Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Austin City Limits Taping – St Vincent

I had the opportunity to attend an Austin City Limits taping this past Monday for St. Vincent. For those that aren’t familiar, St. Vincent is the stage name for Annie Clark. This is her second appearance on the show. Her ACL artist page has details on the first appearance. ACLs own recap from Monday can be found here. The episode will air in the Fall as a part of Season 44 on KLRU locally or on your PBS station.

I first learned about St. Vincent sometime just before her third album, Strange Mercy, was released. I really liked the first single, “Surgeon”. I heard an interview with her either on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast or elsewhere and learned that she grew up in Dallas. As for the new album, I ran through it a few times on Spotify prior to the show. I’ve heard “Los Ageless” which grew on me after only a few additional listens and I also found that I immediately liked “Pills” and “New York”.

She visited Austin back in February as a part of her Fear the Future tour. The stage show on Monday was quite elaborate by ACL TV standards and is clearly designed to reflect themes from her most recent album, MASSEDUCTION. She came out in an all red latex suit and took the stage with her three backing musicians, each on their own separate LCD floor and background screen. Being in the balcony was a benefit for this show due to the elaborate lighting that was used below and behind each performer. The keyboardist and drummer both wore very drab brown jumpsuit costumes (and masks?) in contrast to the female bass player and Miss Clark. I definitely thought of both David Bowie and Kraftwerk in watching the spectacle. She’s a pretty accomplished vocalist and guitarist. The solo performances held up as well if not better than those with a backing band. I’ll be interested to see how the light show translates onto television.

As always, ACL TV producer Leslie Nichols posted a shot of the set list to her Twitter account. Check out previous ACL TV posts going back to 2008.

Austin City Limits Taping – Run the Jewels

I can’t remember exactly where I first heard about Run The Jewels or “RTJ” as they and their fans refer to them. I’m pretty sure it was somewhere on the Internet. The oldest e-mail I have from their mailing list is September of 2014 prior to their release of their second album RTJ2. I decided to try out the first album because they made it available to download for free (well, in return for your e-mail address) and they’ve done that with their follow up albums. You can get all three at their web site.

Run The Jewels

Killer Mike of RTJ is an activist and has made the rounds on many talk shows like Stephen Colbert. He was outspoken during the 2016 election, campaigning for Bernie Sanders. He did several interviews about the violence in Ferguson.

Interestingly, Jaime Meline, the other half of RTJ, used his real first name in the e-mails from their mailing list until the beginning of 2106 when he started to use EL-P. And then there’s Meow The Jewels, which I somehow totally missed and am still not sure I get.

I happened to see their show on Sunday of Weekend One of Austin City Limits festival. In addition to both weekends of ACL Festival, they played to a packed house at Stubb’s the first Friday night and then did the taping this past Saturday. Both the festival show with its massive crowd and the smaller taping audience were very energetic. The taping audience was fairly sparse, probably due to Weekend Two of the festival along with OU weekend.

You can find ACLs review of the taping on their blog. It will air later this season (locally on KLRU). As she usually does, ACL producer Leslie Nichols shared the set list from her Twitter account. You can keep tabs on the schedule and upcoming tapings on their site as well.

You can find my previous taping posts going back to 2008 here.

Austin City Limits Taping – Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop with Josh HommeThe start of a new season for Austin City Limits usually coincides with SXSW which means it’s a great opportunity to get some pretty big names into the studio. Season 42 of Austin City Limits is no different with rock icons like Iggy Pop and Robert Plant doing a taping over the next week or so. I attended Iggy Pop’s taping this past Tuesday night. It’s my third time seeing Iggy. The first time was at Texas Stadium with INXS and Guns N Roses for the Calling All Nations tour. GNR was at the pinnacle of their popularity and INXS was riding pretty high as well. Iggy was earlier in the day along with Ziggy Marley, a bit of a footnote, but I remember it being a good show. The second time was actually a free show at SXSW 1996 when the stage was at 6th and Brazos next to the Driskill. That was pretty amazing. He could still get pretty crazy twenty years ago.

