the secret lives of prothros.

October 7, 2010

The Final Schedule

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 8:32 am

 

So after listening to, researching and reviewing over 100 ACL bands here are some of my thoughts about this project. When I decided I wanted to really experience all the best possible shows at ACL and took up the endeavor to do so, I never thought it would be such a big project. If I had, I probably wouldn’t have done it. After all, I could have just read blurbs on the ACL sight and done stage roulette and probably still had an amazing experience. Fortunately/unfortunately, I’m stubborn. Once I decided I was going to do this, I was going to do this, regardless of how silly, or how little anyone really wanted to read my opinions on random bands. In the end I felt really happy about it too. Not only did I finish but I also found lots of new bands to love. When I was in school, I was obsessed with finding new music and lately that just hasn’t been the case. I’ve been living off of new music from mix cds mailed by Lyndesey Hefer (love!) and car commercials. It was great to get back in the swing of music. I didn’t love the timeline of it all, squeezing in so much music I could really feel my brain swelling, but that was mostly a factor of procrastination at the beginning. In the end, I’m excited about so many more bands than I had expected, and lots of bands with early slots, which is usually not the case. All in all, I was happy to devote a chunk of my life to music over the past few months, because when it comes down to it, music is one of the things that brings me the most happiness.

Also, I should have proof-read more. Lots of errors.

I know this has put other blogging on hiatus and people may be sick of seeing posts with that giant ACL logo, so, to appease, here are some upcoming blogs having nothing to do with music:

  • Cruise pictures!
  • Thoughts about Dave Ramsey
  • Some books I’ve been reading (and a book giveaway!)
  • Fun surprises from Evan
  • Fall foliage (it just has to happen first!)
  • The greatest doughnuts of all time

Have a wonderful Thursday and here is my final schedule. It has been well researched, well planned and I’m quite happy with the end result.

There were a few conflicts but only a few so big that I am actually torn about choosing, most of them were quick decisions or concerts where I can split sets if I so desire. The big conflicts are:

Matt and Kim/Deadmau5

-I’m probably most excited about seeing Matt and Kim because I love their music right now but I think that Deadmau5 is going to be an unbelievable spectacle/performance.

Spoon/Amos Lee

-This shouldn’t be a hard one since I’ve seen Amos Lee before, but that is the whole problem, I just can’t bring myself to take him and his gorgeous voice off my schedule.

Devendra Banhart and the Grogs/Dawes

-Two new bands that I both really want to see. Devendra’s versatility verus Dawes’ folky groove. Can’t pick.

Ryan Bingham/Robert Randolph/Vampire Weekend

-Three bands in one slot? It was too much. I think I know how it will play out but I’m still a tad undecided.

 

FRIDAY

 

SATURDAY

 

SUNDAY

 

 

 

 

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October 6, 2010

ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letters U, V, W, X, Y & Z

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 3:44 pm

Look! It’t the last one! I finished. Nothing has shown be my stubbornness to finish quite like this project. Here are the End of Alphabet Bands, ranked 1-5 on my likelihood of seeing them at ACL.

Vampire Weekend- Since first hearing Vampire Weekend, I’ve have mixed feelings. I know that they are all the rage right now and I get it. Their songs are catchy and upbeat and the lead singer has a great voice. They add fun touches and different instruments into their songs too. They’ll put on a great show and I’ll definitely go, then maybe I’ll be 100% on the bandwagon.
My Vote: 4

Vonnegutt- These guys mix r&b and rap with some lyrically-driven pop-rock. They’re somewhat similar to Gym Class Heroes. There songs are catchy and have good beats but I don’t think it really catches my attention. The lyrics are somewhat lacking, mostly about girls, which I guess happens with rap a lot but it just doesn’t do it for me. Not to mention they are playing pretty early in the morning and early in the day=not a time I want to listen to this type of music.
My Vote: 1

Warpaint- This female foursome from Los Angeles sings harmonies in hushed, dreamy tones. Their overall sound is really mellow, the kind of mellow that is borderline depressing at times, with lucid guitars and varying rhythms. I do enjoy some of their songs especially Elephants and Billie Holiday but I’m not particularly stoked about seeing them at a festival.
My Vote: 3

