Posts Tagged ‘klru’

Questlove, John Legend & The Roots Preview

I first heard about The Roots living in NYC in 1995. I picked up their first major label album Do You Want More?!!!??! and couldn’t stop listening to it. I completely wore out “You Got Me” from their third album, Things Fall Apart. Their latest album, How I Got Over, was just released in June.

I pretend to be a drummer on occasion and had always admired ?uestlove (aka Ahmir Thompson), drummer for The Roots, but developed a serious man crush after seeing him at a live show during SXSW in 2006 for Before the Music Dies. I didn’t know about his bandleading skills until that performance, something that would become much more evident when The Roots began their stint as the house band for Jimmy Fallon’s takeover of Late Night from Conan O’Brien  (the only redeeming aspect of that change, in my opinion).

?uestlove also does guest DJ stints displaying his encyclopedic knowledge of music and will do one tonight immediately following the Austin City Limits taping at Red 7 at 9pm. It’s $8 in advance (try End of An Ear records) and $10 at the door and probably will sell out.

Tonight’s Austin City Limits taping will be with John Legend. Their collaboration, Wake Up, will be released on September 21st. I caught one song at a Central Park performance on Good Morning America a couple of weeks ago. The collaboration is inspired by the presidential election campaign of 2008 and is a mix of covers and originals. VH1 has a bunch of behind the scenes videos promoting the album. I’ll post a review of the taping tomorrow.

Here are the air dates for Season 36 of Austin City Limits which airs locally on KLRU on Saturday nights at 7pm:

October 2, 2010         Jimmy Cliff
October 9, 2010         Spoon
October 16, 2010      Patty Griffin & Friends
October 23, 2010      Alejandro Escovedo / Trombone Shorty
October 30, 2010      Robert Earl Keen / Hayes Carll
November 6, 2010     Steve Martin / Sarah Jarosz
November 13, 2010   Rosanne Cash / Brandi Carlile
November 20, 2010   John Legend & The Roots

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.


Austin City Limits Taping – Okkervil River

ACL Okkervil River Program

ACL Okkervil River Program

The past year for Okkervil River has been full of some pretty big milestones. They released their latest album The Stand Ins only a few weeks before playing the Austin City Limits Festival last September. They played The Late Show with David Letterman this past January and were at both the Coachella and Bonnaroo (where they apparently “killed”) festivals this summer. Their latest achievement is an Austin City Limits taping last night for Season 35 to air later this year.

I’ve heard a lot about the band (pronounced “awk”-ervil not “oak”-ervil as ACL producer Terry Lickona did introducing them last night) over the past few years both in the media and from friends. Their sound is somewhere between folk and pop and they’re often lumped in with bands like The Decemberists and Arcade Fire. It was a decidedly local crowd last night. We ended up sitting next to bassist Patrick Pestorious’s mother and father. Jonathan Meiberg, former Okkervil member who left to focus on his band Shearwater which started out as a side project for both he and Okkervil frontman Will Sheff, was on hand for “Lost Coastlines”, a songn they had to do twice for the taping due to some mistakes in the first attempt. They also added a horn section and a string section to the normal 6 member line-up. Okkervil River have backed Roky Erickson, another local performer and recent Austin City Limits artist, and are slated to go into the studio with him later this year. (more…)

Austin City Limits Taping – Manu Chao

ACL Program - Manu Chao

ACL Program - Manu Chao

Several of the bands in town this week for the annual Austin City Limits music festival are also taping episodes of the show. Erykah Badu cancelled, but Manu Chao, Drive-by Truckers, Gnarls Barkley, The Swell Season, and The Foo Fighters are all taping shows in the next week. ACL show producer Terry Lickona described the first taping last night as an unusual treat.

Manu Chao rarely perform in the US and it’s even more rare for them to appear on US television. They tend to focus on Europe and South America. Manu Chao’s parents fled Franco’s regime in Spain and settled in France where he was born, so many of his songs are in Spanish or French. He was a founding member of the early 90s band, Mano Negra. Like that band, his current work has reggae and ska influences along with a decent helping of latin music & rhythms and punk rock. Their most recent album, La Radiolina, was released last year. Many of his lyrics are political. I’m pretty sure I heard a few references to a certain controlled substance, not surprising given the reggae influence. He was interviewed by High Times last year around the time that La Radiolina was released.

They’re a high energy band and will do well on a festival stage. The normally subdued ACL taping crowd took a little prodding to get going. Last night’s band included 6 musicians in addition to Chao himself: a drummer, a percussionist, a trumpet player, a keyboardist, a bassist and a guitarist. They wore their influences on their shirts. The percussionist was wearing a Tuff Gong shirt and the bass player, looked like a massive soccer hooligan, was wearing a Bad Brains shirt. They all made an effort to pump up the crowd and got people clapping and shouting throughout the set.

They stuck to mostly up tempo numbers and didn’t really pause much between songs. Several of the tracks on La Radiolina include a siren sound repeated throughout. I thought it was overused and, honestly, after several songs, they kind of started to sound the same. A sampling of their recordings while writing this reveals more diversity. I’d chalk some of that impression up to my unfamiliarity with the material. I’d definitely check them out for at least half of their set. I’m glad to see the show is still making an effort to introduce its audience to artists they may not have seen before in addition to pulling in more mainstream acts like Foo Fighters.

Manu Chao is the Friday night headliner at ACL Festival, starting at 8:30pm on the AT&T stage.

Set List (may not be exact):


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