As you can see from the photo, the program is pretty amusing this time around. Iggy and Josh clearly have a sense of humor. It also pretty quickly highlights how huge Josh Homme is and how tiny Iggy is. This is probably my favorite ACL program since I’ve been regularly attending shows. Oddly enough, my seat for Iggy was not too far from my seat for the Queens of the Stone Age taping a couple of years ago. Pop contacted Homme a little over a year ago asking if he’d like to collaborate. They hit it off and the new album, Post Pop Depression, will be released tomorrow, March 18th. They did a showcase show encore last night at the Moody Theater. The Post Pop Depression tour appears to have limited US dates, so if you want to catch him, you might have to travel. I had already heard “Gardenia” a few times on Underground Garage and liked it. I can definitely hear Homme’s influence on the music. There are similarities to the most recent QOTSA album. The backing band for this tour is pretty much QOTSA. They’re all wearing matching red silk jackets to Iggy’s black one.

I wonder how Iggy is feeling about things with the recent passing of David Bowie. The did a respectable cover of “China Girl” at the midpoint of the set. Pop probably needs to stop going bare chested at shows at this point. He abandoned his black blazer about three songs into the set. He could pull it off really well at 50, but at 68, it’s starting to be a little much. I’m guessing he doesn’t know any other way to do it though. He has a noticeable limp going. He, like my parents, probably needs hip or knee surgery. Still, his voice hasn’t gotten worse with age. I’ve noticed several singers lose their range as they got older. Iggy still has his, which admittedly isn’t super wide, but what he does have is still intact. He had no qualms about getting out into the audience during the show.

My guess is that the episode will air in the fall and, of course, locally on KLRU. You can keep tabs on the schedule here.

Most of my previous ACL taping reviews are here.

Set list:

  1. Lust for Life
  2. Sister
  3. American Valhalla (PPD)
  4. Sixteen
  5. In The Lobby (PPD)
  6. Some Weird
  7. Fun Time
  8. Tonight
  9. Sunday (PPD)
  10. German Days (PPD)
  11. Mass Production
  12. Nightclubbing
  13. Passenger
  14. China Girl (David Bowie Cover)
  15. Fall In Love
  16. Repo Man
  17. Gardenia (PPD)
  18. Baby
  19. Chocolate Drops (PPD)
  20. Paraguay (PPD)
  21. Success


Austin City Limits Taping – TV On The Radio

Season 41 of Austin City Limits kicked off this week during SXSW with a performance that streamed live on YouTube from TV On The Radio (henceforth referred to as TVOTR) on Monday.

TV on the Radio - Austin City LimitsI first became familiar with TVOTR around the time their song “DLZ” was featured in an episode of Breaking Bad near the end of its second season. The series was known for its clever and fitting use of songs as a part of the plot and “DLZ” arguably marks the first sign of Walter White becoming Heisenberg. This was also around the time of the release of their third album, Dear Science which included the song. The single, “Dancing Choose”, got a fairb amount of radio play that year and seems to me to be their breakthrough and biggest selling album. I honestly didn’t fact check that so feel free to let me know if I’ve got that wrong.

They performed as a six piece. This was their first appearance on Austin City Limits. The set list is included below and, like most bands, included a significant amount of their new album, Seeds. They did not play “DLZ” but did play “Dancing Choose” and two other songs from Dear Science. They seemed genuinely appreciative of the audience and to be on the show. I’d characterize their songs as a mix of electronic and punk. They had a good energy and the crowd seemed more raucous than usual, probably attributable to SXSW attendees. Either I got on a bad row this time or the entire audience, while energetic, seemed antsy and I had to deal with more than the usual amount of people leaving their seats for the bathroom or drinks or who knows what. I found it distracting and disrespectful. As a note to those who haven’t attended a taping, this isn’t a typical show. You should really try to pace the bathroom and drink trips. In fact, you really shouldn’t leave your seat at all if possible. If you do, try to do it between songs.

