happened and denies what is clearly on her chin, clothes, seat, floor, and of course door.  We get home she gets out like nothing happened.
1995-2005 The Dave Matthews BandMetallica

Linkin Park

Beastie Boys

Pat Green

Willie Nelson

Jack Johnson

Bob Dylan

Bruce Springsteen

Beck

G. Love & Special Sauce

Merle Haggard

Tori Amos

Korn

Chevelle

Robert Earl Keen

Interesting Facts
All pretty good shows and some artist like Dave Matthews and Pat Green I’ve seen multiple times.  The one stand out concert story is this:A group of folks went to see Willie Nelson at Lone Star Park which is an outdoor horse track.  His stage was set back a bit and there were risers and bleachers that elevated the fans to better see the stage.  I am walking up, wearing loose cargo shorts and minding my own business, when I feel something moving up my leg and heading north central.  I look down and there is an older woman with her hand up my shorts grabbing my junk.  I jump up and swat at her as if she is some form of annoying insect and she looks up, smiles with what teeth she has left and says “Oh, excuse me” as if she had accidently bumped into me as were passing on a sidewalk.  She then turned and walked away as if nothing had happened.
2006-Present Pearl JamBen Harper

Foo Fighters

Tom Petty

Beck

G. Love & Special Sauce

Wilco

Son Volt

Drive-By Truckers

State Radio

Brett Dennen

Bruce Springsteen

B-52’s

Robert Plant & Allison Krause

Joe Purdy

Cross Canadian Ragweed

The Killers

The Tragically Hip

The Eli Young Band

Pete Yorn

Bob Schneider

James McMurtry

Kris Kristofferson

Merle Haggard

Damien RiceDonovan Frankenreiter

Arcade Fire

The Shins

Okkervil River

Mason Jennings

The Black Keys

Ray LaMontagne

Queens of the Stone Age

Bob Dylan

Willie Nelson

Van Morrison

The Toadies

The Killers

John Mayer

Steve Earle

Bjork

Iron & Wine

Walt Wilkins

The Dead Weather

The Raconteurs

Lucinda Williams

Erin Ivey

Amos Lee

Interesting Facts
The majority of these artists have been seen at the Austin City Limits Music Festival which is an annual pilgrimage for me.  Some artist I have seen both at ACL and their own headlining tour.

So, there you have it, a little stroll down concert memory lane.  Let me know about some of your favorite or at least memorable concert experiences and who is a must see when they roll through town.

Great music awaits!


25 Albums (since 2000) you should own

Greetings music lovers,

 Today’s blog is a monthly continuation of 25 albums you should own and has the following parameters:

  • Album must have been recorded/released in or after to 2000
  • No duplication of artist
  • No live albums or greatest hits (kind of an all encompassing copout to include either)
  • Listing of my favorite track from said album (This is not so much a parameter but a mere bonus for your reading pleasure)

 Twenty Five albums you should own! (In no particular order):

Artist Album Song
State Radio Us Against The Crown Camilo
Amos Lee Last Days At the Lodge What’s Been Going On
Brett Dennen So Much More Ain’t No Reason
The Black Crowes Before the Frost Appaloosa
Bob Dylan Modern Times Thunder on the Mountain
Beck The Information Strange Apparition
Ben Harper & The Relentless 7 White Lies for Dark Times Faithfully Remain
Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago Flume
Corrine Bailey Rae Corrine Bailey Rae Seasons Change
Eddie Vedder Into the Wild Society
Erin Ivey The 11th Floor Chocolate
Foo Fighters In Your Honor Another Round
The Hold Steady Stay Positive Lord, I’m Discouraged
James McMurtry Childish Things We Can’t Make It Here
Josh Ritter The Animal Years Girl In the War
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Show Your Bones Warrior
Zac Brown Band The Foundation Highway 20 Ride
William Fitzsimmons Until When We Are Ghosts Passion Play
Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance
TV On the Radio Dear Science Halfway Home
Tom Petty Highway Companion Square One
Spoon Transference Nobody Gets Me But You
Slaid Cleaves Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away Beautiful Thing
Serj Tankian Elect the Dead Money
Rilo Kiley Under the Blacklight Silver Lining
Ray LaMontagne Trouble Jolene

 So, there you have it, another list of musical bliss.  Take your time, check them out and let me know what you think.