Wesley Bray & The Disciples of Joy- These guys have beautiful voices. I can’t figure out how gospel singers all have these amazingly clear, deep voices that are just dripping with soul. It’s really rare to hear a voice like that outside of the gospel genre. I’d like to see these guys and luckily I can because they’re also on the Gospel Brunch Circuit in Austin. I’m really excited about starting to do that. I’m also excited to have some weekends in Austin with nothing to do but Gospel Brunch, come on 2011!
My Vote: 2

White Rabbits- This is a six-man indie rock back from Brooklyn. They had the honor of being named one of the top three live performances of SXSW in 2008. This band brings something special to a live performance by having not only two singers, but two percussionists as well. If there is one thing cooler than one drummer, it’s two, playing in sync. It adds a lot of energy and life to their music.
My Vote: 3

Yeasayer- These guys are quite unique. This group out of Brooklyn makes music that is full of layer upon layer of music, interlacing samples, beats, synth and everything in between into melodies that somehow make sense. Somewhere I read that listening to them was like going on a world musical Safari, sampling little bits of everything and then moving on to something else.
My Vote: 3

Whew. I did it. Now to post my schedule, the conflicts that remain and a few reflections on this whole ordeal.

ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter T

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 9:23 am

Here lies my Everest: The T Bands. I think there are 31 of them. Wish me luck. (In my endeavor of listening to, and ranking them by how much I want to see them at ACL).

T Bird and the Breaks- This local Austin band fronted by Tim Crane has a great handle on the old school brand of 50’s rock mixed in with all that good old Mo’ Town soul. I definitely think they could be worth a listen but, as with most Austin bands, I think I’d just rather see them around Austin instead of when I could be seeing someone else from out of town. I know I’m a locationist. So sue me.
My Vote: 2

TV Torso- This is another Texas group. They play a muted sounding brand of indie rock and seem to thrive off of minimalism and at times swing a bit into British pop rock. I didn’t find a ton of their music online, so I don’t have the most comprehensive view of them. I like what I heard but I don’t think it left me really craving a live performance. Plus, they’re another local band so I’m again falling back on the fact that I could always just see them here later this year.
My Vote: 2

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists- I really like this group out of Washington D.C. They’re pretty much cut-and-dry rock but the Ted’s voice definitely brings some punk sentiments to mind. Isn’t it weird how the tone of a voice can bring to mind an entire genre. I digress. Anyhow, I like them. They have a really solid musical foundation, and I was especially impressed by their drummer. I think they have potential to be a band I continue to like post-ACL. Oh, and apparently if you’re cool you can write their name TL/Rx. Just so you know.
My Vote: 4

The Band of Heathens- Here is another local Austin band, who apparently got together at Momo’s. They’ve definitely got that Southern whiskey rock vibe going. I just made up whiskey rock, but I think it makes sense, it sounds kind of tough and gritty while at the same time having this soul and groove that is incredibly smooth and of course, whiskey rock definitely has a southern feel. They’ve got some great harmonies and seem like they’d be really good live.
My Vote: 3

The Black Keys- I love the unexpectedness of the Black Keys. First I’m surprised to have such a great blues/rock band come out of Ohio. Then I’m surprised that there are only two of them making all that music. They have a great style and have really blown up in the past few years. Their live shows have added a touring band which I’m sure some fans have mixed feelings about but I’m excited to see what they can do orchestrating even more  into their live shows.
My Vote: 4

The Constellations- This band from Altanta, Georgia achieves a mix of Southern rock with almost psychedelic style. Though really its difficult to put a finger on them exactly as they seem to be always morphing just a bit to add more flare to their music. Though I guess you have to break out a bit to have enough instruments for seven people to play. I’m not sure this band is quite up my alley.
My Vote: 2

The Dough Rollers- It should be no secret by now that I love a bit of mandolin playing some bluegrass. This band has that. They also have a front-man who is the son of Harrison Ford. Random. Their vocals miss for me a bit. They are definitely pain-drenched and razor sharp in a way that gives them a raw and unaltered appeal but I guess I just need a bit more sweetness or smoothness to go along with it.
My Vote: 1

The Eagles- This has already been mentioned but I’m excited to see the Eagles. Not only are they an epic band but they remind me a lot of growing up. Their cassette of Hotel California has in our family Camry on a very regular basis, especially on trips to the Gulf. They just hold a lot of nostalgia for me. I think Desperado has to be an all time favorite. There is just something so pure and simple about it. If you’ve never seen In America, there is an awesome scene with a young girl singing it. Amazing.
My Vote: 5

