Austin City Limits 2008, Day 3: Gillian Welch

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Gillian Welch is my second favorite live performer. She and David Rawlings are so consistent, it's like all they need's a few instruments and each other. And there's something about seeing them at a festival that makes me think they should only ever perform outdoors--a natural setting somehow authenticates the songs. On the AMD stage Sunday, played a lovely mixture of old favorites like "Look At Miss Ohio," live favorites like "Throw Me A Rope," and a couple of soon-to-be-favorites--one about a knuckleball catcher and one about a sweet tooth. They even invited Alison Krauss (who played the same stage night before with Robert Plant) onstage for an a capella rendition of "Didn't Leave Nobody But The Baby." I can't wait for her new record.

After that, Rachael and I headed to UT for an Austin City Limits taping of The Swell Season. I've been watching that show for years, but I never thought I'd be lucky enough to go to the studio. It's smaller than I expected, and the city skyline looks faker than I expected. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova's set was of course stunning, and for the first time of the weekend, I felt like a real tourist--I bought my boyfriend a T-shirt and my friend's baby a onesie.

We went back to the hotel and put clay goop on our faces to detox from the dust. Then we turned in early for a full day of travel and outlet shopping, where I did some serious baggage-expanding damage at Banana Republic. But as they say, everything's bigger in Texas, and my carry-on load was no exception!

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