Thursday, October 10, 2013

Review: Local Natives for ACL TV

When the decision was made to move tapings of Austin City Limits Television to a brand-new studio in a high-rise, luxury hotel building downtown (gasp) many people were worried that the magic might be lost. As someone who has been lucky enough to attend tapings in both locations I can assure you that the magic of ACL TV isn't the building, the set, the lighting or even the stage. The magic of an ACL taping is being a part of history.

It's the fact that this performance is part of a larger canon of performances. Performances by legends and performances that made legends. Performances that anyone with a television had access to. Nowadays you can watch a band's performance moments after it's taken place, or you can even stream them live from across the globe and that's cool and that's interesting but in a way it exists in a vacuum. Austin City Limits is special and the artists who give the most magical performances on the Austin City Limits stage are the ones who understand the significance of this 39 year tradition.

Local Natives definitely understood that they were joining a legacy with their performance tonight. They were appreciative, they were humbled and they damn near flawless. Thanks to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and VIEWER LIKE YOU, you can be a part of the special moment that was committed to tape this evening, in your very own living room, in the very near future.

Austin City Limits Television - 90 Second History video via YouTube

I have always considered myself an early adopter of Local Natives, turns out I was about a year late to the party. Regardless, the first time I saw them in April of 2010 I immediately recognized that they were a band on the rise. The essence of their greatness is simple: rhythms and harmonies. I know, I know, those are the basics of music, which is why they're such a killer band. Local Natives showcased their three part harmonies with stripped-down arrangements of songs from Gorilla Manor and they exhibited their stadium-ready song-craft with the songs from Hummingbird. In the three years since I first saw them, Local Natives have honed their craft, they've shuffled their line-up and with tonight's performance they proved to me that they have the chops to be a band that I will still pay to see a decade from now, which is saying a lot these days.

If you're planning to attend ACL Festival tomorrow, you can catch Local Natives at 4:30pm. Keep an eye on your local TV listings to watch tonight's performance at home.

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ACL Fest 2013 Preview: The Rest

Alright y'all so here's the deal, I didn't go to ACL Fest last weekend but I am going this weekend. It's going to be a hectic few days for me but let me lay it down for you real quick-like here at the top. If I were a bad-ass, I would be at Zilker Park at 11:30am tomorrow in time to catch Wild Nothing on the Samsung stage. I would jump from stage to stage seeing at least one band per hour until the final note from Depeche Mode finished resonating then I would head downtown to see Savages at the Parish. If you're up for that, that's what you should do because that would be fucking baller.

Smallpools - Dreaming video via YouTube

Here's how I expect things are actually going to go. Tonight, catch Local Natives' set for ACL TV at the Moody Theater. Tomorrow, wake up at 5am to be ready for work at 6am. Wait tables from 6am until 2pm or 3pm-ish, change shoes, stash my apron, grab my festival bag and catch the next available bus. By about 4pm, I hope to be in, or at least very near, the festival itself. That means I MIGHT be able to catch the last song from Smith Westerns but I'll actually head toward the Bud Light stage because I'm drawn to shitty domestic light beers. Also, Pinback's set is scheduled to happen from 3:30-4:30 so, hopefully I can catch that window and Pinback will be my first official festival set.

Bands I'm bummed about missing because I will still be serving pancakes and coffee Friday afternoon:
  • Wild Nothing
  • Widowspeak
  • Savages
  • Thao & the Get Down Stay Down
  • Court Yard Hounds
  • Jimmy Eat World
If I'm being real with you, I don't really give a shit about Jimmy Eat World but if I did, I wouldn't be able to see them tomorrow. No offense to Jimmy or his fans, I just never had a moment with them. If you're planning to make a full weekend of it I'll re-post my highlights from last week below with a bit more rambling after that.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Saturday 12 October 2013

For you total bad-asses, after you're done listening to The Cure Saturday night you need to get directly to the Mohawk to catch Braids on the inside stage. I REALLY want to see Braids Saturday night but I have a feeling I'm going to be too worn out.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Last week, I had a conundrum, trying to choose between Shuggie Otis and Atoms for Peace. Lots of people who saw Shuggie last week said he was disappointing but I also read some feedback that said his set got progressively better. So...I still don't really know which way I'm leaning. While we're thinking about Sunday, let's not miss White Denim ok? I know that since they're from here we tend to take them for granted but we shouldn't because they are REALLY fucking good. Not only that, their newest record might be their best LP yet and their last two were pretty hard to top.

