Show Review: Willie Nelson @ ACL (11/19)

Willie is the godfather of Austin being weird. Or at least, that is what we are told. A rebel, legendary country artist, yet a through and through hippy, political activist (kind of), he is responsible for giving the world a collection of amazing songs, but away from those songs, he has a legacy of creating legends around him.

His song craft, both writing and interpreting, was on display Monday night at ACL TV. It was his eighteenth taping, but his first in fifteen years with his band, his way, the songs he wants to play. The recent flurry of activity from the octogenarian has raised eyebrows. Is it a new energy or is it finality? Was this the first of many last times?

Read on for more thoughts and some photos from the venerable Scott Newton.

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ACL WE2 Sunday in Photos

acl-we2-3021Hi.

Austin just went through another “festival” with what appears to have been a rather successful Formula One race weekend. I am an F1 fan and the three days out at the circuit are treated as a staycation for the wife and I. Why am I telling you this? I do not know.

Back on topic, The final batch of photos from ACL are ready for your consumption. Sunday was a sleeper day. The fest was sneeky-fun and I had a great day with my photo friends. The weather was amazing again and we had some big WE2 exclusives.

First, I did not go anywhere near that crowd for Willie. It was INSANE!!! A friend went up in a cherry picker and took twenty some-odd wide angle photos and stitched them together into an impressive panorama. Instead, I watched the set via festival TV and relaxed. Ra Ra Riot, on the other hand, was an early in the day highlight of festival hits. Amasa Hines was the surprise, think blues guys doing Interpol covers. Also on the BMI stage, Atlas Genius drew the biggest crowd I have ever seen at our favorite stage at ACL. NF did an Eminem impression, just grabbed photos on the way to Pete Yorn. Local Natives ooh-ahh’ed straight into our hearts. St. Paul and The Broken Bones brought the soul review to life, though I was concerned the Saint’s jaw would unhinge and swallow one of us whole. Miike Snow filled a gap; too much fog. Young the Giant got sexy and dirty to a fanatical crowd obsessed by frontman Sameer Gadhia while the band seemingly went through the motions.

And finally the second bucket-list shoot, LCD Soundsystem gave us the end-of-the-fest dance party. Seeing their set two weekends in a row, you realize that it is scripted and I guess that is understandable given the number of synth, percussion and instrument changes required. Didn’t stop WE2’s dance party from being any less awesome…

Click through for the pretty photos.

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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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FT5: Classic Country Albums

0717top5coverFor today’s Top 5, I figured it was about time I give our readers a little Country Music 101. For starters, not an album on this list was recorded after 1975 and I’m not putting in more than one album per artist. I acknowledge that country music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m writing this to potentially open a few eyes (and ears) towards a genre that not everyone quite understands or appreciates. So pop open that bottle of Jack and allow me to educate you on what country music is really all about.

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Celebrate July 4th Early

Don’t feel like making the trip down to Selma this Friday, or braving the triple-digit heat? Why not just relax in the air-conditioned comfort of the Drafthouse Downtown and watch your favorite Texan on the big screen while sipping a cold beverage. Alamo offers up the 1979 documentary of the 4th of July Picnic featuring all the usual suspects – Willie and Waylon and the boys. Skip the heat and and check out the Drafthouse website for more information. Showing today (06/30) and tomorrow (07/01) at 10:10 pm.