The Ettes- The Ettes have that really fun garage rock sound led by some great female vocals. Reminds me of Letters to April, not really but if you get that joke you are required to comment below. It will be a precious few.  Back to the point, I really like hearing the contrast of a sweet female vocal against some garage rock, which always tends a bit to the rougher and grittier side. In the past they’ve toured with The Black Keys and Kings of Leon, so they have extra street cred for live shows too.
My Vote: 3

The Gaslight Anthem- This New Jersey band is classified as punk but that wouldn’t be my first thought of them. They definitely have some pink to them but they seem much more classic rock to me. In fact, their sound draws the most comparisons in reviews to Bruce Springsteen. While they are definitely a few steps in a different direction, it is easy to see the resemblance.
My Vote: 3

The Henry Clay People-His voice reminds me so much of someone and I cannot place it. Please help. These two brothers from California and their bandmates sing upbeat songs about young love and all that comes with it. Their songs aren’t overly complex and the band has taken a stand to make them more about substance than show. They throw in a smidgen of country every once in a while which I like instrumentally more than vocally.
My Vote: 3

The Jane Shermans- Full disclosure: I didn’t hear much from them, which may have worked to their favor because I am totally intrigued. Their songs each seem to showcase really great bass lines and Eulene Sherman’s smokey cool assertive vocals singing hook-ladden lyrics. Let’s all be honest for a second, hooks are really nice when you’re seeing a band you don’t know much about because they allow you to sing along. And I will.
My Vote: 4

The Jellydots- This is another Austin Kiddie Limits offering. This one stands out in a fun way. The lead singer is apparently a local Austin guitar teacher who lets some of his young students write the songs that he sings and performs. The song I heard from him was about a bicycle, and I happen to really love my bicycle and it makes me want to go outside and ride immediately.
My Vote: 1

The Kicks- This is another band I didn’t hear much of and this one was especially confusing because there are like three other bands named the Kicks. So I stuck with what I knew was them. These guys can harmonize, like whoa. There is a youtube video of them singing before a show and their  vocals are killer. Very similar to the opening of Bohemian Rhapsody which seemed to be what they were wanting to achieve. Three guitars, three great voices and a drummer. Nice.
My Vote: 4

The Morning Benders- This quartet of indie rockers from California met at Disneyland operating Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. And that is hilarious.  Their music is warm and smooth and light. It’s like a sunrise on a beach, something very significant is happening to break the dark silence of night but it’s happening slowly and subtly and when the golden light starts to shine over the horizon is just makes you feel a bit warm and fuzzy.
My Vote: 3

The Mountain Goats- This guys voice reminds me of a singing vegetable off of VeggieTales. Expect that instead of singing nice things he’s singing about suicidal thoughts and broken marriages. His most depressing songs lyrically seem to be the most upbeat musically. It’s an odd juxtaposition. His voice is full of clarity so you’re not likely to miss any of his raw and morbid lyrics. There are moments he reminds me a bit of Ben Folds singing out over a simple guitar or piano.
My Vote: 3

The National- This rock band based out of Brooklyn has really simple mixes of drums, guitar and piano that all serve to showcase the mood and tone of Matt Berninger’s voice. His voice is a bit dark, and sombre with a really sharp, cutting rasp to it. I’ve had a more difficult time figuring out my feelings towards this band than any others. I have to keep coming back and still can’t decide. in the end, I think any time I wanted to hear this music, I’d rather hear Pete Yorn.
My Vote: 3

The Relatives- These guys are fun. They’ve got those gospel voices that seem to know no bounds in regard to vocal range. I’m stupefied by the high notes this men with deep soulful voices can hit. They sing gospel and some singing-sermon style numbers on racial equality and other issues. They mix their sound up a bit from song to song, adding in some 50’s rock or 70’s hippie funk. Quite fun.
My Vote: 2

The School of Rock All-Stars- This is definitely the most original of the Austin Kiddie Limits offerings because they’re actually all students performing. The School of Rock is a music school for aspiring musicians under the age of 17 and it focusing not only on learning musical skills, but on the end goal of performing live. The students perform a wide array of songs and styles.
My Vote: 1

