ACL Gimme 5: Neighbor Lady

ACL season is here sports fans, and as always, ATH will be doing everything in our power to prepare for the festival. A couple of years ago I started a new concept of asking bands to create a short 5 song playlist filled with songs featuring only artists playing the festival. Lucky for us, my dear friends in Atlanta based band Neighbor Lady thought this was a great idea and made a playlist for the site. If this sounds intriguing to you, which it should, hit the jump for the songs and for short blurbs about each.Neighb

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Fest Preview Friday: Tough Choices at ACL 2018 (Weekend One)

This year, we face one of the most stacked lineups for indie music that we’ve seen in a hot minute from the folks at ACL Festival. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining; I love a good challenge and will happily take a full day of sets then a lot of downtime at Zilker. However, with great lineup comes great responsibility. There are some key choices you’re going to have to make when you set foot at Zilker park come October. Don’t fret, I’m here for you; I’m breaking down some scheduling conflicts for you after the jump. These are only some of the problem areas for me–what are your tough choices for ACL?

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Fest Preview Friday: Local Love at ACL Festival 2018 (Weekend One)

Y’all! We are straight up one month away from another ACL Festival! I know you’re all stoked to see Paul McCartney and Arctic Monkeys and Childish Gambino and The National, but what would ACL be without a little love for some great bands making sweet tunes right here in our city? You know we here at the ATH love to keep it local, so you can bet your bums this is a post dedicated to getting yourself to Zilker Park early every day and showing up for that band you saw at Cheer Up’s a few months back. Or if you’re less versed in the local scene (how?) now’s the time for you to figure out that there’s some solid bands here (duh). Wanna be that knowledgeable guy/girl that gets to brag to your friends from out of town about what a great choice you’ve made to move to the Live Music Capitol of the World? Click through the jump to get a preview of your (possibly) new favorite Austin bands.

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ACL 2018 Schedule Available

…but you need to download the app.

Go here on your mobile device or push that install if you are so inclined.

Who will you miss when you see Chuhvurches? Deftones on Weekend One, Disturbed on Weekend Two.

David Byrne or Golden Dawn? If your out-of-town buddies haven’t been in the Arkestra and have seen Byrne, you know the answer.

Blood Orange or Sharon Van Etten? Pleased to say, that may the worst conflict.

But check out the app and opt in for updates and news as schedules are bound to be updated and you want the news when it lands.

Beach House Play ACL Live Tonight

If you’ve been reading any of the ridiculous mid-year album lists (of which I made my own) you’ll likely notice a trend among all lists…that trend being that Beach House‘s latest album 7 is high upon the list. Sub Pop dropped the album in May, and it’s amassed continuous buzz and support since it dropped; tonight you’ll get a chance to catch the group at ACL LIVE. Honestly, I can’t think of a venue more fit to host a dreamy set by the group; the lighting alone will do wonders for the performance. Ed Schrader’s Music Beat will be opening the night around 8 PM; so be sure you’re there in time to catch Beach House take the stage just after 9.

Nada Surf Show Review @ 3Ten ACL

Sometime in 1996, I bought the first Nada Surf LP. Yes, I bought it for that one song. But, unbeknownst to me, it was the start of my love affair with the band.

But, admittedly, I wouldn’t fall in love with the group until 2003, with the quiet release of Let Go. Notable releases from the same year included Echoes by the Rapture and Meadowlands by the Wrens (among countless others). Somehow, this LP has always stuck by me; of every record released in 2003 it’s the one I still listen to the most (with Ted Leo and the Wrens right behind). It was the perfect pop album, coming at the perfect time in my life.

Saturday night, Nada Surf brought that entire album to life. Surprisingly, I still know every single word to that album, and I sang along throughout the entirety of the first set, other than La Pour Ca (I don’t speak French). Personal favorites like “Blonde on Blonde” sounded as crisp as ever, and I was reminded just how much I love “Killian’s Red.” It’s funny, the ominous tones of that track never quite clicked as much as they did beneath the fog machine and blue lighting of 3Ten. Still, the band went through it in a business-like fashion, never missing a beat, with a few moments of charm added in like Ira and Daniel sharing a mic to open with Blizzard of 77′ backing vocals.

The latter half of the set was filled to the brim with countless numbers from the band’s past and present, even throwing in a Joy Division medley for a moment to charm the audience. And when they ended the evening, it never really ended, as they took it all out to the streets for a late evening serenade. Pretty sure every one left the evening reflective and pleased.

And for what its worth, my night ended with me feeling grateful for all the pop bands still hanging in out there. Nada Surf may never have gotten the critical acclaim, but they just kept writing great songs. They’re still here writing, whilst trends and hip acts have faded away. And as for Saturday night, they gave us a little of it all, reminding me of a never-ending love affair that began in 1996 at the Best Buy near my house.

The ACL Lineup Is Here

One of Austin’s favorite festivals has announced their 2018 Lineup. We already know that ACL Festival will happen on October 5-7 and October 12-14…but now we know what we’re getting! Personal highlights include David Byrne and Metallica/Deftones (I’ve recently been traveling down a secret metal wormhole with a lot of teenage reminiscence). A return of The National is never a bad thing, as they’ve delivered some of my favorite ACL moments in the past. B. Gray will be super stoked on Sylvan Esso and CHVRCHES. We’re also bound to love some of the acts lurking at the bottom of the list, like Sharon Van Etten, or my pick of the fest, Shame! If this whole thing is up your alley, then perhaps you’ll want to grab some tickets right HERE.

BGRAY NOTE: Post was staged before the full announce, let’s take a moment to react. The variation and diversity here is the best it has been in years. Sir Paul McCartney, Metallica, David Byrne, Twin Shadow, St Vincent, The Breeders, Blood Orange, Arctic Monkeys, Sharon Van Etten, Janelle Monae, Childish Gambino, Father John Misty – this is the best lineup on this side of the Atlantic. Get those three days now, cuz who knows if one-days will even be made available.

The Many Faces of Mac DeMarco: ACL Taping + Mohawk Show (2/27+28)

Mac DeMarco has become a household name in the indie rock world– synonymous with silly antics and overall shenanigans he’s done quite well for himself by gaining a cult following. The folks over at ACL got word and decided to have him and his band on to tape an episode for the upcoming season. Mac decided to take this opportunity to dial down the antics and rock’n’roll to generate a more approachable sound for the setting. Not to worry–his victory lap show at the Mohawk brought all that you’d expect from the gentleman; a nearly three hour set with crowd surfing, stage climbing and chaos. Read on to hear my brief thoughts on these two very different evenings and see some lovely photos from the taping from Maggie Boyd.

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