Saturday, March 31, 2007

A New Addition to my List of Music Acts, Amanda Kaletsky

Went to see Grey Eye Glances at Chaplin's: The Music Cafe, a pretty cool club in the booming metropolis of Spring City (actually a very quaint small town) outside of Philadelphia. They, as usual, were awesome. I haven't seen them for about two years and they've made changes to their older songs, adding a lot of depth to them musically. Could just be an incorrect memory of my part - haven't seen them in a while and have just been listening to the CDs - music live is always so much different than the recorded version. The crowd and your current emotions always change the experience dramatically.

I found the Grey Eye Glances because they were the warm-up band for a nationally-known group. At that concert, I hated the headliner and loved the three warm-up bands they had. I fell in love instantly with GEG's sound and have followed them ever since. They've been together since 1991 and I can't believe they haven't made it further than they have, but again, I'm probably happy in a selfish way, because I prefer going to these smaller venues to see music. Chaplin's seats about 80 people, serves sandwiches and salads and is a BYOB place. So last night, my date and I took a bottle of wine and headed off to Chaplin's. It's about an hour ride from my house. He had never heard GEG before so we played their CDs on the way up and he liked their music as well.

We found a seat on the balcony and ordered sandwiches. The first singer, Skip Denenberg, was good. He plays locally and from what he said, he does a lot with the Philadelphia Phillies musically. But, the second act, Amanda Kaletsky, was extremely good. A recent college grad from the University of DE, Amanda started playing violin at age 4 and then added piano and guitar. She's studied voice since 8th grade and began songwriting in high school. She's only 23 and I think if she continues, she will make a name for herself. Go to her website and take a listen to her music. My date bought me one of her EPs and she autographed it for me. He got one too.

I love her songs December and Never Enough. I think she said Never Enough was one of her first songs and that she wrote it in high school.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lindsey Buckingham

I hadn't heard Lindsey Buckingham solo before and was blown away by his performance. The show was to start at 8:00 and it took us about an hour longer to get to South Street than I expected. An accident on the PA turnpike loaded more traffic on the Schuylkill (also known as the SureKill) so we crept along in bumper to bumper traffic.

We didn't get to the Theater of Living Arts (TLA) until 7:50 but the show didn't start until 8:30. So we didn't miss anything, but we also didn't get dinner before the show. The theater was small but very nice. It had several levels with some seats being stackable chairs and others more like bar stools. Most seats had a good view of the stage and the acoustics were good. There were some rowdy fans in the audience but rowdy because they were such fans of Lindsey.

I noticed one woman in the third row who stood for most of the show. She clasped her hands as if in prayer in front of her face, swayed to the music and looked as if she was in the presence of almighty God and in awe of his grace and power. Another man in the fifth row continually thrust his arms up in the air to the beat of the music. By the end of the show, many were crowded down by the front of the stage. The bouncers tried to stop it for a while, but eventually gave up.

Lindsey started the show with two solos. His voice was strong - never cracked once, nor did I hear him hit a wrong note. I've heard that he is 57 but he didn't appear to be older than 35. After two songs, he was joined by his band, friends that he's known for over 15 years. Lindsey's guitar playing was extremely good and got more flamboyant and exuberant as the night went on. I have never ever seen anyone slap a guitar before. There were times that Lindsey was slapping his guitar, like a girl fight, but he was still making music.

Lindsey is releasing a new album, pictured above. It is his first album in, I think, 17 years. If you get the chance to listen to it or to see him in person, I would highly recommend it!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Another Beautiful Day

Today is absolutely gorgeous outside. Blue skies, a few white puffy clouds and temps in the 70's. I'm working from home today and I keep taking my papers and planning materials out to the deck, occasionally popping inside to check my emails. This is the way to work!!

Tonight, I'm heading into Philadelphia to see the Lindsey Buckingham concert. Have never heard him solo, only with Fleetwood Mac. Friday, I'm heading back to the Philadelphia area to see one of my favorite "local" bands, Grey Eye Glances. I am looking forward to both concerts. Have to find something to fill my time now that Pete and Rachel are heading back to Europe.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Sun Has Finally Come Out

It's a beautiful day outside for a change. Yesterday was cool, overcast and intermittently rainy. Today is sunny, blue skies and very warm. Just came back from a brisk hour-long walk. My daughter is out playing soccer at a tournament and my son is out at the park with his girlfriend and other friends. Sitting here, I can hear the neighborhood children out playing and birds chirping.

