« Life After Advertising | Main| Copywriters Needed at Adobe »

September 18, 2006

The 2006 ACL Awards

The 2006 Austin City Limits Music Festival just wrapped. I've marked my ballot, tallied my vote, and can now announce the official 2006 ACL Award winners:

Best Sonny & Cher Cover: The Raconteurs
Jack White's vocal-cord-shredding version of "Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" - punctuated with ominous jackhammer guitar - was one of the creepily wonderful highlights of the Saturday lineup.

Best Type A-Positive: Ben Kweller
His nosebleed was a show-stopper. Literally. He sprang a gusher all over his guitar, and finally had to call it quits, several minutes before his show was over.

Best Performance by an Emaciated Male: Ray Lamontagne
Ray, we know you're depressed. We get that from the lyrics. But eat a Whattaburger once in awhile, willya? And while you're at the drive-thru, pick up a couple of milkshakes for Aimee Mann.

Best Performance by an Emaciated Female: Aimee Mann

Best Friday Night Finale by an Old Irish Guy: Van Morrison
Wow. The man's still got that blue-eyed Dublin soul. Van was spectacular. And thankfully, he didn't do the lame "Your Cheatin' Heart" cover from his ill-advised new country CD.

Best Beard: Iron & Wine
That fertile mind must also provide perfect growing conditions for facial hair. Sam's beard was thick and bushy enough to conceal a couple of house cats, a small domestic farm animal, and the remains of Jimmy Hoffa. But the sound that came out of that beard was mesmerizing.

Most Monotonous: Son Volt
C'mon, Jay. You've proved to Tweedy and to everyone else that you're totally loyal to the whole alt country thing. But would it kill you to try something new?

Most in Need of a Tube of UltraBrite: Lou Ann Barton
Since she was in Triple Threat with Stevie Ray Vaughan, it appears that Lou Ann's front teeth have seen the butt end of unfiltered Camels on a regular basis, but the business end of an Oral B only occasionally. I didn't care. Last time I saw Lou Ann was ten years ago in the old Antone's club, during SXSW, when she insolently flicked a cigarette butt onto the crowded dance floor. She was great then, she was great now. And she did a couple of new songs, increasing the buzz among the faithful that a new CD might be in the works.

Most Outlandish Outfit: Sister Sylvia St. James and the Gospel Stars
It was 96 degrees with 90 percent humidity in Austin. Many festivalians felt overdressed in a bikini top. But Sister Sylvia showed up to testify in a giant white parade float of a dress, long white gloves, and a swan-feather hat that was approximately the size of an inflatable backyard pool. The wardrobe wasn't necessary. The woman could wail, and she had the crowed on its feet, hands waving at heaven.

Best Lucinda Williams Impression by a Canadian: Kathleen Edwards
I'd heard of her, but never heard her. I liked her. And if you like Lucinda, you probably will, too.

Most Celebrity-Studded Set: Ben Harper
Lance Armstrong introduced him. Matthew McConnahay was in the front row. G. Love showed up to do a song with him. So did a couple of the Marley kids, for a reggae number. Ben opened the show sitting down, playing a smokin' bottleneck slide in what he said was a tribute to Stevie Ray. If you want to get picky, the song was "Voodoo Chile", so it was really a tribute to Stevie Ray doing a tribute to Hendrix. But nobody wanted to get picky about anything in Ben's set, as he proceeded to rip a sonic hole in the ozone layer, the sound barrier, and the bat cave under the Congress Bridge. What a great, great show.

Most Effective at Getting Bad Dancers Up on Their Feet: Buckwheat Zydeco
Is it possible to listen to Buckwheat's band without getting up and dancing, even if you totally suck? I think not.

Most Spectacular Mass Evacuation: Tom Petty
Tom and the Heartbreakers were the last act on the last day. For the only time during the three days, music was coming from only one stage - instead of from four or five simultaneously. So all 65,000 of us were crowded up to the single stage, where Tom had just finished "Last Dance for Mary Jane", and had launched into the first single from his new CD. That's when the entire audience noticed that the sky behind us was the color of an enormous eggplant, and was getting ready to tear open and dump three days of evaporated sweat and accumulated humidity back on us. So did all 65,000 of us try to get out the gates at the same time, leaving Tom behind? Oh, my, my. Oh, hell yes.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The 2006 ACL Awards:


Did the Daily Show's John Stewart pen this? You know, you could have a lot of fun inventing new categories by which ad campaigns and corporate websites could be judged.

Nice work, but go easy on Son Volt. When you can't harmonize and only know three chords, it's tough to break out.

The comments to this entry are closed.

The Latest Podcast

Ad Age Power 150

As Heard On

Radio Talent Zoo


Audio Comments

Record a comment from your computer right now. Be pithy.


Recent Comments

Podcasting Links

Sites of Note

Talent Zoo Column

Everything I need to know about advertising I learned from Star Wars