I'ma real fuckin' partier. Lets just establish that right now. I'm a real fuckin' partier. And the festival environment, well, that's just the realest place to party hands down.
I wrote that little gem of an intro on my sidekick as I was walking down the street at like 2 a.m. looking for my car along Red River, when I had actually parked on 12th Street, and well, um, thought I was quite clever. Like I thought "I've found the perfect opening! I must jot this down now!!!" Which I never do, and the above probably proves why. Because when I'm drunk I think I'm brilliant. I always have lil passages passing through my head that disappear off into the cosmos, or the toilet. And that line there just tells me, that I really don't have to worry about all that. Send it away, away.
Not that there's no truth to the above statement. I mean, that statement is real as fuck. But it's nothing really earth shattering. Like is THAT drawing you into this post. I don't know.
What I'm saying is...
With a combination of wristbands, or at least the one I had that got me into the lush (in so many ways), beautiful VIP, and...
Some ingenuity, one can make a day or two or three at a festival such as this an experience of a lifetime.
Austin City Limits Festival happens every September here in Austin down to Zilker Park. I went last year, but only could hit up Sunday to see Bob Dylan, so this year I made a more concentrated effort to go down and spend some real time. It's a top notch event. And what are you gonna do? Sit around at home while Erykah Badu yells at hippies about the government? I think not.
More on that later. It was my personal highlight.
60,000+ strong? That's my guesstimate.
These dudes weren't even trippin'. I mean they were trippin', probably on some real potent shit, but real talk man these dudes weren't even trippin' offa what you might have thank about their ensembles. I'm telling you. They weren't even tripping dog.
Anyway I didn't take a ton of photos on the first day. Then that night I headed to The Parish to see Black Joe Lewis and this white dude from England who sings funny songs and used to be techno. But he took too long to get on stage so I left and lucky for me I left when I did cuz I think it took me an hour to find my car.
Me and Martin from Grimy Styles CHILLIN'
Black Joe Lewis
My boy Ian Varley plays keys for Black Joe Lewis
Anyway, Day 2 was big for me. My dude Bavu Blakes was performing at 1:50 with his band the Extra Plairs and Gary Clark Jr. on guitar and Pikahsso from PPT as well. And I was really amped to see how the ACL crowd was going to not only respond to, but even show up for an Austin rapper and his band.
Bavu Blakes & Gary Clark Jr.
Me and Oscar of Luxury Mindz
Anyway man, Bavu killed that shit. I'ma make the declaration here once again that Bavu Blakes is the best performer in hip-hop. I've seen everyone. Probably seen every rapper ever live. 85% of them at least. Maybe 95% and Bavu Blakes is the best performer in hip-hop. Dude comes out and does a SHOW. Dude has not had a radio hit. He doesn't have huge albums everyone knows. He's a performer. He comes out and kills it live and 2000 people can stand and watch and vibe to him that maybe have not only never heard a song from him, but may not even know his name. It's rare that I see a rapper captivate an audience of folks who don't know all the lyrics. I mean it happens, but Bavu straight grabs folks. That's why I fuck with him. Yeah, full disclosure, he's my dude for real, but seriously, the first time we met he rapped in my face and acted tough with me. I never thought I'd ever see him again. But dude is off the chain. Serious.
D-Madness on the bass and keys???? DJ Kurupt on the tables? I mean it went down.
Bavu even came out in an Obama mask with sunglasses while his hype man came out as Hillary. Shit was crazy. Dude even did cover songs? Like he knew he had to hit them ACLers in the head so he came out in the Obama mask as the band did "Cult of Personality," then later did "I Kissed a Girl," (for the tween set???) and "Bad Moon Rising" for Jon Fogerty who'd be playing just down the way a few hours later. Strange but it worked.
Pikahsso in the house.
Me and Kris Krisna
Anyway after another stop at the VIP for some more ingenuity and such, I headed to the Erykah Badu stage where she also was truly killing it.
I mean, this is the crowd, I wasn't bout to walk all the way the hell up there.
You can kind of see her in the screen in this one.
Anyway, she ran through some of her deepest material and towards the end began to talk a bit of politics. Which I am all in favor of. I always say man, if you have a chance to say something to the people, and you actually have something to say, you should say it. So many of these artists have been running scared from the issues and she is one of the few people who hasn't been afraid to speak her mind. Which is all I ask, cuz that's what I generally think makes an artist great, when they really give it to you.
Anyway, whatever, listen, she said something along the lines of, and I roughly quote from memory "Even if Obama doesn't win, he's done a lot..." and she spoke of raising awareness. She spoke of changing our whole political structure, which to me anyway is the only way we're going to see any change. That whole shit needs to be turned on it's ass.
