Posts Tagged ‘Austin City Limits’

Update to Previous Posts

May 13, 2009

So there are always a few things to follow up on from previous posts, and here are the ones pressing on my brain.

Still haven’t bought my ticket for Burning Man, but I had mentioned having found a bustier and tall boots to wear, should I go. Well, when deciding what to wear for the KCRW Radioactive dance across the park, through the tunnel and over the street, I tried them on. Neither fit! I was okay with the bustier, because there is a chance if I continue to lose weight, I might. But the boots! I could get my feet in fine, but could not finish zipping them up because my calves were “too large!” I do not have large calves. Not like professional weight lifter large calves, no. Nor professional bicyclist large calves. Just normal calves, in my mind. I’ve never had problems with pants being too tight on my calves, this is my proof I am normally proportioned in the calf area. But perhaps this was why there was a large pile of these boots available for cheap at Goodwill, because they did not fit normal anatomical proportions? And mind you, I got a size slightly larger than what actually fit my feet, because they are boots, and this way I could have a variety of stockings, socks, or pant legs inside, was my thinking. But alas. They now go in the give to Goodwill pile.

I’m having second thoughts about selling the car. I told the gentleman involved. He said, funnily enough, his problem was resolved, because once he told his partner of his plans, including parking said vehicle over in his neck of the woods, where there was free on-street parking, his boyfriend said to just borrow his car! So his stress about not having access to a vehicle was resolved by having a conversation, instigated by my offer to sell to him.

In the meantime, he told a neighbor friend of his about the car, and he too lives downtown, would have the same parking issues in owning it, and mentioned my neighborhood was only a subway ride away. So the new thought I am thinking about is, possible shared ownership, so I can gradually transition out of owning the car. I mean, I was planning on having the car so I could go from San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival straight to Burning Man. This would be a much easier solution to take a week’s supply of food and camping supplies with my own car already packed. That is, if I were going. And it being parked near me would make shared ownership a lot easier for me, you have to admit. So now I have someone new to have this conversation with. To say nothing of once I get back from this month long trip, I might need a car to easily get to job interviews. This could work.

Of course, true to perfect timing, the car has started flashing a red warning light that needs to be checked out, and I only have three days to make any necessary repairs. Isn’t that the way it usually goes?

And finally, on to concert news. The Austin Hostel I stayed at last year sent me an email reminding me to book my accomodations if I am planning on returning this year for Austin City Limit’s Music Festival, hands down one of the best organized festivals in the country, and ACL is the one fest that I have been hesitant about attending, only because the line up for headliners did not inspire me. I thought I had plenty of time to decide, I mean it isn’t until early October, and ticket sales for all the other festivals have been slow, as evidenced by extended deadlines past the originally stated offerings for options like layaway plans and such. Not even Coachella sold out this year, which it has sometimes in the past. No, not ACL. Apparently others agree it is the festival to be at, and the three day passes are already SOLD OUT! So much for waiting to decide later. Then again, I could always try to volunteer; since I am not inspired by the lineup, this would be a good year to make such a commitment, since I won’t really care if I miss anyone. Well, any of the headliners, at least. I could find some bands to be excited about that aren’t playing at any other festival I plan on attending. Because I of course already added the ACL lineup to my spreadsheet of comparative festival lineups… Just in case I decided to go.

Austin City Limits 2008

Austin City Limits 2008

More Festivals! More New Lineups!

April 28, 2009

So of course the lineup for Lollapalooza was announced last week, and not as I predicted, Jane’s Addiction and NIN will not both be playing. Jane’s Addiction, yes, NIN, no. NIN will be playing in Japan during that weekend.  Trent’s twitter feed has been talking about the band’s practices, his concern for the conflict between opening night of Star Trek and their first show of the tour, and how they have been testing their costumes out, and one will have wings that light up. He’s kidding, right? NIN, costumes, wings? 140 characters per tweet doesn’t leave much room for subtlety, ya know? He’s kidding. So I get to see NIN at Sasquatch and Bonnaroo only.

Here’s the Lolla lineup:

Depeche Mode! Tool! The Decemberists! Arctic Monkeys! The Raveonettes! Bat for Lashes! Glasvegas (who cancelled last minute at Coachella)! While watching The Cure at Coachella, my thought was, if only Depeche Mode were playing too… I get my wish, albeit three and a half months later. Okay, so instead of NIN, where my hopes were, I get Depeche Mode and Tool. I’m good with that.

