Friday, October 24, 2008


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HOT CLUB OF COWTOWN at Threadgill's 10-22-08

This band is a trio made up of Elana James on vocals/violin, Whit Smith on guitar/vocals and Jake Erwin on upright bass/vocals. They play a mix of western swing, jazz and country. Nice harmony vocals and good musicianship. Elana is the lead singer and has a beautiful voice. Only stayed for 1 set as it was cold outside!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


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TONI PRICE at Continental Club 10-14-08

Toni, while living in Austin, used to do a Happy Hour show at the Continental every Tuesday night, starting at 6:30pm. I believe it was a little over a year ago she moved from Austin to California. Since the move she gets back for the Happy Hour show about once a month. Finally, last night I got to see one of these shows. Although it's posted as a 6:30pm start, she didn't hit the stage until almost 7:30pm.
She is a trip.
First, though, I should talk about the music. What a voice. She's known mainly as a blues singer but really, that is just a category to stick her in. While she does do a lot of blues songs, there is also a little country, a little folk, anything she wants as she has the voice that can handle it all, sultry and soulful.
She is accompanied by Rich Brotherton, a most excellent guitarist, who is also Robert Earl Keen's lead guitar player.
She started off with a rollicking "In Care of the Blues" and went on to "Tumbleweed," "Beautiful Garden" and "Talk Memphis," among many others. To say how important Rich is to her sound can't be overstated.
As great a voice as Toni has, she's an even better whiskey drinker. Jack Daniels is her best friend. Her first set lasted about an hour. She managed to knock off at least 4 shots during that time. And she slugs them back without flinching, kind of like me when I slam water. Maybe I just run in the wrong crowd but I've never seen anybody throw that stuff back as easily as she does. At the break she had 2 more shots lined up. Her demeanor never changed.
She is very funny. At one point when she was running low on Jack, she called out to the bartender "more whiskey for my men & horses!" and then said "no, wait, more whiskey and a man for me and my horse!" At that point she told Rich "write that down, that's a good line." It was that kind of banter between songs. As much as I enjoyed her singing, it was also like being at a stand-up comic's show.
She is well worth the price of admission, which was $15. We left after the first set due to it being a school night and her late start threw everything out of whack for us. We plan on catching a full show in the near future.

Friday, October 10, 2008

ROSANNE CASH at ACL Music Fest 2004

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Why I'd Be a Better VP than Sarah Palin

(Or, The Bridge to New Zealand)


October 10, 2008

I'd like to formally submit myself to replace Sarah Palin on the GOP ticket. I feel confident that John McCain will see that the very attributes he desired in his VP choice can be met, and even exceeded in some areas, by me. For your consideration, my big, fat résumé:

1. Focus on the Family
I am the mother of five children, just like Governor Palin. I have known the demands of managing a full-time career and motherhood at the same time. I have juggled a breast pump and a BlackBerry, and I know when to put the BlackBerry down. (To be perfectly honest, I did once send a text to the baby and tried to nurse my bass player. You learn from your mistakes.)

2. Reproductive Issues

I also believe that a teenager's pregnancy is a "private family matter." In fact, I believe that every woman's pregnancy is a "private, family matter." (I bet the GOP never thought of making that leap!)

3. Church and State

Like the Governor, I now also believe that my will is perfectly aligned with God's will. When Governor Palin said that it was God's will for the Alaska pipeline to be built and asked for people to pray for that to happen, I was really inspired by her confidence in the absolute, seamless integration of her will and God's will. I have begun practicing this kind of supreme confidence on a smaller scale, but I am sure that I can quickly move to national issues. Starting with the sartorial, I know that it is God's will that I have the entire Chanel collection for the fall season, including those adorable high-heeled booties that were all over the runway shows.

(A couple things I'm still having trouble with regarding the will of God: I knew it was God's will that I win the Grammy in 2007 for my last record, but Bob Dylan won. This is clearly the work of Satan, but shouldn't my will/God's will have been strong enough to override that? And this Alaska pipeline--if it is God's will to have the pipeline built, then why isn't it built already? On a related topic, I don't own a single piece of Chanel.)

4. Environment

Along with Governor Palin, I don't believe that humans cause climate change.

(Okay, that is a bold-faced lie, but I've been paying really close attention to the campaign stump speeches, and I feel certain I am allowed a generous allotment of bold-faced lies.)

5. Foreign policy

Here's where I really shine. Governor Palin got her first passport in 2007. I got my first passport in 1970, when the Governor was only 6 years old! Not only do I have a passport, I have actually been outside of the United States, dozens of times. I have had relationships and conversations with real foreigners, in their own countries, in restaurants, shops, flea markets, museums, nightclubs, spas, hotels, all modes of public transportation, and even in their own homes. My foreign policies are fair, inclusive and sensitive to cultural differences. I don't ask for English Breakfast tea when I'm in France. I never call foreign currency "funny money" (even though it does look funny.) I don't shout at people to help them better understand English and, finally, I act on God's will when in Paris by going to Chanel, and to all the great boutiques, which is just an extension of God's will, as you can surely extrapolate by the above explanation of my will/God's will.