White Denim - Pretty Green video via YouTube

And with that, I probably won't be back at these keys until after the festival. You can follow me on Twitter if you want me to flood your feed with my rude comments about people and things that I have different feelings of hate for.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Totally NOT ACL Fest: Part 2

So I'm working my day job (only job) the other day, when one of my co-workers asks me, "What's there to do this week that has nothing to do with ACL?" Well, it's Austin so we're never shy of music options. Here are some things that jumped out to me in this week's show calendar.

My top highlight this week, without a doubt, is Braids at the Mohawk Saturday night. I am in love with Braids' new record, their old record and the record from Braids-adjacent band Blue Hawaii. I won't accuse Braids' music of being readily-accessible and I know that their sound isn't for everyone, which is why I encourage you to not go to this show if you're not interested in actually listening to the music. I, your fellow patrons, and your ancestors all thank you for your consideration.

Braids - Amends video via YouTube




Wild Child - Crazy Bird video via YouTube



Lest we forget in all of this hullabaloo, FunFunFun Fest is just around the corner. A month away to be a bit more precise. If you don't have tickets yet, then you need to get yourself to the nearest record shop and buy a ticket at the counter. Throughout the month of October, if you buy a ticket to FFFFest at a local record shop, the fest will buy you a fest artist's record. Yes, you read that correctly. Buy a ticket, get a free record. It's like that now. I'm pretty sure this is true in other major Texas cities but that's y'all's business.

Also, even though it is ACL Festival-related I wanted to give one more plug for Savages at the Parish Friday night.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Interview: FIDLAR

I sat down with FIDLAR last Friday night at Side Bar. They were here in Austin to perform at ACL Festival, which they'll do again this weekend. If you want to catch them at the festival this weekend there are still tickets available.

FIDLAR - Cocaine video via YouTube

My name is Zak, I'm representing AustinBloggyLimits, would you please name yourselves and tell who you are?
Zac, Elvis, Brandon and Max, together we form the mega-robot that is FIDLAR

So I assumed the name was an acronym, I found it out, "fuck it dog, life's a risk", was that the name straight off? did you have any other name?
B: We we're actually called fuck the clock, that was just a name when we started recording in studios, we didn't actually have a name until we played our first show, and then we said, fuck the clock or FIDLAR, and FIDLAR just sounded better.

So you guys are blowing up right now, you've been critically lauded for your debut L.P., how does that feel?
M: It's great. We work really hard, so it's great to see a payoff. We've been touring pretty much this whole year, so, it's good to see it grow. B: It's nice to have that positive response. We worked really hard on a record and now we play shows and that's all we do. It's nice to have that reinforcement. If it wasn't there, we wouldn't really care,but it's nice to have that there. M: It's a benefit.

What's the best way for fans to support bands that are just getting their names out there?
M: Come to the shows and buy merch. You can give yourself a tattoo, I'm not doing it. Yea, that's the best way to directly support us, or any band.

Ok, so now, moving along, Mexican or Thai? Food/men/women, whatever your preference... GO!
All: Mexican food. M: And then Thai lady boys

Best or worst show experience?
B: Probably the worst set we ever played was this place on the sunset strip, that any band that knows L.A. knows you don't play, it was called The Cat Club that bands just get suckered into playing, and there was no one there besides our three friends... M: And my parents. B: And a lady in a wheelchair. And during our set she just rolled out. M: She just rolled out the door. It was very soul crushing.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

ACL Festival 2013 Preview: More Late Night Shows

For many of you, your ACL Festival is over for 2013. You laughed, you cried, you drank domestic beer, you ate food on a stick and then you resumed your normal 9-5 existence this morning. Tra la la la la la. Well, many of the bands who played in Zilker Park this weekend past, are already on to other cities. Many of the bands are playing a festival in Mexico on Wednesday. Yeah. Wednesday. However, many of these artists are around and you can still catch them at shows outside of the festival.

