Posts Tagged ‘acl’

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 – 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 – 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

Austin City Limits Taping – Jack White

Jack WhiteEvery year during the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park, you can expect that at least a few artists will tape an episode of the Austin City Limits television show. This year, as the new season starts to air (Radiohead’s performance aired on 10/6 and Bon Iver aired this past Saturday), they’re continuing to add more artists to fill out the rest of the season. Jack White taped an episode Sunday night at the Moody Theater. The Austin City Limits television site is posting its own taping recaps now. They have a  pretty comprehensive background on the night including a set list. There’s also one from the Tim McGraw taping in August. Norah Jones also did a taping late this week.

Jack White has graced the Austin City Limits stage once before with Raconteurs in Season 32 (2006) which coincided with his first appearance at the music festival. The Raconteurs played the festival again in 2008 and he famously had to cancel the White Stripes headlining slot at the festival in 2007 due to Meg White’s health issues. I’m assuming that his choice of set list as a solo artist was influenced by the desire to get some White Stripes songs on Austin City Limits. I’ve been to several tapings over the years and this was the first one I can recall where the artist was allowed to alter the set. They didn’t obscure or block the Austin skyline, but they changed the stage from its usual black to white and had two spotlights that bathed the bands in a blue or white light. It managed to give them their own style while still sticking with the Austin City Limits tradition.

White has two backing bands and switched between them halfway through the set. He appeared to have brought his own Hasidic appearing road crew to manage the switch. I don’t want to touch off a gender war, but the all male Buzzards, the first backing band, definitely rocked harder than their female counterparts, the Peacocks. I enjoyed both thoroughly. The Buzzards, all in black, consisted of drums, bass, fiddle, keys and a multi instrumentalist. The Peacocks, all in white, had one more member than the Buzzards. I’d never noticed this before, but the keyboard / piano setup at stage left had a rather large mirror for the keys facing stage left so that the player could still see Jack and the rest of the band. Jack ended up restarting “Hypocritical Kiss” with the Peacocks so they could get it right. I think he was the one that made a mistake or the tuning  was slightly off. Being a drummer, I noticed that the drummers from both bands, Carla Azar with the Peacocks and Daru Jones with the Buzzards sit very high over their kits. Jones also angles all of his drums downward away from him at a fairly steep angle. To each their own, but I can’t see being able to play like that night after night.

Look for this episode to air in January.

Austin City Limits Taping – Radiohead

This was my second trip to the Moody Theater for an Austin City Limits taping. I was back in section 1 in the balcony on the left side. We were on row A, right in the front of the balcony. That row has a slightly obscured view of the stage due to the height of the wall that runs around the edge of the balcony. It’s necessary to lean forward to see the entire stage.

This time, it was Radiohead who are playing tonight at the Erwin Center. I had tickets for that show as well in the upper deck. When I got the chance to attend the ACL taping, I sold the tickets to a friend. They’ll get a longer set at the Erwin Center, but it won’t be as intimate and the sound won’t be as good.

Radiohead ACL ProgramTerry Lickona introduced the band and also announced that the development on Block 21 that includes the Moody Theater where the show has been taping for a year has been awarded the LEED Silver Certification for Commitment to Sustainability, the first such award to a mixed use development of its size.

Comparing last night’s set list with the one from Houston, we didn’t get one of my favorites, “Everything In Its Right Place”. However, we did get three b-sides: “Daily Mail”, “The Amazing Sounds of Orgy” and “Staircase”. Thom Yorke introduced “Orgy” as a song he’d written 10 years ago that disappeared like a “wet fart in the wind”. It’s about the banking industry and how it appeared poised for a collapse. It seems that Mr. Yorke was a little early, but still correct. They also played a few new numbers including “Identikit” which has been played throughout the tour and a new one called “Skirting the Surface”.  Looking at the rest of the list, they played the first 5 tracks from The King of Limbs, three from Hail To The Thief, two from In Rainbows, one from Kid A, and one from OK Computer.