Tuesday, I had to spend the day at SAP Headquarters in Newtown Square. With ok traffic, it is about an hour and a half from me. Unfortunately, there is seldom ok traffic in the morning - it is usually bumper to bumper for a fair number of miles adding on about a half hour. That day I left early and was making good time.

I wanted to stop at a convenience store and grab a soda, but kept passing stores instead of stopping. A few times I thought about turning around since most of the stores available to me were on the left hand side of the road. But I kept going and telling myself I would stop at the next one. This repeated several times, and then I stopped at a small store about 8 miles outside of Newtown Square. I thought to myself, why bother stopping now? They'll have coffee and drinks at the meeting. But I pulled into the parking lot and parked. As I got out of my car, a young man came up to me and said, "I've never done this before and I'm really embarassed, but could I ask you for $2 for gas so I can get to Newtown Square where I live? If you don't believe I need it for gas, you could go into the store with me and watch me pay for it or you could pay the store yourself." He looked like he was about 19.

I gave him the money and he thanked me. I followed him into the store and went to the cooler to get a soda. He met a guy he apparently hadn't seen for a few years at the counter. He told the guy that he was working at UPS and had just gotten his first paycheck that day, said he was living with his mom and dad since he came back from Iraq. While talking to his friend, he paid for his gas, thanked me again and went outside. When I heard he just came back from Iraq, I wanted to offer to fill his tank, but I didn't. He didn't mention to his friend that he had to bum money off me and I didn't want to embarass him. Guess I could have offered to do it and say it was a thank-you for being in Iraq but didn't think fast enough on my feet. When I got outside, he was gone.

Thursday night, I had a date after work. He was supposed to pick me up at 7:30 which would give me just enough time to get home, feed the kids and get ready. When I got to my car at the carpool dropoff point, I saw my tire was low. I headed back down the road to a Turkey Hill to put air in it. I tried putting air in it, but it seemed as if it was getting flatter rather than filling up. In principle, I know how to change a tire, but I've never done it in real life. So, since it was raining, I was dressed up, and I've paid for AAA for four years and never used it, I decided it was time to place that call. I called AAA and arranged for someone to come out to change my tire. I called my date and told him I would be late. Sweet guy that he is, he offered to come change it for me. It would have taken him a half hour to get to me so I just told him AAA was on their way. The tow truck driver came out within 45 minutes and changed my tire in less than five minutes. I had a nail in my tire. While he was there, a woman came up to me and asked if he was AAA. She said that her car broke down there earlier today but AAA refused to send someone out because she didn't know her exact location. That was a little surprising to me since we were at an intersection and it was easy to see the road signs. She had left her car there and gone home, coming back that night to call AAA a second time. Wonderfully for her, he was already there helping me and could tow her car for her.

I had a debate with someone a few weeks ago about my belief that things happen for a reason. He disagreed with me saying that life was chance or self-determination, that things didn't happen for a reason. That just because you think it was better that you went down one path instead of another, you really don't know because you didn't take that other path.

I could have very easily driven home on the low tire - I'd been putting air in it for a week and probably shouldn't have been driving on it as long as I did. It was unusual that I went to that side of the car to put my bags into the car - I usually go in the driver's side. My deciding to take care of the tire situation that day helped that woman out in taking care of her own car situation. When meeting that soldier who needed help, I passed many stores on my way and for one reason or another didn't stop until that particular store. Would he have asked his friend for money? I'm not sure - he didn't ask him for money to repay me - I think he was too embarassed.

I'm glad he came back home from Iraq apparently whole, at least physically.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

We Can't Make It Here

(James McMurtry sang this at the Rajiworld Party)

Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
Flag on the wheelchair flapping in the breeze
One leg missing, both hands free
No one's paying much mind to him
The V.A. budget's stretched so thin
And there's more comin' home from the Mideast war
We can't make it here anymore

That big ol' building was the textile mill
It fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and they closed the doors
We can't make it here anymore

See all those pallets piled up on the loading dock
They're just gonna set there till they rot
'Cause there's nothing to ship, nothing to pack
Just busted concrete and rusted tracks
Empty storefronts around the square
There's a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
You don't come down here 'less you're looking to score
We can't make it here anymore