The Soft Pack- The Soft Pack, formerly the Muslims, are a San Diego rock band. As you could imagine, there was some significant conflict involved in their previous choice of band name. There aren’t huge faults to find with their music but it doesn’t really excite me. I don’t know if it just seems like I heard it before or that its missing something but for whatever the reason, I don’t think I’ll be seeing them at ACL.
My Vote: 2

The Strokes- I like the Strokes but I would be lying if I went so far as to say I was a fan, though Julian Casablancas does have a nice voice with good levels of rasp. Random fact: he’s the son of the guy that owns Casablancas modeling agency. It was advertised in every single silly teen magazine that I ever came into contact with as a youth, back in the back. I still remember the picture. Anyways, I always enjoy their music but I don’t usually pick it off an iTunes library. However, I do think I would pick them off a schedule line-up because they’re supposed to give a pretty impressive live show.
My Vote: 4

The Sword- This local Austin band is one of the only heavy-metal offerings at ACL. I can’t really think of any others. They’re pretty classic heavy metal too, similar to Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath. They’re not just noise like some metal bands, they certainly have impressive guitarists and they showcase their sounds well. I don’t mind metal at all but it’s not generally what I would choose to see. Usually, going to see a band like this would be a result of being taken along, which could certainly transpire and I would not complain. I would head bang. Also, they should have a song on Rock Band. I would really enjoy watching someone (Brad) play some of their stuff.
My Vote: 3

The Temper Trap- I’m a big fan of the Temper Trap. This group from Melbourne is responsible for Sweet Disposition the song that led the soundtrack of 500 Days of Summer. They’re certainly not a single hit machine though, their other tracks offer variety while sticking to the same big guitar sound and bouncing rhythms. I really do think that Sweet Disposition is something special though, and one of the better songs I’ve heard in the past few years.
My Vote: 5

The Verve Pipe- You remember the song Freshmen don’t you? Well this is that band, except they’ve undergone some pretty major changes, the biggest of which is that their latest album is entirely kid’s music. Surprising huh? So they’re playing twice at the Austin Kiddie Limits stage. The album is really interesting, there are moments when they sound just like their vintage selves but they’re singing about cereal.
My Vote: 2

The Very Best- This is pretty fun. The Very Best are African dance-pop music. They sing in languages I didn’t know existed–Chichewa and other African dialects. Luckily there is some English mixed in there too so I can understand some of the lyrics. The mix traditional African beats and choir-sounding choruses together with some electronic dance beats to make something quite original. It would make a great soundtrack. THey also collaborate with a few other ACL acts that could be making appearances.
My Vote: 3

The xx- This trio from the United Kingdom makes music that has strong upbeat synth beats but isn’t poppy at all. Instead, it is quite calm and lovely, their voices are beautiful and almost trance-like in the way that they linger around words. It’s such perfect early morning, rainy-day coffee music. As I listen to them I can hardly wait to put them on a new playlist reserved for just such occasions. I’m thrilled to have found them but not sure I’m dying to see them live at a festival. I’m not sure that is their medium.
My Vote: 3

Tom Freund- He’s playing twice on the Austin Kiddie Limits stage from his children’s album called Hug Trees. I’m kind of bummed about it because I’d really enjoy hearing him seeing some of his grown-up music. He has a beautiful, smooth voice. I mean there is a reason he and Ben Harper like to sing together. I do think he is playing some after shows around Austin with some of his other stuff.
My Vote: 3

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue- Troy Andrews has been playing trombone since before he could reach all the slide positions, leading bands before he was in high school and joined Lenny Kravitz’s band when he was just 18. Now he’s out on his own fronting a band whose style he describes as “supafunkrock” which is appropriate because these guys can wail, jam and rock, simultaneously. Maybe my favorite fact is that he performed on Studio 60’s tribute episode. If you haven’t seen that show, Netflix instant.
My Vote: 4

Two Door Cinema Club- This group from Northern Ireland does the upbeat, punch brand of electric indie pop that seems to be popping up everywhere these days. It’s upbeat and catchy with good melodies but there isn’t a ton that sets them apart from similar acts. There also isn’t much that sets their songs apart. They’re a good group and with that style of music I’m sure it will be a fun concert.
My Vote: 3

Two Tons of Steel- These guys are good old rockabilly. They’re from San Antonio and would definitely be able to get a crowd amped up enough to do a little bit of boot scootin’ Are rockabilly singers recorded on different types of microphones than other musicians? There is a quality to their vocals that sounds so different but not necessarily from their voices. I think my dad would really like this one.
My Vote: 3



October 5, 2010

ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter S

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 8:15 am

Here it is, the final stretch, and with one week to go, here are the S Bands. Ranked in order to find the perfect ACL schedule.