TVOTR had other appearances during SXSW including the NPR music showcase on Wednesday at Stubb’s.

Set List:

  1. Young Liars (Young Liars)
  2. Lazzeray (Seeds)
  3. Golden Age (Dear Science)
  4. Happy Idiot (Seeds)
  5. Seeds (Seeds)
  6. Could You Love (Seeds)
  7. Wolf Like Me (Return to Cookie Mountain)
  8. Careful You (Seeds)
  9. Blues From Down Here (Return to Cookie Mountain)
  10. Winter (Seeds)
  11. Love Dog (Dear Science)
  12. Dancing Choose (Dear Science)
  13. Trouble (Seeds)

Austin City Limits Taping – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Austin City Limits - Nick CaveWhen Terry Lickona came out to announce Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, he noted that Nick Cave has been around 30 years and that Austin City Limits has been around for 40 years, but this was the first appearance on the show.

I’ve been to quite a few ACL performances over the years and the first thing I noticed last night was that the floor configuration for the taping was different than any other that I’ve attended. They gave Nick Cave two walkways out into the crowd and did away with the traditional space between the audience and the stage along with the two floor cameras that are usually right in front. I heard that based on the previous night’s performance to a sold out crowd, they decided that they wanted more audience interaction to make for a better taping.

This was my first time seeing Nick Cave live. I’d been exposed to him through Henry Rollins who’s a big fan. I’m also pretty familiar with Cave’s 1992 album, Henry’s Dream, which was an employee favorite at the Sound Warehouse at 49th and Burnet Road where I worked when it was released. His Grinderman side project has been a favorite over the past few years. He’s got quite a stage presence. He reminds me of a goth Elvis with a more overt sexuality, even raunchiness. I don’t know that I would’ve wanted to be in the front on the floor the way he was shoving his crotch at the audience members.

You can see the set list below, but the performance included five tracks from 2013’s Push The Sky Away and a sampling of what could be considered his greatest hits from earlier records. As many of those in attendance noted on Twitter, it’s not likely that they’ll air “Stagger Lee” from Murder Ballads without having to censor a good portion of the song. Cave himself mentioned that they wouldn’t air “Mermaids” because of one of the lyrics.

I attended with a friend who had never been to a taping before. He noted the lack of cell phones during the performance as a welcome sight. Austin City Limits and Alamo Drafthouse… trying to restore civility to attending movies and concerts. Coincidentally, a Nick Cave documentary, 20,000 Days on Earth, plays tonight at 10pm at Alamo Drafthouse – Ritz. The Nick Cave episode will air in the Fall.

Set List:

  1. We Real Cool (PTSA)
  2. Jubilee Street (PTSA)
  3. Tupelo (TFID)
  4. Red Right Hand (LLI)
  5. Mermaids (PTSA)
  6. From Her to Eternity (FHTE)
  7. Love Letter (NMSWP)
  8. God Is In the House (NMSWP)
  9. Higgs Boson Blues (PTSA)
  10. The Mercy Seat (TP)
  11. Stagger Lee (MB)
  12. Push the Sky Away (PTSA)

Austin City Limits Taping – Tweedy

Austin City Limits - TweedyTweedy is in town tonight for a show at the Texas Union Ballroom. It’s Tweedy the solo project that includes Jeff Tweedy and his son, Spencer, on drums, not just Jeff. They’re backed by guitarist Jim Elkington, multi-instrumentalist Liam Cunningham, bassist Darin Gray and last night were joined by vocalists Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe from the Brooklyn band, Lucius. The ACL program pointed out that Lucius played the Bloody Mary Morning Party during SXSW 2013.