The bar's still open but man it's slow
The tip jar's light and the register's low
The bartender don't have much to say
The regular crowd gets thinner each day

Some have maxed out all their credit cards
Some are working two jobs and living in cars
Minimum wage won't pay for a roof, won't pay for a drink
If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO
See how far 5.15 an hour will go
Take a part time job at one of your stores
Bet you can't make it here anymore

High school girl with a bourgeois dream
Just like the pictures in the magazine
She found on the floor of the laundromat
A woman with kids can forget all that
If she comes up pregnant what'll she do
Forget the career, forget about school
Can she live on faith? live on hope?
High on Jesus or hooked on dope
When it's way too late to just say no
You can't make it here anymore

Now I'm stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
Just like the ones we made before
'Cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we can't make it here anymore

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I'm in
Should I hate 'em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
They've never known want, they'll never know need
Their sh@# don't stink and their kids won't bleed
Their kids won't bleed in the da$% little war
And we can't make it here anymore

Will work for food
Will die for oil
Will kill for power and to us the spoils
The billionaires get to pay less tax
The working poor get to fall through the cracks
Let 'em eat jellybeans let 'em eat cake
Let 'em eat sh$%, whatever it takes
They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps
If they can't make it here anymore

And that's how it is
That's what we got
If the president wants to admit it or not
You can read it in the paper
Read it on the wall
Hear it on the wind
If you're listening at all
Get out of that limo
Look us in the eye
Call us on the cell phone
Tell us all why

In Dayton, Ohio
Or Portland, Maine
Or a cotton gin out on the great high plains
That's done closed down along with the school
And the hospital and the swimming pool
Dust devils dance in the noonday heat
There's rats in the alley
And trash in the street
Gang graffiti on a boxcar door
We can't make it here anymore

Music and lyrics (c) 2004 by James McMurtry

Monday, March 19, 2007

RajiWorld Blogger Party at SXSW

Attic sign marking our spot

Charlie, Ashley, Tana's husband and son
Colleen, Lynne, Susan
Michelle, Cathy

Burton and Colleen dancing

Mother Truckers - awesome sound - she has a fabulous blues sound and he can make a guitar wail like you've never heard before

Michael Des Barres

Ian McLagan and the Bump Band

Nakia - awesome blues singer - plays weekly in Austin


Tana and her son

Charlie and Ashley (Susan's son and girlfriend)

Doing the Texas Two-Step

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Attic Show

Waiting outside for the doors to open

June holding spaces at the front of the stage

Lauren at her usual concert spot - front center rail


Alexi Murdoch

Martha Wainwright


Willie Mason's brother, his drummer

Joe Purdy plays piano

Pete Townshend

SXSW photos

Colleen at one of our lunch spots, Fodo's

Crowd shot at SXSW on 6th Street

Pictures from Muzak Party

Our Austin hostess, Susan (AustinGal)

Rachel at the intro

Rachel shining at the keyboards

Pete reclaims his guitarist spot

Bloggers enjoying the music

Rachel's guitarist, Joleon

Last Day of SXSW

How to describe SXSW? An Austin native told me before I came down that SXSW was like Spring Break for grown-ups. In a way, it was. But, it also seemed to be spring break for quite a few of the college students that were here as well. Walking down the streets of 6th Street became more difficult as the festival went on. Tonight was very crowded - almost like walking through the French Quarter at New Orleans albeit with cleaner streets. (You don't want to wear nice shoes walking through the French Quarter.) People jostle you constantly and you have to weave in and out of the oncoming crowds.

Police are out in full force, mostly standing and watching, some on horseback. The crowds are generally good-natured. And, the people watching has been entertaining. I had wondered what type of clothes to bring and I've seen everything from women wearing bra tops and skirts, a man wearing only a zebra-patterned thong, a bright green kelly corderoy suit (not on St. Paddy's Day), hot pink hair, and more mohawks than I could count. I thought the mohawk had gone out of style? And, of course, an occasional cowboy hat and lots of cowboy boots in various styles.

Overwhelmingly is the sound of music. It blares at you from every doorway, from people sitting outside on the street corners playing their own instruments for spare change, and I even saw a group of people playing the metal fence, the trashcan and clapping their hands outside the parking garage tonight. Every style of music imaginable can be found at SXSW.

