Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Austin City Limits taping (it's a big f-ing deal)

[Austin Chronicle review][Statesman review: Sarah]
Just trying to catch up here. Our second Austin City Limits TV taping was on Tuesday: Sarah Jarosz and Steve Martin. Although we casually know Sarah and her folks, so does everybody and his brother around here (almost literally) so instead of asking for confirmed entry tickets I took a chance on the lottery email drawing - and incredibly - I won one of the 70 drawn (the drawing is for 2 tickets each). The ACL TV studio only holds 320 people (I think), the artists have a limited number of people they can invite, plus KLRU (our local PBS station), high roller benefactors, and corporate sponsors of the show are allowed a certain number of tickets - so even if you get a Space Available ticket, you better get your butt in the line early or you may not get in.

Early was 1:45 pm (for an 8pm show) and I was 3rd in line. Luckily, it was a beautiful, breezy, cooler-than-normal day, and the early-in-line bunch had a good time chatting around a patio table until it was time to hand out the line numbers at 5pm.

They line up the confirmed tickets at 7pm, and it looked like there were at least 200 people in that line (edit 4/29: I just learned that all the Space-Availables DID get in). The place was pretty packed when we got in, so we stood in front of the stage, one row back, for most of it.

If you've seen the show, you know that the studio setting is incredible-looking with amazing lighting. Also, the sound, especially front and center, is unbelievable.

Sarah was on first. Her career over the past year has been like the launch of a rocket - a well-received debut CD which got her a Grammy nomination, and now Austin City Limits. Up up up. She sounded amazing, and her new songs are stunning.

We both idolized Steve Martin back in the 70s, he was one of the funniest men on earth. His early movies were classic must-see comedies. He played the banjo (and very well) mostly as a prop or break during standup routines. He's been on a music tour in 2009/2010 with a band called the Steep Canyon Rangers, and they are quite a good bluegrass band.

I don't know why, but I didn't know that Steve was still a really funny man onstage. (Why would that surprise me?) Examples:
  • He started his show with the almost typical "Appearing on the Austin City Limits stage has been a dream of mine for many years... and tonight I am one step closer toward fulfilling that dream."
  • "I write from personal experience. This next song is called, 'I Think My Masseuse Is Too Chatty' "
  • On exiting the stage to let the band do a number alone, he said had to go because he hadn't googled himself for 25 minutes.
  • He's got a song called "Atheists don't have no songs" which was a funny song no matter what persuasion you are.
  • He played King Tut!! (I kind of prefer the old SNL version to the bluegrass one, but still... he played King Tut!!)

Our first ACL-TV taping was with The Band of Heathens last summer.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

You're right -- it IS a big f'ing deal! I'm glad you got in!

yellowdoggranny said...

faaaaar out!...did you know that steve was born in waco, texas?
yup..he's a texas boy..raised in calif..but we can claim him.
my friend shady lane's(in austin)husband was a huge fan of steve martin and loved the song king tut when it was popular..for his birthday i bought him a pair of yellow slacks and yellow and black hawaiian shirt and a 45 of king tut..said it was the best birthday present ever.

Blueberry said...

He mentioned in the show that he was born in Texas (but not which city). I had looked up his wikipedia before the show, and saw Waco listed there - never knew that before. Yes, we can claim him!!

Hope that doesn't mean that Arizona can claim me, though.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Too cool.