You may be asking yourself, "Sharlene's in Austin again?" Yes, friends, this fine city of tacos, bbq and live music has quickly become my second home. Bringing me here for a fifth time is the end of the festival run (for me, anyway), Austin City Limits. However, it wasn't just the stellar line-up at ACL this year that convinced me to say yes to this trip but also the truly amazing people and incredible friends I've made in this city that will continue to bring me back.
I started my trip with said incredible friends, including this lovely lady who you might recall made an appearance in SHARLENE VS. AUSTIN as Ramesh Srivastava's friend.
Afsaneh is my go-to girl to continually geek out on style with. She's opening up a designer vintage site that I can't wait to tell you all about at the end of the year. It was my birthday the day before I arrived in the ATX, and Afsaneh welcomed me with the best present a girl could ask for... a pair of vintage YSL leather shorts.
Even though I arrived on zero sleep, I was so excited to catch-up with Afsaneh and Ramesh, as well as the gorgeous Dorr sisters whom I met on our last trip to New York. Needless to say we had a really fun (and late) time reuniting and I know, I've said this before (and I still can't say much about it now), but you have got to keep your ears open for these two incredible projects that Ramesh is working on. He's such a talent and you can read up on his musings here.
After getting a day to settle into Austin, I embarked on the intense 3-day musical festivus that is Austin City Limits. Here are my highlights (note: live photos were taken by the festival):
Vampire Weekend are always a joy to interview. Prior to our slot, Chris, the drummer, showed off his "situation" to our sisters at VH1 and for our interview, we chatted about how to keep things light 'n fun when in the middle of an intense and long tour and killer ideas for a possible next music video. Here's one of the rad new backdrops (designed by their friend and Ezra's cousin, Asher) that VW is showcasing on this leg of the tour:
Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips to this day is still my top 5 interview subjects. Hands down. The challenge is to focus because let's be honest, we could chat about chasing worms and life philosophies for hours and hours (we limited the worm chasing to 5 minutes for the purposes of this interview which he twitvid'd).
Devendra Banhart was so stoked to be interviewed by us that he ran out in the middle of the shoot to find his iPhone and got about 10 photos taken of us with the MTV News mic flash. We spent our interview talking about R Kelly, grandma chic and how to make "a sad song fun". I never, ever swoon in interviews but there might have been some swooning done here... just a tad.
Matt and Kim's relentless positivity and happy glow never ceases to amaze me. I dare you not to spend 5 seconds with this infectiously fun duo and feel like you can conquer anything in life. We chatted about their new album Sidewalks, which is due out next month and their new motto, "WHAT WOULD MATT & KIM DO?"
Watching the Strokes play during Day 1 of ACL was a personal favorite highlight. The last time I saw them play live was back in 2006 at another festival (V Fest in Toronto). You may have heard me talk about the first time I saw them live in October 2001- also known as their first live show in Toronto, which was also a free concert held at The Horseshoe Tavern with Adam Green, Mooney Suzuki, and Pete Yorn. I lined up for 9 hours, sick with strep throat, and got in for the last song. Fast forward to 2010, no line-ups and no strep throat, just my pals and I dancing and singing very loudly by the stage to their 60min ACL set. Life's funny like that.
The Eagles headlined ACL and drew the biggest crowd from the past three days. It was crazy seeing most of the performers that day grooving along to Hotel California. I grew up with my dad playing The Eagles along with bands like Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd, so I gave my dear pops a call during the set, but instead of an affectionate bonding moment, I got my dad yelling on the other end: "WHERE ARE YOU? WHY IS IT SO LOUD? ARE YOU COMING HOME FOR THANKSGIVING??"
Here's some more pix of the bands I interviewed during the weekend:
Watch MTV on October 26 at 6:26pm, 8:26pm, and 11:26pm ET for the official wrap-up! xx