 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 partake in Austin City Limits Music Festival!

Austin City Limits Music Festival is a three day music festival that takes place in Austin, Texas at Zilker Park and unites 65,000 people (music lovers, drunks, stoners, hippies, college kids who don’t own shirts, middle aged men and their 20 something mid life crisis, middle aged women wearing their mid life crisis, etc…) and showcases 130 bands that range from established acts, up and coming artists, and cult bands.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I am a huge fan of Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL) and have attended each year since 2005.  In addition to being a fan of the event, Austin is my favorite city in Texas and ranks in the top five in the country.  Shout out to San Francisco and Chicago as well.

Each year is special and I recall fondly my time spent with the mass of people who endure a new environmental nemesis while responding to the siren sound of the multi staged musical extravaganza.  In five wonderful years, I have seen fire (burning trailers while Pete Yorn performed and burning speaker while Bjork performed) and I’ve seen rain (thanks James Taylor), I’ve seen dust (Foo Fighters were absolutely worth the 2 weeks of brown soot seeping from my nose) and I’ve seen what some thought was mud (Eddie Vedder became one with the crowd and slid in it) but smelled a bit more pungent and was actually some animal fecal matter. 

Over the course of my attendance, I have seen some pretty amazing shows.  Listed below are just some of the high lights: 

Ben Harper Tom Petty Foo Fighters Pearl Jam
Beck Robert Plant & Allison Krause The Raconteurs Drive-By Truckers
Son Volt Donavon Frankenreiter State Radio Brett Dennen
The Dead Weather Damien Rice Cross Canadian Ragweed Arcade Fire
Amos Lee Robert Earl Keen Iron & Wine Mason Jennings
Van Morrison John Mayer Ray LaMontagne Wilco
G Love & Special Sauce The Toadies The Shins B-52’s
Slightly Stoopid Eli Young Band The Black Keys Okkervil River
Queens of the Stone Age Bjork The Killers Steve Earle
Bob Dylan Lucinda Williams The Tragically Hip Willie Nelson

Over the last few years, it has become a tradition for me and my long term, heterosexual, significant other, life partner to attend.  We eagerly anticipate the sale of the early bird tickets and the unveiling of the lineup.  She too is a huge fan of the festival and city.  Which makes the trip all the better.  While our musical tastes are similar, with the variety of acts available at the festival, we have a ritual of mapping out the days and comparing our schedules and see how close they match.  There is usually some slight difference with the day shows but most of the evening shows are fairly in-line

Last year was particularly memorable because we took our oldest children (her daughter, my son). It was my son’s first concert, he is fifteen and we share a pretty strong bond over music.  Several of his favorite bands were playing and I surprised him by waking him up early Sunday morning and driving to Austin and living vicariously through him as he excitedly took in the whole seen.  His first concert consisted of Brett Dennen, The Toadies, State Radio (his favorite), Ben Harper, and Pearl Jam.  Not a bad first concert.  As if this were not enough, he got to meet State Radio, get a picture with the band and their brand new CD “Let It Go” signed. The look on his face was priceless as he posed for a picture and the band talked to him for a few minutes.   Add to this day, Home Slice Pizza, two concert shirts, and the use of port-a-pots on the last day of a three day festival.  It was indeed a day to remember.

All this, is to say, if you have not attended ACL, I strongly suggest you take the time and attend a day or two if the thought of three days is too grueling.  I am a fan of the three days and love every minute of the music and the experience.  However, I recognize it is not for everyone and as I have gotten older I have come to realize that the recovery time is just a bit longer with each passing year.  My days include less beer, more water, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, and a chair.

So, if you have some time and disposable income, check out www.aclfestival.com.

Great music awaits!