Friday Top 5: SXSW Is No Fun

A few years ago, we had a huge debate about which Austin festival was the best, Austin City Limits or SXSW.  In the interim, other great festivals have gained status in our world, such as the incredible Fun Fun Fun Fest, and although SXSW was our favorite then, I’m just not so sure.  Looking back, I should have seen this coming; I should have known that the hey-day of SXSW was slowly in decline. Now, I’m not saying that I’m ungrateful that so many incredible bands flock to Austin once a year, but rather I’m pointing out a few things that, to me, demonstrate just how far things have spun out of control in recent years.  Take note that this is just one man’s opinion, and not necessarily the opinion of Austin Town Hall.  And, in all likelihood, you’ll probably still see me out about town in my Killin Time Til Dave hat, I just won’t be too happy about it!

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ACL Preview: Lucero

Our artist to watch really shouldn’t really be an artist to watch, rather a must see artist.  Lucero aren’t a new band, in fact, they have six albums to their name, all full of songs we know you’ll enjoy.  They blend a nice bit of country twang with a punk rock ethos, giving them credibility galore in my book.  Singer Ben Nichols has a throaty vocal, often times seeming like he’s struggling to get his voice out, but that’s just the sort of passion he brings to the table.  Their latest album, 1372 Overton Park, featured some new moves, bringing in loads more horns, and you’re sure to get a glimpse of the more than just a four-piece band on stage, as they definitely will be bringing an entourage to bring the house down.  I can see this as one of those shows that unifies the unkempt rockers with the casual ACL festival goers; the band is simply good enough to bring us all together, especially in the live setting.  So, if you like a little bit of punk rock, you have to be there.  Country is your thing? Still, you gotta be there. We’re all going to throw back a few nice beverages, and fall in love with Lucero.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/11-Hey-Darling-Do-You-Gamble_-1.mp3]

Download: Lucero – Hey Darling Do You Gamble [MP3]

ACL Interviews: Portugal. The Man

So leading up to our little ACL festival next month, we here at ATH will yet again be bringing you as many interviews as we possibly can.  We’ll put our focus on some of the mid-level bands along with a few planned big name guys.  To kick off our coverage of the festival, we begin with an interview with an old ATH favorite Portugal. The Man.  We had the chance to sit down with keyboard player/vocalist Ryan Neighbors and discuss the state of his band.  Follow the jump to read this great interview with a great band.

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ACL Battles: Sonic Youth vs. Vampire Weekend

This week we’re bringing you our first touch of insightful ACL coverage, geared to make your festival choices a whole lot easier while your spending your time at Austin City Limits.  Year after year, festival planners struggle to get the great bands in, and when they get them, they just have to fit them in according to popularity, and availability.  It’s not as easy as we all think, so we’re taking the time out to make those hard decisions of overlapping bands easy for you.  This year, our first one comes by way of Sonic Youth vs. Vampire Weekend. Read more

ACL Preview: The Many Faces Of Monsters Of Folk

We’re going off the deep end here with a bit of a different look at our next featured artist for our Austin City Limits Festival coverage.  The band is a sort of super-group, made up of renowned musicians in the indie world, and we’ve borrowed some ideas from our great friends over at theManyFacesOf.com.  Hopefully you enjoy this feature, and without further ado, we introduce you to The Many Faces Of Monsters of Folk.  Follow the jump for more.

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10/27 Gnarls Barkley ACL Taping

Even with Austin City Limits Festival in the forefront of the weekend, many of the major acts found their way to the University of Texas campus to tape an episode of the Austin City Limits television show. One of the groups making their ACL debut in front of the famed Austin backdrop was Gnarls Barkley on Saturday night. Show review and setlist after the jump.

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ACL Preview: Hot Chip

By this point in time, we’ve all heard about Hot Chip many times before, or at least I hope they have done a fly-by on your radar. Well, this bunch of Brits are here to brighten up your ACL experience on Friday afternoon. Expect this to be a hot-spot for those in the know, and since I’ve alerted you, you are now one of those privileged people! Grab more info after the jump.

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