Autumn in Austin

I’m heading to Texas tomorrow and hope to post a few dispatches from the Austin City Limits Music Festival. The line-up includes Gnarls Barkley, Jakob Dylan, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Iron & Wine, Erykah Badu, Manu Chao and Foo Fighters. It's a good variety but with the local forecast calling for 90-degree high temperatures, I might decide which band to see based on proximity to the misters!

It’ll be my first trip to a place that has had a hold on my imagination for decades thanks to the PBS show. The 34th season of Austin City Limits kicks off next weekend (Saturday at midnight on WXXI-TV) with REM. Subsequent shows include ALL of the aforementioned bands from the festival plus Bettye LaVette, Pinetop Perkins, Aimee Mann, Nick Lowe, Lyle Lovett & Friends (Guy Clark, John Hiatt, & Joe Ely) along with encores from Norah Jones, Lucinda Williams, Wilco and Coldplay.

In other news, I put together a seasonal edition of What’s New for this weekend that includes a gorgeous 26-minute version of “Autumn Leaves” by Keith Jarrett plus tunes from Kenny Garrett, Sarah Vaughan and Cassandra Wilson. The latter once said, “It’s hard to do standards. You can’t really sing them until you understand them." I wouldn’t wish a real understanding of “Autumn Nocturne” on anyone, but at least Cassandra got a good performance out of it. You can hear it all Saturday at 9pm on AM 1370 and Sunday at 8pm on WRUR 88.5 FM.