Musings about Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits Music Festival

This year’s trip back to the homeland for ACL was among the more memorable of my now five years of attendance.

Good music, amazing food, great friends, and a little urine. That’s right, urine.

I love going back to Austin for ACL because I get a chance to see a lot of old friends that I don’t normally see. It’s a good excuse for everyone to get together. Every year I tend to see someone that I haven’t seen for a very long time and it is usually pretty interesting. This year was no exception.

On Saturday the little lady and I were hanging out watching Arctic Monkeys rock out when we met up with two friends I went to high school with. One of them, who I won’t name, I had not seen in well over four years. He was a pretty good friend in high school and generally a good guy. Today however, he was WASTED at about 5 PM. Let the comedy ensue.

After stopping off at the beer stand to get what I soon learned was his 10th beer (he was chasing the beers with a plastic bottle full of wine which he would later claim to be acid), we headed over to camp out for Muse.

We picked a good spot close to the stage and the seven people in my current crew and I sat around for a little down time. My old friend, after screaming at everyone for a good 10 minutes for not putting him in their Top 8 on MySpace, and almost burning me twice with his cigarette, decided he needed to go to the bathroom.

You can imagine our surprise when he returned a few minutes later. The bathrooms were not close, and his drunk ass had to navigate through a couple hundred people on blankets.

Now imagine our surprise when we all noticed the very large, very wet spot that had suddenly appeared in a 10 inch radius surrounding the front of his pants.

Yep, you guessed it. He pissed himself.

Now I don’t know what was funnier, the fact that he had pissed himself and clearly did not know this had occurred (wine, anyone?), or that we were all sitting on a blanket and he was standing such that the scene of the crime on his pants was directly in front of our faces, often times waiving dangerously close to the heads innocent bystanders.

The remaining time waiting for Muse was spent watching him try to grope women, yell more about not being in Top 8’s on MySpace, calling my friends from India Brazilians, calling my Native American friend an Indian in front of the Indians, and screaming that he was on drugs. All after having pissed his pants.

After being absolutely annihilated by Muse (more later), it was the consensus of the group that our felon had turned into a repeat offender. He pissed himself again.

Now I can understand Muse making someone piss themselves, but that was ridiculous.

I must admit that had this not occurred, the weekend wouldn’t have been nearly as memorable. It’s great to see old friends. It’s even better when they piss themselves. Twice.

Now, to the music.

Let it be known heretofore that the band called Muse will be placed in the upper echelon of the Brooklyn TX Music Experience with the likes of Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, and Tool. In fact, I would put them ahead of Korn and Deftones.

This band is absolutely amazing – on an entire other level than any band out right now. ACL Festival was my third time to see these blokes (see my MSG review) and they keep getting better and better.

It’s not just the lights, video, and coordination of the show. These guys are amazing musicians that will fucking scorch your face off with some of the hardest shit around. They aren’t associated with some of the harder rock bands, but I have no bones about saying that Muse is just as hard as Metallica. I’ve seen both bands three times.

I’m going to post some videos of Muse at ACL to wet your appetite, but first, here’s my ranking of the bands I saw:

Muse
LCD Soundsystem
Kaiser Chiefs
Cold War Kids
Arctic Monkeys
The Killers
Spoon
Damien Rice
Andrew Bird

Oh and I’m pissed that missed Peter Bjorn & John although I heard they sucked.

You can check out Wheezy’s take at Why Not.

Now without further adieu, the Muse videos.

A compilation video

Feeling Good

Take a Bow

Starlight

Hysteria

Super Massive Black Hole

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Daft Punk’s ELECTROMA – NYC Premiere!

Daft Punk Electroma

Just saw via BrooklynVegan that the New York City premiere of Daft Punk’s ELECTROMA will be held Friday and Saturday nights at midnight at the Landmark Theatre.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Two robots (played by Peter Hurteau and Michael Reich) journey across a mythic American landscape of haunting, surreal beauty on a quest to become human. Their symbolic quest takes them from endless two lane highways to small idyllic towns to the arid desert. With its breathtaking cinematography, innovative filming techniques, and above all its underlying search for humanity within a dystopian environment, electronic music duo Daft Punk (directors Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo) have delivered a film that finds a common thread with their previous work while exploring new horizons. ”

If you can’t hit up the film then check out this view from BEHIND the pyramid to entice you. Thanks to Pitchfork for the image.

Daft Punk Tables

Transcript: Zach de la Rocha’s Anti-FOX News Rant

Thanks to Jokah for the transcript. Enjoy.

A couple of months ago, those fascist motherfuckers at the Fox News network attempted to pin this band into a corner by suggesting that we said that the President should be assassinated. Nah, what we said was: that he should be brought to trial as a war criminal and hung and shot. That’s what we said. That’s what we said. And we won’t back away from the present (?), from the position cuz the real assassinator is Bush and Cheney and the whole administration for the lies that destroyed men (?) in Iraq. They’re the ones.

And what they refuse to air, what they refuse to air which was far more provocative in my mind and in the mind of my family is this: that this system has become so brutal and vicious and cruel that it needs to start wars and profit from the destruction around the world in order to survive as a world power. That’s what we said.

And we refuse not to stand up, we refuse to back down from that position not only for the poor kids who are being left out in the desert to die, but for the Iraqi youth, the Iraqi people, their families, and their friends, and their youth who are standing up and resisting the U.S. occupation everyday. And if we truly want to end this fucking miserable war, we have to stand up with the same force that the Iraqi youth are standing up with everyday and bring these motherfuckers to their knees. Wake up.

Rage Against The Machine at Rock The Bells

Zach de la Rocha and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine

Last night I witnessed music history when Rage Against the Machine played at Rock the Bells, the second of a brief six show reunion tour.

Only one description does this show justice: FUCKING AMAZING.

Which shouldn’t surprise, considering 70,000+ Rage fans had been waiting seven years to see the band perform. This place was destined to explode, and it did.

At one point during the set I feared for people’s lives because the crowd was so insane. The mosh pit ended when the show ended. People were being rescued from the fracas by the dozen. We lost Wes before the band even went on.

This was easily one of my top five concerts, right up there with the first time I saw Rage in 1997 at Coca-Cola Starplex in Dallas.

To see Zach de la Rocha back on stage with his old mates sends a tingle down your spine, and makes you wonder why the hell they would ever break up something so good. Everyone in the band sure looked like they were happy to be back together.

Tom Morello seemed like he had put his bland made-for-radio Audioslave days behind him by shredding his guitar all night and jumping from amp to amp with his fist in the air. Tim Bob tore up the base. At one point while I was fighting off some 6’7″ guy with a mohawk, I caught Zach staring at his band mates with a smirk on his face. He knew. We knew. This was history in the making.

Zach also had a follow-up to his controversial comments in the band’s first show at Coachella, which was all over the news and made the band a target of FOX News and – that’s right you guessed it – the dumbest bitch alive Ann Coulter. Stay tuned – I’ll post Zach’s response video as soon as it hits the web.

The only question remains: can they work it out long enough to put together a new album.

It means that Zach will have to put up with Tim Bob’s antics, and Tom and Zach will have to put their egos aside. Zach isn’t going to calm the anti-Bush rhetoric, so Tom should embrace the band for what it used to mean to all of us: fight the power, question authority, and lastly WAKE UP.

Rock The Bells Lineup