Featured Images By Lindsay Krause unless otherwise noted
When I had the opportunity to travel to Austin for ACL, I recalled past festival experiences where I had slept on buying tickets for the after-shows. I would schlep myself back to my sleeping quarters, only to have an unsatisfied urge to listen to more live music and dance in the shadows. For instance, after Shaky Knees in May, I decided that I really wanted to see Diamond Rugs after the festival that Saturday. I called my cabbie to run me over to The Masquerade. I rolled up to the venue feeling extra fly, ready to get my boogie on. As I approached the entryway, I saw a handwritten “SOLD OUT” sign posted outside the door. I looked over at a boy with curly hair and a plaid shirt to my left. In my post-festival mind drip, the party could never end and I assumed this was some sort of cruel joke. “It’s really sold out?” I asked the crimpy fellow. “Uh…..yeah that’s what the sign says right?” he responded with a dismissive snarl. I scowled at him and stomped away, calling my cab driver back. Luckily I was able to get a really good spot the following day at the festival to see Diamond Rugs.
NOT THIS TIME. I was going to be well prepared, especially in a place like Austin where events were almost guaranteed to sell out quickly. I mentioned in my previous post that while I secured tickets to see Leopold and His Fiction the Thursday before the festival, I was unable to attend due to retrieving my festival wristbands 40 minutes outside of Austin that night. So I was majorly bummed to miss the early jams. Luckily I was covered for Friday as well, as I picked up two tickets to see Talk in Tongues at Lamberts.
Image via Four Seasons Magazine
After exiting the festival grounds Friday night and departing from the shuttle, my friend Daniel and I took a pedicab to my airbnb so I could change. After a short uber ride we arrived at Lamberts. I had never been to the restaurant/venue and liked the look and feel of the space. The downstairs looked pretty busy. Just by looking around at the decor and the design of the dining room, you could tell this place was game for interesting food and stiff cocktails. I made my way up the stairs to where the action would commence. There didn’t seem to be a ton of people upstairs, which surprised me. I spotted members of Talk in Tongues sitting at a long table in front of the stage chatting with each other. My mind was a bit cloudy, so I opted out of approaching them for their sake, as I don’t think I really had the energy to be riveting company. All I wanted to do was sip on a Hefeweizen, close my eyes and flow with the rhythms to come. My friend Daniel turned to me and asked “Did you know the opening band is going to be Day Wave? I love them!!!” I knew I had seen somewhere that LA based Talk in Tongues would have an opener, but it wasn’t listed on my email receipt so I wasn’t sure. Also Cali natives by way of Oakland, Day Wave’s dreamy but gloomy indie-pop would certainly complement the swirling, smoky neo-psych of the headliners. I noticed more people filtering in and took a spot close to the stage.
Singer and mastermind of Day Wave, Jackson Phillips, creates and arranges all of the music himself while touring with accompanying musicians. One standout for me was “We Try But We Don’t Fit In”. The vocalist explains in the song, “We’re in between the things that we’re supposed to be”, as he recalls making mistakes with his friends. They also played “Drag”, probably their most well known song, where Jackson insists, “I don’t wanna be a drag!” I am impressed with how the lyrics deal with questioning your identity and feeling unwanted, without sounding emo or sappy. The balance of the poppy fuzz backing strikes a chord, along with the sweet delivery by Phillips. This makes his admittance to disappointment sound completely new. Day Wave opened for Albert Hammond Jr. for a few weeks after the festival, and if that’s any indication, they will be one to keep an eye out for in the future.
There was a short 10 minute or so break in between sets, and for whatever reason I switched over to Amaretto Sours. I was excited to finally hear Talk in Tongues live, as I had first heard about them earlier in the spring after seeing their Jam in the Van session. Nothing like some sun-soaked synths and atmospheric guitars to reel this girl in. The vocals are shared by bass-player Waylon Rector, and guitarists McCoy Kirgo and Garrett Zeile. Rounding out the band are Cassandra Jensen on keys and drummer Bryan De Leon. In a recent interview with LA Weekly, the group named Buffalo Springfield, Gram Parsons and Primal Scream as influences.
What I love about bands like this is the ability for their music to completely take you over. I could not divert my attention from the waves entering my brain and think about anything else at all. The jingly headbobber “Mas Doper (Love Me Probably) was fun, informing the audience “We’re designed to loose our minds” and encouraging a secret love to express her affections.
My favorite is definitely “She Lives in My House”. I think I was moving involuntarily at this point, trying to wind my skeleton into a form the song could recognize. The band has toured a lot throughout the year, but it looks like they are taking a break for now. I look forward to seeing what these sonic conjurers bring to the world in the future.
I left Lamberts feeling very proud of myself that I was prepared this go around. Daniel and I parted ways, and I opted for my second pedicab ride of the day before collapsing into my room. My Friday experience for Austin City Limits Fest would be tough to beat, but I had to try and get as much sleep as needed to conquer Saturday. Stay tuned for the final installment of my ACL Fest Review!