SPEAK-This young quartet carved out a best new musical award for themselves at this year’s Austin Music Awards. It was even presented by the Talking Heads. Legit. They’re a synthopop band, along the lines of Passion Pit. Apparently the lead singer has a pretty extensive musical background, playing drums from the age of 2 and guitar from the age of 7 and somehow in the end he turned to synth. Their brand of music has a bit more of an acoustic feel to it than most groups like it. It is very worth mentioning that they’re known to do 80’s covers during their concerts. In Dallas they did Billy Jean and Don’t You Forget About Me. I love a good cover.
My Vote: 3

Sahara Smith- This girl has a beautiful voice, such confident falsetto and smooth high notes. She’s got such well-penned lyrics and alluring songs, it’s not surprising that T-Bone Burnett, the famed performer and producer of more hit songs that I can count on 12 hands, called her “the best new artist I’ve heard in years. The world needs more great artists.” I love that some of the songs on her recent album were written when she was thirteen. They have a such a maturity to them even then, it’s quite impressive and so is she.
My Vote: 4

Sarah Harmer- This singer-songwriter hails all the way from Canada. Her voice has this really beautiful, bittersweet bareness to it. It can be absolutely entrancing. The bummer is that a lot of her songs seem to have too much to them, a horn humming in the background or an overly-poppy beat. Her voice should really be the showcase of her music and there are so many songs where the tracks are distracting from that voice. It kind of bums me out. I want her voice and a mandolin, that’s all.
My Vote: 3

Shearwater- How many lead singers do you know with master’s degrees in Ornithology? Well, now you know one: Jonathan Meiburg. Shearwater’s music is about subject matter very close to the heart of Meiburg, the protection and preservation of our planet and its inhabitants. The tempo, mood and quavering sobriety of his vocals are definitely complimentary to the seriousness of his feelings about the subject. This definitely strikes me of a band full of intention, designing each song to compliment the previous and transition to the next.
My Vote: 4

Silversun Pickups- I’ve been hearing this group from L.A. on the radio quite a bit lately.   They’re a bit of a grungier mix of indie rock. His voice is a little like Billy Corgan but with a bit more nasal-ness. They keep their overall sound uncluttered but still manage to come out loud and strong. The female bass player adds in some vocals that make some of the songs just a bit sweet. I’ve read some mixed reviews on how they perform in live shows, so I am a bit hesitant, though I know they’ll probably be drawing a big crowd.
My Vote: 3

Slightly Stoopid- This band from Orange County has been doing Sublime-style Reggae Rock for over ten years now. In fact, it was actually the frontman for Sublime that initially discovered the group. They’re quite the jam band with groove to match but that isn’t what really impressed me about them. I can’t get over how great some of their musical decisions are, banjo on a reggae track!? Awesome. I never could have imagined it working so well. Maybe I’ll change my mind come Friday, but I don’t really want to see reggae.
My Vote: 2

Sonic Youth- This band is definitely quintessential experimental rock and they’ve been doing it for years, just about 30 in fact. From mixing it up with alternative tunings to the point that they tour with dozens of guitars. They’ve definitely paved the way for music to evolve. It’s impressive to see a band still so on the forefront of innovation after all those years. Their concerts are supposed to me pretty awesome though geared to their most loyal fans (appropriately so). I am not in that category.
My Vote: 3

Spoon- This is a big yes for me. Ever since I first heard them on The O.C. I’ve been a big fan of Spoon and I think they’ve only been getting better lately. I think it’s funny that I used to get music from The O.C. Their songs have great build up and release and maintain great tempo throughout. I just really enjoy the music they put out. Not to mention, they were founded in Austin so I think the show will be a fun kind of homecoming, as I understand they’ve since moved to Oregon.
My Vote: 4

Switchfoot- Sometimes I struggle just a bit with taking Switchfoot seriously, which is no fault of theirs. They have more than proven their music talent and prowess, song after song, with pensive lyrics, strong vocals and guitars that rock three deep. My hangup with them is absolutely silly. I know this. It’s that I used to hear them at church summer camp when I was in junior high. Most of those bands were a joke and I have trouble not associating Switchfoot with the mix. Really, they’re great and put on awesome live shows. I certainly want to see them.
My Vote: 5 (it was a 4 and I went back and changed it to 5, and I can’t figure out why)


September 30, 2010

ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter R

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 11:49 am

Here are the R Bands ranked (1-5) on my likeliness of seeing them at ACL. 🙂 Happy Thursday.