And Austin City Limits just announced their lineup today too.

the 2009 Austin City Limits Lineup

Pearl Jam

Dave Matthews Band


Beastie Boys

Kings of Leon

Ben Harper and Relentless7

Thievery Corporation

John Legend

The Dead Weather

The Levon Helm Band

Ghostland Observatory


Sonic Youth

Mos Def


Flogging Molly

The B-52s

Lily Allen

Citizen Cope

Arctic Monkeys

The Decemberists

Coheed and Cambria

Andrew Bird

Girl Talk

STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9)



Bon Iver


Avett Brothers

The Airborne Toxic Event

Medeski, Martin & Wood


Michael Franti & Spearhead

Grizzly Bear

Heartless Bastards

Passion Pit

White Lies


Dan Auerbach

The Walkmen

The Scabs

Reckless Kelly


Blitzen Trapper

The Virgins

Here We Go Magic



Asleep at the Wheel

Dr. Dog

The Raveonettes

The Knux

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

State Radio

Los Amigos Invisibles

The Felice Brothers

Federico Aubele

Raul Malo

Daniel Johnston

Poi Dog Pondering

Brett Dennen


Henry Butler

Preservation Hall

Sam Roberts Band

The Greencards

Sara Watkins

Walter “Wolfman” Washington

David Garza

John Vanderslice

Zac Brown Band

Todd Snider

School of Seven Bells

The Dodos

Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3

Alberta Cross

Deer Tick

Bell X1

Alela Diane

The Wood Brothers

The Parlor Mob

Rebirth Brass Band

Marva Wright

Terri Hendrix


Lisa Hannigan

The Low Anthem

Sons of Bill


Sarah Jaffe

Cotton Jones

The Henry Clay People

Papa Mali


Vince Mira

Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights

Mimicking Birds

Jeffrey Steele

Jonell Mosser


Keith Gattis

Damien Horne

Sarah Siskind

The Dexateens


Danny Brooks

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

The Soul Stirrers

The Durdens

Palm School Elementary

The Gospel Silvertones


Quinn Sullivan

Ralph’s World

Q Brothers


Telephone Company

Loose Cannons

Lunch Money

I gotta say, I’m feeling a little underwhelmed with this lineup. Then again, of the headliners, I’ve seen Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews, Ben Harper and Ghostland Observatory at least three times each, so those aren’t the draws for me. However, Sonic Youth, Lily Allen and the B-52s are playing, and those I could get excited about. There are plenty of other bands too, like DeVotchka whom I can always see, School of Seven Bells, The Decemberists, Andrew Bird, and how about Mos Def? It’s not that it is a bad lineup, by any means, it’s just that usually it is the big name acts that push me over the edge of whether to attend or not. It is the second or third level acts that I really want to see, and if there is someone playing the closing show for the greater than 45 minute slot that I want to see, that’s what has me buy the ticket. The way I should think about it though, is who is playing the aftershows? Last year, I waited around for the closing acts, and missed the band I bought a ticket to see as an aftershow, because some of the aftershows conflict with the actual event times. So maybe…. I’ll keep my eyes open and see what develops. I would definitely recommend the festival on principal to anyone else; I love this festival, as Austin is a great place to visit and the festival is so wonderfully organized. But for me, this year, it just isn’t calling to me. However, it’s the first weekend of October, who knows what will be going on in my life by then?

And as if that were just not enough, another lesser known festival lineup was also announced yesterday, in Seattle, the Capitol Hill Block Party lineup. A two day Friday-Saturday festival this July 24 & 25, sponsored by an excellent local paper and an excellent local radio station, it is focused on promoting Northwest bands, but if not from the NW, then indie music in particular. Tickets go on sale this Friday, May 1st. At $40 for the two days, it’s a bargain, especially if you already are in Seattle. Sonic Youth is the big name this year. And not only are the bands announced, but the stages and days they will be playing is already up. Me, I already have other plans that particular weekend. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t go last year, as I was in the vicinity, and Feral Children were playing!

Now that all these have been announced, it is time for me to go back to updating my spreadsheet to see what bands I now have second chances to see at my next festival dates. Good times!

