It’s never a bad day for a Molly Burch tune, especially as she’s just announced her second LP is coming our way in October. This new track opens up with this sparse bit of instrumentation, allowing light guitars to twinkle amidst the percussion. Once the song moves along, Burch’s vocals take on the sublime and the guitar is ever-present; I like the tones operating here, particularly the cosmic leaning guitar chords. Her new album is titled First Flower, and it’s slated for an October 5th release via Captured Tracks…not to mention a huge tour including a post at ACL Festival.
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.
Admittedly, all the huge buzz leaks out as all the kids party on Weekend One, so attending Weekend Two for the first time, I was curious as to whether or not it could keep the same vibe from its predecessor. Surprisingly, the fest didn’t seem to miss a beat.
We have photos from around the grounds, randoms and portraits, friends and colleagues, bootlickers and signs. We also have plenty of notes rehashing last week’s favorites and highlighting the changes, so read on for highlights.
Unfortunately, a festival has to curate line-ups that cater to that audience, and as such, some bands unfortunately fall victim to the undercard slot…the slot before the day really gets going or on the smaller stages. Whether you see it as a slight, or just one of the many headaches with scheduling a mass festival…here are my highlights for bands on the Undercard slot (pre-2 PM).
Recent things that we loved that fit this description: Lucy Dacus, Slaves, Jose Gonzalez, Albert Hammond Jr., Rey Pila, The Rosebuds, Wild Nothing, FIDLAR, Widowspeak, Pinback, Willis Earl Beal, Gardens & Villa, and on and on…
We know this is old morning news, but we wanted to make sure you got a great chance to check out the 2017 ACL Lineup. While a lot of people always look to the headliners, I think you should pay close attention to the details, as the smaller acts on the bill are really incredible. You’ve got Sandy (Alex G), Hamilton Leithauser, The Growlers, Whitney, Angel Olsen…and local greats Annabelle Chairlegs. You can check out all the full details HERE.
Austin just went through another “festival” with what appears to have been a rather successful Formula One race weekend. I am an F1 fan and the three days out at the circuit are treated as a staycation for the wife and I. Why am I telling you this? I do not know.
Back on topic, The final batch of photos from ACL are ready for your consumption. Sunday was a sleeper day. The fest was sneeky-fun and I had a great day with my photo friends. The weather was amazing again and we had some big WE2 exclusives.
First, I did not go anywhere near that crowd for Willie. It was INSANE!!! A friend went up in a cherry picker and took twenty some-odd wide angle photos and stitched them together into an impressive panorama. Instead, I watched the set via festival TV and relaxed. Ra Ra Riot, on the other hand, was an early in the day highlight of festival hits. Amasa Hines was the surprise, think blues guys doing Interpol covers. Also on the BMI stage, Atlas Genius drew the biggest crowd I have ever seen at our favorite stage at ACL. NF did an Eminem impression, just grabbed photos on the way to Pete Yorn. Local Natives ooh-ahh’ed straight into our hearts. St. Paul and The Broken Bones brought the soul review to life, though I was concerned the Saint’s jaw would unhinge and swallow one of us whole. Miike Snow filled a gap; too much fog. Young the Giant got sexy and dirty to a fanatical crowd obsessed by frontman Sameer Gadhia while the band seemingly went through the motions.
And finally the second bucket-list shoot, LCD Soundsystem gave us the end-of-the-fest dance party. Seeing their set two weekends in a row, you realize that it is scripted and I guess that is understandable given the number of synth, percussion and instrument changes required. Didn’t stop WE2’s dance party from being any less awesome…
Let’s kick off more photos from the front for Austin City Limits on Weekend Two. Friday was the day. Let’s name drop – Radiohead, Die Antwoord, M83, Foals and more. A whole day of headliners for me and I was super excited. I had one “break” where I decided to get photos of Banks and Steelz to fill in the gap. Oofah. Do I have a story.
How about you read past the break? I had to suffer for my art. Heh.
Kicking off some official ACL coverage beyond our social media blitzes from the world. Weekend One was the version of ACL where we get to see bands, spend time with friends and get snarky about the future of America and the music industry.
This gallery will feature some artists, mostly crowd related action and some highlights, calling out Lucy Dacus. Lucy’s set at the BMI stage was great. She and the band were sweet people and we’re fans.
Click through for the shots and a couple of random notes…
We went to Weekend One, so you didn’t have to. Now snap up one of those wristbands out there on your bookface feed and come dance. I’m taking photos this weekend, ready to be in my head space and spending the first three up front.
Radiohead – Get up close or surround yourself with fellow fans to drown out and shelter yourself from show talkers. Their set is gorgeous and while they didn’t play “Let Down” for me, I am hopeful for a little set list revision to make all my Radiohead dreams come true.
Die Antwoord – Just do it. It is a special kind of crazy that is so authentic and genuine that it cannot be denied. Yolandi and Ninja are joined by DJ Hi-Tek and dancers sporting furry costumes and inflatable fertility dolls. It is glorious.
Willie Nelson – We didn’t get Willie last weekend. I am more than happy to see Willie instead of Chris Stapleton. WE2 also gets Ra Ra Riot.
Local Natives – The weather will be great, set up the chairs, put down the blanket and get a bottle of Rose from the Wine Down and be ready for a great festival set.
Foals – Sweaty mess. Lose a shoe during the jams, find it again during the builders.
Two Door Cinema Club – Channel you inner brit-pop screaming girl and sing along. “To the basement, people, to the basement. Many surprises await you.” The rainbow thing happened just before their set.
LL Cool J – Come for hit montage, stay for the slightly more obscure hits you ain’t never heard live.
LCD Soundsystem – Where are your friends tonight? You may have lost them by 8pm on Sunday. Make new ones and dance to banger after banger from the party factory. #DFA You will likely lose something, make it memorable.
Other random thoughts: Be polite while crossing through groups that have set up living rooms on the lawn. Being rude as you walk through reinforces the dickish behavior of claiming turf with a chair circle and caution tape. The new layout is great with the exception of sound bleed-over from Cirrus to Miller Lite (minimized later in the day when more ear holes suck up the sounds, but the bottleneck between the beer hall and the rock island is gone. The park is kind of like a giant skating rink, move around the outside, slow down and lollygag at the stages. Hydrate. Get up front at least once, stay further back at least once. Less phone, more fun.