Friday, October 8, 2010

Let's Plan ACL Fest Day 2

If you only have a 1-day pass for ACL Fest, Saturday is the day to have it. This is the day that has the most acts I enjoy playing at the same time, so I had to make some tough decisions. Let's start at the beginning shall we?

We'll start out our Saturday at the Austin Ventures stage at 11:20a where local outfit, Balmorhea will be starting things off for us.

Balmorhea - Rememberance video via YouTube

After Balmorhea we'll head over to the Budweiser stage for the Very Best who's set begins at 12:30p. It's a very early time slot for them but at least they were booked on the headlining stage.

the Very Best - Julia video via YouTube

By 1:30p we'll want to be over at the Honda stage to catch Mr. Pete Yorn.

Pete Yorn - Last Summer video via YouTube

It's back to the Austin Ventures stage at 2:20p where Two Door Cinema Club will be performing. These guys had the opening slot the last time Phoenix played Stubb's and I suspect they won over lots of local fans at that show.

Two Door Cinema Club - I Can Talk video via YouTube

At 3:30p it's off to the Zync Card stage to catch the Black Lips making out with each other. No seriously, this is what punk is like in Atlanta (not really), they spit in the air and catch it in their mouths and they cartoonishly make-out with one another while playing solos. In otherwords it's not to be missed.

Black Lips - Short Fuse video via YouTube

I really want to see a lot of people at the Austin Ventures stage for Local Natives 4:30p set. However, Silversun Pickups put on such an amazing live show that I'm going to have to officially pick the Budweiser stage for your 4:30p time slot. Pretty much any stage you choose from 4:30-5:30 on Saturday is going to be effing awesome.

Silversun Pickups - The Royal We video via YouTube

Although a lot of people think the XX are boring in a live setting they are still who I'm going to see at 5:30p. They'll be performing on the Zync Card stage, but don't expect them to jump around like performing monkeys. They WILL be static but what would you expect from their minimalist sound?

the XX - Basic Space video via YouTube

The 6:30p time slot pits gypsy-punk against dance-punk and you know this blogger likes to dance. Did you know that? It's true. That's why I'll be over at the Budweiser stage to catch LCD Soundsystem. Talk about a great band for the dusk time-slot. Holla!

LCD Soundsystem - Bye Bye Bayou video via YouTube

At 7:30p it's back to the Honda stage for one of the most fun acts of the entire festival, Brooklyn 2-piece Matt and Kim.

Matt and Kim - Camera video via YouTube

At 8:30p I'll be visiting the AMD stage to see M.I.A.. I'm not going to lie her live performance can be very hit or miss let's hope she's inspired by a semi-headlining slot and she tears it up. We'll let time be the judge of that.

M.I.A. - XXXO video via YouTube

Finally after M.I.A. I'll be catching the end of Muse's set.

So, that's my Saturday at the fest.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

ACL Off-Site Noms

This post is aimed at the tourists but I welcome my fellow Austin residents to chime in. I thought some of you out of towners might be looking for some thoughts on our food offerings here in Austin. I don't claim to be any sort of expert on this subject and I won't attempt to cover the entire city, in fact I'm going to focus on the zip code in which I live and the zip code in which the festival occurs. If you're one of my Twitter followers then you already know I'm talking about #78704Life.

Austin has so many amazing places to eat it's going to be tough to narrow it down so I'll give you some categories. Let's start with an essential during a festival, 24-hr food. Austin has lots of choices for 24hr dining and I'll start with the place that pays my bills. Kerbey Lane Cafe has 5 locations including one on S. Lamar a short jaunt from the festival grounds. The menu is 6 pages and offers everything from enchiladas, sandwiches, fancy salads and apps to breakfast food. They are known for their frisbee-sized pancakes, which are offered in at least 5 varieties including a vegan option. They are also one of the best places in the city to get Chips and Queso. If you don't know what I mean my Chips and Queso then you haven't lived yet.

Kerbey Lane Cafe

Along the same lines you can find Magnolia Cafe over on S. Congress their menu offerings are almost identical to Kerbey's but the atmosphere is a bit more punk-rock. You can find a wide spectrum of patrons and employees at both restaurants. You can also expect to have to wait for a table as both restaurants are quite small and quite popular.

Magnolia Cafe

If you want some 24hr fast food, boy have we got you covered. Almost every fast-food chain in Austin has AT LEAST a 24hr drive thru but if you want the true Texas experience you have to get to the closest Whataburger. The location nearest to the festival is on S. 1st street where it meets Barton Springs Dr.