The sound, as always, was amazing, particularly during “Daily Mail” which starts with just Thom Yorke on piano. (I highly recommend picking up the Daily Mail / Staircase single). There was a lot of switching out of instruments between songs. The double drummer setup made for some interesting cross-rhythms throughout the show. Bass player, Colin Greenwood, stayed between the two drummers in the back for much of the set while Thom Yorke danced around like a crazed Leprechaun. They did two takes of “Reckoner”. Yorke wasn’t happy with the first take and had the band start over again.

The show will air sometime in October on KLRU (Channel 9) locally or your PBS affiliate.

Set list:

  1. Bloom
  2. Little by Little
  3. Daily Mail
  4. Myxomatosis
  5. Morning Mr. Magpie
  6. The Gloaming
  7. The Amazing Sounds of Orgy
  8. Staircase
  9. Reckoner
  10. Weird Fishes / Arpeggi
  11. Identikit
  12. Lotus Flower
  13. There There
  14. Feral
  15. Idioteque
  16. Skirting on the Surface (encore)
  17. Paranoid Android (encore)

Austin City Limits Announces Final Taping in Current Location

As a part of my post on Sonic Youth’s Austin City Limits taping earlier this month, I mentioned speculation about who will be the final guest at the ACL’s current location in the Communication building on the UT campus.

Well, speculate no more, and though it was a good guess, Corcoran was wrong. Austin City Limits has just announced that the final taping will be November 8th and the guest will be Lyle Lovett.

From the release:

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS is the longest-running music series in American television history. More than 500 episodes featuring more than 800 performers have originated from the modest and unassuming Studio 6A since tapings began in 1974. The AUSTIN CITY LIMITS story is one of unparalleled passion for music, commitment to excellence, and perseverance against many odds. What began as a modest Texas music series has gone on to become the only television series ever to be awarded the prestigious National Medal of the Arts. And it has made so much history in one small room that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum declared that it was one of the few rock and roll landmarks worthy of official recognition, an honor that was bestowed upon the show in March 2010.

Lyle Lovett’s history with AUSTIN CITY LIMITS runs deep. When he first came to Studio 6A it was as an audience member, and he made his first appearance on the show as a backing singer for Nanci Griffith in 1985. Since then, he has come to know the stage well, appearing on the show no less than 12 times, making him one of the most frequent guests in the show’s history.
When it comes to presenting live music, AUSTIN CITY LIMITS embodies its motto of “Great Music. No Limits.” Accomplishing what no other show has done in the history of American television, the series has, for nearly four decades, presented audiences with the most diverse, original, cutting-edge talent music has to offer. Past performers have included Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, John Fogerty, Robert Plant, Neil Young, The Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton, Kenny Chesney, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, R.E.M., Allen Toussaint, Arcade Fire, Patty Griffin, Spoon, Coldplay, Wilco, Norah Jones, The Flaming Lips, The Dave Matthews Band, Jimmy Cliff and many, many more.

The show’s next chapter continues in early 2011 with Season 37, originating from its new home at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. The new studio location will enable more fans to watch future live tapings and provide an enhanced experience for all future shows, while maintaining the intimacy, character and integrity that have been the hallmark of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS for more than three decades.

Since it’ll be pretty much impossible to get in to that taping, they’re offering a simulcast party at Hogg Auditorium as well. A new episode of Austin City Limits with Robert Earl Keen and Hayes Carll airs this Saturday at 7pm on KLRU (or you PBS affiliate).

Austin City Limits Taping – Sonic Youth

Season 36 of Austin City Limits kicked off this past Saturday with Jimmy Cliff. The festival that bears its name starts today so that means that there are several tapings this week. I got the chance to check out Sonic Youth last night. Monsters of Folk taped Wednesday night. Band of Horses will tape Saturday night. The National will tape on Monday and the Black Keys will wrap things up on Tuesday.

