By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
For the Saturday post-brunch crowd, that other troubadour from Minnesota, Mason Jennings, opened a 100-degree day with a wholesome jazz-folk approach that’s finally and deservedly finding fans outside the frat house. Next, Cat Power strayed from piano to guitar, the pose-worthy Chan Marshall eschewing her gorgeous originals for standards and improvisation, which was cool — she could sing Odysseus back home. Having purchased a straw cowboy hat (“fine Moroccan ware,” only $15!) to protect my deteriorating hairline, I looked the part for the honky-tonkin’ ’round the stage where Jimmy Smith, warbler of the Gourds (check them out tonight, Thursday, September 30, at Spaceland), spat barroom junk and funk like a maniacal drunk, shimmying a sweat-coated belly while embodying his city’s credo, “Keep Austin Weird.” Later, the new old-school face of Southern rock, Kentuckians My Morning Jacket, rollicked into “One Big Holiday,” drummer Patrick Hallahan evoking, as one fan put it, Animal from the Muppets, while front man Jim James careened about, chasing his hair like a cat after its tail. This day boasted a sellout crowd of 75,000; my friend Parker was still nowhere to be found.
The talent mix — feature acts on two main stages and two ancillary stages; singer-songwriters, bluespersons and gospel troupes sharing three others — was as quenching as the vodka tonic I concocted Sunday especially to enjoy Calexico and their sultry Sonora Desert horns and haunting Gypsy guitars. Exhausted from the heat and slogging across Zilkerland, I required copious food-and-beverage intake to endure the last day of 130 bands, one of which provided a signer for the hearing-impaired. Although utensils weren’t necessary for the finger-licking-good Stubb’s Bar-B-Q brisket sandwich I scored, I was nevertheless Spoon-fed by singer Britt Daniel, who sounded intermittently like early Elvis Costello — the latter himself milked it one stage over to delay Spoon’s start. But it was Wilco who gave birth to the ghost. Apparently clean and sober, Jeff Tweedy pranced around like a character in a musical, singing sans guitar before letting loose as if auditioning for Crazy Horse. And then, out of nowhere, a tap on the shoulder. I turned, saw Parker with his wife, and promptly gave them a hug the size of Texas.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city