Our last day started with the Blogger party at RajiWorld. It was a beautiful day with the temps in the 70s, a nice breeze and a few clouds so the sun was not in full force. Susan and her family had spread out a blanket for us under the trees. The strong scent of rosemary was in the air since the party was being held at a nursery. There was an outside stage with lots of space around for people to put their chairs and blankets. The first act was not that impressive, but they got better. We heard mostly solo acoustic guitar, but we also heard some great bands, including the Mother Truckers and Ian MacLagan and the Bump Band. Other performers, I really enjoyed, included nakia (awesome soul/blues) and Jameson McMurtrie - he did some great folk-type songs.

Bloggers who attended were Susan (AustinGal), ColleenM, Michelle (LifeImitatesArt), Burton, Tana, Lynne, and Brandi (JunebugTX). Some brought their families and their partners. We had a great time talking and learning more about each other. We also talked a lot about Pete and Rachel - how they've built a community, the obvious love and respect that they have for each other, the encouragement and support they give each other, and the future possibilities we see growing out of this partnership. The bloggers got their picture taken with Ian MacLagan who is such a nice guy. We enjoyed his show every time we saw it here in SXSW. He plays every week here in Austin and also performs outside of TX. He will be in NJ in the Fall. Check him out if he comes to your area.

After the Rajiworld party, Colleen, Burton, Michelle and I went out for Mexican food. Then back to SXSW where we caught Alexi Murdoch and then Eliza Gilykison. Michelle and Burton then took off and we listened to a little bit of Peter Case. His music was solo guitar and we wanted something with a little more energy. We went back to 6th Street and waited for a band to set up. Their sound check was a little scary - "Check 1, Check 2, SCREAM" As they were ready to start, their lead singer came on stage - white puffy strapless prom-type dress and she had long black hair - she gingerly comes on stage and then the music starts: loud, angry, and lots of screaming. We stayed for the first song and then headed out.

We would like SXSW to be longer and are sorry to be leaving tomorrow. But, we are already making plans to come back next year.

In addition to the music, we have made some new friends in Austin. Susan has been such a great hostess to us. Brandi and Tanya - it was so nice to meet them and to get to know them better. Michelle and Burton - we had a lot of fun hanging out with them and hearing their stories of Who concerts and being part of their Austin Attic show. Lauren - she was always on the move with a clear agenda of what she wanted to see and do at SXSW and she had the best tips on how to get to first row, center. June had some great tips on bands to see at SXSW. It's late so if I've forgotten anyone, I apologise. Lynne - although she was busy working for Ian MacLagan, we still managed to run into her and see her a little bit.

Again, Rachel has made a new community. We're all connected on the grid, but it is so nice to meet people in person and to really get to know them.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Day Three - SXSW

It's hard to believe that SXSW is almost over. Colleen and I have been having a blast!

Today, we had lunch at the Spaghetti Warehouse and then headed over to the Convention Center. We walked through Flatstock - exhibits of music artists - very creative folks. I understand that Austin music poster artists created the greatest poster art anywhere in the country. Some famous Austin artists include Michael Priest, Jim Franklin, Harry Gonzales and Gilbert Shelton.

Then we went through the vendor exhibits. There is supposed to be a great music blog at Haven't checked it out yet, but the vendor gave a great sales job about it.

After checking out the convention center and making sure we knew where Rachel would be performing at her DirectTV show, we headed over to Brush Square Park to the Muzak Tent Party where Susan (AustinGal)had set up a table. She decorated the table with Who targets and In the Attic symbols. Other bloggers who joined us were Burton, June, JunebugTX, and Lauren. We had a great time getting to know each other. The weather had cooled off some, but was still nicer than what I hear the NorthEast was getting - we heard PA and NJ were getting inches of snow.

A funny thing happened as we were waiting for Rachel. We saw a line forming and at the front of the line was a young attractive guy who looked like he was a lead singer in a band. People at the front of the line were talking to him and it looked as if people were lined up to talk to him. I wondered who this guy was and Burton said he would ask. He got up and asked the people in line what they were waiting for. He came back and told me "His name is John." Everyone was waiting in line for the PortaPotties. Burton is a good man!

We had a good time waiting for Rachel to arrive. Sitting outside, listening to the other bands, both at our tent and at the tent next door, drinking beer and margaritas and getting to know each other better. Susan brought an "In the Attic" sign and we all signed it with a message to Rachel.

