Saturday, March 17, 2007

Pete at SXSW

I was just telling a friend about my thoughts on what the rock's elder statesmen should be doing. Massive tours for the faithful are one thing, but I'd like to see them act as mentors, taking young artists under their wing. The benefits are mutual, as all musicians, young and old can draw from such collaboration. Seems like Pete Townshend is on the right track. From Billboard News:

Earlier in the evening [March 16th], Pete Townshend and his girlfriend, Rachel Fuller, presented a more subdued but even more ambitious series of collaborations with a special edition of their Attic Jam concert series at La Zona Rosa. With fellow big names like R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and Robyn Hitchcock looking on, the duo worked with a collection of younger artists -- including Martha Wainwright, Massachusetts troubadour Willy Mason, new British sensation Mika, British singer/songwriter Alexi Murdoch and Joe Purdy, a Los Angeles artist with whom Townshend performed a duet version of his solo hit Let My Love Open The Door.

Townshend, along with Fuller -- who likened the show to "a hootenanny" -- served generously as a sideman for portions of each artist's set, happily playing a support role even though his mere physical presence eclipsed anyone else on stage. For his own performances, Townshend dipped into the Who songbook, launching the evening with a solo acoustic rendition of "Drowned" from the Quadrophenia album. He then closed the show with a spare voice-and-piano version of In The Ether from the Who's latest album, Endless Wire, and I Can't Reach You, a Who chestnut from the '60s that he told the crowd, "not only have I never played in public, nobody I know has played this song in public."

Pete also took the stage by surprise during the Fratellis set (the upcoming Glasgow band known for the music behind the latest ipod commercial). The band has also recorded as part of Townshend/Fuller's In the Attic project. This is what I'm talking about, people. Imagine the thrill of this young band and the stunned audience at a barbecue joint in Austin when Townshend took the stage. and by all accounts, Pete is relishing every moment and drawing more energy from his participation. Hopefully, more news of this nature to come.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I was there. Did you write this before bowling?

2:52 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I wish I was there too. I wrote some of it before bowling, and finished it while bowling :).

2:43 PM  
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4:44 PM  

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