Oh and today only you can get 90% off at restaurant.com [applied at checkout], you should get some gift certificates!

Rebelution- This is a group who defines their style as California reggae. Their sound reminds me so much of 311 and Sublime it took me right back to high school. And then I felt old. Reggae is always a great musical festival choice with all the swaying music, island beats and socially-charged lyrics. The crowds will be swaying, eyes closed with arms sprawling all over the place. On a side note: I don’t like when this happens, because the people swaying, eyes-closed are usually smoking and I feel like I’m constantly dodging cigarette burns from that middle-aged hippie lady that is so moved by the music she doesn’t realize she’s saber fighting me with her flaming cancer stick. I sound uptight, maybe I need more reggae in my life.
My Vote: 2

Richard Thompson- I feel like this guy is one of the biggest deals that I’ve never heard of before. He’s gotten a lifetime achievement award from BBC, been named one of the top 20 guitarists of all-time by Rolling Stone and influenced untold numbers of musicians. Maybe that is the disconnect. He is a musician’s musician and I am no musician. He is talented and I know I’m not fully appreciating him. I kind of want to fake like I know him and love him because I think he is the kind of musician that gives you instant street cred. And I like street cred. For when I’m on the street. The truth is though, I just like what I like.
My Vote: 2

Robert Earle Keen- This is another one of those artists that is a quintessential part of college in Texas. Shoot, he even went to A&M. He’s got a nice pure brand of country. Plain, simple, upbeat and fun. I think The Road Goes on Forever is somewhat of an unstated anthem for College Station. I’ve gotten to see him twice before and he’s great live. He’s good at banter and telling stories behind songs. I can’t really decide if I want to see him again. It all depends on who else is in the slot. So we’ll see when I get around to looking at the match ups.
My Vote: 3

Robert Randolph and the Family Band- Robert Randolph is another one that I’ve seen before, but I think I’d be more inclined to see him again. It’s rare that you get to see someone so talented with a pedal steel guitar, or someone playing one in general. There funk/soul/rock was heavily influenced by legend Stevie Ray Vaughan and you can hear it in their attention to technical excellence, amidst their jam sessions.  These guys just know how to get an audience moving, which I find especially impressive considering the leader of the band is sitting for the majority of the show. I hadn’t listened to their new stuff yet and its great too, so I may need to head over for a listen.
My Vote: 4

Ruby Jane- This girl is precious. She’s a fifteen year old kid with a sweet southern drawl, and  mad strings skills! Her voice is a bit like raspy, country Rosie Thomas. She’s like the girl version of a younger Chris Thile, my favorite bluegrass prodigy. Side note: love Chris Thile. I love watching the video of her because the transitions between her speaking like a typical 15 year old girl and then playing the violin like an accomplished pro. It is quite the juxtaposition. I’m really excited to keep an eye on her and watch her come into her own. Maybe she’ll make an album as amazing and original as Thile’s Deceiver.
My Vote: 3

Run with Bulls- This Nashville trio is definitely able to rock with long, loud guitar riffs and vocals that while commanding, keep a bit of almost soulful smoothness just underneath the surface. Since joining together they’ve kept an open attitude to music, trying to never shoot down any ideas and finding freedom in branching out into whatever genres pull them. In fact, the more I listened the more diversity I found, with the soft, ballad-like Follow the Light. They could definitely be worth a listen, especially if they bring that female vocalist. I like her.
My Vote: 3

Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses- I’m excited about this one. Ryan Bingham is the singer behind CrazyHeart’s The Weary Kind. There has to be a decent bit of pressure involved in singing a song that basically served as a character in and of itself throughout the movie. The song holds its own too. He has a lot of talent as a singer/songwriter and a voice that has quite a bit more maturity and heart than you’d expect from such a young guy, maybe it comes from the years he spent as a bull rider. He’s another one with a nice amount of rasp to his voice. You know how I love that.
My Vote: 4

ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter Q

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 9:10 am

I have a schedule. I will finish. I’m feeling a bit accomplished. Also, I’m surprised that there were two Q Bands, but here they are ranked by my desire to see them at ACL (1-5).