Also, while we were waiting, Sean and Joleon (Rachel's guitarist) were walking around looking for the rest of the crew. I had a nice conversation with the two of them. Joleon had played with Rachel back in 2004 and ran into her at the Reno Who concert and she invited him to play with her at SXSW. He was very sweet and nice to talk to.

Rachel arrived and we went into the tent to watch her. All the bloggers were in the front row. She looked beautiful (pictures to follow when I get home). She played many of the same songs she later played at DirectTV - Cigarettes & Housework, Pleasure Seeker, Sir Walter Raleigh, Blue and Sunrise. As she walked off stage, we handed her our signed Attic sign.

After the Muzak Tent Party, Colleen and I went over to a place called Bourbon Rocks. It was fairly empty but we saw a good band called LoneLady. Because the place was pretty empty, we had lots of room to dance. We walked to the Rio after that to meet AustinGal, but by the time we got there, she had already left for DirectTv and we got a call that the line was forming so we headed over there. We got to the Convention Center, got in line for about 15 minutes and then headed into the studio.

Rachel was charming and on target for the DirectTV show. At the last Joe's Pub show, she said she had been told that her piano playing was tentative that night. She was not tentative on DirectTV. Her piano skills were very evident as were her singing skills. I was really surprised that she played "It's a Motherfucker" but she said that the TV had cut away for that song and it would be played at a later time. Rachel invited Pete to join her for the Sunrise song and he explained that he wrote that song for his mother, the first song that he had ever written. Martha Wainwright and Pete also joined Rachel for one of Martha's songs. I enjoyed the three of them better than when Martha plays alone. Rachel's piano playing added quite a bit to the song and it definitely was not tentative!

Rachel explained at the DirectTV show that Pete had helped her overcome her stage fright about singing. And, Pete said that Rachel used special sign language to talk to old deaf rockers. They talked about how they wrote the In The Mix song for Pete's 59th birthday. They sang it together, with Rachel away from the piano singing and using "sign language" along with the song. For example, she tapped the inside of her elbow when saying he was her fix.

As we left the studio, we saw on the monitor that Rachel was being interviewed but we were not able to hear it. For some reason, they have big TVs outside the DirectTV studios, but there is no volume. People were sitting outside watching concerts they were unable to hear. Why, I don't know.

Burton, Colleen and I headed back to the clubs but because Burton did not have a badge, we were not able to get into the first club we tried. So instead, we went to a margarita place and sat out on the deck with margaritas. SXSW is a good place for music, but it is also a good place for people watching. Rachel - people need to listen to your Fashion Tips webcast!

After our rest and a margarita, Colleen and I headed back to Bourbon Rocks. We saw a great UK band, Ron Sexsmith. JunebugTX had told us to go see them and she was right. They had a great sound and I am going to look them up on iTunes. The next band was from Chicago and we were told they were a Beatles band. They looked like the Beatles, but in no way, did I think they sounded like the Beatles. Their name was The Redwalls and they were also very good. Colleen and I danced for two hours before the lights came on and we had to head home.

Blogger party tomorrow afternoon as well as a full slate of other bands and activities. But tomorrow is the last day for me as I go back home on Sunday. I think there are a few events Sunday night that I will miss but for the most part, SXSW ends tomorrow. Colleen and I are already making plans to come back next year.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Day Two - SXSW

Colleen and I headed back into Austin between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. Once there, we found a great little Irish Pub, Fodo, for lunch. At the restaurant, there was a singer/guitarist named Frank Turner who was pretty good. We ate outside on a small patio enjoying the sunshine and the warm Austin weather. Yesterday had been overcast and rainy. Today is supposed to be the warmest day of the week. We heard it was snowing or supposed to snow in PA and NJ even though yesterday it had been 75 in PA.

After lunch, we walked down to the Attic site. It was about 4:00 p.m. and there were two other bloggers already waiting, Michelle and Burton. They did not have badges or wristbands, but were hoping for a general admission ticket. We went around to the other door to start forming the line. It was a warm day standing in the sun and the guys came to start setting up the crowd control barriers. While they had the gate open, we took the chance to move into the patio area and get out of the sun. It felt much nicer under the shade! Burton was kind enough to go get some waters for Colleen, Michelle and me.

