Austin Psych Fest 2015

I'm here in Austin, Texas this weekend for the Levitation, née Psych Fest.

I'm usually an early adopter when it comes to music festivals, but somehow have kept missing this one... for seven consecutive years. This year I couldn't stay away.

I mean, come on, The Flaming Lips, Spiritualized, Tame Impala, and Primal Scream, all in one place? That's an insanely great lineup even without all the other bands that will be playing, many of which I'm sure to enjoy.

In case I needed confirmation, told me this was the place I needed to be:

A photo posted by @festivalfreak on

If you can't make it, but want to get a taste, check out this Rdio mixtape I made. Or follow me in the usual places.


Sleepy Sun - Live in Concert

Last night, I saw Sleepy Sun perform at Brick and Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco.

It was my second time seeing the band live. My first time was this past August at First City Festival in Monterey, where they played the last set of the night on the intimate Cypress stage and blew my mind.

As soon as I heard they would be playing in San Francisco, I put it on my calendar and began counting down the days.

The guys from Santa Cruz did not disappoint. From start to finish, it was a near flawless set, balancing loud and soft, combining psychedelia with head banging rock.

I now own all the Sleepy Sun albums. (My favorite is also their latest: Maui Tears.) But that's not enough to satisfy my desire to hear more. So I looked for some Sleepy Sun shows on's Live Music Archive. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any.

Then I did! It turns out that there are three shows on the site. For some reason, they've been mis-categorized as "community audio."

So here they are, for your listening pleasure:

Here is their most recent, and in my opinion, best show:

An Open Letter to Lucinda Williams

A friend recently wrote this letter in response to a Lucinda Williams ticket giveaway at Slim's in San Francisco. (She won the tickets, in case you were wondering.) Anyone who knows and loves Lucinda will enjoy reading this.
From: "Leah"
Date: Sep 28, 2014 1:10 AM
Subject: Lucinda Williams Super Fan

To the Slims crew,

There is no musician that I love more religiously than Lucinda Williams. I've followed her from festival to festival and seen her over a dozen times in the last ten years. Part of why she is so amazing is that she's an unpredictable perfectionist which can make for some memorable experiences.

Like the wind blowing away her sheet music at Austin City Limits, followed by a good old fashioned, only Lucinda can get away with it, meltdown.

Or the first time I heard her play Blessed at the Mountain Winery when she started, messed up, and started over -- which meant she blew past the hard stop time and had the plug pulled on her performance.

Or the time that she told the audience that Vince Gill had just died. After hearing the gasps of the crowd, her bass player came over and gently reminded her that it was Vic Chesnutt not Vince Gill.

But my all time favorite moment was about eight years ago at the Fillmore. I had managed to work my way right up to the stage so she was only a few feet from me. She was wearing a plain white button up blouse and as she played, the strap of her guitar kept working one of the buttons loose. In between songs she'd button it up, and when the song was over it would be unbuttoned again. It was the kind of wardrobe irritation that folks deal with all the time... Not obvious, just annoying. And watching her work her way through the set, fixing it each time, humanized her to me. In that moment, I connected with the person that lives a life offstage, as opposed to just admiring the phenomenal artist and performer that makes music that I love.

I definitely want these tickets to see what I'm sure will be an amazing performance. But I also want them because I'd love another chance to have a moment like that.