Sonic Youth is one of , if not THE, elder statesman of alternative/indie/punk rock. I’ve followed them since the late 80s around the time that Steve Shelley joined. I was a big fan of his from the Crucif**ks days. The band has actually been around for over 30 years,  According to a trivia contest on their site for the La Zona Rosa show Saturday night, their first show in Austin was 08.27.1985 with Scratch Acid opening. Their most recent album, The Eternal (“Antenna”, “Sacred Trickster”, and “No Way” are stand outs), was released last summer on Matador Records after choosing not to renew on their 16 year major label relationship with Geffen/DGC records. For those of you old enough to remember, Sonic Youth played a role in Nirvana signing with Geffen in the early 90s. The two bands were featured in a documentary on their 1991 European tour that I think is out-of-print now, 1991: The Year Punk Broke. It’s a great documentary if you can track down a copy.

Sonic Youth is one of those bands that I always meant to see live, but never had the chance. They impressively re-create the wall of guitars that marks many of their songs, many of which have two bass guitars. The band is notorious for odd guitar tunings and I noticed that a lot of their guitars have tape along the head stock at each of the tuning pegs, no doubt to help the guitar techs to know how to properly tune the guitar for the songs they’re playing. I’m guessing that means there can’t be a lot of spontaneity in the set list. (more…)

Austin City Limits Taping – John Legend and The Roots

As I mentioned, John Legend and The Roots taped a performance for Austin City Limits last night. It will air locally on KLRU on Saturday, November 20, 2010. They’re promoting their new album, Wake Up, which will be released on September 21st. It’s a mix of mostly 70s soul covers and a few originals. They had performed the night before in Las Vegas for the Miss Universe pageant.

Austin City Limits is moving to its new location downtown at the beginning of next year, so there will probably only be a handful of performances at Studio 6A before the move. Bob Schneider tapes a set tonight and I’m assuming there will be a few tapings with the ACL Festival coming up at the beginning of October. There were the usual ACL taping amusements last night: people spilling the free beer (the only time I’ll drink Ziegenbock because it’s at least a little better than Budweiser – pro tip: always get two on the way in, it’s too hard to go back and get more) and watching people narrowly miss getting bonked in the head with the boom camera. The most adept at avoiding the camera is the official ACL photographer, Scott Newton, who just released a book collecting 35 years of photos from the show on UT Press.

Black Thought, who was present at the GMA Central Park performance that I linked in my preview post, wasn’t there for last night’s taping. They played pretty much straight through the set without too much talking in between songs and obviously the rap portions of the songs were dropped with the absence of Black Thought. “Captain” Kirk Douglas had a blistering guitar solo at the end of the Bill Withers cover “I Can’t Write Left Handed” and ?uestlove got pretty animated by the end of that song, definitely the best one of the set. I’ve heard “Hard Times” twice now and it’s been stuck in my head all morning.

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Austin City Limits Taping – Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick opened the 36th and final season for Austin City Limits in its current location on the University of Texas campus. They’ll be moving to block 21 just north of city hall sometime near the end of this year or beginning of next year.

I had an amusing moment before the show at Terra Burger across the street. I saw a guy with platinum blond hair decked out in cowboy rocker gear and just wrote him off as a SXSW hipster wannabee. I passed him as I got a drink refill and headed out to wait for the interminable light to cross The Drag back over to the communications building. He came out at the same time and stood next to me. I looked over at him and it dawned on me that it was probably Robin Zander, Cheap Trick’s front man. Turns out that I was right that it was Robin and wrong that he was a wannabee. If anybody’s entitled to walk around like that, it’s him.

If Robin was inconspicuous with his presence in the Terra Burger, Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos is conspicuous by his absence on this trip through Austin. He wasn’t at the taping last night or at an interview with CNBC on St. Patrick’s Day and he hasn’t been mentioned in any of the interviews that I’ve seen so far (including an interview from Austin360 where they give a shout out to Sam’s BBQ on east 12th street). It’s almost like they’re trying to avoid talking about it (is this punishment for that Hanson/James Iha side project?). Guitarist Rick Neilsen’s son Daxx filled in admirably during the taping. He’s definitely of the Bun E. school of drumming. The band is rounded out with amazing 12 string (!?!?) bass player Tom Petersson and two keyboard players, Phil “Magic” Cristian, who’s played with them on and off since the 80s and Roger Manning from Jellyfish and Imperial Drag.

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