Taco Cabana's food pretty much sucks but it's 24hrs and when you're drunk it's like a little slice of heaven. I usually get quesadillas and I would avoid the enchiladas at all costs.

Taco Cabana


You could dedicate an entire website to Austin cart food, it's extremely trendy right now and there are more of them popping up all over the place all the time. You'll find a lot of Austin's best food cart vendors inside the fest itself so I won't focus on them too much. HOWEVER, one of the most overlooked carts in the city is called, Lulu B's and it effing rules. They do Vietnamese-style sandwiches served on French bagettes. If you've seen the Great Food-Truck Race on the Food Network it's the same kind of food the Nom Noms truck was serving.

One of the most popular food trucks in the city is within walking distance of the festival on S. Lamar. It's called Gordoughs and they do giant, pricey, gourmet donuts. Yes, you read that correctly. Think bearclaws with bacon and you're getting close. I know it sounds odd but it is scrumptious.


On the taco cart front, how can I not mention Torchy's Tacos? You should try to find their "original" (Moved half a block) location on S. 1st st. but they have non-cart locations throughout the city as well. This is a taqueria for gringos and they have some amazing chips and queso as well, but be prepared it's spicy yo.

Torchy's Tacos

Mexican Food:

Austin has roughly a hundred billion amazing Mexican restaurants and everyone has their favorites for various reasons. My personal favorite is Curra's Grill on Oltorf. This place is so good, I used to work there and was fired but I STILL eat there. They are known for their Tacos Al Pastor as well as the Conchinita Pibil. They DO charge for chips and salsa BUT if you ask for the salsa sampler you get to try their 14-16 salsa for free! A lot of people love their avocado margarita but I am not one of those people.

Curra's Grill

Guero's Taco Bar on S. Congress also has some great Mexican food but they have a higher cool quotient after being featured in a Quentin Tarrantino movie (Death Proof). It's located in the uber-hip South Congress shopping district, which you should check out even if you don't eat here.

Guero's Taco Bar

I generally do more drinking than eating at Polvos on S. 1st st but they have some excellent food as well.



This category is kind of tricky since I'm focusing, exclusively on 78704. Firstly you should know Austin's best BBQ joint isn't really in Austin proper it's Southwest of the city and it's called Salt Lick BBQ. Luckily, they'll be on-site for ACL Fest and they also have an airport location. However, Green Mesquite BBQ also does some great BBQ and they're spitting distance from the fest. They were featured on the Food Network and I was actually in that episode. All of my friends wait tables there so mention Bloggy if you want, but it won't really get you special treatment.

Green Mesquite


My, personal, favorite burger in Austin is not located in the '04 but that doesn't mean the '04 doesn't have some fantastic burgers. I'm a big fan of Fran's Burgers on S. Congress but you MUST order your burger on the jalapeno sourdough bread or else the trip is pointless. This place has been featured on the tv show Friday Night Lights, which really has nothing to do with anything I just thought you should know. Oh yeah, Fran's also has some great fried mushrooms.

Fran's Hamburgers

Not too far from the festival grounds on S. Lamar you'll find a bar in a strip mall called, Black Sheep Lodge. They have one of the best burgers in all of Texas, according to Texas monthly magazine, but they don't have a lot of parking so I'd take the bus if I were you.

Black Sheep Lodge


You'll have to wait for a table but Homeslice Pizza on S. Congress is my favorite pizza in the city. The pies are huge, New York-style and the dining room is ridiculously clever. The sign on the Men's room is a pizza slice while the Ladie's room is a whole pizza with a slice missing. Get it? They also do pizza by the slice until very late at night, I want to say 3am but it might only be until 2am.

Homeslice Pizza

Just a bit further on S. Congress you'll find Southside Flying Pizza, they do a slightly more gourmet pizza with funkier toppings and such. They also deliver anywhere in the '04 (but it takes forever(shhhh)).

Southside Flying Pizza

The last pizza I'll recommend is in one of the most unlikely places. It's called Giovanni's Pizza and it used to be a food cart. However, it has since moved into a gas station. That's right, a Valero at the corner of S. Lamar and Barton Skyway has some of my favorite pizza in the city. Crazy right?

So Fancy I'll Never Afford It:

You could walk from the festival to Uchi on S. Lamar. It's the top-rated restaurant in the city and their chef was on Iron Chef! Whoa! In case you couldn't tell from the name it's a Japanese restaurant and it's the kind of place you go for an experience, not just a meal. Expect to spend around $100/person though.


