Austin City Limits 2012 Line-Up

If you began counting down the days until this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival as soon as 2011 wrapped, then this song of the day goes out to you. As announced today, pop singer/songwriter L.P. will be headed to Austin this October as part of the 11th Annual Austin City Limits. After a prolific career penning songs for chart toppers such as Rihanna and Christina Aguilera, L.P. is poised to take center stage with her recently release third album Into the Wild. Below is the title track for you to check out. Delta Spirit, Quiet Company, Punch Brothers, . . . → Read More: Austin City Limits 2012 Line-Up

Weekend Music Happenings – 1/27-1/30

Theophilus London – Rock the Vote ACL 2011 Afterparty

East Side’s newest concert venue, Beauty Ballroom, celebrates its grand opening this weekend with a full line up of high energy shows. Kick off the weekend Friday with Brooklyn rapper Theophilus London. You might remember his much buzzed about performances at this year’s ACL fest followed by a return trip to Austin late 2011. He’ll be joined by Treasure Fingers w/ LAX, Vegas Banger, and Ricky Jean Francois. Tickets still available here. Saturday night’s Official Grand Opening Party features musical acts like Daniel Johnston, Alex Mass (Black Angels), Jason . . . → Read More: Weekend Music Happenings – 1/27-1/30

ACL 2011 in Review: Austin EATS

Austin EATS!

No Austin City Limits review would be complete without mentioning Austin EATS. This year’s collection of vendors was outstanding. In three days I tried to eat as many times as possible or at least encourage my friends to all order different items to try. While the heat made it difficult to work up much of an appetite and too many great artists on stage limited time for food breaks, I somehow managed to make the rounds.

Bless you Tito's Vodka for this Vodka Snowcone!

 The winner of the weekend was Odd Duck Farm to Table’s corn salad. It was cold and refreshing and light enough to manage in the heat. I was a little nervous about the egg on top, but it held up perfectly.

Odd Duck Farm to Table

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ACL 2011 in Review: Saturday


TV on the Radio
My roommate and I hosted a prefestival brunch which meant an early start on Saturday.  The day strong with the The Kingston Springs and J. Roddy Watson and the Business at the Bud Light Stage.Although the Baltimore band has been touring since 2002 I am a new convert to the J. Roddy bandwagon. The four member group’s gospel infused rock set was a highlight of the day. It was hard not to feel revitalized for another day spent at Zilker Park listening to J. Roddy on the piano in the much needed rain. 

Next was City and Colour v. Alexander, and while I preferred the former, the consensus vote was for Alexander, especially since he played at the neighboring Google +. Alex Ebert, best known as the front man for Edward Sharpe and the Magnificient Zeros, returned to ACL in support of his new solo album. He may have performed on the same stage, with the same bare feet and folksy sound, but this was a more tempered and subdued Alex than before. Unfortunately, a more mature Alexander didn’t mean better as he is missing that secret sauce to make much of a lasting impression. He has the talent, and while his music makes a nice rainy afternoon soundtrack, I didn’t walk away wanting more.

Fitz and the Tantrums

 With a break in our schedule, we headed over to Iron and Wine for a moment. Feeling they were a little too downtrodden to motivate us after a previous late night it was off to the bar before heading to the Honda Stage for Fitz and the Tantrums. A top weekend pick after catching the band during SXSW, this was one show we were highly anticipating.

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ACL 2011 in Review: Friday


                 Friday of ACL started off early as three bands I was highly anticipating played at the start of the day. Although I went 2 for 3, I did manage to start off with half a Cults set. The duo would benefit from a smaller setting than ACL, but I absolutely left hungry to see them again. Next I headed to the BMI Stage for Ha Ha Tonka, a band in my weekend top 5. My expectations were exceeded as Ha Ha Tonka’s invigorating performance, which included a cover of Alabama’s Fiddle and a Band in the pouring rain, kicked off ACL weekend with a bang.

