Last Build Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 03:42:28 GMTCopyright: Copyright 2003 Doug Baron
Wed, 19 Mar 2003 19:13:22 GMTI've been remiss in wrapping up my SXSW story. The final night, Saturday, I went the mellow route. Started at the Texas Union Theatre (on the UT campus) to see Will Taylor and Strings Attached, featuring Sara Hickman, Patrice Pike, Eliza Gilkyson, Slaid Cleaves, Guy Forsyth, Michael Fracasso, Kellye Gray, and Abra Moore. I was hoping to catch Staid Cleaves, but I saw only Sara Hickman and Abra Moore, both of whom were multi-talented and put on delightful performances. Strings attached backed up these musicians with great skill and grace, as expected - all excellent acoustic instrumentalists. After that show, I got called home - on this day 4, I had finally overstayed my home front absence. So back outside loop 360 I went. Until, around 12:30, with the sleepover phone call fielded and all fronts quiet, I headed back out for one final fling. Not to see some new band from wherever, but instead a reunion with one I know well, making the rounds one again after a long hiatus: Camper Van Beethoven at La Zona Rosa. Cool show. Nothing new. Truly classic. A nice finish. Almost.... Sunday, I had to go to the final Softball Tournament and BBQ for the SXSW volunteer crew and other badge holders. Well attended, there were at least three games going on at the same time. I brought the kids and piled my plate high with fare from Ruby's Barbeque & Catering Co. Excellent! Ribs and brisket done right. And the vegetarian jambalaya was terrific. Saw a number of friends I had met working the festival. A great SXSW conclusion.
Sat, 15 Mar 2003 08:15:47 GMTToo tired to blog it right, but I'll try. Highlights included: Lucinda, then Willie at the Austin Music Hall. Willie is a master of his craft. His blues guitar was exquisite. Full of heart and good times. Lucinda did a set featuring mostly raw new material that sometimes bordered on a rap, then was pissed that they made her leave the stage a midnight. She wasn't ready to stop, but SXSW keeps a pretty tight schedule. Kind of left on a sour note Love Syndicate again at the Bitter End - this time I got to see a good part of the set. Even better than last night. Great vocals, and a guest appearance by a baritone sax. Bought their latest CD. Then next door at Lounge, rumor had it that Ben Harper was playing, though he wasn't on the schedule. Turned out to be true. Unfortunately, it had been announced on the radio and the place was packed. I was at the front of the line and ended up leaving because they were overloaded (Fire Marshal keeping everyone in line) and only people for special connections, like some folks from Waterloo Records, we getting in. I watched Ben walk by me.... They shut down traffic on most of the drag. The street music on 6th was varied, some very good. One, with a rhythm guitar, a tabla and conga, was really terrific. Easy to imagine that guitarist in the big time. With music blaring out of most of the bars and restaurants, it put me back on Bourbon St., but with even more live music. Austin is the live music capital of the world!
Fri, 14 Mar 2003 07:56:49 GMTToday I started at 10:00 at the Austin Music Hall to see Daniel Lanois, one of my very favorite live musicians. This show turned out to be fairly different than the other two times I had seen him, first at the Jazz Fest in New Orleans, where he was totally transcendent; a few years later in San Francisco at the Great American Music Hall. This show was a little looser, a bit more intimate, not quite so powerful, but excellent nonetheless. The sounds, impact, textures he gets out of his guitar are amazing. He told us how Brian Eno gave him this plastic intrument on which he composed The Maker. He had it with him and used it. He also played one tune on a pedal steel guitar, something I've never heard him do before. The show ended with a surprise special guest: Ritchie Havens. He started solo on his guitar, playing Freedom. As the energy built, the drums kicked in and Daniel gracefully worked in some sweet rhythm guitar. The crowd joined in the singing enthusiastically and the show ended on that high note. Wonderful. From there I wandered over the Antone's to see Kathleen Edwards, who has received a lot of press recently and was sure to be a bit draw. Sure enough, there was a line even for the badge holders and I waited after 15 minutes to get in. I liked her and her band, but not enough to spend the full hour there. I left and went around the corner and was drawn into the Fox and Hound by the sounds of Hookah Brown from New York. Cool sound! Only two songs left though... Back on the street, I next got sucked into a bars, not part of South By Southwest, called Ringside @ Sullivan's. There was a great jazz quintet playing, All U Need - sax, trumpet, drums, guitar, bass. Really good stuff. But then they took a break so on I went.... ...and came across another long line at the Lounge. I contemplated waiting in it, but hears some other cool music coming from next door. Turns out to be free show at the Bitter End, a brewpub. The band was Love Syndicate. Really good. Another highlight, again a brief one. Stopped by Mother Egan's. Nada Surf from NY was playing. Didn't do much for me, so I went across the street to Opal Divine's Freehouse. Brave Combo. What a hoot! Kick-ass accordion, fun, fun polka band. By request, they cranked into the Hokey Pokey and rocked the house. Not your grandma's version of that song! The crowd wanted an encore, but SXSW doesn't work that way. Finally, I headed down 6th street to the Roxy to see what Pedro the Lion was all about. Seemed like pretty ordinary rock to me. One song was enough and I called it a night.
