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ACL 2008 Pick: Fleet Foxes

I’m going to speculate that a majority of the bloggers out there putting out recommendations for this year’s ACL Festival are picking this band, Fleet Foxes . They are recommending for good reason.  I held off on getting on-board with the Fleet Foxes for a few months, only to find myself completely engrossed with the amazing melodies, song structure, and harmonies of this extremely talented group. In this current state of the music industry when “buzz” bands go from virtually unknowns to indie rock celebs, most really fail to deliver on promises made by the “buzz” makers. Fleet Foxes aren’t that band. Their “buzz” is the real deal and they deliver.

This band has released what could be my two favorite recordings of this year, the self-titled full length on Sub Pop Records and the equally impressive EP Sun Giant. The band was a late addition to the festival and unfortunately has an early time slot that will inevitably evade most folks. I can guarantee that the presence of the Fleet Foxes will be felt many times over in the coming year and festival slots will be geared more to the bands advantage. How the beautifully delicate structure of the band’s music will translate on the large stage early in the day is yet to be determined, but missing out on the opportunity to see this band on it’s rise shouldn’t be an option.

Fleet Foxes play the AMD Stage @ 12:30 on Saturday the 27th.

MP3> Fleet Foxes Mykonos Sun Giant EP

MP3> Fleet Foxes ‘Ragged Wood’

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Who Do YOU Recommend For ACL?

In standard tradition, I suggest artists that I think are good picks for checking out at this year’s ACL Festival in hopes that you might discover something that you might not known about.  Quite honestly, I have some holes in my schedule this year.  Not that there aren’t plenty of great opportunities, but instead of investing time with artists that I may have already seen this year and weren’t super impressed with, even though they might be the “buzz” band of the moment, I’m leaving time available for discovery. Some people think that being a music blogger means that I know everything about every band, which really isn’t the case. I do know a few bands, but there are many more that I don’t know anything about. I’m always open to suggestions, and I hope that you might provide me with some. Who do you think I should see this year at ACL? I hope that someone out there reads this and takes the time to post a comment. Tell me which band you are excited about and why I should make time to check out this band. I have the time and am listening.


ACL 2008 Pick: Silversun Pickups

It almost goes without saying that “Lazy Eye” was one of many summer anthems last year. At this point, it’s probably already been used in several commercials for various products. But there’s a lot more to the Silversun Pickups than that one song.

Slowly but surely, the L.A. quartet has started to rise among the indie ranks.
Their often gritty, grunge-like sound ultimately makes me nostalgic for old school alternative bands like the Smashing Pumpkins (circa Mellon Collie). Yet there still is a certain quality to singer Brian Aubert’s vocals that are (refreshingly) different.

Having already opened for the likes of Wolfmother and the Kaiser Chiefs, as well as played Coachella last year, Silversun Pickups will be a band worth seeing on Sunday at 4:30 on the AT&T stage.

MP3> Silversun Pickups ‘Lazy Eye’

MP3> Silversun Pickups ‘Three Seed’ Live @ Emos

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ACL 2008 Pick: M. Ward

Every time I revisit M. Ward‘s recording Post-War, I’m reminded of how much I really enjoy the talent of his songwriting, and promise to myself to invest more into his work. A promise that I have yet to fulfill, but will rectify this week in preparation for his performance at this year’s ACL Festival. As I write this, I find myself getting more excited about seeing Ward for the first time.

If you aren’t familiar with Ward’s work, surely you are familiar with a few of the many artists that he has been involved with over the years. The most recent project has him paired up with Zooey Deschanel recording under the band name She and Him, and previous collaborators include (and not limited to) My Morning Jacket, Conor Oberst, Beth Orton, Cat Power, and Jenny Lewis, just to name a few. Ward performed with Jim James during this year’s SXSW Festival, which is yet another performance I kick myself for missing.

While finding himself in good company amongst some of the most talented modern day songwriters, Ward’s style feels and sounds more classic. From a time when radio brought fans the music, vinyl was the form, and digital was a futuristic idea not even being considered by the most inventive. It’s no surprise that Ward’s favorite piece of musical equipment, aside from his guitar one would believe, is a TASCAM 4-Track recorder on which he uses for every song that he writes.

