Fear and Loathing at ACL

Monday, September 29, 2008 | |

Thousands and thousand of greased and ambling souls descended into my dusted America. For three days they stomped and twirled and spun up the ground into a storm. Dust and dead grass and the sound of people sweating out their junk sweat searching the edges of their hearing for the next radio hit to gallop towards and waggle their tongues in the air like mad hot mongrel dogs. In a ditch, on the side of the road.

Austin City Limits, year three. Laziness and a general sense of ennui sets over me. Its Friday and I've taken the day off work to trundle off to the festival early. I spend the day sleeping and playing the same tune on a piano heaped overflowing with dirty laundry. My face is rough with the stubble of a man at the very bottom of wave pattern he's been riding through the last few years of his life. Some geometric hell brought on by a childhood full of idiot suburbia and too many home cooked meals. Low, I'm low I think. It's four on the clock and I didn't need to take the day off work at all.

I'm in my car and on my way to the Park where a wooded trail most notable for the smell of bog water creeping ashore grows ever more dense with the herky jerky masses of men in overlarge sunglasses and girls with skin so dark they disappear into the shadows beneath the trees, all marching in unison towards the dust bowl. Towards the gateway and the promise of Music.

I can't help but sneer from behind my own tremendous shades as I keep tally of fedoras and tribal sun tattoos. I'm swallowed whole, I'm turned and folded into the group mind. The rabid beast hurdles forward, sloshing around bends in the path and leaping across Barton Creek in one swift motion.

Its hot and thick and the sun invades the very core of my being like the devil leaping down my throat to have me dance off a cliff. I'm at the edge of a precipice. On one side is the freedom of a comfortable bed and a loving woman, on the other is the junky allure of the mob and all the fixes they can supply me. Drugsexmusicalcohol.

I plunge in and wake up three days later.

I'm shaven and work-shirted and congincent of the hole I'm climbing out of. Knowing it's the trick. Keeping it's the challenge. The thing is to be whole. The thing is not to be dead.

Gigs eyeballed:

Jenny Lewis
David Byrne
Fleet Foxes
The Mars Volta
Erika Badu
Bright Eyes
Band of Horses
The Raconteurs
Tegan and Sara
The Foo Fighters