Monday, September 30, 2013

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2013 - Must See Bands

I'm finally going to Austin -- the line up for this year's Austin City Limits Music Festival was too tempting!  They've expanded it to two weekends just like Coachella, which may not be the best way to create a unique sense of excitement around an event. But at least it's not in the desert (or on a sprawling farm like Bonnaroo), but in a contained city park as depicted in the video at the end of this post. The festival website has the official schedule up with a handy "My ACL" customization to share your picks and get updates.  I've also shared my to-do list below with my thoughts behind each choice (most have appeared on my new music playlists), however I'm going to have some tough decisions come Sunday's line up.

I've reconnected with a friend from my hometown who lives within "biking distance" from the park and I'm also armed with a nice list of recommendations from a local (that would be Josh Lambert of The Octopus Project and to use his favorite word during concerts, a very enthusiastic thanks!) I even have a tab opened to the's 10-day forecast for the city, to see if I'll need to sport that lovely poncho look. It all looks great weather wise but what to pack? After checking out last year's fashions online, it looks like starting with messy hair is a must. At least that should be easy to keep going hours from gig to gig!

Smith Westerns (Playlist Pick a few times, never seen them)
Dan Croll (Playlist Pick with a favorite song, never seen them)
Franz Ferdinand, (Playlist Pick & HUGE FAN through all four albums)
Toro Y Moi (Playlist Pick & solid fan since day one, have a link on the band's Wikipedia page)
Atoms for Peace (Playlist Pick & big fan of Thom Yorke/Radiohead)

Wild Nothing (Playlist Pick, never seen but getting into town around then)
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down (Playlist Pick, never seen)
Local Natives (Playlist Pick, never seen)
Okkervil River (Interesting new concept album about growing up, The Silver Gymnasium)
Fun. (Huge pop band with singer that looks like my brother, why not see what the fuss is about)
Vampire Weekend (Playlist Pick, seen but it's been a while)
Wild Belle (Playlist Pick, never seen)
Purity Ring (Playlist Pick, never seen)
Depeche Mode (band you could not escape from back in the 80s, will check out a few songs)
Muse (Another huge band, interested to see why people seem to think they really rock live)
Parquet Courts (Playlist Pick, just saw them and have a conflict but wanted to put them on list anyway)
Junip (Playlist Pick, never seen)
Portugal.The Man. (Seen as CMJ 2011 headliner, been awhile)
Wild Cub (Not a huge fan of their music but a favorite of KEXP so thought I should check them out)
The Joy Formidable (Favorites of the hipster scene, might bypass this one)
Passion Pit (Playlist Pick & solid fan, have a link on this band's Wikipedia page too)
Wilco (Playlist Pick though not a huge fan of everything they've done)
The Cure (Another 80s band you could not escape from at the time, actually saw them back then)
Bear Mountain (Playlist Pick, never seen)
Foxygen (Playlist Pick, never seen although I hear they are falling apart at the seams)
Ms Mr (Playlist Pick, never seen)
Divine Fits (Playlist Pick & seen lots but local guy Britt Daniels is such a rock star)
White Denim (Good solid band from Austin, never seen)
The National (Playlist Pick, seen but it's been a while)
Tame Impala (Playlist Pick, was supposed to see the band but then Hurricane Sandy hit so still need to)
Phosphorescent (Playlist Pick, seen a few months ago but love love love Matthew Houck's voice)
Phoenix (Playlist Pick and would love to see Sophia Coppola's adorable hubby Thomas Mars)