But as you can see by the photo above I stayed toward the back, and as Erykah started talking you could see the mass exodus of people who were like "O.K. She's done singing? We can leave now." They didn't appear to be leaving in disgust or anything, but a good portion of that crowd was not trying to hear her commie liberal shit. I was, they weren't.
And it wasn't commie liberal, I'm just spitting the vitriol that some might say at Fox News or some shit. Like if they were there, they'd have Dixie Chixed the fuck out of her ass. I'm just sayin'. Kudos to you dear Erykah. I am serious. If you're given a platform to speak to the people, take it.
I learned that from a hippie band in Fort Collins, CO in 1990 on the first tour I ever booked. I had this band from my home town on the road and for some reason we ended up at a gig at a coffee shop in Ft. Collins. The band who played before them were on some long hippie jam band shit, long before I knew what jam band shit was, and well, the singer of said group whose name I'll never remember, Flippant Hummingbirds or some shit, said something along the lines of "We'd now like to open the mic up to anyone who'd like to get up and get something off their chests. You know, if someone gives you the chance to speak your mind, you should take it."
So of course hippies got up and started going the fuck off on things my 18 year old ass knew shit all about. One dude got up and passionately screamed "LIVE FREE OR DIE!" into the rickety microphone and caused a lot of feedback. I don't know. All I knew was they were taking forever, we were in a hippie coffee shop destined for utter failure on all levels of the game so I stepped up to the mic and yelled "EAT MEAT CUT DOWN TREES FUCK YOU." And stormed off.
And then the band finished, took their PA and left and we were left standing there looking stupid. BUT I MADE MY FUCKING STATEMENT.
This was back when blog wasn't even a word.
Super Photographer Trish the Crooked Cricket was in the place!
As evidenced by these photos.
Boy RIchard was in the place!
My dude was just chillin'.
Jessica and Laura were in the place.
Me and Richard were so happy.
Anyway, that was that. Sunday I couldn't make it back down into the fray for I am old, have young children to tend to, and well I'll be at Pop Montreal next weekend! MORE FESTIVALS! Only now WITH HASH!
I love the French (Canadians). Actually I love anyplace with hash.
After ACL we headed on down to Stubb's to catch the Butthole Surfers Reunion show. Back in 1987, just before I turned 15 years old, the Butthole Surfers were the first band my mother let me go out of town with my friends to see. I told the story like six times yesterday so fuck it, I'll write about it next Butthole Surfers reunion show. But suffice it to say I saw these dudes in 1987, pre-any real drugs or anything for me, and they tripped me right on the fuck out.
As they did last night.
Up ta Stubb's.
Anyway this shit is crazy, but I was told by a good friend and acquaintance of the band that he could put me on the guest list for the show, and he could put my wife on this special will call list for the band. So we could get one ticket free and pay for the other, which I looked at as a huge bonus cuz we already planned to pay for this show. So we show up at the window and give the ladies our ID's. She looks at them and pulls out a stack of VIP passes and starts writing on them. I'm looking at her like "WTF is this lady gonna fill out a stack of VIP Passes and make me wait here for my two simple tickets? WTF?" And I'm standing there, and I'm not yelling, I'm not tripping, not visibly tripping, just standing there a lil perplexed as she fills out seven passes.
Then she hands us seven passes and seven tickets. Three for me, four for my wife. Why? How? I have no idea. It was quite confusing, but we didn't trip. And we got to texting and got 5 friends in. The VIP. WTF?
Also yeah, that photo above. Man that girls ass was out the entire show. Dancing on the poles, freaking writhing around the VIP. Was she a set up? I don't know. But she was killing it as well.
BUT MAN THEY DID IT ALL!
WITH DILIGENT VITRIOL!
Gibby came out with a few t-shirts on that he peeled off in succession. The first one said FUCK THE MAN, the second one said HOCKEY CUNT!
My good friend Cathy, and the butt at the Butthole Surfers show
I couldn't stop. I'm sorry.
Theresa, Gibby and King Coffey KILLING IT!
Big time guitar player Shizzle McNizzle from Lake Jackson.
Anyway I think they played for two hours. Maybe I was tripping. They played long enough for me to get a lot of shots of that butt, have about 7 beers, see a girl have a photographer forcably ousted from the balcony and then smack a dudes glasses off for no apparent reason (other than she was with the butt girl and I think MAYBE there may have been some drinking involved there) and like I don't know. It was raucous, it was raw and it was real and it made me think about how much I hate hipster bands with keyboards in the year of our Lord 2008 Jesus Christos I can't take too much more of this shit. Viva Butthole Surfers. I am so glad you still exist.
And then we had to hold poles till we were sober enough to make it home.