Lauren and June arrived shortly thereafter and more people started drifing in. Lauren took charge of the situation and was directing people where to stand in the different lines. The manager kicked us back out into the sun and the lines got longer. We had a line for badge holders, a line for wristbands and a line for General Admission. As the time got closer to 5:30, the lines got longer but everyone was fairly organized and pleasant.

At 5:30, they opened the doors and started letting us in. We went right to the rail by the front of the stage and sat down on the floor leaving space enough for Michelle, Burton and one other gentleman who did not have badges. As Lauren will tell you, and she told us several times, you need to sit down and spread out to reserve enough space around you so you are not crushed up against the rail and have room for the others to join us later.

Our spots were ideal for the show even with the numerous photographers in the pit in front of us. I won't get the order right because it is too late, but Pete started the show off with a song. He was in a good mood and was cracking many jokes and clowning around. Willie Mason's band was excellent although we swear that his drummer was about 10 years old. His drum set even looked like a starter drum set for a child. Willie, himself, didn't look like he had started shaving yet, and their violinist looked about 16. But they didn't play like teenagers - they were very good. I had not heard them before.

Joe Purdy played and it wasn't until his last song when he had Pete and Willie Mason and band join him, that I saw the Joe Purdy I saw the night before. When Joe played solo, he stood still and was very laidback. When he had others on stage with him, he was doing a two-step and really got into it. He seems to feed off the energy of others on stage.

Mika was introduced by Rachel as a number one artist in the UK. His style was very different. I could see his songs being used for commercials and other jingles, and I liked it but I don't think I would buy his album or listen to his music on a regular basis. He was funny and comical on stage, and used his voice as a comedic tool.

Alexi Murdoch played and he was also good. I love his song, Orange Sky. The song he chose for his finale was a mournful song. He is also a solo artist and as I see more and more bands at SXSW, I've been really noticing how the band members feed off of each other's energy. It is unusual for a solo performer to get the energy up and to pull the audience in to that sense of excitement.

Martha Wainwright did not wear the horse pajamas this time. She wore a short dress that showed off her beautiful legs. Rachel had been joking about how she did the Attic shows so she could kiss all these young men, and when she introduced Martha, she said she also liked the girls. When Martha came on stage and kissed Rachel hello, she grabbed her ass. Martha played great as usual.

Rachel also played and sang well - she replaced her normal guitarist, Pete, with a new young guitarist, I'm not sure what his name was, but it sounded like Joelin. Rachel played It's a Motherfucker, Walter Raleigh, Blue, and Pleasure Seeker.

Pete played In the Ether and Can't Reach You, but his set was cut short because they ran out of time. He performed with each of the artists as did Rachel.

After the Attic show, we headed over to see the rest of Ian McLagan and the Bump Band's set. Again as yesterday, they did a great show. The club was packed but we pushed our way forward to the front of the stage. Lynne was there and we got a chance to say hello to her.

From there we went to another club and saw the end of the Hacienda Brothers, definitely a country band. I haven't seen anyone play the accordian in real life, only in movies or tv. We then saw the Mother Truckers and let me tell you, that guitarist made his guitar wail like I've seldom seen before. I had heard they were good but had never seen them before. I'd like to see them again. Speaking of a band feeding energy to each other, this band was rocking and having a blast with each other.

We tried to go see the Frattellis after that, but ended up going down to West 6th St instead of East 6th St, and then ran into a new friend. By then, their set would have been over.

It was a long night, but extremely fun. I did take pictures but unfortunately did not pack my cable connection so cannot download them from my camera. I will post them when I get home.

More to come tomorrow. My feet hurt :-(

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Day One - SXSW

I got up at 3:00 am this morning (actually, yesterday morning) to finish packing and head off to BWI to catch a flight to Houston and then to Austin, TX for SXSW. Trip to the airport went well. Security, even at that hour, was a little backed up and I have to say they were not so thorough in their screenings. Get on the plane on time and everyone is ready to go. The pilot, however, announces that we have to wait because they forgot to put fuel in the plane. Since I have a very short layover, 45 minutes, in Houston, I'm a little concerned about this delay. Thirty minutes pass before we take off and get on our way to Houston. Somehow, we still manage to land in Houston 15 minutes before we were supposed to arrive. My connecting flight is on the other side of the airport so I make my trek over to that gate where we should already have been boarding. It is another 15 minutes before we begin boarding what will be a very full flight. Lots of guitars and other musical equipment are carried on board the plane and it is obvious, we are heading to SXSW.

