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Sun, Sounds, Sweat & Sex Appeal . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, September 17, 2007

The litmus test for sex appeal at the Austin City Limits music festival tolled every day at approximately 6 p.m.

By this time, most people had already sweated through their clothes five times, consumed six beers and listened to seven different bands. And despite the presence of many hard bodies wearing little clothing, the brutal combination of an unrelenting sun and next to no air moving left you sweaty and splotched, stinking and swaying, yet forging a rally to continue walking to the next stage.

If a person could look past these unsavory conditions and still want to fall to the ground with someone and screw in the grass like animals, then that's love. Love.

But I digress. The Austin City Limits musical festival is an endurance test, an event that at the end of the day, is definitely about the music and not about fornicating among the limited shrubbery.

The music was excellent as I managed to catch various acts including Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, The Decemberists, Lucinda Williams, Robert Earl Keen, Billy Joe Shaver, Artic Monkeys, and others whose names escape me.

Saturday was easily the toughest day as I started at the festival around 2:30 p.m. and sweated like a whore in church until early evening when my Dad, my brother and I ran back to the car to drive home, shower and then leave to Stubb's to catch Bob Dylan at 9 p.m.

The venue only holds around 2,500 people, and it was packed tight. Dylan played for 2 good hours while I stood under a tree and drank Shiner Bock while listening to "Thunder on the Mountain" and "All Along The Watchtower." It wasn't quite as exciting as the following night when Dylan cut through "Like A Rolling Stone" as I stood among 60,000 people in Zilker Park, but I was glad I got both ends of that spectrum.

By this point, the day had already been rough, but pushing things further, we decided to drive across town to catch James McMurtry as the Continental Club at midnight. The place is tiny and was sold out when we got there as they were letting people inside only when others left.

At 11:55 pm, I thought we were screwed, but then, a small crowd came out the front door and we strolled in the doors just as McMurtry cut into his first song. Perfect.

By the time the concert let out and we found a cab (driven by a strange Nigerian man who accelerated/decelerated at consistently random times while singing along to a really bad country song), it was nearly 3 am and we staggered back to my loft and collapsed.

And then Sunday came when it was time to brave the heat and return to the festival.

It was another full day that only ended when Dylan closed the festivities around 10:15 pm and the crowd dispersed and flooded through Barton Springs and Lamar trying to find their way home. I eventually made it to the loft, and took a long shower to wash the grime off from a weekend that was great and terrible at the same time.

I need a weekend to recover from my weekend, I thought, but it was also semi-amazing that during one 24 hour period, I was able to hear Earle, Dylan and McMurtry who are three of the best songwriters alive today and that was only on Saturday. When you're able to do something like that, it's a special thing and the other discomforts and hassles melt away like a Dove bar during a 3 p.m. music set.

Regardless, this knowledge doesn't help me as I sit at my desk this morning, trying vainly to get work done when my brain feels like pudding and my body needs about 12 straight hours of RIM sleep and a transfusion to rid itself of the Heineken and Shiner still coursing through my veins.

None of that will happen, however, so it's a damn good thing that I wouldn't trade feeling like shit for missing ACL, and I'd do it again tomorrow if the opportunity presented itself.



  1. So no tales of picking burrs and twigs outta yer ass after banging some chick next to some of the shubbery just because she overheard you say "I missed that band" but she thought you said "I'm with the band" so she just jumped your bones right there and pulled you into a shrub while ripping your pants off.

  2. Miss Ash Says:
  3. I think WIGSF wants to live vicariously through you LOL.

    No Bjork???

  4. WhatIgot - Now that's the kind of visual I could deal with (minus the burrs & twigs of course). But you're dead right as "I'm with the band" should have been the mantra for the weekend to see what all that might get you.

    Miss Ash - I had to leave Bjork very early as I had an after-show at The Parish room coming right up, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more of her since I never have.

  5. vivavavoom Says:
  6. sounds like a great time. were the arctic monkeys as good as all their hype? no drew barrymore sightings?

  7. It's official, I'm jealous. Even with the heat, very cool weekend.

    P.S. It would take me days to recover. I went to see my brother's band Friday night, had 2 drinks, got home by Midnight and I was RUINED the next day. Boo.

  8. JLee Says:
  9. Sounds like a sweaty fantastic mess! What a treat to see all that talent in one weekend. So what is RIM sleep? ...maybe I don't want to know? ;)

  10. Vivavavoom - They play well & have a lot of energy, so I guess if you're in the mood, then it's pretty solid stuff. No Drew nor McCaughney (sp?) sightings this year, but plenty of hot, sweaty flesh.

    Anonymous Boxer - That's the worst part as it's not the night of, it's the day after. I don't plan on feeling good again until Wednesday, which is no fun, but still worth it.

  11. Jlee - Missed you in Cyberpace, and you're right as I don't want to get into the specifics of RIM sleep. Ha. Obviously, my brain is still pickled from the weekend.

  12. H.Wood Says:
  13. That once a year festival is enough reason to move to Austin. Did you catch Queens of the Stone Age?

  14. Stephanie Says:
  15. Mm-hmm, that's exactly why I don't go to those sorts of things. Nothing worse than being packed into a crowd with a bunch of hot, sweaty people!

  16. H. Wood - I caught just a little as I had to run because I was going to an after-show downtown & needed to get home. I really didn't get enough time as I would have liked to their set.

    Stephanie - It's a trade-off for sure, but if the line-up is good enough and you stay on the edge of the crowds, then it's worth the trade-off. But during the festival, you still feel dirty as hell.

  17. cats Says:
  18. sounds like your weekend seriously beat mine as i had to sit at a booth for work at one of the towns festivals. and.. they put me next to the mormons!

    at least they were pretty to look at. the problem was i kept wondering what kind of underwear they were wearing.

  19. RIM sleep: Rapid I Movement. The state of consciousness associated with sleep walking. Glad to have been helpful.

  20. Cats - Your weekend sounds interesting though, and I have to wonder if you were able to discover this underwear question because now I curious.

    Getoffmylawn - Thanks as this was a severe plague on me yesterday & the clarity is helpful. Keep 'em coming.


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