M. Ward plays the WAMU stage @ 4:30 Friday the 26th. You should really be there.

MP3> M. Ward ‘Poison Cup’

MP3> M. Ward ‘Chinese Translation’

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Erykah Badu Cancels ACL Taping

I know that there are going to be some seriously dissapointed folks out there when they hear this news. Erykah Badu has cancelled her Friday Austin City Limits taping for the popular show, and has been replaced by The Drive By Truckers. She is still scheduled to perform at the Festival on Saturday the 27th at this point.

A time for the taping hasn’t been determined yet, as The Truckers are also scheduled to play that night @ Emo’s for one of the official ACL Aftershows.

More ACL tapings scheduled for that weekend:

Saturday, September 27 – Gnarls Barkley
Sunday, September 28 – The Swell Season
Monday, September 29 – Foo Fighters

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ACL 2008 Pick: Stars

I first happened upon these Canadian indie rockers last summer when their album In Our Bedroom After the War was rotating around the office of a magazine I was interning for. Since I’m a general sucker for mellow and melodic indie, it was pretty much love at first listen.

Stars has recently released a six-song EP called Sad Robots and are currently on tour, with ACL as one of their many stops.

I have previously seen the band live and have to say that they put on a good show. Stars has a great energy when performing and vocalists Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell (also members of Broken Social Scene) also banter pretty hilariously with one another.

Catch them on Sunday at 3:30 in the AT&T Blue Room.

MP3> Stars ‘The Night Starts Here’

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ACL Fest 2008 Pick: Yeasayer

Brooklyn’s Yeasayer describe their sound as “Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel”, and as much as I would like to try to understand exactly what that means, I can’t really wrap my head around that description. What I do hear in the band’s sound reminds me of the early Genesis and Talking Heads era with a definite World Beat influence prominent.

2008 has been a good year for the band, while touring with the hipster magnet MGMT, Man Man, and even spending time with Beck in Europe. All the while maintaining a solid presence in the press and blog scene, and putting a few festival notches in their belt.

I’ve caught the band a couple of times this year already, and based on previous performances they are definitely my pick for a perfect start to this year’s ACL Festival. Catch the band early Friday @ 1:30 p.m. on the Dell Stage.

MP3> Yeasayer Sunrise

Like my ACL Picks Festival Widget? You can get your own to paste on your Myspace, Blog, Website, or Facebook page. Do it HERE.

This is where you’ll find the Itch @ ACL 2008.

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Band Of Horses Secret Show During ACL Weekend?

I don’t have the proof in hand, or anyone that would confirm, but my belief is that Band of Horses is slotted to play the “secret” show listed on the Parish site for Saturday 9.27 during ACL weekend. You can take this information any way you want to, but if I were you, and you being a Band Of Horses fan, pay close attention. I think that there is going to be a ‘Weed Party’ @ The Parish on Saturday night of ACL Festival.

I’m just saying.

MP3> Band of Horses ‘Weed Party’


Dig The Dell Dome @ Monolith

The Austin based computer company Dell, has been getting involved in the music scene over the past few years with the Dell Lounge project which is becoming a multi-faceted outlet for all things music. This summer has the Dell Summer Rocks project traveling around the country making stops at all of the hottest music festivals taking place this festival season. This coming weekend, you can find them in Colorado at the Monolith Festival taking place @ the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater. Just look for the Dell Dome and check out what Dell Summer Rocks is all about.

The last stop on the Dell Summer Rocks calendar will be the local Austin City Limits Festival.

At the Dell Dome festival attendees can:

-Meet your favorite band, watch them do an interview in person and get their autograph.

-Make your own digital mixtape by building a playlist using music from the festival as well as popular artists beyond Monolithís set list.

-Design custom buttons. One can use designs on hand or bring their own to stamp into creative flare.