The pilot for the Austin flight announces that we are going to have a very bumpy ride and that we are to keep our seatbelts on and that the flight crew will not be serving drinks due to the expected turbulence. The flight to Houston had been bumpy near the end. However, we have a very smooth flight and no turbulence at all.

I meet Colleen at the hotel and we head off to AustinGal's parking garage where she has thoughtfully provided a parking space for us. She gave us maps and showed us around the general area. We head off to the Convention Center to register thinking it will be quick and we can head back to the hotel and get ready for Pete's keynote address. Over an hour later, we finally get our badges and can head back to the hotel. Took us longer than expected because traffic was heavy and we unfortunately got off at the wrong exit and circled around for awhile. We arrived back at the Hilton at 6:00 p.m. with the keynote to start at 6:30. We had feared crowds that would prevent us from seeing Pete's talk, but we were able to get seats in the 8th row. The Ballroom filled up by 6:30 so Pete had a full house.

As Sully posted, Pete talked about the differences in the band's interactions based on the different personalities; his realization one day when he heard the Who's music on the local radio station that he was not an artist anymore, but rather was a something he couldn't describe, (a celebrity, a persona, a performer, ...); his early vision of The Method and his long wait for it to be realized; his new joy at performing live at small venues like the Attic shows - to have the freedom to play as he wants, not how others want him to play. It was a wonderful exchange between Pete and his "interviewer".

We hadn't really planned on it, but Colleen and I then went to the Music Awards. We were so happy later that we did, because there were some awesome performers at the Awards, including Pete who did a surprise appearance with Ian McLagan and the Bump Band. I say surprise, but there were lots of rumors flying around the room that Pete was going to play with Ian. When we saw Alan setting up his guitar on stage, we knew the rumors were true. They obviously enjoyed themselves during their performance and as Pete described in his Keynote, they were in the Zone.

After the awards ceremony/show, Colleen and I went to see Joe Purdy. He and his band, particularly Brian Wright (guitar/singer) and Albert (keyboards) were also in the Zone. Joe appears somewhat laidback and more quiet in the Attic shows. With his band, he is all over the stage and very alive. I had bought his album after seeing him at the Attic show, but this was a new Joe Purdy that we experienced. He and Brian had a tremendous amount of fun in their set and played off each other's energy.

After Joe's band, we saw Ari Hest who has a small band, but tonight played by himself. I have never heard him before but I was very impressed. He would make a great Attic performer! He has a new album coming out in May and is from NYC. I would recommend all of you checking him out.

It is after 1:00 am and the music is still going on at SXSW, but we decided to come home and post quickly before crashing. More to come over the next few days.

One thing I do want to mention is that Susan (AustinGal) told us that the Grid that Pete talks about is not only between Pete/Rachel and their fans, but the Grid connects the fans to each other. I have met a lot of great people through the Attic and she's right. We are all connected to each other, even though we may not have met each other in person.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Rachel Fuller Events at SXSW

Rachel Fuller w/Special Guests - *BADGES/WRISTBANDS ONLY* - (and Gen. Pub. if ANY room is left over.) - Thursday, March 15th, 6:00 pm. La Zona Rosa - 612 W. 4th Street Austin, TX

MUZAK North by Tent Party w/Rachel Fuller - Friday, March 16th, 5:00 pm - Brush Square Park, 5th St. @ Neches - Free margaritas & taco bar - bring a blanket and sit on the grass! Also featuring The Alternate Routes, The Hot IQs, Scott McCurry, Andy Zipf, and Sarah Marince. This is an RSVP event -- go to and email a "RSVP".

Rachel Fuller @ SXSW Live - Friday, March 16th, 10:00 pm - Lone Start Lounge area at Austin Convention Center. *COMPLEMENTARY TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE TO ALL FESTIVAL ATTENDEES AND GENERAL PUBLIC - SPACE PERMITTING* - (which means line up early). These 40-minute performances are being filmed for broadcast on DirectTV - so check your local listings!!

