Archive for October, 2012

Austin City Limits Music Festival – Day Two

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2012 by 30daysout

Neil Young (right) and Crazy Horse closed out the night with a psychedelic rock frenzy.

by Denny Angelle

Saturday, the middle day of the big Austin City Limits Music Festival, offered a little bit of everything for festival goers – a variety that ranged from different musical styles to a choice of weather. “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait a minute and it will change,” goes the saying, and it did.

A warm, humid day finally gave way to strong, intermittent rain showers but the downpours were mostly welcomed by crowds gathered around stages featuring hip hop, bluegrass, country, and good old rock and roll. The grass of Austin’s Zilker Park quickly turned into a muddy quagmire in the more heavily traveled areas of the festival grounds, particularly around the food and refreshment stands and the porta-potties.

Father John Misty

When the deep bass thump of a hip hop act on a nearby stage act bled into the quirky, gentle music of Father John Misty, singer Josh Tillman playfully stopped his own set to listen, and dance, along. And when the rain got a little too close to the electricity of British rockers Band of Skulls, they too halted their set briefly so that helpers and attendants could mop up the stage and cover equipment with plastic sheeting.

Tillman, formerly the touring drummer of indie rock sweethearts Fleet Foxes, offers up a sunny bit of singer/songwriter-ness flavored with a little bit of soul and a baggie full of drug-fueled attitude. “Fun Times in Babylon” and “Only Son of the Ladies’ Man” are calling cards for Father John Misty’s Laurel Canyon scenarios, and his mellow band laid back, ready to explode at the drop of a non-sequitur.

The Whigs, from Athens, Ga., rocked harder. The trio’s garage rock exploded over the crowd at Zilker, singer/guitarist Parker Gispert hopping around on one foot like Jethro Tull’s redneck brother. “Waiting,” with its crunchy guitar chording, is the Whigs’ signature, and “Summer Heat” was appropriate for the weather – for the moment, at least.

Steve Earle

As the storm clouds gathered we made our way over to the next stage for alt-rockers Band of Skulls, from Southampton, England. Possessing a darker, more driving sound, these Brits gamely tried to keep the rain away but when the fat drops made their presence felt the audience roared in approval. Just a few minutes later, though, the downpour sent the Skulls running away from the humming amps and cracking electric instruments. Once the towels and white plastic sheeting protected everything, the Skulls came out and finished their thumping, driving set. Sorry I didn’t get too many song titles – the ink on my notes simply washed away.

Wet but undaunted, we dropped in on the Punch Brothers, a progressive bluegrass group that could be the American version of Mumford and Sons. That is, if Mumford were as happy and engaging as Punch frontman Chris Thile. Thile’s music is ambitious to say the least – he wrote a 40-minute suite dealing with his divorce – and occasionally the Punch set veered toward some precious experimentalism, such as a cover of Radiohead’s “Morning Bell.”

The Punch Brothers offered up some rousing bluegrass.

But they brought it all home and put smiles on our faces at set’s end with crowd pleasers like “Who’s Feeling Young Now?” and the rousing “Rye Whiskey,” with its shout-along “Oh, boy” refrain.

Which was a perfect setup for the next act, the great Steve Earle. The Texas bard offered up “Waitin’ On The Sky” before he jumped right in and introduced “Little Emperor” with: “This song is for George W. and his fuckin’ horse!” I love Steve Earle – but I must admit I cut out on him a bit early when I heard the thump of The Roots finally cease, way down at the end of the park.

The rain just got us wet – it didn’t stop anybody’s fun at ACL.

That’s because I needed to see Neil Young & Crazy Horse, the night’s nominal headliner. Young at one end of the park vs. Jack White playing on the other end gave festival goers a very tough decision on Saturday, and I opted to head for Neil.

One side note: on the way from Steve Earle to Neil Young a few hundred yards apart, I encountered a very large crowd to see popster Gotye. Slicing through his adoring crowd, I heard a few of his songs. Ugh. Steve Earle to Gotye to Neil Young, that’s not for the faint of heart. I hope I don’t come down with Gotye poisoning later this week.

Possibly the only Woodstock veteran (update: John Fogerty and Levon Helm have also played ACL) to also play the Austin City Limits festival, Young ripped through a fuzz and feedback- filled frenzy that included  “Love and Only Love,” and new ones like the goofy ” Born In Ontario” and stomping rocker “Walk Like A Giant.” The latter was a guitar showcase, with Young spraying jagged guitar leads like a machine gun around his veteran backup band Crazy Horse. Just when you thought the song was over (it had already gone on for about 10 minutes) it climaxed with the thunder of giant footfalls and a rainshower of psychedelic feedback (going on for five more minutes).

