SEPT. 11, 2007
Bill Clinton is doing a booksigning at 11am on Friday at BookPeople. Coincidence? Maybe, but it’s safe to say that “Butter Smooth” Bill is only a phone call or two away from a VIP plus 20 to the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Chances are he’ll be phoning it in Friday morning, limiting his Q&A responses to a thrifty 20 minutes each and hurriedly scribbling autographs so he can get over to Zilker and get his geezer groove on. Imagine our greatest living president doing the white man’s overbite backstage during the Dynamites’ set, pumping his fist (albeit vertically with the thumb turned unthreateningly upward) and playing air saxophone. Yeah, that’s some messed up shit, but you know you would skip your project planning session or at the very least sixth-period biology to witness such an historic moment. You’re probably still kicking yourself for having missed Ben Kweller’s famous nosebleed tampon incident of ACL 2006. Could you really blame Blow Job Bill for wanting to get in on that action? It’s like Tony Montana is in charge of the backstage buffet. If you’re one of the less fortunate 100,000 dirt magnets on the other side of the barricades, you’re probably not going to get a chance to deviate your septum – unless maybe you’re willing to mule a couple of balloon pellets past the security gate – in which case you’re going to need a tampon for more than just your nose. Otherwise, there is plenty of unreasonably priced beer and the occasional communal spliff inexplicably produced by some string cheese trustafarian whose dreads look and smell like skunkweed. If you could find the wherewithal to rock that look, you too could be playing tonsil hockey with a tramp stamped, toe-ringed, hairy-ankled hottie. Of course, not everyone at ACL looks like they just got back from Burning Man. There will be plenty of middle-aged white guys in Hawaiian shirts, Birkenstocked NPR listeners, yuppie condopolitans, college kids, high schoolers, grade schoolers and even sweaty babies in strollers. Yeah, babies like to rock too. Simple math should tell you that your chances of rubbing up against your soulmate at ACL are infinitely better than sitting at home on your couch playing Halo, though maybe not quite as hygienic. One of the things that makes ACL unique is its undeniably multigenerational appeal. Like its namesake public TV show, ACL is all over the demographic map. Unless you’re into frog-throated death rock, you will probably find something you like that you didn’t expect to like. Failing that, you can always count on the big closers like Björk, Dylan, and the White Str– uh … Arcade Fire.