One of my favorite new artists from the past couple of years is Nicole Atkins who, both with and without her band, The Sea played several sets at SXSW over the past couple of years and who I’ve seen live 4 or 5 times in the same time span. Her song “The Way It Is” gives me shivers every time I hear it. The first time I heard her excellent debut CD (which I wrote about back in November of 2007) I compared the sound to long time David Lynch collaborator, Angelo Badalamenti and what do you think I saw when I just perused Nicole’s Wikipedia entry?
“Atkins also feels a kinship with Angelo Badalamenti, who has scored many of Lynch’s films. She once emailed an mp3 of “The Way It Is” to Badalamenti, who is said to have replied, “I think our Sicilian great-great-great-grandparents must have laid down on a picnic blanket in the park and done something together, if you know what I mean.” Atkins subsequently received an invitation to Badalamenti’s home in Morristown, New Jersey to talk music.”
All I have to say to that is “Ha!” At any rate, I saw Nicole at SXSW 2008 and it was a typically fantastic set and she was wearing an absolutely stunning dress. See?
More pix on my Flickr stream, here.
Last year’s Spin Magazine show at Stubb’s BBQ was pretty amazing, with the lineup of The Raveonettes, Vampire Weekend and X, among others. Talk about a super bill. Last month I posted some pix from this show and others and now…..X! Here’s a few pix of X from the Spin show and the rest can be found on my Flickr stream.
Billy Zoom. Is there anyone cooler?
Exene Cervenka can still bring it!
Last March at the end of South by Southwest then-SXSW Film Festival producer Matt Dentler drove indieWIRE’s Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks and myself out to a famous Austin-area restaurant called Hudson’s on the Bend. A reported favorite of Lance Armstrong, the Hill Country eatery is famous for rather detailed (and fantastic) food with a heavy accent on game. Be it venison, elk, antelope, pheasant or yes, rattlesnake, Hudson’s serves it, as well as lobster, trout, beef, rabbit, etc., etc., etc. and I’ll say up front, it was one of the richest, most diverse carnivorous and delicious meals of my life and if you have a free night before, during or after SXSW, it’s worth the 30 minute drive from downtown. I saved my write up until I started previewing SXSW 09 in order to make sure it’s fresh in your minds and to whet my appetite for my return visit!
One mark of a restaurant that takes food service and the art of fine dining seriously is the amuse-bouche (I prefer to use amuse-gueule, but that’s for another post…) that small palate starter that is not as common as it should be. This time it was a delicate pastry puff containing wild boar and Queso Chihuahua (No. It’s NOT.)
Appetizers run the gamut from sushi grade Ahi tuna tartare with a wasabi avomole, pickled ginger pico and crispy lotus chips to pistachio-crusted diamondback rattlesnake cakes (pictured below) over a spicy chipotle cream to Maine lobster, butternut squash and chipotle lobster risotto topped with granny smith apple and pepitas. Other appies include escargots, oysters, duck confit, crab cakes and prosciutto-wrapped sc allops, among others. Are you sensing a theme, here? If you are a vegetarian, don’t bother. There are some nice salads (one pictured below) and desserts, but otherwise, your food has a very delicious face.
Steve Earle performing the bridge and final verse of his poignant and truthful “Rich Man’s War,” one of the most important songs written during the Iraq War, a war which so many Americans seemed committed to ignoring until only just recently.
After the jump, find the lyrics to “Rich Man’s War” plus the entire audio version of the song. If Steve or the publisher has a problem with my posting it, the can let me know and I’ll take it down.
Also, click here and find more pix from SXSW, including Steve Earle, The Buzzcocks, Pete Townshend and Bloc Party.