The crowd, not quite believing what it just experienced, was polite so Young strapped on an acoustic and harmonica to offer up “The Needle And The Damage Done,” as if to thank the audience for its patience. The whole set kind of went that way: a new song or two, followed by one of Young’s favorites to keep everybody interested. “Powerfinger” made an appearance, and after a shoutout to “my sweetheart” Young offered up a rousing “Cinnamon Girl.”

Neil Young cranks it, with Crazy Horse guitarist Frank “Poncho” Sampedro.

But perhaps the peak of an already incredible set came late, when Young surprised everyone by dusting off the chestnut “Down By The River.” It was awesome – Neil didn’t try (or didn’t want) to match the recording’s guitar work note for note, making this live rendition slightly ragged but really right. “Fuckin’ Up” concluded with Young himself admitting “I fucked up the ending of this song,” and we closed out the night with “Hey Hey My My” and its battle cry “rock and roll will never die.”

What a way to wind it all up. Thanks, Neil.

Our Austin correspondent caught Jack White as we rocked out to Neil Young but don’t worry – we have a few videos from his ACL set and as a bonus (for us) we’re attending his taping of the “Austin City Limits” TV show tonight. Check ya later!

Jack White – “Blue Blood Blues”

Austin City Limits festival webcast page – tonight’s highlights include Iggy & the Stooges and the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Austin City Limits Music Festival – Day One

Posted in News with tags on October 13, 2012 by 30daysout

Wow, Austin’s always been weird but tonight it’s even weirder. And much more crowded – Friday was the first night of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. We crossed over Barton Springs Road (which leads to the festival grounds in Zilker Park) around 9:30 p.m. and it looked like much of the crowd left after Florence + the Machine’s set.

The Black Keys may have been the nominal headliner Friday, but they more or less shared the crowd with Florence (who played before the Keys on the same stage). It will be interesting to see what happens tonight, when Jack White and Neil Young play at the same time in two different parts of the park.

Let’s review some of the acts from the first night, with videos graciously supplied by our friends at ACL.

Alabama Shakes – “Heavy Chevy”

Tegan and Sara – “Back In Your Head”

The Black Keys – “Gold On The Ceiling”

Florence + the Machine – “Rabbit Heart” (Thanks to Florence + the Machine Fan Club)

Watch more videos and stream live sets from the festival

Austin City Limits Music Festival official web site

Live: Austin City Limits Music Festival Preview

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , on October 12, 2012 by 30daysout

We’re hittin’ the highway this morning to head for Austin and the 2012 edition of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, three days worth of music and mayhem. This year we strategically chose to attend only the middle day – and that turned out to be the most-sought after ticket.
At most concerts where you have to run a gauntlet of scalpers with fistfuls of tickets, ACL is the flip side.  For every festival goer headed to Zilker Park there at least two people along the way who are willing to do just about anything for a precious wristband that will get them inside.
Why? Look at this lineup: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White, Iggy & the Stooges, the Black Keys, Florence + the Machine, Steve Earle, Gotye, the Roots, Gary Clark Jr., Tegan and Sara, The Shins, Metric and Alabama Shakes, to name just a few.

They expect about 70,000 a day to attend the 2012 Austin City Limits Music Festival.

So they are expecting about 70,000 people a day, which makes ACL one of the country’s premier music festivals. We’re going to take some pictures and drink a few beers, and take in some music – and hopefully we’ll be alive to report back on Sunday.

You can be a part of this, too. Here’s how:

1. Watch streaming performances from ACL on the web. More acts than ever will be streamed (courtesy of YouTube) and they’ve just added a few more big names to the schedule, including Florence + the Machine on Friday and Iggy & the Stooges on Sunday. Click here to see the full schedule and watch the webcast.

2. Listen to live broadcasts related to the festival from Austin radio. Stations invite some of the performers to be interviewed and play a short set for their live broadcasts. Big fun.

KUT-FM has a lineup beginning at 9 a.m. CDT today (Friday) that includes Antibalas, Quiet Company, First Aid Kit and Jovanotti. To see a schedule and listen to the KUT lineup, click here.