I know Governor Palin has one distinct advantage in living so close to Russia, in that she can keep a close eye on nefarious activity across the Bering Strait, but I, too, live very close to a foreign country. Canada is less than 400 miles from my home in New York City, and you never know when it might become necessary to invade a sovereign nation that has not attacked us, as we learned the hard way. Not only that, I have a girlfriend in Austin, Texas, whom I'm going to ask to keep an eye on Mexico.

6. Legal Experience

My understanding of the law is extensive, but here are a couple of cogent points: a photographer who thought I had used his photograph of me without his permission sued me. (I absolutely didn't use the photo without permission. When McCain does his meticulous vetting and background checks on me, I will explain the whole story. It was all a big misunderstanding.)

More importantly, I renegotiated my contract with the Sony Corporation in 1987. That was huge. You should have seen my legal bills. I negotiated an all-new contract with Capitol Records in 1995 and that, too, was an exhausting, contentious, but ultimately lucrative enterprise. Entertainment law is a blood sport, people. (Speaking of blood sports, I have to give it up to the Governor on the hunting issue. I have never shot a wolf from a helicopter, but I have thrown my cat off the bed. Hundreds of times.)

7. Higher Education

Governor Palin went to five different colleges to get her BS in journalism, but none of the colleges had entry requirements, whereas I went to a university that required a trigonometry credit before they would admit me. I had to take it the summer before school started. I don't remember a frigging thing, but I got a B. The other disparities in education are too numerous to mention, but suffice to say that I bet she never met Lee Strasberg.

It is true that I have no background in constitutional law, but I have read the Constitution, except for the amendments that don't have anything to do with me, and I watched the entire John Adams mini-series on HBO. Twice.

8. Ethics

I really think this whole investigation into the firing of the top state law enforcement official in Alaska, who wouldn't fire the state trooper who was mean to the Governor's sister, is just overblown. I once fired my assistant for making a pass at my husband, so I can totally understand this! And I would have fired an assistant who made a pass at my sister's husband, too. I love my sisters. Governor Palin loves her sister. People need to get over it.

But speaking of family, I've also had my fill of no-good boyfriends to my daughters, and boy, do I sympathize with the Governor over this Levi fellow and his MySpace page, with the guns and the cursing. My husband once took a broken chair out into the street to chase away a no-good boyfriend of my oldest daughter, and we didn't see the likes of him anymore. I have a zero-tolerance policy for miscreant youth, and I know I could help the Governor sort out her obviously conflicted feelings about setting limits for teenagers, just for her own peace of mind.

9. Iraq

The Governor says she hasn't "focused" on the war in Iraq, but I think she's just joshing us. No person in an executive position in the government of the United States could be so lazy that they would not familiarize themselves with every angle of what is potentially the greatest American debacle since the nation was founded, including all the terminology, like "Bush Doctrine."

If she's not kidding, then I respectfully submit the hate mail I received in 2003, at the beginning of the war, which came after my press conference with Musicians United To Win Without War, as proof of my "focus."

10. Executive Ability

Governor Palin was the mayor of a real town of 5,000 people. I have never been mayor of anything, but I have performed for crowds bigger than the population of Wasilla, Alaska, and I can tell you it's no picnic getting the monitors just right, working with cranky and egotistical musicians, changing clothes in dirty dressing rooms and eating bad backstage food, handling the hecklers and technical problems during a show, and then getting on the bus to go somewhere else and do it all over again the next night. Also, my last record sold about the population of Wasilla times forty, and they all seemed to like it. But dealing with the public is really difficult and they all have opinions about you, which are usually all wrong, so I've developed a thick skin, another requirement for life as the VP. Lastly, and the importance of this cannot be over-emphasized, the guy's head on the tail of the Alaska Airlines planes looks like my dad.

11. Maverick personality

Finally, there is one subject in which I find I am even more conservative than the Governor, and that is in the area of neo-natal responsibility. The Governor was eight months pregnant and in Texas to give a speech, when her water broke. She reportedly made her speech and then traveled eleven hours, dripping amniotic fluid, bypassing Seattle and Anchorage (major cities with world-class hospitals) to travel to a small hospital in Wasilla that had no neo-natal intensive care unit, and gave birth there. Call me a wimp, call me insecure, but you had better also call me a maverick, because I would have said "Damn the schedule! Damn the speech and the airline ticket!" If this had been me, as soon as my water broke, I'd be at the closest hospital and that baby would have been born in Texas! Just like my mom!

In summation, I present myself to the GOP as a woman, and I repeat, woman, who has held a passport for thirty-eight years, a lip gloss-wearing soccer-volleyball-softball-gymnastics mom of five, who can carry a six-pack home to her husband like nobody's business, whose will is firmly aligned with God's will, a neo-natal conservative and legally savvy public figure, a border-watching, trigonometry-credited, breastfeeding, BlackBerry-tapping, cat-throwing maverick whose daughters are out of their teens, therefore immune to teenage pregnancy (although this is a private, family matter), and whose dad's head (or an eerie facsimile) adorns a state airline.