Thu, 13 Mar 2003 06:49:22 GMTStarted at the Austin Convention Center for the Austin Music Awards. Decided I really wanted to see live mustic right away and headed out to Antone's where the Jake Andrews Band was playing. The were a rockin' power trio. Liked it. Moseyed over to Opal Divine's Freehouse, where I caught Nadine. Then passed by the Fox and Hound and Momo's, where a stopped for a while to listen to Micky and The Motorcars. They were delivering some very cool, original rock. A good band. At 10:30 I went back to the Austin Music Hall to catch The Improbable Return of Redneck Rock with Steven Fromholz, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Bob Livingston, Rusty Wier, Ray Benson and Billy Joe Shaver. The fathers of Austin rock all together on the same stage, masters of their craft. With Ray Wylie they played Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother. They also played Going Home with the Armadillo, and London Homesick Blues - all classics, favorites of mine. It was a kick. Sweet. Next, back to Antone's for Jon Cleary and The Absolute Monster Gentlemen. I had heard Jon Cleary on the radio earlier, playing the piano live in the studio, giving a sort of clinic on New Orleans style piano styles. Kind of weird the British guy being a New Orleans rocker, but that he is with a top notch band cranking it out. Another excellent show. I love this town!
Sun, 09 Mar 2003 04:44:49 GMTThis town is great. Here I am, at the end of my South by Southwest volunteer shift. I flip through the Chronicle to see who's playing tonight. I notice Marcia Ball at Antone's, started early, like 7:00. I walk the 12 or so blocks from the Austin Convention Center to the club at Lavaca and 5th. Poke my head in so see how much it costs. $15. "Any show special for SXSW volunteers?" Hmmm... $10. Cool, I'm there. Inside, the dance floor is all that separates me from Marcia. Sometimes it's empty, sometimes full, but never crowded. Now, I've seen Marcia in New Orleans, her frequent stomping grounds. You'd never get a ticket to see her the night of the show. Probably not in San Francisco either. You certainly wouldn't be able to walk up to the stage without fighting an intense throng of people. But here in Austin, I was able to stand there and enjoy a fine, fun show. And take a few snapshots!
Sun, 05 Jan 2003 07:53:52 GMTWow. Maceo Parker at Antone's tonight. The hardest working band on the planet, got this Austin crown dancing from the get go and never let up. Amazing funk. Great fun, Girls dancing on the stage.... And so easy. I was reminded listening to the radio this afternoon that this was the last of a three-night date. Went to Antone's web site at 4:30 PM and bought a will-call ticket for less than the door price. Left my house after getting the kids to bed, drove 20 minutes downtown (I live way out there!), parked on the street a couple of blocks away, was quickly inside, moseying right on up to the stage and waiting for the show to begin. My ears are still ringing! ;->
Fri, 27 Dec 2002 04:55:16 GMTYes, this year my daughter learned some different Christmas jungles. this one was fun. She actually learned a different version from the local high school band with more Austonian slant: On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: