ACL 2012

My first year of having the Austin City Limits festival happen since moving to Austin last Fall. I liked that I was able to walk to the festival each day and walk home each night; it takes a lot of pressure off of getting in and out.

Friday
While waiting for The Afghan Whigs, I was treated to most of Ben Howard’s set at the neighboring stage. I’d heard of Ben Howard but couldn’t tell you anything about him. He dazzled the crowd at two stages with a very solid set. The Afghan Whigs were phenomenal; in ways it seems like they stepped right out of 1993, but added a maturity to their arrangements. Alabama Shakes overran one of the smaller stages, so I ended up camping out behind the stage and the sound was pretty good, from some of the reviews I read the sound in the audience wasn’t great, so maybe I lucked out. Sat through most of Weezer’s set, they are so great live! Went to go catch the tail end of Florence and the Machine’s set at the other end of the park and was impressed with the presence and variety of music coming from the stage. M83 drew a big crowd that wanted to hear “Midnight City”. There were sound issues during their set, which tarnished it, but altogether a pretty nice set. The Black Keys did a great job closing out the night as headliners. A few years ago when they played earlier in the day they showed they could draw the crowd and keep them engaged…done and done.

Who I Saw
Afghan Whigs (Ben Howard at next stage)

Alabama Shakes

Weezer
Florence + The Machine

M83

Black Keys

Saturday
Great day. Can’t narrow highlight down to one. Andrew Bird was perfect! The Shins played a really great set…James Mercer even cracked a smile once or twice. Torrential downpours. Heard the first two Jack White tracks: loud and good. Watched Neil Young play for hours in the off and on again rain. Lots of grungy crunch from Neil and Crazy Horse.

Who I Saw
Andrew Bird

The Shins

Jack White

Neil Young

Sunday
The Civil Wars delighted the crowd. Pretty amazing performance considering they’re playing to a huge crowd with just one guitar and two voices. The Lumineers’ popularity has grown exponentially from when they booked for ACL and scheduled for one of the small side stages; needless to say the number of people stacking up to see them at a small stage made it an absolute disaster of people and they were too close to the hip hop band that was drowning out their sound. Iggy played a pretty great set, no complaints about a lack of sound. The Chili Peppers reminded me why they are so great. Given, I think they peaked years ago, but their live performance of new and old material showed the enthusiasm and funk that made them one of my favorite bands in the 90s.

Who I Saw
The Civil Wars

The Lumineers

Iggy and the Stooges

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Overall a pretty great weekend, though I’m thinking that next year I might just be one of those people in the back with a lawn chair looking comfortable to just sit in one place all day. Enjoy this little playlist from some of the songs that stood out at ACL 2012.

Another Chapter

January is a time to look back at the previous year and also to look ahead to the new year.  I’m determined to put some effort into MKinMotion.com in 2012 and get back to my blogging roots a little.

Since my last post here, I’ve moved from Anchorage to Austin, Texas. Quite a transition, indeed! While I’m considering the climate a definite improvement, I can’t say that the transition has been smooth or enjoyable. I’d come to the realization that I was comfortable, but wasn’t happy with most everything to do with my life in Anchorage. Luckily, my move to Austin came with a promising job and a healthy relocation package, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy. There was plenty of stress surrounding closing out my time at my job in Alaska, packing, and leaving. I’m getting closer and closer to feeling like I’ve settled in, but there’s still plenty of transition to be done.

That being said, I’m excited and hopeful about where I am now. I see a lot of promise in my new job, the company, and I enjoy the people I work with. I’m living just across Lady Bird Lake from Downtown Austin. Being the “Live Music Capital of the World”, I will have plenty of opportunities to get back to one of the key features of the old MKinMotion blog; telling you about great music. Austin is a new chapter in my life and I look forward to sharing some of it with you.

These aren’t New Years resolutions, but they’re goals I’ve made for myself to focus on in 2012. Maybe you can help me with them.

Blog Long Form
Back before Twitter and the short bursts, I took the time to write out entire sentences and paragraphs about things. I’d like to get to back to that. This should go hand in hand with a few of my other 2012 goals. Long form blogging may have gone out of style, but I still think there’s value in putting some time into it.

Be More Social
With all the tools available to keep up with friends and family, I do a terrible job of actually keeping up with friends and family. 2012 will be a year of Skyping, returning emails, phone calls, and generally connecting more with people.

Take More Photos
If I tell my Apple TV to stream the last 500 photos I’ve uploaded to Flickr, photos from 2009 show up in the slide show. While I’m not going to put a number on it, I want to take more photos in 2012.

Explore
This is the furthest East and furthest South I’ve ever lived. There’s a whole new territory of the US to be explored down here. Daytrips, long weekends, road trips, etc. Airfare is so much cheaper than Anchorage, that I’m putting more short trips on my calendar for 2012 to see new and old places. With the photo goal and the long form blogging goal, this should make for a great subject.

Be More Active
With very mild Winter temperatures in Austin, I’ve noticed that I do a lot more walking. I’m not committing to running a 5K or anything, but I am committing myself to do a lot more walking, biking, and paddling (heck, I live on the banks of a lake…) and raise my activity level.