Tweedy is releasing a new album, Sukierae (sue-key-ray), on September 16th. This is his first solo album featuring 20 new songs. He joked that he had to wait 18 years to grow a drummer before he could go solo. I had decided to punt on getting tickets for the show because of the outrageous $80 ticket prices, but got to go to the Austin City Limits taping last night.

I last saw Jeff Tweedy solo at Hogg Auditorium in January of 2007. It’s one of the best shows that I’ve ever seen. Jeff Tweedy solo shows are typically an intimate affair. It’s just him and his guitar. He even eschewed the microphone for several songs at that show. The intimacy of those solo shows is somewhat lost with the backing band. It was also more difficult to get into the first three quarters of the show because it’s all new material that we’ve never heard. Jeff Tweedy commented on this and thanked the audience for sticking with him. His solo shows are also part stand-up routine with plenty of self-deprecating humor. He managed to squeeze a bit of that into his on stage banter, apologizing to Spencer more than once for possibly embarrassing the 18 year old as he spoke. There weren’t as many sing-a-longs in last night’s show but the crowd was encouraged to join in on “Slow Love”, one of the new songs from the forthcoming album.

This is the 40th season of Austin City Limits. Tonight’s show is an encore performance of Raphael Saadiq and Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. The Tweedy show at Texas Union Ballroom is sold out. They play Dallas’s Majestic Theater tomorrow night. Austin360 also has a review of last night’s taping.

Set List:

(Full band)

  1. Down From Above
  2. Diamond Light
  3. Flowering
  4. Summer Noon
  5. World Away
  6. Desert Bell
  7. Honey Combed
  8. New Moon
  9. Where My Love
  10. High As Hello
  11. Wait For Love
  12. Low Key
  13. Slow Love
  14. Nobody Dies
  1. Via Chicago
  2. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
  3. New Madrid
  4. Hummingbird
  5. You and I
  6. Please Tell My Brother
  7. Born Alone
  8. Jesus Etc
  9. Passenger Side
  10. I’m The Man
(Full Band Encore)
  1. Give Back the Key to My Heart (Doug Sahm collaboration from Uncle Tupelo’s Anodyne recorded at Cedar Creek here in Austin)
  2. California Stars
(Solo Encore)
  1. Misunderstood

Austin City Limits Taping – Beck

Beck - Austin City Limits TapingBeck taped a broadcast for Austin City Limits on this past Sunday night. Terry Lickona’s typical pre-show intro included a reminder that Austin City Limits celebrates its 40th year this year. They’re doing some special shows for the Fall that include past performers. They taped the first performances last week with Willie Nelson (the show’s first performer) and also Double Trouble, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s backing band.

It’s been a while since I paid very much attention to Beck. I’m glad he’s still out there cranking out music. He’s certainly proven that he’s got the longevity. I remember really cursing that I had moved to NYC during SXSW in 1994 when he played a well received set. That was also the year that Johnny Cash played Emo’s. I picked up Odelay as I moved back in 1995. Since then, the only other Beck album I’d purchased was Midnite Vultures. That’s the one that I (and I’m sure others) like to refer to as Beck’s “Prince Album”. His latest, Morning Phase, is said to be more similar to 2002’s Sea Change which appears to be pretty well regarded and I completely missed it at the time. Judging from the songs from Morning Phase that he played for the taping, it’s definitely an acoustic 70’s pop radio feel. I loved this show because it reminded me of some great radio hits that I’d forgotten and introduced me to some new songs along with songs that I had missed. “Think I’m In Love” from 2006’s The Information is super catchy. I feel like I must’ve heard it before, but even if I didn’t, the first listen had me hooked. I tend to enjoy his more groove-related stuff, but I did find “Blackbird Change” from Morning Phase sticking with me after the taping.

