ACL 2013 Recap – Saturday (10/5)

Fridays tend to ease you in, Saturdays tend to beat you down. Or at least the odds of self-inflicted wounds go up exponentially. You have a little hangover, perhaps you start the day with a bloody mary, but by the end you are shirtless, missing a flip-flop and wondering why your hand is blue. For me, it was a pretty non-stop run at awesome; I won at Festival.

Click-through for a few notes on the first Saturday. *spoiler alert* The Cure wins in the end.

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Show Review: Queens of the Stone Age ACL Taping

_DSC3860I’ll start off that I’ve always watched Queens of the Stone Age from afar.  Their music hasn’t necessarily always been aligned with my interests, though they’ve had some undeniable jams that I think most people can appreciate.  I headed out to the always incredible ACL Taping on Thursday night to see what the group had to offer live…it was sort of an ACL pre-test.  Read on for my thoughts. Read more

ACL Spotlight: Widowspeak

junipThe big bands get all the love, so I want to further piggyback on B.Gray’s earlier post from last week and encourage you to go check out Widowspeak.  I’ve loved their sets since I first caught them at SXSW a few years ago.  While their sound has changed slightly since their first release, you can always count on the band to release tunes that deserve the adulation they’ve received. This year started out with the release of their underrated Almanac album on Captured Tracks, and they’re already backing that up with another set of tunes on the Swamps EP.  They will be taking the stage in the earlier part of the day, but that’s all the more reason to show up to ACL early in order to catch some of the lesser-known joys of the music festival.  For me, the Beach House set a few years back was what solidified my undying love for that act, and I have the sneaking suspicion that this year’s band may well be Widowspeak.

The band takes the stage each Friday at 12:45 PM on the Samsung Galaxy Stage.  Enjoy a new song from the group that just got released below.



ACL Spotlight: Junip

junipYou’re only a few days away from what seems like great weather and a great musical experience.  But, you’re scanning the festival line-up trying to find that one band that will be perfect in this setting.  I’ve got you covered folks: Junip.  While Jose Gonzalez made big waves a few years back, his new project has made some incredible strides, leaving us with a stronger personal attachment.  While Gonzalez still takes a lot of the vocal roles on, the rest of the band work on providing you with these extremely layered sounds that highlight the soft vocals of Jose.  At times, there’s a dark underbelly, but you turn the corner and you’ll find this spiritually up-lifting moment making its way through your speakers.  I can just picture nodding my head (while my arms are crossed; I’m that guy) while the below tune floats atop the breeze into the audience.  The group has this ability to encourage light dancing or swaying, but also has this atmospheric pop attribute that makes them absolutely perfect for anyone looking to fill their schedule with top tier bands.

The group will take to the stage both Saturday’s at 3 PM on the Honda Stage.  You’ll want to catch them in order to here the great jam below.


Download: Junip – Your Life, Your Call [MP3]

The Most Underrated Band at ACL

There’s probably tons of bands showing up at Austin City Limits this year who feel like they’re spot in the line-up might not be what they deserve, but I think in the case of Pinback, the festival organizers got this one right.  Sure, you’ve got bands like the Cure and Depeche Mode who’ve obviously earned their spot, but I don’t think anyone deserves a midday slot (or higher) more than Pinback.

The group has released 5 albums and a slew of EPs in their 15-year-spanning career; my personal favorite is Blue Screen Life.  They’ve got a sound that probably falls in line with well orchestrated math rock, though they also have a tendency to wrap their instrumentalist inclinations around beautifully crafted melodies.  One minute they’ll have your feet tapping and your head lightly bobbing, then they’ll turn it around by calming things down with great harmonies.  There’s not a lot of bands who can cover their musical territory either, having worked hard to move in and out of various genres under the indie realm.  Plus, the guys involved are in various other bands such as Goblin Cock and Three Mile Pilot, so you’re not likely to find a band with such an incredible pedigree, including a few of the headliners!

They play both Fridays at 3:30 on the Bud Light Stage.  Here’s a jam.


Download: Pinback – Your Sickness [MP3]

ACL Spotlight: Early Bird Specials

When taking the first look at the ACL Schedule for each weekend, I tend to first see the conflicts in headliners. Luckily, we are fairly conflict free this year, we’ll get into that more soon enough. How about we take a look at a few of the artists put in the early spots? The cool morning grass, the wide expanses to roam and the vendors still relaxed before the dude-bro crush all add up to a child-like wonderment with the scale of the empty festival giving you the this all-for-me feeling. This year’s ATH Approved Early Bird Artists will create the soundtrack for your barefoot dance party.

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