Austin City Limits 2015

October 13, 2015

Austin City Limits - fondly known as ACL - is a three day music festival in (you guessed it) Austin. Back when I first attended four short years ago it was just one weekend...but with the event drawing people from across the country (and globe?) I'm assuming people started asking for more and the ACL powers that be decided to extend the program to two weekends of fun. The first weekend was October 2-4 and the second weekend was (you guessed it) last weekend, October 9-11. After getting some very amazing VIP tickets offered to me a few weeks ago for weekend two I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see the 2015 lineup of performers. So I enlisted my friend and fellow Biscuit babe Avery as my partner in crime and we did our best to treat the three days as a marathon, not a sprint...

 

150 people are moving to Austin each day. If you’ve ever visited the city you probably understand how this is possible…the music scene, eclectic aesthetic, beautiful landscape, shiny skyline, healthy and active lifestyle mentality, and yum culinary offerings are just a few reasons that make Austin a hot bed for tech start-ups and University of Texas fans alike. The 350 acres of Zilker Park sections off part of its space to ACL each October and I think it does a perfect job of showcasing all that’s great about the city. The two largest stages (out of the eight situated in the field) sit on opposite ends – east and west – with the east backing up to the city skyline and the west looking out over lush trees and getting the sunset glory each night. Because great music goes well with good food and drinks, tons of amazing sponsors and local restaurants come in with delicious offerings.

Avery and I did our best to balance our intake of cocktails with lots of Vita Coco Coconut Water and H2O. It might be October but Austin is still hot and trekking from stage to stage and standing among other fans is as invigorating as it is draining. We totally lucked out having the tickets we did because the VIP Grove area offered shade, seating, food + drinks, cool booths (loved the South Congress Hotel pop-up with cool boutique Sunroom), and wicked installation of hanging streamers by The Color Condition (created by my talented friends in Dallas!). We could have just looked at those colorful swags and mobiles of color all day…but we did make it out of the Grove for the main purpose of the festival: the music lineup. And there were several bands and artist that were clear favorites. Below is our list of most loved performances and a few song recommendations:

Far and away, the best performance we experienced was by Florence and the Machine. I’m already a major fan of hers so I was pumped out of my mind that I got to see her close the festival on Sunday night…now I can honestly say that I’m obsessed. Her energy is INSANE – she was literally sprinting across the stage (barefoot) and dancing her face off for a full hour and a half. At one point she ran off stage into the crowd and ended up about five feet from us. I almost passed out/got crushed by other screaming fans. Not sure I’ve ever seen anyone perform and felt such authenticity and soulfulness.

Avery and I left Austin yesterday tired but happy, with a full list of songs to download. So glad we got to experience such an amazing weekend and already hoping I get to return to the fest again next year!

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The New Basement Tapes

December 23, 2014

I don't claim to know much about music - that's really Sally's passion - but I do love listening to the stuff and learning the meaning behind certain songs and albums. When a musical lover and guru introduced me to some new songs about a month ago I was in love. Not just because the lyrics were sweet and soulful, but because of the story behind them and the album...Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes is an album produced by T Bone Burnett featuring a collective of musicians - Elvis CostelloRhiannon GiddensTaylor GoldsmithJim James and Marcus Mumford - recording under the name The New Basement Tapes. The album consists of tracks based on recently uncovered lyrics handwritten by Bob Dylan in 1967.

 

After almost being killed in a motorcycle accident in July 1966, Bob Dylan sequestered himself in a small house in West Saugerties, New York to recover. During the spring of 1967 he, along with Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson (and later, Levon Helm), wrote and recorded more than a hundred songs in the basement of the house over the next several months. The “traditional covers, wry and humorous ditties, off-the cuff performances and, most important, dozens of newly-written Bob Dylan songs” were a mysterious legend to fans until the album The Lost Basement Tapes was released in 1975. Only 16 of the rumored hundred+ songs written during the 1967 period were made into recordings by Columbia Records.

Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes is a celebratory album of 20 of the other never-seen Bob Dylan lyrics from that legendary 1967 period. Nearly 50 years later, the chosen five musicians listed above worked together over two weeks to knock out the recording of the songs. Here’s how it went down: Dylan’s publisher contacted Burnett regarding the box of handwritten lyrics that had been found, dating back to Dylan’s Basement Tapes days, and asked if he had any interest in doing something with them. As soon as Burnett was assured that Dylan was on board with the project, he agreed to it. Burnett selected his band based on their talent and collaborative style, as well as their interest as “musical archaeologists”. Each member of the group was sent the collection of lyrics, and each arrived at recording session with a selection of tunes, some having set only some of the lyrics, others having set all of them. Not wishing to encourage competition, the group decided to record all the tunes, including multiple settings of the same lyrics. Of the resulting 40 tracks, 20 are included on the present album. (< info taken from here)

According to the musical man who introduced me to the tracks, Showtime did a great documentary series on the making of the album and you can watch it here! The album is available on iTunes and I highly suggest getting it. But even if you don’t get it, at least listen and watch the videos for “Kansas City” and “When I Get My Hands on You” below…I think you’ll like.

 

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Baby Love Me Lights Out

September 3, 2014

I heard this song yesterday in an airplane of all places. You know how before takeoff and after landing some airlines play music to distract you from the fact that you're tired, cranky, hungry, and pressed against one too many strangers? Well Delta surprised me with John Mayer's rendition of "XO" and I can't believe it was the first time I was listening to the version. Most of us already know and love XO as sung by Beyoncé, and while Queen Bey will always reign supreme, I have to say that I'm loving John's warm acoustic version. Soulful and sweet. Made me obsess over the lyrics all over again.

 

Listen to John Mayer’s XO.

Listen to Beyoncé’s XO.

Now tell me, which version do you prefer?

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Music Monday

March 25, 2013

There’s not much to say on this Monday to follow Molly’s Toast Talk – she kind of kills those doesn’t she?  After reading her morning thoughts, be sure to listen to this brand spanking new Vampire Weekend song – we’re talking a new, not even out yet song.  This past weekend was kind of amazing for so many reasons.  It was unseasonably cold here (3os and 40s), so my boyfriend used that as an excuse to hide indoors all weekend starting and finishing the entire season of House of Cards.  We made a little bit of Ina’s Bolognese Pasta, whipped…

There’s not much to say on this Monday to follow Molly’s Toast Talk – she kind of kills those doesn’t she?  After reading her morning thoughts, be sure to listen to this brand spanking new Vampire Weekend song – we’re talking a new, not even out yet song.  This past weekend was kind of amazing for so many reasons.  It was unseasonably cold here (3os and 40s), so my boyfriend used that as an excuse to hide indoors all weekend starting and finishing the entire season of House of Cards.  We made a little bit of Ina’s Bolognese Pasta, whipped up some gluten free Scotchies to satisfy my sweet tooth, snuck out to find him some swim trunks (we ended up with these) for an upcoming guys trip, and listened to this gem of a song allll weekend long.  Oh, and did I mention that I am on “Spring Break” right now?  One of the biggest benefits to working in a school.  I plan to spend the week tackling some mahhjjjor cleaning and organizing in my room, going to classes at the gym every day, having dinners with friends, getting a Shellac manicure, and making a trip to Zara – all things that I can never seem to get to during my normally crazy work schedule.  Lets just say that I am much more excited about this particular Monday that I normally am:)

(Video via YouTube)

 

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Music on My Mind

March 1, 2013

Other than the fact that I am so screaming happy that it’s Friday, I can’t seem to get this classic song by the Talking Heads out of my mind.  So catchy and such a happy song.  Yesterday my boyfriend and I made the official decision to go to Lollapooza in Chicago this year – first time ever! The lineup is slated to be pretty amaze and he’s never been to Chicago before.  There’s nothing better than the city in the summertime, right?!  August is a longgg ways off but I’m already getting excited for a weekend with best friends and good…

Other than the fact that I am so screaming happy that it’s Friday, I can’t seem to get this classic song by the Talking Heads out of my mind.  So catchy and such a happy song.  Yesterday my boyfriend and I made the official decision to go to Lollapooza in Chicago this year – first time ever! The lineup is slated to be pretty amaze and he’s never been to Chicago before.  There’s nothing better than the city in the summertime, right?!  August is a longgg ways off but I’m already getting excited for a weekend with best friends and good music in the city.  To hold us off in the meantime, the Lumineers are coming to Dallas in April and we have been dying to see them.  You know, just adding a few things to the calendar to look forward to.  Such a good feeling:).  Any other good songs that I should be adding to my playlist for this weekend?  I think I could certainly give the cycling instructor for this morning’s class a few pointers – 90’s emo music isn’t the most ideal to pound the “pavement” on a bike to!
(Video via YouTube)

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