I could offer more to recommend me to the job of vice president, but one last special quality that I share with Governor Palin is the fact that I also have a husband who wants his state to secede from the Union. Ever since the 2000 election, my husband has been all for the secession of not only New York, but the island of Manhattan! And I have to tell you, if Sarah Palin becomes vice president of the United States, he says we have to personally secede from the whole country. So please, people, write me in on the ballot in November, or write me in New Zealand, where I'll be making my new home.

Rosanne Cash is a singer-songwriter, and even though she has met Presidents Bush and Clinton (who appeared to note her décolletage with great appreciation), the ambassador to the Czech Republic and George Stevens, who produces the Kennedy Center Honors awards show, she does not think her knowledge of world leaders should be held against her, because her experience in Washington is limited to three days during the Million Mom March.

Copyright © 2008 The Nation


This blog is going to take a bit of a turn here. This next post is from Rosanne Cash. Since she is a singer/songwriter and mentions Austin, I'm approving this ad :)

Monday, October 6, 2008


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GUY FORSYTH playing "SUMMERTIME" with a saw and bow!

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YAM JAM at Threadgill's 10-5-08

Yam Jam is a benefit to raise funds for Operation Turkey, an organization that feeds those who are hungry, on Thanksgiving. This is Yam Jam's 2nd year.
Cost at the door was $15 and there were 4 bands scheduled to play.
The opening band was porterdavis, a trio made up of harmonica, slide/electric guitar and percussion. They are a roots, blues group with great harmonies.
After porter was Guy Forsyth. He had a drummer and bass/tuba player. Not many groups bring a tuba! Guy, a good slide guitarist, also plays a mean saw using a bow. He does a killer version of "Summertime" on the saw. Guy's music reaches across many different styles: blues, Americana, folk and rock.
After Guy was supposed to be Carolyn Wonderland. She cancelled due to illness. However, she was kind enough to put up cash to supply just about everybody at Yam Jam with a tshirt. All proceeds from the shirts went to Operation Turkey.
The headliner was Mingo Fishtrap, a 7 piece rhythm and blues, soul band. These guys were great fun. They describe themselves as "gutbucket N'awlins funk and Oakland soul." With a 3 piece horn section and a lead singer who sang with more soul than you would think a white boy ever could, Mingo brought the house down! I also think it's cool that the guitarist/lead vocalist's father is the bass player in the band! Guy Forsyth joined them (harmonica and vocals) for the last couple of songs, including a fun version of Jambalaya, which had the horn section going out into the crowd playing.
All in all, a fun day of live music for a good cause.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

ACL 2008

Here are a couple of photos from ACL to leave you with. We have Linda doing her best Sarah Palin imitation and a crowd shot with the city as a backdrop.
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By the time we all joined up again it was 6:30pm and we were ready to wind down. At the big stages were The Raconteurs and Gnarls Barkley. We listened to The Raconteurs for about 30 minutes, from a distance. We decided the new Chuy's in South Austin was calling our name so we called it a day and headed for margaritas and some good TexMex. On our walk to the car along the hike and bike trail we could hear Gnarls Barkley. He sounded good, funky and rocking! We appreciated his serenade on our walk away from ACL 2008.


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This is a local band that I've been hearing much about so I thought I'd better check them out. I liked them but would like to see them in a smaller setting. Their crowd seemed really into them, knew the music and sang along. They had a keyboard player who also played trumpet and that added a lot. What intrigues me is their songwriting so I will need to follow up on this band.
During this show Linda went off to see the Heartless Bastards and came back raving about their fabulous show. Bruce went to see Shooter Jennings and said it was good, also. Liz hung with me at Okkervil and was so so about them. She liked the rockers but was bored with the ballads.


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I'd heard of this guy but didn't know his music. He's a guitar virtuoso who moves seamlessly between blues and straight ahead power rock. He was on one of the smaller stages and drew a huge crowd. Everybody paid attention to this guy! He put on quite a show with his playing.


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I have seen Gillian a number of times and I like her very much. She is always accompanied by David Rawlings who is a terrific guitar player. I would say this is the least enjoyable show of hers that I have seen. It wasn't a bad show, just parts of it dragged, a little too slow for my tastes.
They did play a new song which I videoed and was glad I did because it sounded great! She didn't give the name of the song, but if it is any indication as to what is coming on her next record, it should be a fantastic album.
We also got a special treat. She brought out Alison Krauss and they did an a cappella "Go To Sleep You Little Baby." It was very cool. You can check it out on YouTube.


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ACL 2008 Day 3 Sunday 9-28-08 NICOLE ATKINS & the SEA

Sunday we decided to wander around to the various stages as there were no "we must see" shows to speak of.
First off, we checked out Nicole Atkins. I missed her last year and those who did see her show, raved. She is pretty good, rocks out some, has nice ballads and a good voice. We enjoyed her set and it was a nice way to get Sunday started.