KGSR-FM has a two-day schedule that begins today and includes Asleep at the Wheel, Patterson Hood, Ben Howard, LP, the Dunwells, the Whigs, Michael Kiwanuka and Father John Misty. To see a schedule and listen to the KGSR lineup, click here.

3. If you are in Austin and don’t have (or don’t want) tickets to the big festival, you can choose among a number of “aftershows” at local clubs featuring festival performers. Our friends at the Austin blog Do512 have compiled a list of aftershows and they’ll tell you how to get tickets and which are already sold out. Click here to see the lineup.

All right, then. We’ll keep in touch.

Austin City Limits Music Festival official web site

Video Du Jour: Rolling Stones

Posted in News with tags on October 11, 2012 by 30daysout

The Rolling Stones have yet another greatest hits collection, GRRR! , coming in November.  The band is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and hopefully this is just the first step that will lead to an extensive concert tour next year.

The 50-track collection will have two new songs and one of them, “Doom and Gloom” has been released.

Rolling Stones official web site

Video Du Jour: Jack White

Posted in News with tags , on October 10, 2012 by 30daysout

Jack White is one of the headliners for this weekend’s Austin City Limits Music Festival – he has the unenviable task to play on one end of Zilker Park the same time as Neil Young & Crazy Horse, who will be way on the other end.

We’ll be there, so we will give you an update Sunday. In the meantime, here’s “I’m Shakin’ ” off White’s solo, Blunderbuss.

Jack White official web site

Video Du Jour: Paul Simon

Posted in Rock Moment with tags on October 10, 2012 by 30daysout

The legendary singer/songwriter has a live album/DVD out, Live In New York City. The recordings are taken from a performance at New York’s Webster Hall during Simon’s 2011 tour.

Here’s “Boy In The Bubble,” which first appeared on the classic Graceland album.

Paul Simon official web site

Video Du Jour: Van Morrison

Posted in News with tags on October 7, 2012 by 30daysout

Van Morrison has a new album out, Born To Sing: No Plan B,  which features him playing saxophone, guitar, piano and yes, singing. It is Van’s 35th solo album, and it was recorded in his hometown of Belfast.

Van Morrison official web site

Shaken, Not Stirred – James Bond Theme Songs

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , on October 7, 2012 by 30daysout

Last week, producers of the new James Bond movie Skyfall dropped the epic theme song from the movie, by British singer Adele. When it comes out in the United States Nov. 9  (Oct. 16 in the U.K.), Skyfall will be the 23rd James Bond movie since 1962, and each has had its own theme song.

Some of the world’s biggest artists performed these songs, including Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Nancy Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Paul McCartney, Madonna and Alicia Keys. Which one is your favorite? “Skyfall” certainly measures up to some of the better songs from years past – so let’s take a listen to that one first.

Aside from Adele, which theme songs from James Bond flicks are the best? Let’s pick a handful of our favorites:

The best known song from all the Bond films may also be one of the best: Shirley Bassey sang the theme from 1964’s Goldfinger. This was the Welsh singer’s only U.S. Top 40 hit.

Flip the coin and you get Matt Monro, a British singer who was a huge international star in the 1960s. He cut the title song for 1963’s From Russia With Love, but it didn’t run over the opening credits, as has become the tradition. Instead, an instrumental version ran at the beginning and Monro’s vocal version was heard on a radio in the film and over the closing credits.

OK, so you may have noticed something else up there in the From Russia With Love clip – it starts out with a shot of Bond through a gun barrel, or an eyeball. That iconic opening actually comes from the first James Bond film, Dr. No, from 1962. That little ditty you hear over it was composed by Monty Norman and arranged by the great John Barry – it was the first true James Bond theme song. It’s followed by a highly stylized main title sequence, usually both created by Maurice Binder, but in this case Binder only designed the gunbarrel sequence. Robert Brownjohn is responsible for the title sequence in From Russia With Love.

