SPRING//SHOWS

Great artists are coming to Austin in the Spring and it’s worth getting excited about. The presale emails have been rolling out with new info and it seems like April alone could blow your mind. I always find a show I want to see, impulsively buy two tickets, and then find someone later who would want to go with me. If you want to go you have to make it happen. So pay attention to these artists playing in the Spring and pick up some tickets before they sell out.

Lucius @ the Parish, Jan 29th

Disclosure @ Stubb’s, Jan 31st

Lord Huron @ Emo’s, Feb 17th, 18th

Kodaline @ the Parish, Feb 20th

Lorde @ Austin Music Hall, March 2nd (…sold out)

APRIL

Grouplove + MS MR @ Stubb’s, April 5th (…sold out)

Local Natives @ Stubb’s, April 9th

Arcade Fire @ 360Ampitheather, April 10th

HAIM @ Stubb’s, April 23rd (…sold out)

Vampire Weekend @ Stubb’s, April 24th, 25th (…sold out)

Bastille @ Emo’s, April 25th (….sold out)

lorde
Not to be left out are the artists performing during SXSW in March:

London Grammar, Phantogram, Cherub, The Kooks, The Whigs, Glass Animals, Vance Joy, Wild Child, Max Frost, PAPA, NONONO, Brick + Mortar

with  more announcements coming soon.

HEAD & the HEART

Shows are a lovely thing aren’t they? Doesn’t matter how recently you have heard the music of the artist, they have the capability to bring back a range of emotions. Head and the Heart was a homebase for me “back in the day” (I know – not yet old enough to say that). The CD was locked in my jeep’s player which resulted in Cats and Dogs playing every time I turned it on. A warm smile covered my face as they rhythm returned.

As expected, the 6 part band enchanted the entire crowd. But what really stood out were the incredible lead isolated vocals. This included when Jonathan Russell climbed atop the 10″ speaker system at Stubbs to perform the solo of Another Story. With the help of 1,000 iphones ready to snap(chat) an identical shot, the moment proved memorable for all.

headandthe

The swooning really began when Charity would join in. Her voice continued to be lusted after during the concert’s entirety. It has a certain soulfulness that helps to differentiate The Head and the Heart from the others. As the only girl in the group she holds her own instead of being a background piece. Her solo encore was met by roars of applause and the crowd’s satisfaction.

The final part of the encore left Down In the Valley still to be played. The band led with a different beat then settled into the more known melody. I just loved this. When artists know exactly what song we want and dangle it preciously in front of us. Just so great. After a beautiful performance, The Head and the Heart closed and invited us to come back the following night. I’m still wishing I could’ve went.

electric feel x henry green

Endless summer lives on. The warm weather never quite goes away in Austin until it absolutely has to. And music just resonates better in the warmth, doesn’t it? Boundless, bundle-less.

While the sunshine lasts I cannot stop vibeing (a verb? probably not) to this MGMT remix. Electric Feel is one of those songs that has an instantly recognizable beat. What makes this remix interesting is how Henry Green subdues that beat and almost even disguises it. The result feels quite dreamy and almost melancholic. Worth the time before winter finally does come

REFLEKTOR / ARCADE FIRE

Arcade Fire’s newest album “Reflektor” is getting dismissed by plenty of critics and viewers. The band kicked ass by taking over the Grammy’s last year & having fun with the #whoisarcadefire hashtag. Where is the loyalty that once aligned behind the Rebellion? (cause it’s their old album’s name… ha … get… ok) These dismissals and harsh commentary are pretty much all online of course. And the irony of it all is that Arcade Fire’s new album is about the uselessness of facing a screen. How people typing away online are just experiencing a “Reflektion” of themselves. (see Kanye West‘s version of this)

arcf

You can find some sad statistics out there about how much time 18-24 year olds spend on the computer (ones too frustrating for me to look up) & I admit I definitely contribute. RIGHT NOW I am writing a review about people writing reviews. I mean there is some serious ridiculousness in that. Meanwhile this blinking typer stares back at me… Plenty of college kids I know choose to Facebook rather than listen in class or text rather than talk face to face. Ultimately, could the people negatively responding to their album simply be frustrated because Arcade Fire successfully struck a nerve?

Yes the album is an hour and a half long… yes almost every song is over six minutes. But the length of the album is a way for Arcade Fire to play with our generation’s impatience. There is no doubt the band is fully in tune with our emotions and how technology is impacting the millennials. I don’t believe they made it long to annoy us, I believe they want to push the barrier back against the rise of #hashtags & numbered lists (ehm Buzzfeed). Arcade Fire has no intention of dumbing it down & they most definitely still believe in the audience’s desire to stick it out.

M O N D A Z E

Music Monday’s are a thing right?

Black Mambo – Glass Animals

“Paperback dreams in head deep thoughts” because who doesn’t have illusive dreams all the time? This song is cool and a little bit warped at the same time.

Kisser – Step Rockets

On Step Rockets’ tumblr, they describe themselves as “The Flaming Lips and The Clash playing at a MGMT party.” Can I come to that party……….

If You’re My Girl, Then I’m Your Man – Papa

Papa’s music has a way of getting guitar riffs stuck in your head. They’re currently touring with Cold War Kids if that gives you a little bit better of an idea of what they are putting out there.

This Is How We Walk On the Moon – Geographer

It’s a hit. No debate.

Somehow – Caught a Ghost

Here are some soulful final notes on your rainy Monday.

I M P R E S S I O N S

Well the end is here.

