Monday, September 29, 2008

Austin City Limits tests my limits...of rock!

I just completed a marathon music festival. It has nothing to do with cooking, and nothing to do with sewing or crafting, but it has everything to do with South Texas being an AWESOME place to live. Sam and I spent the weekend at Austin City limits. I believe the tag line for ACL is 3 days, 8 stages, 130 bands... and ain't that the truth! Surviving (and enjoying) Austin City Limits was indeed a feat that tested the limits of my love for rockin' and rollin' and chillin' in Austin with about 75,000 other sweaty, hyper music lovers. But all in all it proved a great weekend with lots of great music, good company, and a shining badge of honor for completing all three days still standing.

Bands I saw, in chronological order:
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Del the Funky Homosapian
  • M. Ward
  • Jenny Lewis
  • G Love and Special Sauce
  • Old 97's
  • The Fratellis
  • Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
  • Erykah Badu
  • MGMT
  • John Fogerty
  • Beck
  • Stars
  • Neko Case
  • The Raconteurs
  • Galactic
  • Foo Fighters
I have to tell you that the most amazing part of the festival was actually not the musicians, the music, or even the phenomenal people watching. Rather, the most amazing part of the festival was the sign language interpreters on stage translating the music and lyrics into body movements for the deaf. Now at this point you may be asking yourself why the deaf are attending a music festival. Yes, I asked that question myself. Then I decided not to worry about it, deaf like rocking too, and just enjoy the poetry of the hands. The sign language "singers" at the festival swayed their bodies, moved to the beat, and used rhythm, facial expression, body language and movement to translate songs into physical body language. It was absolutely stunning, and sometimes more fun to watch than the band. Look at these examples for an idea of how different the music can be when signed to translate the emotion of the song, whether its a techno Daft Punk song, Kanye West rap remix or a Busta Rhymes super fast version of Disturbia. These are really cool videos, but let me tell you that at a live concert the sign language interpretation is substantially more impressive, because the signer is moving at the tempo of the performance, and ad-libbing whatever the performer is doing as it happens. I was transfixed and so impressed.

The whole weekend was a blast, rounded out with a really breezy cool pedicab ride back to our car on Sunday night. If you don't know what a pedicab is, let me tell you, it is an awesome feat of human leg power that will make you feel simultaneously guilty and grateful as you roll down the street, mostly because another human being is using their own leg power to move your stationary, lazy hiney down the road. A pedicab is basically like a rickshaw, only the people powering the wheels do it by choice, and for a hefty bit of cash ($10 a person for a short ride!). The ride was a fun treat to finish up an exhausting weekend.


Anonymous said...

OMG jealous. Sounds like a fun time!

Danielle said...

Pedicabs in Austin usually give rides for tips only. I'm not really surprised that they started charging (a lot!) for trips back from ACL, but on any given drunken 6th Street Saturday you'll pay way less than $10/person for a ride back to your car.

Kate said...

Yeah, I theorized we were being overcharged, but the dude was so cool, and I had guilt because somebody else's leg power was moving my lazy self along the street. I will admit that $10 per person did make our $7 parking (a steal!) more like $27 parking (a total rip off!). Ha.