A bit further south on S. Lamar you'll find Olivia. They have a freakin' garden out back and the menu changes daily based on what they acquire for the freshest ingredients. Luckily they'll have a more wallet-friendly selection on the festival grounds as well.



We all know cupcakes are ridiculously trendy but don't deny yourselves the pleasure of a dessert from Hey Cupcake!. This place is also in the trendy S. Congress shopping district and it's hard to miss with a giant, pink-frosted cupcake on the roof of an airstream trailer.

Hey Cupcake!

A bit further south on S. Congress, there's an Amy's Ice Cream location. Think Coldestone creamery except funky with more local flavors. Make sure the person who is serving you does something fancy like throwing the ice cream, if they don't tell them you expect some sort of a show and they will oblige. Also, look for the trivia question on the menu the questions are google-able and earn you a free crush-in!

Amy's Ice Cream

So there's a few food suggestion from Bloggy, feel free to chime in Austinites. That's what the comments section is for!

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Planning Day 1 of ACL Fest 2010

Alright, so I've already told you about some cool official, and unofficial after-shows. We've also broken down some of the toughest decisions regarding bands playing simultaneously on different stages. So, here's the part where I tell you my choices for the whole effing day! I'm going to break it down in to two strategies. The first ACL Fest strategy involves camping out at one stage all day so that you can get a good spot in the crowd. If that's how you want to rock the fest on Friday, then I recommend you hang out at the AMD stage. I wouldn't, necessarily enjoy every single artist who will be playing that stage but it has the highest ratio of bands I care about to bands I couldn't care less about.

The second strategy involves lots of traversing Zilker park. That's the strategy I'll most likely be partaking in. So let's break it down minute by minute. Personally, I'll be waiting tables from 6:00am-2:00pm so I won't be at the Fest as soon as the gates open but I'll break it down as if I would be just for you.

You'll want to start at the Zync Card stage at 11:45 to catch Vonnegutt. They are featured on the latest Big Boi single and they have a very high break-out act potential. Their sound is very MTV-friendly and I feel like the tweens are going to love them. Think Gym Class Heroes.

Vonnegutt - Bright Eyes video via YouTube

Around 12:20 you should hit the Austin Ventures stage to check out Charlie Mars. It will be quite the jump in genre from Vonnegutt but isn't that what a festival is all about? Going from hip-hip-pop to sensitive-singer-songwriter simply by walking a few steps?

Charlie Mars - Like a Bird, Like a Plane video via YouTube

You'll probably have to leave C. Mars set before he is completely through to catch the Soft Pack back at the Zync Card stage. They go on from 1:00-2:00.

the Soft Pack - C'Mon video via YouTube

From 2:00-3:00 you'll want to slide on over to the Budweiser stage to catch the Mountain Goats beautiful, pastoral, folk-rock.

the Mountain Goats - This Year video via YouTube

We'll be back at the Zync Card stage by 3:00 to catch Bloggy favs, Girls. In this Blogger's opinion they deserve a time slot closer to sunset. I mean have you heard the song Laura? It's effing genius!

Girls - Laura video via YouTube

At 4:00 it's all the way over to the AMD stage in time for the Black Keys. I'm excited to see how these 2 dudes work a big-ass festival crowd. Will we feel the sexual energy all the way in the back (so to speak)?

the Black Keys - Tighten Up video via YouTube

The 5:00 o'clock time slot is a tough decision for me, as I mentioned in a previous post but I'm going to vote we head back to the Zync Card stage to see the Sword blow the minds of many, many local fans and hopefully lots of tourist-types too. These guys are local heroes so I expect this stage will have quite the crowd by 5pm.

the Sword - How Heavy This Axe video via YouTube

Speaking of local heroes, after the Sword are through we head back to the AMD stage in time for Spoon's 6pm set.

Spoon - Written In Reverse video via YouTube

At 7:00 alt-rock legends, Sonic Youth will take to the Honda stage, so you know where I'll be.

Sonic Youth - 100% video via YouTube

This last decision might be controversial but I vote we check out the Strokes at the AMD stage. Phish will be starting their headlining set at the same time on the Budweiser stage but chances are once the Strokes have played every song they've ever written +2 covers, Phish will just be approaching the 3rd song of their set. In otherwords you can catch both acts...or you could leave the festival grounds before all the dirty hippies clog up the public transit system. That's your call.

the Strokes - Reptilia video via YouTube

So, there you have it. Those are Bloggy's picks for day 1 of the fest, enjoy and I'll see you there!