-Get an airbrush tattoo or your hair rocked out

-Meet Dell resident artist, Mike Ming. summerrocks/mikeming/. Mike Ming created the artwork for Dell’s limited edition Mike Ming Inspiron laptops and he designed the  
artwork on the Dell Dome.

-Make a custom tee. One can create their own style by transferring

-Mike Ming’s artwork onto their own clothes through the hot-press t- shirt station.

-Check your email and surf the net on Dell’s collection of laptops.

Participating bands who have visited and done interviews at the Dell  Summer Rocks Dome at festivals thus far include Chromeo, Girl Talk, Cadence Weapon, Shudder To Think, Taking Back Sunday, Soulwax, Kaki King, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Flosstradamus, The Octopus Project,  Franki Chan, Witchcraft, Tiny Masters of Today, The Whigs and more.

Stop by and say Hi, to the folks in the Dome.

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Jenny Lewis’s Acid Tongue

Warner Bros. Records have gone all out in promoting the new album from Rilo Kiley front-woman Jenny Lewis entitled Acid Tongue. First, you could call 888-717-2243, to hear a very low quality version of the title track “Acid Tongue” on your phone. Now, thanks to a series of videos featuring Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, a proper version of that song and another “The Next Messiah,” have been released onto the world. First, Ben shows up at Jenny’s place to hear “Acid Tongue” carrying a numerous amount of heart balloons (with Acid Tongue written on them of course). Then Ben sits in a bathtub (with the balloons) and convinces Jenny Lewis collaborator Jonathan Rice into hearing the song again. In the latest video (below), Ben hides in a closet, scares Jenny, and “The Next Messiah” begins.

It’s some clever marketing for what should be a good album. Alt-country is not for everyone but with a guest list with names like Elvis Costello, Jonathan Rice, The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson and Zooey Deschanel, it’s worth at least one listen when it comes out September 23rd.

Tour Dates:
09-15 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theatre
09-16 Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre
09-17 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theatre
09-18 Lawrence, KS – The Granada
09-19 Chicago, IL – Epiphany
09-20 Omaha, NE – Anchor Inn *
09-21 Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium *
09-22 Knoxville, TN – Bijou Theatre *
09-23 Fayetteville, AR – George’s Majestic Lounge *
09-24 Oxford, MS – Lyric Theatre *
09-25 Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom *
09-26 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
09-28 Austin, TX – La Zona Rosa *!
09-30 Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
10-01 Glenside, PA – Keswick Theatre
10-02 Washington, DC – Sixth & I Synagogue
10-03 Wilmington, DE – Grand Opera House
10-04 New York, NY – Apollo Theatre
10-05 New Haven, CT – Shubert Theatre
10-08 Paris, France – Le Maronquinerie
10-09 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Melkweg
10-10 Hamburg, Germany – Knust
10-11 Berlin, Germany – Lido
10-13 Stockholm, Sweden – Kagelbanan
10-14 Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega Junior
10-16 Cologne, Germany – Gebaude 9
10-17 London, England – Koko
10-18 Glasgow, Scotland – QMU
10-19 Dublin, Ireland – Button Factory
10-25 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom *
10-26 Seattle, WA – Showbox *

* with Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
! with M. Ward

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Wilco & Fleet Foxes Do Dylan

I don’t often post live YouTube videos as the quality is always mediocre and I find more frustrating listening to crappy audio than worth the time but…’s Wilco and Fleet Foxes. Fleet Foxes being my favorite spin of the last few weeks, and Wilco, a long relationship we’ve had for sure. The Foxes just wrapped up a stint of opening duties for Wilco, and will be continuing on down the road for awhile with a recently added spot at ACL Festival 2008. You’ll have to get there early with their set scheduled for 12:30 p.m on Saturday the 27th of Sept.

Wilco and Fleet Foxes perform Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” live.

MP3> Fleet Foxes Mykonos

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Official ACL Afterparties..Dead Confederate!

photo :

By this point most Austin blogs have posted the ACL Afterparties list, so this news probably isn’t new to you, but should be of interest for 2 reasons. 1. Dead Confederate 2. Heartless Bastards. Best bill on Friday night if you ask me.