You can also catch the entire ACL Festival 2013 line-up again this coming weekend. For the first time ever, we are doing a round 2 of ACL Fest and round 2 hasn't sold-out yet. Buy passes for this weekend. You could be watching Wild Nothing at 11:30 in the morning this coming Friday. Think about it and get back to me, you don't have to make any decisions just yet.

The Growlers - video via YouTube

If you'd like to see some of the bands but you don't want to do the whole festival thing, I've highlighted some kick-ass Late Night Shows, for which tickets are still available.

If you are reading this from another major city in Texas, there may be official Late Night Shows in your city too but that's your city's business. I'm highlighting events that I would want to attend, for a full listing click the word tickets up there.

I can tell you that there are also two Austin City Limits Television tapings this week. One of them is tomorrow, it will feature Neko Case and the contest for tickets has closed. The other is happening on Thursday and I've listed it above because the ticket giveaway is still open until 9am Tuesday. Tickets for ACL TV are not purchasable, nor are they transferrable. If you're truly desperate to see a taping and you don't win tickets head down to ACL Live around 5pm. Stand near the Willie Nelson statue and tell a volunteer that you didn't win tickets but you want to stand in a space available line. You may not get into the taping this way but who knows? Maybe you will? For the record the space available method is not officially sanctioned and for some artists you may just get turned away. It's a roll of the dice.

Particular highlights from the shows listed above for which you can actually purchase tickets, Savages at the Parish could change your life. Also, I think the Franz Ferdinand show at Emo's is a good purchase because you also get Smith Westerns and Frankie Rose on the bill. Just a side-bar, I'm really in love with the new Frankie Rose record, Herein Wild and if you buy the vinyl at the show it's a limited edition splatter-colored disc.

Honestly, I have no idea what the BURGERAMA CARAVAN OF STARS TOUR 2013 has to do with ACL Fest but for some reason it's listed as an official Late Night Show and I think it's highly worthwhile so here I am mentioning it. I posted a video from The Growlers above the break, they're headlining this Saturday night show at the Parish. I know that at some point along the way, Foxygen were listed as part of this event but they seem to be conspicuously missing from the line-up but they weren't the highlight in this line-up to begin with. So, whether they appear or not this ticket is worth the dough.

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

ACL Festival 2013 Preview: Day 3, Weekend 1

You guys, I almost forgot to write you a guide for the final day of the first weekend of Austin City Limits Festival. I went and saw The National with Thao & the Get Down Stay Down last night and I wasn't focused on helping those of you out who are attending the festival this weekend. So, let's get down to business shall we? After the break I've listed the highlight artists for Sunday of ACL Fest.

Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information video via YouTube

Sunday is going to be a tough day for me. I'm not planning to attend the festival until next weekend but the fact that Neko Case, Shuggie Otis and Atoms for Peace all overlap is pretty brutal. Luckily, Neko is taping a set for ACL TV this week that I will be lucky enough to attend so, I'll just have to choose between Shuggie Otis and Atoms for Peace. Radiohead is my favorite band, so I'm inclined to see Atoms for Peace. However, seeing Shuggie Otis is an extremely rare opportunity. He is an R&B legend and I highly doubt he will perform in Austin again any time soon. Sadly, the same case could be made for Atoms for Peace. As a band, they rarely perform live ever, let alone perform live in Austin. The only true saving grace for me, is the knowledge that Atoms For Peace is playing a much longer set than Shuggie so hopefully I can catch some of each.

I will say, I'm intrigued that Atoms For Peace has a 2 hour set considering they only really have one record. Although, the bad was originally formed to play Thom Yorke's The Eraser LP live, so I guess in actuality they have 2 LPs worth of material but still, can that last two full hours?

I'm also a bit conflicted about the overlap of Phoenix and Tame Impala. They are both phenomenal live performers and you could actually catch bits of both artist's sets but I plan to choose Tame Impala. I love Phoenix but I've been lucky enough to see them about half a dozen times already including their performance for ACL TV. Tame Impala I've only seen once but they were so incredibly good that I need to see them again.

My top 3 picks for your Sunday are:
  1. MS MR
  2. Tame Impala
  3. Shuggie Otis

Tame Impala - Feels Like We Only Go Backwards video via YouTube

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