MP3: “James Bond Theme” by Monty Norman Orchestra

MP3: “From Russia With Love” by Matt Monro

One of my favorite James Bond movies when I was a kid was Thunderball, from 1965. Bond took it to a new level in this one, with some of the coolest gadgets in and out of the water. Shirley Bassey actually cut the first song for this movie, something called “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” but the movie’s producers yanked it at the last minute because the song doesn’t have the movie’s title. So they wrote up a new one and got newcomer Tom Jones to cut it. Here’s Jones doing the song on some TV show back in the day.
By the time they got to You Only Live Twice, the producers of the Bond series were chucking out most of Ian Fleming’s novels and coming up with plots of their own. This fifth Bond movie, from 1967, is Sean Connery’s last Bond film from that decade (he would later return in 1971 with Diamonds Are Forever and the off-brand Never Say Never Again, from 1983). Anyway, here’s Nancy Sinatra doing “You Only Live Twice.”
We get out of the 1960s and into the 1970s with certainly the most acclaimed Bond theme song, “Live And Let Die,” by Paul McCartney & Wings from 1973. What can you say about this one – it’s tuneful, it’s exciting, and it was a HUGE hit on the radio. To this day, it’s a showstopper for Sir Paul whenever he plays live – he whips out the coolest pyro this side of KISS every time he plays this song. If you haven’t yet caught McCartney live, you have a chance in November when he plays a handful of U.S. and Canadian dates.
McCartney’s success inspired the Bond film producers to use more rock and pop stars to do their theme songs, with varying success. We like Duran Duran’s “A View To A Kill” (1985), Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better,” the first Bond song to be titled differently than the film it’s in (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977), and Tina Turner’s “GoldenEye” (1995), written by the Edge and Bono.
MP3: “A View To A Kill” by Duran Duran
MP3: “Nobody Does It Better” by Carly Simon
MP3: “GoldenEye” by Tina Turner
One more – probably the best of the bunch; let’s go with Shirley Bassey’s “Diamonds Are Forever,” from 1971. This was Connery’s return to the Bond role after his one-movie retirement (do you remember who played in only one Bond movie after Connery? George Lazenby, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969) and Bassey’s second Bond theme after “Goldfinger.” Shirley would do one more Bond theme song, “Moonraker” in 1979; she is the only artist to perform three theme songs from James Bond pictures.

Austin City Limits Music Festival – For Free!

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2012 by 30daysout

Austin City Limits Festival, where you can let your inhibitions go. (Photo by Steve Wrubel/Courtesy ACL Festival)

The Austin City Limits Music Festival kicks off next Friday (Oct. 12) in Austin, celebrating its 10th year as one of the country’s premier music parties. This year more than 130 acts will play for three days for about 70,000 people per day.

And don’t even ask about tickets, they’ve been sold out for months. So who’s playing? Glad you asked: The Black Keys, Florence + the Machine, Jack White, the Roots, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, The Avett Brothers, Iggy & the Stooges and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, among many more.

We’ll be there for one day – Saturday, when we have to choose between Jack White and Neil Young, who play at the same time. We’ll let you know how that goes.

Wish you were here, and you can be. Tune in to the ACL Festival live stream on YouTube beginning Friday afternoon; the lineup of artists they have scheduled isn’t too shabby: Asleep at the Wheel, Delta Spirit, Tegan and Sara, the Alabama Shakes, The Black Keys, The Shins, Bassnectar, The Roots, Jack White, Two Door Cinema Club, Steve Earle, The Avett Brothers, Gary Clark Jr. and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

It’s a good deal – it’s free. Check out the full schedule for the ACL Festival live stream and tune back on Friday for the performances.

YouTube: Teaser Trailer for the ACL Festival live stream

In other ACL Festival news, organizers announced the festival will expand to two weekends in October 2013. Many people think it’s going to work a lot like Coachella, where the same acts play basically the same sets both weekends.

Festival producers C3 Presents say that scenario is possible, but there may be one weekend where more local acts are booked. Many of the top artists playing the fest will likely stick around for the week in Austin, possibly playing small sets at the city’s many bars and venues and generally creating havoc for 10 consecutive days.

If you want to go to any part of this festival next year, we suggest you sign up for the Official ACL Festival E-list, like ACL Fest on Facebook and follow it on Twitter. About a week after this year’s festival concludes, organizers will put some sweet 3-day passes on sale for $50 apiece. But you have to be quick, and very lucky, to score any of these. Knowing about this stuff ahead of time is really helpful, if you catch our drift.

Austin City Limits Music Festival official web site

Video Du Jour: Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , on October 2, 2012 by 30daysout

“Walk Like A Giant” is the first video from Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s upcoming Psychedelic Pill, a 2-CD set coming Oct. 30.

The song is over 16 minutes long on the album, but it’s been edited down for this video. Psychedelic Pill has only eight songs but, like “Walk Like A Giant,” they are all very long.

Neil and Crazy Horse are scheduled to stop in Austin Oct. 13 for the Austin City Limits festival – hopefully their set will contain some of the new music.

Neil Young official web site