ACL Battles: Sonic Youth vs. Vampire Weekend

This week we’re bringing you our first touch of insightful ACL coverage, geared to make your festival choices a whole lot easier while your spending your time at Austin City Limits.  Year after year, festival planners struggle to get the great bands in, and when they get them, they just have to fit them in according to popularity, and availability.  It’s not as easy as we all think, so we’re taking the time out to make those hard decisions of overlapping bands easy for you.  This year, our first one comes by way of Sonic Youth vs. Vampire Weekend.

Now, traditionalists will surely tell you that this is a no-brainer.  Sonic Youth has been around for over two decades, pushing the boundaries of both noise and pop music, then fusing it all together.  Clearly, you should go see Sonic Youth right?  Well, yes, and then again, no.  You see, it all depends on your mindset at the time of the sets, or, as I like to say, your good tastes.  Vampire Weekend has been all over the airwaves for the past several years, winning over adults and kids alike.  Yes, they’re incredibly sunny, and you might even get some jungle rhythms a la Paul Simon, but will you get that vast amount of feedback and creativity?  Honestly, probably not.  You’re likely to get a bunch of guys in their Hamptons gear bringing you some really well-crafted pop songs with hooks you can sing to, and devilish good looks to go along. Still, you won’t get to see the giant Thurston Moore (he is technically a giant at 8 ft 2 in) throwing his guitar about in abandon, while his wife Kim steadily keeps the band moving with her driving bass work. You’re going to get more rock over here then you bargained for, but lets just hope we can all just enjoy the art and rock together (no slam dancing please).

So, here it is, decision time.  Do you want carefree good times, perhaps even a bit disposable?  You want to check out a band where you can sit back, slightly withdrawn, yet walk away thinking that you had fun?  Yea? Well, Vampire Weekend is probably your best bet.  But, are you looking to see a bit of history with your festival experience?  Are you let down that Lee Ronaldo broke his hand last year and couldn’t come play?  Do you want to witness one of the greatest rock experiences of your life, all the while drenching yourself in sweat?  Exactly. I knew you did, so I’ll see you over at the Honda Stage at 7 where we can rock hard to the amazingness that is Sonic Youth. Besides, the Strokes play later, so you can get your pop fill over there afterwards.

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