Sasquatch vs. Lightning in a Bottle

February 19, 2009

Well, the Sasquatch Music Festival 2009 website is up, announcing the lineup for this year’s festival. Nine Inch Nails, whom I can never seem to get enough of, are playing. That being the case, no one is seriously wondering if I will be trying to make it there? I should hope not. In fact, I will be at a conference in San Francisco the preceding weekend, which I will drive to, so what’s another 1,000 miles of driving to get to George, Washington? (Yes, you read the name of that quaint burg correctly. Their tagline is George in the Gorge, since it is on the Columbia River Gorge. Oh! Such a beautiful place to see any band, gorgeous scenery surrounding the stage. Current band sucks and don’t want to lose your great picnic spot? Appreciate the sunset or the clouds drifting by or the river flow curving down below.)

Gorge Amphitheater in George, WA

Gorge Amphitheater in George, WA

Sasquatch is a great music festival because there are only three stages, so chances are even if two bands are playing at the same time you want to see, there might be some place to stand where you can catch both. I found the perfect place to sit while waiting for a specific band to take the stage, such that I could still enjoy the other acts while waiting. No, I am not telling you where that is, what, give away my carefully gleaned secrets?

Like many festivals, the main stage caters to the huge mega-bands that are known internationally, and are supposedly the big draws. Bands like Nine Inch Nails. For Coachella, one of the nights it is Paul McCartney. But for me, one of the best draws of music festivals is most have the smallest stage devoted to, if not local regional bands, then at least small, undiscovered bands. These are the gems, I think. I haven’t been doing this long enough to see what the track record of discovery is if they first appear on a small stage at a major festival, but I would suspect that for many bands, it is the exposure they need to build a larger following. And if that isn’t the case, well then at least one person (me) appreciates hearing of musicians I never would have heard otherwise. At Sasquatch, Voodoo and Austin City Limits, I found myself gravitating to this smallest stage, and grateful that I did. Only at ACL is the stage prominently placed such that going from either of the two main stages, one is most likely to pass by the regional stage. It is also conveniently near the food vendors, so even if you weren’t meaning to listen, you do. At Voodoo and Sasquatch, this regional stage is placed away from the other stages. Oh well. My gain, as they frequently are less crowded, and easy to have seating close up front and personal.

Sasquatch is a camping festival. Never heard of George, Washington? That’s because it is tiny. So to accomodate all the thousands of people descending on the tiny town, camping is the way to go. There are the music festivals based in cities (Bumbershoot, Lolla, ACL, Voodoo), and then there are the music festivals based in far distant places, that camping is pretty much the only option (Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Rothbury). Thus my driving there makes it easier, as I just need to pile that camping gear in, pick up some groceries, and I am good to go. Last year (whilst still employed) I had to think hard about the packing, since I flew and then rented a car. So my food selections were limited to things not requiring refrigeration nor cooking. These days I own a propane stove, cookware and will probably buy a french press too. I ended up giving food away before I left, not wanting to take it on the plane. This year too, I have my eye on a cool stand up tent, perfect for privacy needs while changing, and also tall enough to use a solar shower effectively. Sasquatch does have showers, and they are even free (unlike hippie-haven Bonnaroo), but once word got out, the line was several hours long to take one. And Sasquatch has the most efficient and frequently cleaned porta-potties I have ever experienced! I did not find a single one NOT stocked with toilet paper. And almost always the squeeze soap was available too. What a godsend when camping for three days, to know that the very basics are handled. Be ready to walk though, as the campgrounds are up a hill from the festival entrance. Or down a hill. The campgrounds are on one hill, the festival on an adjacent hill. A stream and pond are between the two.

Anyway, Sasquatch is even doable for those with weekday jobs without missing a day of work because instead of being the traditional Friday-Saturday-Sunday festival, it is always on Memorial Day Weekend, so it is Saturday, Sunday, Monday. Just make sure you can get there and back without missing any work, and no one will know you were ever out of town.

The same weekend, traditionally, is Lightning in a Bottle, an eco-green, music festival leaning towards dance music. Another camping extravaganza, with some awesome djs, and held near the scenic Santa Barbara, CA region. I have nothing to say about this festival since I have never attended, but heard it was fun. If you go, expect to dance! That’s the point of it, a weekend long rave in the woods. “A Magical Forest Adventure!” is the tagline for this event. Check out last year’s site to get a feel for it, since the current year’s site is not up yet. Maybe next year I will forego Sasquatch and attend Lightning in a Bottle. Just like one of these years I will go to Bumbershoot on Labor Day Weekend rather than Burning Man.