Friday Top 5: The Country Side of ACL

Somehow I got picked to write the Top 5 that drops on the first day of ACL (who makes these schedules, anyways?). The wonderful writers here at the ATH have already provided an abundance of great recommendations, interviews and previews that are better than anything I could ever do, so I’ll talk about the only thing that hasn’t been covered. Music with a kick of country. If you find yourself wandering near the Austin Ventures stage with some time to kill in-between the Brontosauras Flag and KTTD sets… here are a few recommendations that I promise won’t suck.

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Friday Top 5: Local Beers

I can’t think of a better way to ease into summer here on the ATH than talking about local beers. This is a casual list … I can’t claim to be any kind of beer expert. I’m familiar with the A-S-T-M-O rating scale, but only recently have I been trying to form an opinion outside of “it’s wet and contains alcohol.” So this is more of a conversation starter than any kind of definitive list. I’ve also tried to vary the types of beer and feature a favorite from each of the local breweries (be informed that Shiner is NOT a local beer). If I didn’t vary the styles, I’d probably just end up listing my 5 favorite IPAs. Seasonals need not apply as I haven’t kept up with them close enough to give them a fair shake and frankly, that’d just be too much work. So without further ado, I present my Top 5 local beers.

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Friday Top 5: Gig Poster Artists

As the designer and occasional poster artist for Austin Town Hall, I’ve always had a love affair with well-done gig posters. Since I’m about to get ready to do my third (cant believe we’ve been doing it for 3 years now) ATH SXSW poster and it’s that time of year when every bulletin board and lamppost is plastered with them, I figured it would be a great opportunity to talk about my favorite poster artists. This list is totally subjective, so it’s all based on my personal taste. When your done reading, go support them. Buy their posters, frame them and put them up on your wall. Follow the jump for my Top 5 Gig Poster artists.
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Friday Top 5: Blue-Eyed Soul

According to Wikipedia, “Georgie Woods, a Philadelphia radio DJ, came up with the term blue-eyed soul in the 1960s to describe white artists who received airplay on rhythm and blues radio stations.” In reality, blue-eyed soul is kind of a made-up genre. And it’s kind of total bullshit… I mean soul is soul right? But alas, I wasn’t the one to coin the term and I thought it would make for a fun list. I do find it difficult to compare male and female vocalists, so to make the list a little more manageable I stuck with the guys and only selected artists that mostly made their living in the soul/blues/r&b world. There were probably lots of others that would qualify (Elvis Presley & David Bowie come to mind), but they tended to be more readily classified as rock or country. So follow the jump and I’ll share with you my top 5 male blue-eyed soul singers.

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FT5: Worst Songs About Summer

Well kids, summer is wrapping up so you know what that means. No, not time to go back to school … time to get in one last Top 5 about summer! Here at the ATH, we’ve covered all kinds of summer fun in the past few months. We released a glorious summer mixtape, songs for this summer’s World Cup, songs about heading west, songs of summer 2010 and songs about school being out for the summer. What songs about summer make your skin crawl? If you have the stomach for it, follow the jump and share in my agony.

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FTC: Mitch Ryder

Take note hipsters. If you want some real music to dance to, you might want to check out Mitch Ryder. As frontman of The Detroit Wheels, he was a key player in the emergence of rock & roll in the Motor City. He had a loud wailing voice that reminded many of Little Richard. His showmanship was rivaled only by the late great James Brown. Legacy? Bruce Springsteen, the MC5 and Bob Seger all were heavily influenced by Ryder and some say he was a key bridge between the Motown sound and modern rock and roll. Not many artists can make me break out and dance like Mitch does, so I’ll leave you with one of my favorite all-time dance songs, Break Out.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/06-Break-out.mp3]

FT5: School’s Out!

School’s Out!! School’s Out!! School’s Out!! Ok, so I haven’t actually gotten out of school or had a vacation that lasted longer than a week in close to 10 years. But I am sure we have plenty of students and teachers joining us here at the ATH … so today’s Top 5 is for you. Instead of writing a boring list of songs about summer, I’ve decided to spice things up a bit. These are my Top 5 songs about rebelling against all things school-related… tests, homework, teachers, parents, etc. It’s about sticking it to the man… because if you wanna rock, you gotta break the rules. So happy summer to everyone that has to go to school. Enjoy this handy playlist to listen to on your last day.
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FTC: Toad the Wet Sprocket

If anything, Toad the Wet Sprocket wrote ballads that everyone could sing along to. And if you happened to have an acoustic guitar, all the better. Even an amateur guitar player could play along (I’m talking from experience, of course). Believe it or not, the band had been around since the mid-80s before making it big in the alternative scene of the 90s alongside bands like Gin Blossoms and Collective Soul. While trying to reminisce about them for today’s segment, I came across the album Fear in my CD case from high school and instantly went back to the super ballads “Walk on the Ocean” and “All I Want”. For an even longer trip down memory lane, the band is making it’s way through Austin this Sunday at Antone’s with tickets still available from Front Gate Tickets. If you aren’t afraid to sing along to one of their many radio-friendly ballads (guilty as charged) in public, this show is right up your alley. I’ll close shop up today with “All I Want”.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/03-All-I-Want.mp3]

FT5: Ladies of Classic Rock

Who says the guys here at the ATH never write about the ladies? We decided it was about time to give those that have influenced countless modern female musicians their just due. From flamboyant front-women to mystical singer-songwriters, today’s top 5 is an unranked collaborative effort of the ATH staff. Each writer was given the opportunity to talk about their favorite lady and everyone had their own criteria. Follow the jump for our mini-shrine to the ladies of classic rock and be sure to share your favorite when you’re done.
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