ACL 2018: An ATH Playlist

Only a few short days now ladies and germs. Only a few short days away from the glory that is Austin City Limits Music Festival. We’ve been doing things a little differently this year and changing up our coverage with unique previews and playlists in place of our usual interviews and band previews. Hopefully you’ve found something interesting to prepare you or a loved one for the upcoming weekend. I spent most of my morning compiling a huge playlist of bands I plan to see over the course of the festival and yes, Disturbed is on the list. And Lisa Loeb…Fight me. Consider yourself prepped.

You can trust my genius musical skills and play in the given order, or click on the first video and shuffle the order to your liking.

If you’ve been living under a rock for month, tickets are still currently on sale for both weekends of ACL.

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?

Read more

ACL 2013: The Big Post of Good Stuff

We are wrapping up Austin City Limits 2013 coverage with this giant summary of links and a massive amount of photos not previously shared. We had a ton of coverage, from tweets galore to interviews of ATH faves. You can see plenty of pics from Weekend One. I didn’t have the fancy wristband that gets you up close and personal for big camera fun. I did have the most fun of any ACL I have ever been to thanks to a group of amazing friends I call fambly.

Read more

Arctic Monkeys – AM

AMRating: ★★★★☆

When a bunch of young chaps from Sheffield formed a band back in 2002, I doubt they had any idea they would be headlining Glastonbury, let alone headlining Glastonbury… twice. But ten years later, here they are, on their fifth LP release, still taking the indie world by storm and gaining more and more of a following after every release. AM, as aforementioned their fifth studio release, and gives a bit of a nod to their growth into a headlining super power. With this growth, do these no-longer-chaps from Sheffield still have something left in them to keep the hype going around them?

The single, and opening track “Do I Wanna Know?” certainly gives a roaring answer to this question. Stomping drumbeats set the tone, followed closely by some extremely buzzy guitar lines that come off as dark and sinister. Alex Turner’s enticing and subtly sensual vocals coat everything in a sort of heat that reminds me of the edgy coyness of Humbug. Turner spits lyrics out quickly, each line catchier than the next in his bad-boy persona, urging you to empathize with him and perhaps slick your hair back a bit when you sing along to the front man’s part in the call and response chorus. This song sets the tone for the rest of the album: cheeky, but not to the point in which evokes disgust. Turner and company make tunes that embody the very essence of cool.

But what makes AM relatable and not intangibly too cool is the subject matter: heartache. If you were to just listen to the instrumental portion of this record, you would enjoy it because it’s catchy and interesting, but as for emotionally available, it is a bit harder than you would expect from the Arctic Monkeys. The guitars are a bit edgier and noisier for the most part, with riffs tending to the hard rock genre. Take the song “I Want it All,” for example—extra heavy on guitar and light on everything else save for vocals. Musically, it sounds like a very dominant and confident tune, but then there’s Turner confessing: “Ain’t it just like you to kiss me and then hit the road?” There is this steady confidence exuded through the heartache that Turner spins songs about. Even on the slower numbers that don’t possess the gritty guitar, such as closer “I Wanna Be Yours” that embodies an R&B song more than anything, you still have unapologetic longing to be in love.

Though I wouldn’t consider myself a diehard fan of this group, I simply can’t deny that this is a great record, complete with a variety of genres touched upon here. Yes, Turner’s edgy lyrics remain constant, wrapped around the theme of love/infatuation—perhaps not enough in return from a particular subject—but it never comes across as repetitive or banal. AM is something you can take bits from and sympathize with as well as just enjoy on a musical level.

Show Review: Arctic Monkeys @ Stubbs

The show preview mentioned the potential to be drenched in sweat. Many were. It was hot. Stubb’s staff was kind enough to throw bottles of water into the crowd that wouldn’t dare give up their spots down front for something as silly as fluids.

Alex Turner and the boys picked a helluva time to play an outside show in Austin, but touring in support of a recently released album sometimes requires scheduling to be less than perfect. It was a frenzied atmosphere, softened slightly by summer. To their credit, I recall the phrase “If you ask us, it’s not hot enough” being used to get the crowd even more worked up. The Arctic Monkeys put on a brilliant performance with openers Young Buffalo earning their deserved buzz.

More details and plenty of pics after the break…

Read more

Show Preview: Arctic Monkeys (8/2)

Date Tuesday, August 2nd
Location Stubbs
Doors 700pm
Tickets SOLD OUT

Okay, so this is a SOLD OUT show, but you know how it goes over at Stubbs; there’s bound to be some scalpers who bought twenty tickets to sell to you and your friends. I think it’s worth a try, considering what a remarkably energetic band the Arctic Monkeys are on the stage, with bouncing rhythms and angular guitar chops. And, on top of that you get to see one of our favorite new acts, Young Buffalo, who we posted about a few weeks back.  If you can find your way in somehow, I’m pretty sure you’ll leave drenched in sweat, feeling that it was worth every minute.


Download: Young Buffalo – Only We Can Keep You From Harm [MP3]

New Music From Arctic Monkeys

monkeysShortly after the release of their LP Humbug in August, the Arctic Monkeys are set to release an EP of B-sides from the album’s recording sessions.  The EP, entitled Cornerstone, hits stores today and many tracks are already making their way to the interweb.  Here’s one called “Fright Lined Dining Room” which is more enjoyable to me than anything on the last record.  You can hear another song from the EP called “Catapult” here.


Download: Arctic Monkeys – Fright Lined Dining Room [MP3]

New Tunes from Arctic Monkeys

monkeysEveryone’s favorite, Arctic Monkeys, have long been working on the follow-up to their last album. Said album is titled Humbug, and is slated to hit the streets on August 25th. We’ve got our hands on one of the tunes, so that you can sample it for yourself in preparation for the release. This one seems a bit darker, which might be a new direction from the band, but we’ll wait until the album’s out to pass full judgment.


Download: Arctic Monkeys – Crying Lightning [MP3]