Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘austin city limits’ Category

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down…

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What a week.  I spent most of it either in meetings or on airplanes (save for that happy detour to Fenway Park, which still has a smile on my face).

Speaking of which, it’s April 20, 2012 — the official anniversary of the 100th year of Fenway’s existence.  Happy birthday to all my friends in Boston, and to people everywhere who adore Fenway Park — of which I now count myself a happy one.

FYI, for the hardcore Fenway fanatics, Sports Illustrated is offering up a very nice tome about the history of Fenway for $21.00 US.  You can find it here.

But boy, what a week otherwise.  The jokes about today being 4/20 aside (a point which many marketers are taking advantage of…for example, the Magnolia bio-documentary about Bob Marley, entitled simply “Marley,” is out today…And Austin is unveiling the new Willie Nelson statue today at 4:20 PM this afternoon.  Coincidence?)

You can read all about the marketing advantage being taken of on this date from none other than the Wall Street Journal.

No, I was more referring to the bummer news about Dick Clark and Levon Helm.  Helm, of course, was the drummer in Bob Dylan’s original backing band, “Levon and the Hawks,” before going on to co-found the band named, appropriately enough, “The Band.”

Helm died of throat cancer earlier this week, and in recent years had been most known for his “Midnight Rambles” at his studio in Woodstock, NY, which earned him three Grammys in recent years.  But of course, “The Band” fans remember classics like “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Up On Cripple Creek.”

Bob Dylan had this to say about his old friend and former band-mate on his own website: “He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation. This is just so sad to talk about. I still can remember the first day I met him and the last day I saw him. We go back pretty far and had been through some trials together. I’m going to miss him, as I’m sure a whole lot of others will too.”

Surely we will.

But we’ll also miss Dick Clark, a radio and TV personality who’s “American Bandstand” helped grow generations of music fans, and helped launch or boost the careers of an endless stream of renowned musicians, ranging from first guest Elvis Presley (who used to sign my mom’s arm during his Louisiana Hayride performances!) to Smokey Robinson to the Talking Heads…the list of musical acts featured on “Bandstand” goes on and on and on.

And never mind us welcoming Dick Clark into our homes, and the subsequent New Year, every New Year’s Rockin’ Eve starting in 1972.

We’ll miss you both terribly, Dick and Levon.  May you both continue to find the musical beat in the Great Beyond.

How fitting, then, that the very same week, the friends who brought you some of the great hack attacks of the late 2000s, Anonymous, announce they’re putting together a social music platform, one that pulls up songs streaming from all around the Internet (including from the likes of YouTube), and lets anonymous users put them into playlists and share them — all while intending to shield the service from being shut down by lawsuits.

Ladies and germs, welcome to “Anontune.”  This short video (featured on Wired’s Web site) indicates it will focus on “information about the music.”

We’ll wait and see if Anontune makes it past the first “bridge,” but my read on the situation is that this move could revitalize Hilary Rosen’s career (CEO of the RIAA from 1998-2003, Rosen led the organization in its successful efforts to bring down Napster).

The Music’s Over

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The Eighth Annual Austin City Limits Music Festival came off once again without any major incidents this past weekend here in Texas’ capitol city — that is, if you don’t count massive devastation to the recently overhauled Zilker Park.

ACLFest turned into “Mudfest,” with heavy rain on Saturday turning the new sod and grass into a smelly muck that forced thousands of festivalgoers to forego their shoes and let a little bit of muddy Austin slip between their toes.

As for the music, it was brilliantly diverse and entertaining as always, even if I didn’t happen to be familiar with a majority of the acts playing this year’s acts (more a sign of my own age than the obscurity of the acts, to be sure!)

My own faves for this year’s fest: Crowdsourcing winner Bright Light Social Hour, John Legend, The Decemberists, Alberta Cross, The Levon Helm Band, and fest-stealing Ghostland Observatory, an Austin electronica band with a laser light show that sent the crowd into orbit.

As for the fate of Austin’s landmark park, the plan is to allow time for the grounds to dry before breaking down large structures and re-sodding areas of the park that need it, but festival organizer C3 is saying that the new grass and root system are still intact.

I sure hope so, considering our Great Lawn had been closed for nearly a year to make the improvements, which appeared late Saturday to have been wiped out in a single day.

Written by turbotodd

October 5, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Debrief: Austin City Limits Music Festival

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It’s only two days to the Eighth Annual Austin City Limits Music Festival here in my glorious Austin, Texas.

For those of you who have been before, you know how special an event it is.  For those of you who haven’t, what are you waiting for?

“ACL,” as we Austinites have come to refer to it, began as a small festival in 2002 and has grown (some would say too large, but I say the more the merrier) into a world-class music festival.

Which is just what it should be, if we’re to fully live up to our mantra of being the “live music capitol of the world!”

This year, a couple of things are worthy of note.  First, Zilker Park has been completely reseeded from the ground up.  Not the patchwork improvements made after the great Coldplay duststorm of 2005.

No, this is a serious overhauling of the park, and the grass looks absolutely gorgeous.  And, it’s nice and fluffy to sit on.

Second, the festival is being held a week later than normal, and after our 60+ days of 100+ heat in Austin this year, that could be the key difference maker.

In prior years (like 2005), temperatures have reached up to 106 degrees during the festival.  It’s currently a lovely 73 degrees outside.  I went for a long mountain bike ride very early this morning on the Austin greenbelt and there was almost a chill in the air.

If you don’t have a ticket already, this year’s 3-day passes are sold out, so check your favorite ticket vendor or Craig’s List.  If you do, get over to the Box Office now (3pm-8pm daily) and get that wristband.  You will be hating yourself if you wait until Friday to pick it up, as you’ll be standing in line with hundreds of others while you listen to the music from afar.

Some other tips: Bring suntan lotion, just in case, and I always like to take a small umbrella.  You can bring a portable, collapsible chair, and I always take some small binoculars as well.  Otherwise, leave stuff at home, because you likely won’t be able to bring it in, and it’s a long trip back to wherever your car is.

This year, the festival has gone all social media on us.  You can share your personalized schedule from their Web site via Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.

Me, I like to roam around from act to act freestyle (schedules are for my workday!), but here’s a few of the acts I hope to take in:

John Legend, Pearl Jam, Kings of Leon, Asleep at the Wheel, Poi Dog Pondering, Heartless Bastards, Mishka, Reckless Kelly, Dave Mathews Band, The Scabs, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, David Garza, Rodriquez…and lots, lots more.

By the way, I just downloaded the new Pearl Jam album, “Backspacer,” on iTunes, and upon first listen have decided it’s some of the best stuff they’ve done since they emerged into the scene in the early 90s.

Eddie Vedder has never been better, and I’m really looking forward to seeing he and his band perofrm in our refurbished park right down the street from Turboville!

So, get on a plane and get yourself down to Austin.  The Festival starts mid-day Friday and goes through Sunday night.

You can learn more at the ACL Website.

P.S. And leave your agita at home.  This is the mellowest, coolest music festival you’ll ever go to, and the people who attend it, both visitors and locals, are very well behaved and all about the music, and we want to keep it that way!

Written by turbotodd

September 30, 2009 at 4:01 pm

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