Monday, September 17, 2007

triumphant return

Hello dear blog! I just have to say I'm sorry for having not posted in so long, even though I've heard that's bad blogging form. Receiving no help from the tiger-half, I fear the burden was too great and I crumbled.

However, with renewed vigor I return to tell of a great weekend-o'-music. First up, a trip to Dallas with Joe to see The National at the Granada Theater. Let me just say: awesome show. More awesome than the show, though, was meeting lead singer Matt, whom Joe and I both agree is our favorite modern poet. We got a picture and autographs to prove it, too. And a lifetime of regret for not asking about the meaning of Gospel. St. Vincent also played along, and was a surprisingly good opener.

The National is my favorite band. That's a prelude to pointing out that Matt seems to have taken a page from Iggy Pop's book on "Convulsing Spasmatically About The Stage With Nowhere To Put Your Hands". He's a quick study, too.

The National - Gospel

Saturday was supposed to bring Rodrigo y Gabriela in Austin for an ACL "aftershow" (even though they weren't supposed to play ACL until Sunday...) - but apparently Gabriela got "tired" or something. *spit*

Sunday, though, Will and I made our way to Zilker Park. We saw The National (again, for me) play the same set from Friday, complete with the jumping-off-the-stage-during-Squalor-Victoria routine, and with no less energy. It was a great set on Friday night and it didn't disappoint on Sunday afternoon. We ran to the other side of the park to catch as much of Ben Kweller as possible, then back again to the very same stage to see Devotchka. Of the entire festival, I have to say these polka-rockers impressed me the most. This is to say, the disparity between what I expected and what I got was greatest here. I knew I liked Devotchka, but I wasn't sure how their music would translate to a live venue. (The tuba and -theremin?... being only the beginning of my concern.) Wow. They rocked. Absolutely rocked. And the lead singer was amazing.

Devotchka - How It Ends

Lucinda Williams delivered a great performance, until the virtually unintelligible rant against the war in Iraq and President Bush - both of which she would only refer to obliquely. This strategy lent even more confusion to an already self-conflicted statement. She actually said at one point "Oops, I contradicted myself". (Shut up and sing, Lucinda.) Regina Spektor - while adorable - enjoyed WAY too much popularity, and I believe that fully 80% of the festival skipped Amos Lee to watch her. She was too cute in the way she looked shocked when she completed a song and completely flabbergasted when people applauded afterward. This illusion of naiveté was somewhat shattered when it followed songs with lyrics like "the next door neighbors are fucking to one of my songs".

My Morning Jacket was offered a position of honor near the end of the day. They were terrific, to be sure, but very off. (<-- photographic evidence) Jim James was wearing a very long, very blond wig, which offered a disconcerting (no pun) contrast to his very man-like bearded face. Also in attendance were two women whose job it seems was to stand on stage and do unexpected things with pineapples. No, really: pineapples. One was balanced on a head for a time. Another was cradled like a nursing baby periodically and alternately offered up to the sky in the style of sacrifice. This was apparently a grave task that was undertaken with the utmost sincerity. Surprisingly, it seemed to be observed by most of the large crowd with the same sentiment. Maybe all the pot revealed some hidden message to them that was lost on me. Clearly, I was ill-prepared for the festival...

My Morning Jacket - The Way That He Sings

Enough for now. I'll flesh out this post later perhaps, and link things like a good blogger ought.

1 comment:

Marcus said...

Your ACL and Dallas music scene escapades have caused me a great swell of jealousy. Luckily for you I am in a great mood lest this jealousy turn to rage. But just watch it next time ; )