Neko Case, Austin City Limits, August 2003

I really like Neko Case. She doesn’t know me from Adam, but she’s one of those rare accessible performers that you feel like you know, even if you’ve only heard or seen her. Here, you can see her inner glow. She was just the subject of a New York Times Magazine article (Feb 15, 2009), which will tell you more than I can allude to. Suffice to say, she’s a marvelous, quirky, unique performing artist. She evidently lives in many places all over this country and Canada; I’d love to see her more here in Austin.

Townes Van Zandt; 1983, Austin,TX

Ah, Townes…he was one of the more interesting fellow travelers I’ve known. Now revered as the archetypical songwriter’s songwriter, he was a gifted poet who had a close relationship with a strong personal muse, or daimon, who, in turn, gave him whole songs at a time…Once he woke up from a fever to pen one of his greatest songs, then went back to bed and didn’t remember the song when he reawakened. Townes deserved every break he ever got, and there weren’t many. Daimons can be demanding. I miss my fellow Piscean.

My Morning Jacket, Austin City Limits 2005

This band is great. We see the best of American (and more!) live acts at Austin City Limits; these guys are as good as anyone….They appeared this currently showing season (season 34), but I like this shot from their hair-throwing-around stage of season 31. You may have seen them then–they had this amazing ability to shake their heads constantly, while they were playing and singing, keeping their long copious locks in a constant blur all around their heads, and in their faces. It was quite an image. Very rock-ish. It would have been silly, but they’re just sooooo good. (And now they’ve stopped that distracting hair thing). Keep your eyes open for Jim James, MMJ’s lead singer….he’s really different, unique, and special.

Toni Price, Austin City Limits 2000

Toni Price has had a long run as Austin’s hippie-diva blues singer. Her Hippie Hour at the Continental Club on Tuesday Evenings became the one place you could dependably find the “old Austin” of mythological archaic memory and legend…Now that she’s moved (to San Diego), I’m not sure where you can dependably find it. AS an aside, this is the first of many music postings. I’m working on a couple of books, to be published at UT Press next year…Both are about Austin City Limits, so I’ve generated many, many music/performance images. Might as well do a little advance work…