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2007-10-06 - ACL Day 1

ACL 2007 Friday September 14th

(I wrote this in the hotel room then following morning.)

11:15 .m. Sahara Smith 18 years old, beautiful, sweet voice, her guitarist was very talented. She played acoustic guitar on some songs. One song, the last one, she sang was "When I fell in love with you on Congress Avenue".

I later saw her at the Austin Eats food court walking by herself, and I squeezed her hand and told her how beautiful her set was and it was a prefect start to the whole festival. She was the first artist to go on.

11:45-12:30 The Sound and the Jury Contest Winner: Homer Hickman & the Rocket Boys. We were standing behond their parents. They had a Keane/Radiohead feel, their songs went through many changes & progressions. They all looked pretty young. The drummer's dad told us his kid made his own drum set & makes them and sells them. They had lots of band members & keyboards. They had long hippie hair and beards, those members that could grow beards, that is.

Then we all went to the SoCo Art Market, I bought a hat & Ricky bought some bandanas, which came in very useful later in the day for wiping off sweat & shading our bodies from the sun. I tied mine around my neck when the sun was at my back.

Rita & Ricky

Then Rita and & I left together to go see.....

1:30 - 2:30 Heartless Bastards. We were really far away (I didn't take a picture) from this band, and we sat down. Rita had wanted to see them, I was going with the flow today. I hadn't done much research on any of the bands, really. Mostly we watched the big screen. It was a female singer, rock-n-roll with an indie feel. The chick lead-singer was really good, I think she was slightly tipsy because at the end of the set, she told everyone about their autograph signing session & was slurring her words and saying y'all. It was funny.

2:40 - 3:30 Amy Levere

She sang and played the stand-up bass. On our walk over to this stage, there was a huge fire very close to the park because you could see this huge plume of smoke billowing up into the sky. Later during Amy Levere's set, bits of ashed floated down on us. One person said it was a truck fire, another said it was a tree, someone else said it was a couple of trailers. Maybe we'll find out the real story today (Saturday).

I'm writing this in the dark, Saturday morning. Everyone is still asleep.

She was really good. Kinda country, but was extremely talented and had a lot of spunk. When she spoke, she sounded like Dolly Parton & I love Dolly Parton (not her music, but as a person.)

The words are really flowing well this morning. It's 9:30 and I'm eating Cheeze-its for breakfast & trying to properly hydrate myself. I got so dehydrated yesterday, you'll later find out why.

I took a video of Amy Levere with the smoke.

She sand a song called "Killing him didn't make the love go away, and it was funny. "You promised me the sun and moon, but now all I got is this 8-by-8 room." Awesome. she had her hair in pigtails and was wearing red boots.

3:30-4 Blonde Redhead

I'd actually seen them around '95 - they opened for Fugazi in San Antonio @ the Showcase Special Events Center. The crowd was throwing shit at them when they came on - they all wanted to see Fugazi. I was absolutely appalled at the time.

They are a really cool band. Their sound is very melodic, they had a female singer who danced really cool as she sang. The drummer and guitarist looked like brothers. Sort-of noise music. I want to get more into this band.

4 PM - TIME TO GET TO THE STAGE OF BJORK TO STAKE OUT A GOOD SPOT. She goes on at 8:30.

Rita has committed, at this point, to being my buddy. Fuck yeah! I told everyone ahead of time I was going to stake out a spot, not pee or drink water or eat until her set. I brought a granola bar with me, but the confiscated it at bag check.

4:30 - 5:30 Joss Stone

We met Ricky near the sound tent, close to the stage and watched most of her set. She's VERY good, her band & back-up singers were extremely talented, & Joss is very cute and energetic. Her voice - you don't come across a white chick with that much soul very often. I can see why she's so popular.

Then we made out way closer to the stage...

5:30 - 6:30

We had an hour to kill at our spot until the next band. We'd staked out a VERY good spot about 15 feet from the front. Rita and I sat down and shaded ourselves with the umbrella and bandanas. It was hot, but not as hot as last year.

6:30 - 7:30 Amor was at QOTSA. Rita and I watched Spoon. They had a cool horn section that came out twice - I love horn sections. I liked Spoon alright. We were so close at this point, I kept thinking about how in a couple hours Bjork would be right there, that close.

7:30 - 8:30

We had another hour to kill. At this point, JD came and joined us. (Long story - things are not 100% between us. We need to talk, but I don't think ACL is the place for that.) I was glad he was there.

They were setting up Bjork's stage at this point:

8:30

FINALLY, Bjork comes on!

First, her Icelandic choir runs out in their robes & flags sticking up behind their heads. They were each carrying different horns. It was amazing. Then Bjork ran out - she had this goden, organic-looking ruffly outfit, kinda bulky, with golden-sparkly tights underneath. Barefoot. On her forehead, flourescent green upsidedown triangle with orange on the sides - so did the choir members. She was absolutely gorgeous. I wish she'd shown more skin, but oh well.

I can't remember her first song at this point, but I was completely floored. WOW! She played Hunter, and half way through, she threw her open hands out towards the audience, and all these streamers exploded out of her hands onto the first couple rows of people - it was like magic. I gasped when she did this, & put my hands up to my face. It was amazing! She's so other-worldly, she's magical and ethereal and beautiful and so fucking unique. She played her little Icelandic song, I forget what it's called, "I live by the ocean" is how it starts out, she sang the second verse in her language. When she hit that high note: and DR-OP my anchor I cried a bit. She just pushes out this emotion from deep inside me.

I took a very short video of her.

It's like she's lot of this earth. She's tapped into something that we could never tap into, but she's able to translate it into song-form & shoot it back at us. Fucking amazing.

As Amor later told me, "That was life changing" when we reconvened at the end of the day. (He saw her perform, but was further back than Rita and me.)

Army of me, one song from Medulla, a few from Vespertine, Immature, I have lost my origins, Joga, she did this freak-out after Army of me - all this noisy shit (she had 3 guys on computers. 1 keyboardist/pianist, and her choir of about 15) with green lasers and paper bits that exploded onto the stage.

Her voice is like nothing on this planet.

Her movememts - she moves her shoulders and throws her hands & arms out & she had this little mouth twitch. We were so close I could see her tongue go in and out of her mouth a couple of times, I could see her fingers move.

Between songs she'd kneel down & eat something with a spoon out of a cup - Icecream? She hd a thermos full of something she kept drinking out of, too.

She didn't talk too much. She said, "Sank you, Texas!" & "Gracias!" It was mucho lovely.

Mark Bell was on stage, too. Whoa. JD said he's worked with Depeche Mode, NiN & I think Client, but I'm not totally sure on this.

Then afterwards, we all went to Denny's and Ricky sucked ranch dressing through a straw. You can hear me say, "That is so disgusting!"

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