Ian McLagan Events at SXSW

Wednesday, March 14 - Austin Music Awards (7:55pm)
Austin Convention Center

Thursday, March 15 - Lucky Lounge (8pm) - FREE!
Four guys walk into a bar... Join us for 'Happy Hour' with the Bump Band.
*NOTE: Special late set for SXSW week only from 8-10pm.

Thursday, March 15 - Whiskey Bar (1am)
Official SXSW/Rajiworld showcase

Friday, March 16 - SXSW Trade Show Events
Austin Convention Center, Trade Show & Exhibition

South By Bookstore signing with Ian McLagan (2pm)
Mac will be meetin', greetin' and signin' copies of his highly acclaimed CD, Spiritual Boy, An Appreciation of Ronnie Lane and his rock 'n' roll biography, All The Rage. Don't miss out!
Hosted by Barnes & Noble.

Studio SX featuring an interview with Ian McLagan (3:30pm)
Studio SX is located at the northeast corner of the Music Trade Show & Exhibition.

Visit for more details.

Saturday, March 17 - Big Red Sun (Bumps 8pm)
Rajiworld +1 party (3-9 pm)

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with us! Featuring performances by Adam Carroll, A.J. Croce, Billy Harvey, Hacienda Brothers, Jeff Hughes & Chaparral, The Mother Truckers, Nakia, Miss. Pamela Des Barres, Skyrocket featuring Kathy Valentine, and our very own Ian McLagan & the Bump Band. Come on down!

Yee-Haw - - Blogger Party at SXSW

Bloggers in or near Austin, TX on March 17:
We are meeting at the Rajiworld party on Saturday, March 17, from 3-9 p.m. AustinGal will mark our spot with a flag with an Attic symbol(s) on it. Look for us near the stage. Party is open to all, regardless of whether you are a conference registrant or not. $10 donation requested at the door to benefit GenAustin.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Breakfast, Anyone?

Last night, I took my son and five of his friends to our church for Open Gym Night. He won the prize for bringing the most friends. We are trying to grow our Youth Group back up to where it used to be in the past. (Another story sometime is how our church imploded on itself a few years back and we lost half our membership and our pastors in a theological split.)

Anyway, the kids had a great time playing basketball, eating snacks and listening to Christian rock. Don't think they paid much attention to the music, but our eventual plans are to have some praise worship mixed in with the Open Gym.

Two of his five friends slept over and this morning, very early for them since they were up all night, I dragged them out of their sleeping bags to go serve breakfast to the homeless. His two friends had not gone before and I learned afterwards by listening to their comments, they had been worried about going. Luckily my kids and their friends do not censor their comments (well, I'm sure they do), but they seem to talk about everything in front of me and I can learn a lot by quietly listening to their conversations.

We ran by McDonalds for a quick breakfast before heading to the church we serve breakfast at, not our church, but a downtown church. The boys set up the tables and put supplies out while the adults cooked sausage, pancakes and scrambled eggs. We scrambled 36 dozen eggs and cooked over 500 sausage links and everything was set up and ready to start serving in 45 minutes. The line for breakfast starts forming by 8:00 am and we have the doors open by 9:00, but we open early if we are ready.

The boys rotated between three stations: handing out trays to the people as they entered the serving line; serving orange juice; and serving sausage. I had pancake duty.

People are so appreciative and thankful for the breakfast. Not all are homeless, but most seem to be. Others, I think, are trying to stretch their grocery dollars. There are some children present, but the majority are adults and of the adults, most are male. A few have obvious handicaps, but most seem able-bodied. They wait patiently in line for breakfast, sit at crowded tables we have set up in a small all-purpose room in the basement of the church, and eat in a slightly smoky haze that develops from the kitchen's inadequate ventilation system. Many of them return for seconds and even thirds. One told me this morning that he hadn't eaten for quite a while and was very happy to get breakfast that morning.

Ages seem to range from late teens/early 20's to older people in their 60s. All smile while in line and thank us profusely for their food and for our service. One little boy, who was probably my son's age, came up for his third serving. He spoke very quietly, so quietly, I had to lean over close to hear him and even then it was difficult.

'My' boys, as we left the church, spoke about how amazed they were at how nice the homeless were to them. I think they had been expecting strange scarey people who would be far different than themselves. They had lots of questions for me afterwards about how you eat when you are homeless? how do you sleep? where do you stay? how do you keep warm?

They had fun and felt useful at the same time. I think it was a good learning experience for them and for me even though I've done it before.