Phish - You Enjoy Myself (part 2) video via YouTube

By the way, is anyone else bothered by the names of these stages? I would be will to pay $20 more per ticket if they weren't corporately named. Sure makes me appreciate FunFunFun Fest naming their stages after colors. This post was brought to you via these ads ---------->

FunFunFun Fest - 2009 Re-Cap video via YouTube

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Band Vs. Band at ACL Fest

A festival like ACL, which takes place in a central location won't have as many tough choices as say, SXSW but there are multiple stages so you're still going to have to make some tough decisions every now and again. I'll be posting my picks for each day of the fest the day before each day...does that make sense? Firstly though I want to highlight some of the tougher choices when making your picks this year. For me, Saturday has the most conflicts but I'll try to go chronologically.

The first hipster music conflict I notice of the festival is the pitting of Miike Snow against Girls. For me, I definitely am leaning towards Girls since I'm such a big fan of theirs HOWEVER I have already seen them play before whereas Miike Snow I have not seen. Miike Snow played several times during SXSW, even at some events I attended but they were never playing while I was in attendance. So, I guess it comes down to whether you want to rock out or electro out? Dance out? Pop out? Not really sure how I would classify the Snow sound.

Miike Snow - Silvia video via YouTube

The next major conflict for Friday is, Beach House Vs. local metal heroes, The Sword. These artists are on complete opposite ends of the musical spectrum and while I adore Beach House especially their latest LP, Teen Dream, the Austinite in me says I have to support The Sword. Besides, I really don't think the Nyquil-pop of Beach House is well-suited for the festival experience.

The Sword - Tres Brujas video via YouTube

The final conflict of Saturday pits the old-guard of alt--rock against the new guard of blog-rock. The legendary, Sonic Youth are playing the same time as Vampire Weekend. Do you want to rock or do you want to twee-rock? Personally, I had the chance to see VW before their first LP on the Mohawk's inside stage and I don't see anything topping that. However, I will (hopefully(*fingers crossed)) be in attendance when Sonic Youth tapes their Austin City Limits Television performance Thursday night. In otherwords by Saturday I will have seen both artists. In either case, you have to pick the legends simply because you can. Sorry, vee dubs, maybe next year?

Sonic Youth - Sacred Trickster video via YouTube

Saturday has lots of conflicts so I'm going to keep it more brief. The conflicts start early (12:15p) when First Aid Kit and the Very Best take stage simultaneously. I vote the Very Best based on having fun at a festival. Also, it's quite likely we'll see Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend at the Very Best's set as he lends vocals to the title track from their LP.

the Very Best - Warm Heart of Africa video via YouTube

The always handsome, Pete Yorn will be playing while BOTH Ninjasonik and Two Door Cinema Club perform. I'll probably skip Ninjasonik despite really enjoying them, simply because I caught them at SXSW this year.

Ninjasonik - Negative Thinking in Tight Pants video via YouTube

4:30p-5:30p on Saturday is going to be the toughest hour of the whole festival. I literally like EVERY artists playing at that time. Silversun Pickups, Broken Bells, Local Natives, AND Dan Black are all playing at the same time?!?! Damn, that's going to be a tough decision. I have actually seen all of those artists already this year but that doesn't mean I don't want to see them all again?!?! I want Local Natives to get a good crowd, but SSPU were soooo effing good and a festival is really where they shine. I'm not going to pick a horse in this race, I'm going to just let the fest lead me.

Dan Black - U + Me = video via YouTube

That's not the end of Saturday's conflicts though, not even close. We've got, Gogol Bordello playing at the same time as LCD Soundsytem.

LCD Soundsytem - I Can Change video via YouTube

Then at 7:30p on Saturday both Matt & Kim and Deadmau5 will take to their respective stages.

Matt and Kim - Silver Tiles video via YouTube

Finally M.I.A. and Muse are playing at the same time. Personally, I have seen M.I.A. twice (on here first tour(natch)) and I have never seen Muse so I'll most likely be checking out Muse. For you, who knows? Might be a tougher call to make. On the bright side, Muse's set time is 30 minutes longer than M.I.A.'s, also her new material pretty much sucks soooo...

Muse - Sunburn video via YouTube

On to Sunday, the Lord's day, lucky for us there are far fewer conflicts on the fest's final day. Unfortunately (or fortunately) MOST of the conflicts are early in the day when it SHOULD be easier to move from stage to stage. There are THREE Bloggy favs all playing at the same time between 11:30a-12:30p on Saturday. Two local favs, TV Torso and Shearwater will both be performing while Warpaint performs at another stage.