Q Brothers- This is the biggest enigma of ACL for me so far. Mostly because I’m having trouble finding much of their music. They’re playing at the Austin Kiddie Limits stage, so I was expected some folked-out kids’ tunes or something but I’m just finding rap from them. And not kids’ rap. No singing about brushing teeth or robots. The ACL site said they adapted some Shakespeare for an off-broadway play and have done lots of hip/hop sketch comedy. I’m just confused. Are they a kids’ band? Why are they singing about bourbon? Wrong stage? Eh. Who knows.
My Vote: 1

Qbeta-This group from Sicily blends together their local musical scene with Latin influences and a horn section that waivers a bit between traditional folk style music and a more big band type feel. They sing in Italian, another language I don’t speak fluently. On the slowest of songs it’s so pretty that I don’t even care but it’s harder for me on the quicker songs. It loses some of its beauty which I can’t combat by having a clue what they’re singing about.
My Vote: 2

September 29, 2010

ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter P

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 5:26 pm

I’ve had the slightest bit of bitterness toward the letter P ever since its top-heavy awkwardness made my wedding cake adornment look off center but I think I’ve come to a place of peace with the P, maybe even a place of love. So it’s a good time to review the P bands based on my likeliness of of seeing them at ACL (1-5).

Pat Green- Funny thing. Pat Green is actually playing in my living room as I sit down to write this. Evan and some guys from work are hanging out in the backyard and there is a Texas Country Pandora station going. I think it’s hard to make it through college in Texas without growing a soft spot for Pat Green. His music ends up being the unintentional soundtrack for so many happy memories. He does has a good ol’ country voice and rhythm guitar and I don’t think I’d regret seeing him.
My Vote: 3

Pete Yorn- I love Pete Yorn. His musicforthemorningafter album is one of my favorites. I enjoy the entire record. His voice is contemplative, wistful and a little raspy. The right amount of raspy-ness in a voice is one of my favorite qualities. I had mixed feelings about his latest album with Scarlett Johansson but I just really enjoy him. He is a staple on my night driving playlist (a very high compliment).
My Vote: 5

Phish-I totally forgot Phish was going to be at ACL, which is odd because they’re headlining. I don’t gravitate toward Phish and I think it’s because their fans are so loyal and so enthusiastic that I feel a bit like a cheat just going to give them a casual listen. I know they’re iconic. They’re talented. Heck, they have a Ben and Jerry’s flavor all their own. I just missed the train. Of course, there’s no better time to jump on the train than a live show, since they’re a jam-band capable of rivaling the Grateful Dead.
My Vote:4

Ponderosa- This is a band of delicious old Southern rock. If I had to guess, they’d be drinking whiskey while they performed. I like their southern lap steel, banjo sound. They’re not an all new sound but they’re a good sound, it’s hard to go too wrong with influences like The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. I think a lot of these bands with earlier time slots will be really great discoveries.
My Vote: 4

Portugal. The Man-I guess this trio would fall into the category of experimental or progressive rock. They’ve been compared to Pink Floyd but I’m not sure I see it. They mix in falsetto and spacey synth sounds beautifully with their smooth swaying vocals. Two bonus point issues: they encourage people to download their music for free but you wouldn’t want to because their cd jackets are beautiful works of art and you’d totally be missing out.
My Vote: 3

ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter O

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 4:37 pm

Why not do four letters in one day? I’m behind anyways. Here are the O Bands ranked by my likelihood of going to see them.

Okee Dokee Brothers: Ok dokey, so Okee Dokee Brothers are definitely my favorite of all the Austin Kiddie Limits bands so far. I really want to have at least two boys and they sing about robots. And that’s all a mother could ever want from a band for her boys. In fact, I think I know a few little boys who would enjoy this music in the upcoming years. Will I see them at ACL? No. Will I try really hard to remember that I like them when I have kids? Yes.
My Vote: 1

Ozomatli: This band describes their style as the kind of mix you get from hearing all the different radios through the rolled-down windows on Sunset Boulevard. It’s a mix of Latin and hip hop and funk and rock and salsa. I thought it was a good description. Of more importance is the fact that their concerts often involve full out Conga lines through the crowds, and that’s just fun.
My Vote: 2


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