The band included guitar, bass, two keyboard/multi-instrumentalists and a drummer, Joey Waronker, with a kit to rival Neal Peart. The drum sound was amazing, particularly the tom toms. During their set (list included below courtesy of Leslie from ACL’s twitter feed), Beck called an audible and decided to do all of the acoustic numbers in the middle. This required a bit of a shuffle for the ACL crew. They also ended up re-doing three of the acoustic songs at the end. Their first stage exit after “E-Pro” was amusing. They all fell down to the ground with their instruments feeding back and then eventually crawled their way, snake-like offstage. I’m hoping they include that in the broadcast. It was likely more amusing for those of us watching from the balcony since we could see what they were up to. To the people on the floor, it probably looked like they had disappeared. I missed “New Pollution” and really could’ve done without “Loser”. It’s one of those songs that’s so overplayed, I probably would’nt mind if I never heard it again. I think it was the most lackluster performance of the entire set.

I mentioned in my review of the Fun. taping that the ACL staff has become much more militant about cell phones during the taping. This is understandable, but they must really have had problems over the past year. I typically use my phone to take a few notes for my reviews. I turn the brightness down to the lowest setting and hold the phone down between my knees to minimize distraction. It’s never been a problem, but this time, an usher tapped me on the shoulder and gestured that he was going to throw me out if I didn’t put the phone away. It seems a little overly militant to me though. I guess I’ll be bringing a notepad and pen from now on and kick it old school reporter-like.

Beck plays the Austin City Limits Festival this year and the episode that was taped this past week will air in October.

Set List:

  1. Devil’s Haircut (Odelay)
  2. Black Tambourine (Guero)
  3. Think I’m in Love (The Information)
  4. Golden Age (Sea Change)
  5. Blackbird Chain (Morning Phase)
  6. Don’t Let it Go (Morning Phase)
  7. Country Down (Morning Phase)
  8. Lost Cause (Sea Change)
  9. Sissyneck (Odelay)
  10. Soldier Jane (The Information)
  11. Blue Moon (Morning Phase)
  12. Dead Melodies (Mutations)
  13. Say Goodbye (Morning Phase)
  14. Waking Light (Morning Phase)
  15. Soul of a Man (Modern Guilt)
  16. Loser (Mellow Gold)
  17. Girl (Guero)
  18. E-Pro (Guero)
  19. Where It’s At (Odelay)

Austin City Limits Taping – Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails had their Austin City Limits debut on Monday, November 5th at the Moody Theater. The band currently features a bass player, four multi-instrumentalists, two back up singers and Trent Reznor.  We all know that Trent Reznor *is* NIN and that’s evident during their live set. He’s definitely the band leader and his control of the set from center stage is evident. His band is a mix of old and new members. One of the back up singers in particular was impressive.

This was one of the most uncomfortable tapings that I’ve ever attended. Apparently, the air conditioning was turned off and then later restarted at the band’s request. It was way too hot. I guessing the band regretted that decision pretty quickly.

They played ten songs from the latest release, Hesitation Marks. “Sanctified” was the only track from Pretty Hate Machine. “In This Twilight” and “Survivalism” came from Year Zero. My personal favorite album is The Fragile and they played “The Frail” immediately followed by “The Wretched” and later, “The Big Come Down” and “Even Deeper”. They closed with “Hurt” from The Downward Spiral.

The episode will air sometime after January 2014. Check the schedule page for air dates.

Here’s the set list:

  1. All Time Low
  2. Sanctified
  3. Disappointed
  4. Come Back Haunted
  5. Copy of A
  6. The Frail / The Wretched
  7. Find My Way
  8. Various Methods of Escape
  9. Satellite
  10. Running
  11. I Would For You
  12. The Big Come Down
  13. Survivalism
  14. Even Deeper
  15. In This Twilight
  16. While I’m Still Here
  17. Hurt

Austin City Limits Taping – Queens of the Stone Age

Waiting for QOTSA at ACLQueens of the Stone Age (QOTSA) had the honor of, as Terry Lickona put it at the start of last night, “kicking off ACL Festival” with their taping at Austin City Limits at the Moody Theater, the show’s home since Season 37.