Shearwater - Hidden Lakes video via YouTube

A little later you'll have to choose between Ted Leo or White Rabbits.

Ted Leo - A Bottle of Buckie video via YouTube

Finally the toughest VS. of the day, will you choose Band of Horses? Or would you rather see the Flaming Lips? I did hear a nasty little rumor that the Lips and Spoon swapped slots, which would mean Spoon and BOH would be playing at the same time. To either scenario I say, dang.

the Flaming Lips - The Sparrow Looks Up at the Machine video via YouTube

So those are the time conflicts as I see them, stay tuned for the next few days and I'll break down who you should see and/or where you might see me at the fest.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ACL Week Aftershow Picks

Is it me or are the "after-shows" starting earlier and early every year of ACL Fest? They used to happen after the show, now you can catch some of the headline names from the fest as early as Wednesday night. Some of the best after-shows this year are the ones that aren't affiliated with the fest at all. I'm sure the 3 Charlies are loving that. Although, the most pre of all the pre-shows is an official performance by the Strokes happening at Stubb's, which is sold-out incidentally. Don't let that deter you though, the Pavement show I saw last week was also sold-out and if you recall I purchased a scalped ticket for less than half the face value. My advice is to wait until the headliner has begun playing and then offer the scalper a 20 spot, then can take it or leave it but if they give you a hard time just remind them that the show has started and see how they react. Worst-case scenario, you listen from the top deck of that parking structure across the street from Stubb's, ain't nothin' wrong with that.

the Strokes - NYC Cops video via YouTube

Thursday night is the first night with lots of really good official (pre)after-shows including, but not limited to, Spoon, Neon Indian and many, many more. I want to highlight First Aid Kit though, because they are playing the fest but their sound will be much better suited for Stubb's inside stage, which is where you can catch them Thursday night. Tickets for that show are only $10 bucks and are still available as of the writing of this post.

First Aid Kit - Tiger Mountain Peasant Song video via YouTube

Other than that, I'd go unofficial Thursday night and see Talib Kweli at the Scoot Inn. Do I really need to explain why? Kweli is a lyrical genius and any opportunity we have to hear his words live is a blessing. If he never did anything other than the Black Star album with Mos Def he would STILL be a legend. Tickets for Kweli are ALSO available as of the writing of this post. Props to my friends and comrades over at Knuckle Rumbler for that booking.

Blackstar - Definition video via YouTube

Speaking of the KR kids, if you want to run into me Friday night, I'll be kickin it with the Knucks at another great booking for the Scoot, with Miss Amanda Blank. If you don't know who she is, it's time to get schooled, she is one of my favorite female emcee's. Her lyrics, are filthy, nimble and often hilarious to boot. You can still grab tickets for A. Blank at the Scoot Friday night and I recommend you do so.

Santigold - I'm a Lady (Diplo Remix) featuring Amanda Blank video via YouTube

For Saturday I want to highlight another small name from the fest, who you have probably never heard of but you probably will in the future. Beats Antique are playing the festival but they'll be playing very early in the day most likely to a small crowd. Their official after-show at Momo's is a great way to catch the band in a more intimate setting. Plus it will be a great story when they start to take off you can be that guy who saw them way back when, in that little hole in the wall club away from the Red River scene.

Beats Antique - Miss Levine video via YouTube

Sunday night, you tourists need to check out Austin post-rockers Markov, who will be opening for Rival Schools at Red 7. This show starts around the same time as the Eagles' ACL set so feel free to ditch Zilker and head downtown for some youthful rockers who are, shall we say, relevant? Seriously, how did the Eagles end up at ACL? I promise if I run in to them at the festival I will ask them for all of us, "Why are you here Don Henley?"

Markov - Rain Inside video via Nites Blog via YouTube

Holy crapezoid! Can't believe I forgot to mention the unofficial after-party happening Saturday night at Beauty Bar featuring, Bloggy favs, Sleigh Bells. I guess I kind of forgot about this show because it's going to be so effing hard to get into. The deal is, you have to RSVP for a chance to pay at the door. They are not selling tickets ahead of time so it's basically first come, first served. In otherwords this show is basically for the people who WON'T be attending the fest. I think most of us who will be at the fest have a very low probability of getting in the door. Lucky for us I already saw Sleigh Bells in March and shot this video. The downside is I was on stage and the monitor sound was terrible so you can't really hear the vocals. C'est la vie.

Sleigh Bells - Treats video via YouTube

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