Weekend Two of ACL Music Festival 2023 promises to keep some trends from Weekend One alive. First of all, the weather gets an encore. It will be a bit warm on Friday, nothing too bad. A cold front will land and we’ll be in for Chamber of Commerce weather on Saturday and Sunday; it is going to be nice enough to break out the DON’T MOVE HERE shirts. Let’s get to some WE2 updates and little gallery from last weekend where I was on stage for a song thanks to my close personal friend Jared Leto. The sad news is losing out on artists like The Mars Volta and The Walkmen. The main draw for WE2 from my perspective is M83.
COLD FRONT ALERT: Folks, it looks like this is going to be the single best weekend of weather for ACL in years! I, for one, am extremely excited to stand in the field and listen to music with friends without melting. Granted, this readership is not always congruent with the ACL target audience, but it does not stop the fest from having enough nostalgia and newness to prompt a wristband pick up.
Let’s run through some artists to see, housekeeping and tips and tricks to survive. Click through fam.
Lusine has a new record landing on Ghostly International this Friday. To celebrate the pending release, Lusine has shared a video of the title track, “Long Light” that features vocals by Benot Pioulard. In typical fashion, the vocal is twisted and turned into percussion in between the sequences where it elegantly floats above the loops, clicks, air and space that Jeff McIlwain is known for. Elegantly optimistic, yet haunting, give it a listen below before placing your order. Ninth full length, crazy, really looking for to this one. The Waiting Room and A Certain Distance both still find their way into my evening listening, the former making cameos at ATH vinyl happy hours.
BTW, take a listen to this catchy piece of hazy pop by Benot from earlier this year called “Thursday Night” here. I think you’ll like it.
We love Nation of Language around these parts. They were the best thing about ACL last year. Their upcoming record is going to be an absolute banger given recent well-shared singles. Did you know one of their key influences was OMD? Of course, you did. Listen to “Wounds of Love” not tell me it is a love letter to the synth pop, hit making pioneers. The thing is, OMD is still making music. Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys reunited in the 2006 after a brief time apart after Andy kept the ship afloat following their success in the 80’s. Since then, new material has been released, as well as one of the best box set releases in Souvenir. We may have missed the single release for this post, but you gotta give it the duo for keeping loyal to their roots yet modernizing their sound on “Bauhaus Staircase”. The song is the title track to the upcoming release in October, which they have hinted may be the band’s last. This video is pretty damn cool and the synth riff in the break just before the two minute mark, perfect.
Afraid of the commitment that comes with a three-day wristband? You can catch many of your favorite band coming to Austin for ACL in October in the days between the first day of WE1 to the last day WE2 at venues around town thanks to ACL Fest Nights. Highlights for me include The Walkmen 10/7 and the The Breeders 10/13 at Stubb’s and Yves Tumor at Scoot Inn 10/7.
Check out the list off to the side here and then get your clicking fingers ready for Thursday morning at 10am when tickets go on sale.
Hey, Chuh-vurches left our orbit a while ago, but when the singles from The Bones Of What You Believe were released, we shimmied and we shook. I got to catch Lauren and company in small venues early on and the transformation from shy vocalist, to a confident, powerful front person was rather cool. There will be new material, live tracks and more bonus stuff. Pre-order here. New track will be here. In lieu of an easy share with this announcement, lets bask in the glory of one of my fave jams.
Ya, I’m with ya, pondering a life without Harry Kane, heart attack pending. But Breeze‘s late-90’s dark synth jam puts a focused head nod into motion to distract you from whatever may consume brain cycles. Several contributing genres, from early techno’s synth loops and plinking hooks to darker New Wave’s vocal harmonies and guitar/bass riffs, the track comes at you from multiple directions. Josh Korody leads a strong group of contributors to build the band’s forthcoming release, Sour Grapes, that will land 10/6 on Hand Drawn Dracula.
We have shared Night Drive‘s singles from the Position II EP released to date, but today is the release date for the EP called Position II. I’ve often contended that many pretty good records should have been stunning EPs. This is a tight six song collection. Release party Saturday at the Parish has just a few tix left.
I’d asked a while back about how people listen; ear buds, headphones, through TVs, bluetooth speakers. It actually spawned me to do some tweaking. I moved my speakers a bit further apart and into the room, tinkered with toe-in (no benefit as my kids and highs are concentric) and then reran DIRAC room compensation. If all that sounds technical, it is. However, a little effort yielded a nice benefit. The music now extends further out past the rooms walls. I know that sounds strange and pretentious, but if you ever hear it, you chase the dragon. We love our music and you should enjoy listening.
Anyway, on to some new/recent tracks to listen to intently and critically. Well start below with the latest from Lindstrom, a four song EP titled Everyone Else Is A Stranger. Syrene is the opener, a rather joyous, but tempered study with guitars joining the party a couple minutes in as the build up progresses through to the minor chords and break before smoothly flowing to an elegant end. Solid way to start the weekend.
Click through for a couple more can’t miss songs that may have been missed. Read more
There are plenty of nostalgia acts rolling through Austin this summer. Ive already seen The Cure and Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears and Peter Gabriel are still inbound. BUT, when announced, I knew I had to see Love and Rockets. It is a shorter reunion tour, the first in over twenty years. While they did have one set in 2008, things were fairly bleak that I would get to ever see the band live. Pretty rad.
David J, Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins proved that their song catalog is every bit as fresh and relevant to a not quite sold out ACL Live. Opening was artist Vinsanto delivering an introspective collection of poems as songs.
Click through for a few thoughts and plenty of pics