Ha Ha Tonka

 I had a small ACL hiatus as duty called in the real world, but made it back in time to see Big Boi take over the Bud Light Stage. Big Boi quickly energized the crowd by playing a series of Outkast hits before launching into his newer music. With a variety of instruments and stage theatrics boosting his performance, Big Boi’s set was universally considered a Friday highlight.

fans gearing up for Foster the People

 Next was Foster the People at the Google + Stage. The band’s recent Top 40 success led to an overwhelmingly large and primarily youthful crowd gathering early and packing in close to the stage. Because of where the Google + Stage is positioned, getting close wasn’t an option for us since we stayed for Big Boi’s entire show. Frankly, I don’t think anyone had enjoyed enough cold beers to want to fight the neon clad Foster the People fanatics, so we watched the band from a little farther out. While I am a fan the band, I did have my reservations on how their album would translate on stage at ACL. It turns out it translated exactly as it sounds recorded. The talented Foster the People certainly delivered a solid performance, but this is Austin City Limits! I wish the band had shown a little greater range by diverging more from just rehashing the album live.

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ACL 2011 Review

The 10th Anniversary of the Austin City Limits Festival has officially wrapped after three remarkable days filled with many musical highs and very few notable lows.  After 10 years producing ACL, C3 Presents makes organizing an event of this magnitude easy as overall the entire festival was organized and efficient, like a well oiled machine. 

10 Years of Music!

When the early September date was announced last fall, attendees knew they would be in for a sweaty three days. However, it was unforeseeable that the weeks preceding this year’s event would be marred by record breaking heats, severe drought and tempestuous wildfires. After months of little to no rainfall, Austin City Limits 2011 proved to be the city’s lucky rabbit foot as Friday started off with impromptu rainfall during early sets of the day. While a slight shift in the weather produced a bit of relief for festival goers, organizers took no chances by adding shaded areas, misters, and free water stations conveniently placed throughout the park.

                With 75,000 attendees daily, Zilker Park is perpetually crowded, but C3 has found a few ways to make dealing with the masses bearable. Ample amounts of restrooms and bars kept lines short. The return of ACL’s recycling incentive program again left the festival grounds clean as a whistle. New wristband scanning machines made entering and exiting a breeze. Cab lines and shuttles helped ease getting to and from the park. I mainly relied on car2go, which turned out mainly to be an expensive headache (more on that later).

130 plus bands spread out over three days means there is always something for everyone, but this year’s line-up was especially wide-ranging. This miscellany is easily summed up by glancing over the headlining acts; from a living legend to a hip hop king to a perennial festival fixture jam band, ACL 2011 just about covered it all.

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ACL 2011 Saturday Top Picks

Happy Saturday ACL! Full ACL coverage here. Here are my top picks for the day:

 12:00 PM

Fresh Millions – Austin Ventures

The local Austin band Fresh Millions will start the day off with an energetic dub show!

 12:30 PM

The Kingston Springs, a group of teenage wunderkinds, are a top pick of mine for the fest. Worth getting there early!

The Kingston Springs @BMI


The Belle Brigade was a highlight for me during SXSW, and I can’t wait to see them light up the stage at ACL.

The Belle Brigade – Honda Stage

 2:00 PM

. . . → Read More: ACL 2011 Saturday Top Picks

ACL 2011 – Friday Top Picks

Happy ACL Weekend! Hope you all are as excited as I am for Friday’s line-up. Here are my top picks, by time. Full ACL 2011 Coverage here.

 11:45 AM:

Already a very tough call between Cults and Futurebirds. I am headed to Cults because their mellow, happy alt-pop sound set to dark cult readings is peaking my curiosity.

Cults – 11:45 AM @ Honda Stage

Futurebirds – 11:45 AM @ Google+ Stage

 12:30 PM:

Hands down, Ha Ha Tonka. If you caught their KUT morning performance, you understand my excitement over seeing the Missouri band’s set. While their album, . . . → Read More: ACL 2011 – Friday Top Picks