Here’s the schedule:
Thursday September 25, 2008
-An evening with Manu Chao @ Stubb’s
-David Byrne – Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno @ Paramount Theatre

Friday, September 26, 2008
-Gnarls Barkley w/ CSS @ Stubb’s
-Jamie Lidell w/ Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears @ The Parish
-Drive By Truckers w/ Shooter Jennings@ Emo’s outdoors
-Heartless Bastards w/ Dead Confederate & Wax Fang @ Emo’s indoors
-Car Stereo Wars @ Emo’s Lounge

Saturday, September 27, 2008
-Gospel Brunch w/ Mike Farris featuring the Roseland Rhythm Revue @ Stubb’s
-Return of the Butthole Surfers w/ The Kills @ Stubb’s outdoors
-Mugison @ Stubb’s outdoors
-The Swell Season w/ Bill Callahan @ Paramount Theatre

Sunday, September 28, 2008
-The Black Keys w/ The Black Angels & Jessica Lea Mayfield @ Stubb’s outdoors
-Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band w/ Special Guests Jenny Lewis and M. Ward @ La Zona Rosa
-Okkervil River w/ Man Man & Crooked Fingers @ Emo’s outdoors
-Jose Gonzalez w/ Neva Dinova & McCarthy Trenching @ Emo’s indoors
-Car Stereo Wars @ Emo’s Lounge
-Jakob Dylan and The Gold Mountain Rebels w/ Back Door Slam @ Antone’

MP3> Dead Confederate ‘The Rat’

MP3> Heartless Bastards ‘Into the Open’

Buy your tickets here starting 8/16 @ 10 a.m.

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Fleet Foxes Added To ACL Festival

art by: sean lew

The Austin City Limits Festival has made an amazing addition to it’s 2008 lineup: Fleet Foxes. Off the schedule is Ingrid Michaelson, as she’s now opening for Jason Mraz in Europe. Fleet Foxes join the festival at 12:30 spot on Saturday at the AMD stage, a spot once held by MGMT, who move to the AT&T Blue room stage at 5:30 (Michaelson’s old spot). Fleet Foxes are a definite must see and their amazing Letterman performance alone should guarantee them a rather nice sized crowd. Click here to see the new updated schedule for yourself.

Also keep your eyes on the ACL website, as the official aftershows should be announced any day now.

MP3> Fleet Foxes ‘Ragged Wood’

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The Octopus Project Tour

Austin’s own Octopus Project have been busy racking up accolades in the music scene for the past couple of years. Rolling Stone’s David Fricke picked them and fans adore them. The band starts a month long west coast tour that kicks off at Lollapalooza and finds them landing back home at this year’s ACL Festival.

MP3> The Octopus Project ‘Bees Bein Strugglin’

* w/ Diagonals

08/02 Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s

08/03 Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza

08/04 Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar

08/05 Norman, OK @ Opolis

08/06 Lubbock, TX @ Tequila Station

08/11 Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room*

08/12 Tucson, AZ @ Congress Theater*

08/13 San Diego, CA @ The Cashbash*

08/14 Los Angeles, CA @ Knitting Factory*

08/15 Visalia, CA @ Cellar Door*

08/16 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill*

08/18 Portland, OR @ Satyricon*

08/19 Seattle, WA @ Nectar Lounge*

08/20 Vancouver, BC @ Richard’s

08/22 Edmonton, AL @ Velvet Lounge

08/23 Calgary, AL @ Hi Fi

08/25 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

08/26 Denver, CO @ Hi Dive

08/28 Dallas, TX @ Lola’s*

08/29 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live*

09/28 Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Festival

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ACL Festival 3-Day Passes Sold Out!

If you put off purchasing your 3-Day pass to ACL Festival 2008, you put it off too long. They are gone. You can still purchase a single day ticket at the price of $80, but chances are those will go fast. Historically the Saturday and Sunday tickets go first, so check the schedule and get on board.

This year’s peformers include: Beck, Foo Fighters, Manu Chao, Band of Horses, The Mars Volta, The Raconteurs, Connor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Against Me!, Vampire Weekend, and the list goes on and on…..

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