Music

Swing Ticket

Any undecided voters have surely heard enough about Obama and McCain by now, so as a public service, here's a stump speech from a very promising write-in candidate

The Well-Tempered Clavier

"To me it means molecular harmony. To my father, it means a broken sewing machine. To Bach, it means an experiment in writing for every available key. To Bach's wife, it means money to pay his wig maker. Who's right? Individually, we all are. Generally, none of us are."

Harvest

I got a crash course in organ donation a few days ago. There were some interesting medical and legal details but it was a simple bit of terminology that stayed with me. The removal of the kidneys or the heart or the lungs from a dead person for the purpose of transplantation is called "harvesting." I thought about digging up potatoes. I thought about the long hours of careful tending that lead up to a bountiful harvest...sowing the seeds, plowing the field. I thought about the Neil Young song Harvest, with that one line about "your mother in so much pain."

Siren Song

Chinese folk music wasn’t on my list of expectations going into the Austin City Limits Music Festival, but it definitely ended up on my list of highlights. We started Day 3 with Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet featuring Bela Fleck (AWATSQFBF for short). They're in the midst of a US tour, but nobody here knows the words to Taiyang Chulai. When the group toured Tibet, thousands of school kids sang along to the traditional melody.

Mud Booger Plague

This guy walks into a bar, sits down next to a girl and introduces himself as a professional serial lady-killer. “I’m already dead,” the girl responds.

That scene, from the Old 97’s tune “Barrier Reef,” helped kick off Day 2 of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. After wandering a bit through the morning, our strategy was to stake a claim at the AMD stage and stay there. The line-up: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Robert Earl Keen, John Fogerty and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.