QOTSA have had a rotating line up over the years with Josh Homme being the only consistent member from the days that the band started after the breakup of Kyuss in the mid-90s. That being said, the current line up has been relatively steady of late except for the addition of drummer, Jon Theodore. All of the current members have other side projects or came from success with other bands. Both Josh Homme and Alain Johannes played Austin City Limits before with Them Crooked Vultures in Season 35.

They stuck to mostly tracks from their new album …Like Clockwork with eight tracks coming from that album. They played four from 2002’s Songs for the Deaf, which is my favorite of theirs. I tend to associate particular albums with different parts of my life and that one always reminds me of the time right before my daughter was born. I was listening to it in the car at the time and particularly remember it going to and from midwife appointments.  “In the Fade” was the only track from Rated R and “Little Sister” was the only track from Lullabies to Paralyze. “Misfit Love” and “Make It Wit Chu” from Era Vulgaris. I understand why they’d focus on the latest, but I would’ve liked to see a few more tracks from both Songs for the Deaf and Lullabies to Paralyze. I agree with some of the reviews that I’ve read that the last two albums tend to be less driving than the two more recent efforts.

The episode will air as part of Season 39 on January 4th at 7pm on KLRU locally. The band plays the Austin City Limits Festival tonight at 7:30pm on the Bud Light stage and at the same time and stage next Friday as a part of the second weekend.

Set List:

  1. You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire
  2. Misfit Love
  3. No One Knows
  4. My God is the Sun
  5. I Sat By The Ocean
  6. …Like Clockwork
  7. In the Fade
  8. If I Had A Tail
  9. Kalopsia
  10. Little Sister
  11. Make It Wit Chu
  12. Smooth Sailing
  13. I Appear Missing
  14. Go With The Flow
  15. The Vampyre of Time & Memory
  16. Song for the Dead

Austin City Limits Taping – Fun.

Waiting for Fun.

Waiting for Fun.

Fun. made their first appearance at the Moody Theater downtown last night.  This taping had the most kids in attendance that I think I’ve ever seen at any ACL show. I also noticed for the first time that they made multiple announcements that people need to be in their seats by the 8pm show start time and that they *really* don’t want people to have their cell phones out. This has been the policy all along, but they must be having problems with morons who either can’t pull themselves away from the bar or feel the need to try to take photos or video.

Fun. is perfectly suited for live audiences. Every other song is an anthem with plenty of opportunities for audience participation. They remind me a bit of Queen in that respect. Hopefully, the crowd singalongs will come through in the broadcast.

Nate Ruess has an impressive voice, another similarity to Queen. Unfortunately, it appears that he’s been having some voice issues and they ended up cancelling the today’s show in Florida with Mumford & Sons. I didn’t notice him struggling during the taping, so I’m glad that he was able to pull off the television show.

Jack Antonoff, guitarist for Fun.,  mentioned his love for Austin and that he’s played at Beerland, the smaller room at Emo’s, the larger room at Emo’s, the small room at Stubb’s and then outside at Stubb’s last year when they had their breakout singles from their second album,  Some Nights, which also landed them a couple of Grammys. The band was accompanied by three other musicians for the night’s broadcast.

I was only familiar with their singles. They played an even mix of material from both of their albums. My wife and I particularly enjoyed “The Gambler”, a song Nate Ruess apparently wrote for his parents.

Fun. will play the Austin City Limits festival on Friday, October 4th at 4pm on the AMD stage and Friday, October 11th at 4pm on the Lady Bird stage. The 39th season of Austin City Limits begins airing locally on KLRU on Saturday, October 5th.

Set List:

  1. Out on the Town
  2. One Foot
  3. All Alone
  4. Why Am I
  5. At Least
  6. Pretty Girls
  7. Barlights
  8. Carry On
  9. The Gambler
  10. We Are Young
  11. You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Rolling Stones cover)
  12. Some Nights
  13. Stars
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