MUSIC: It beat any South by Southwest showcase this year. Just in time, Eliza Gilkyson, Patrice Pike and Ruthie Foster joined Conspirare captain Craig Hella Johnson for a benefit concert from the heavens. The brick and wood shell of the malleable Brazos Hall was lit with a soft glow. After dinner for several hundred guests, Johnson sang in his soft, clear, emotionally consonant voice, reminding me of Michael Feinstein, but without that cabaret singer’s mawkishness. Next, the three accomplished women introduced their own compositions with rich personal anecdotes. All sounded open, connected, tranquil. Ultimately, I wondered: Why wasn’t this superb concert staged in ACL Live and streamed on iTunes? (Not that the shows streamed during the recent iTunes Festival at SXSW suffered on any level. Love that format. Still watching them.)

SPORTS: Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker are clearly here to stay. Countless times, Austinites have asked me if the tri-coastal couple really consider our city home. Sure, when Roddick was on the pro tennis circuit, he could spare only a few days out of the year for Texas. Now, even with their extremely active careers, Roddick and actress-model Decker are more involved in Austin and the Andy Roddick Foundation than ever before. Sunday, they were all over the Driskill Hotel’s second floor for a Roaring Twenties-themed party to benefit the group preparing to teach life skills through tennis. Most guests dressed to the nines. Best costumes: Amelia Earhart and a woman dressed as a period newsboy. (Also present: National radio personality and Roddick buddy Bobby Bones.)

MUSIC 2: Astute review of a big act. From Deborah Sengupta Stith’s story in the Statesman: ""There are a lotta bored looking dudes in here," my friend remarked a few songs into Robin Thicke’s steamy set at ACL Live Thursday night. As indicated by the high-pitched squeal that went through the crowd the moment he set foot on stage, this was a show for the ladies. To drive home the point, he entered to the sound of "Give It 2 U,’" one of a several songs in his repertoire that find actor Alan Thicke’s son explicitly referencing his male anatomy. The crowd, which appeared to be at capacity and at least 70 percent female, went wild. Backed by a powerhouse band that included two drummers, a horn section, two back-up singers in hot pants and crop tops and a hype man/rapper, Thicke threw down a seamless set that mixed hype-inducing club tracks with heartfelt ballads. He mixed up his stage delivery, alternating between choreographed dance numbers and seated passages at the piano that put his chops as an instrumentalist and songwriter front and center. He also flexed his ability to transition between the two. On the second song, the upbeat R&B track "Magic" he actually hopped up from the piano to dance on top of it." http://shar.es/B3dj6(Love it when a writer sees the whole field of vision.)