There were plenty of doubts going into the festival which you probably have heard: “Who the f are these headliners?” “Are they gonna be able to sell two full weekends??” In general, the weekend proved while we are no Coachella… we like it that way. Almost every artist commented on how much they loved Austin (seemed like everyone had a shoutout to SXSW) – I’m pretty sure HAIM even asked why they hadn’t moved here yet. Thank you ACL… you really never disappoint.

R1-05011-003A

These are my strongest impressions of ACL.. and if you saw similar shows, you can probably relate to a bunch of them:

Best Impressions

Ezra Keonig from Vampire Weekend is sexy even in a jumpsuit (he knows it too)

Purity Ring has the most hipster version of a drumset (lighting up orbs? I mean come on)

HAIM … “so what if we’re on like 1000 drugs when our music is damn good”

The overwhelming adult to youth ratio at Wilco proves we never have to stop going to these things

Although KOL played basically all new stuff, all any of us really needed to hear was Knocked Up, On Call, and TJG for it to be worth it

The lead singer of MS MR’s lime green hair >>>>>>>

Dawes will be making it big in about .5 seconds

Grouplove proved Cheetah bodysuits are still a thing (worn best with hightop converse)

You can’t hang with Phoenix unless you’re down to crowdsurf (gopro in hand)

  • Favorite bands of the weekend: Local Natives, HAIM, Dawes, Phoenix

Afterthoughts

Koozie’s are your best friend

On that note… Be prepared to sell your soul for the price of beer

There’s not a thing you can do about being 5’4

Hitting the merch tent on a Sunday will leave you with a whole bunch of XS’s

Navigating the maze of lawn chairs is an art form mastered by none

& — a special shout out to pledge rides

Cheers to the best weekend of the year my friends.

M A K I N G T H E C A L L

Generally speaking, I am not a fan of options. They seem to make everything more complicated. Like do I want a Fried Oreo or Fried Snickers at the State Fair? I know after the first bite of my Fried Oreo I am gonna be wondering about the Fried Snickers the whole damn time. FOMO is bound to happen when theres like 100+ options in one weekend. These are the most annoying scheduling conflicts of ACL and a thought process to decide how to make the call.

Friday

fun. vs. Local Natives

fun. – chance of seeing Lena Dunham on the little VIP side, We Are Young + Some Nights, crowd involvement, spot for Vampire Weekend

Local Natives – phenomenal mustaches & beards, some awesome instrumentals, Breakers + Airplanes + Columbia + Wide Eyes (probably the cool remix too) + Who Knows Who Cares

Winner: Local Natives

local natives

Vampire Weekend vs. Arctic Monkeys

Vampire Weekend – you might’ve seen them before but ALL your friends want to see them, tossing balloons around overhead, confetti, 3 albums worth of hits you probably know, also: Ezra Koenig

Arctic Monkeys – drunken guitar solos (if you saw the Strokes when they played… well yes that), hard rock and roll, feeling like a badass

Winner: Vampire Weekend unless you really know AM’s music

Vampire Weekend

Saturday

Portugal the Man vs. Silverside Pickups

Portugal the Man – surprise you by how good they are live, american apparel hoodies in action, will enjoy it even if you haven’t heard it before

Silverside Pickups – Lazy Eye… Lazy Eye…. still really wanna see Lazy Eye

Winner: Stay at Portugal the Man till the very end. Make your way over to Silverside Pickups for their last song.

hawt

yes plz !

Passion Pit vs. Wilco

Passion Pit – chance to see them (even if it is 3 yrs late), Sleepyhead, high school nostalgia

Wilco – seriously devoted fans, GREAT chance to people watch some dads, after 20 years they know how to perform, spot for Kings of Leon

Winner: uuuggghh.. such a tie I say Passion Pit

passion pit

Kings of Leon vs. The Cure

Kings of Leon– for all those times you blared “Taper Jean Girl” in your car, beer drinking, dancing, hot young 20 somethings

The Cure– loyal fans, you might have already seen KOL and are indifferent towards recent album

Winner: KOL, why would you not see them again if you could?

kings of leon

Sunday

Phosphorescent vs. Tame Impala

Phosphorescent – blissful, woozy tunes, hipsterville

Tame Impala– psychedelic melodies, closest you’ll to seeing Lennon on stage (bold claim, but supported)

Winner: Tame Impala, even if you don’t know them well, go, you’ll get the albums and be so glad you did

Tame-Impala

E A R L Y B I R D S

So I am finding it hard to write on music and not be annoying about it. I say this because almost all articles I have read about music make me either

  • Dislike the person writing it
  • Discredit their taste or
  • Find it all together pretentious.

Most times it feels as they are trying to project their opinions onto me. So I’m gonna try to NOT do this as best as I can. While my taste makes sense to me it often times doesn’t to others. Going along with that, I aim to make this ultimately a positive blog. No criticism, no problems.

Soooo T-4 days until Austin City Limits! In my opinion there are a TON of awesome bands. I can never decide what time to arrive though… I am always anxious and don’t want to miss anything. So if you are like me, this list is five bands that I believe are worth setting your alarm and seeing in the morning.

sunrise2

Friday

Wild Nothing – I think they are a perfect first band to open this years ACL. The band is definitely dream/pop and they’re performing on just about the biggest stage. You will probably have an awesome spot because it is so early anyway. See: Nocturne

Saturday

Max Frost – One of the  people I am most excited for all weekend. He is FROM Austin which is so awesome, bc why not support local music? Basically he vocalizes over pretty cool electronic beats. Check out: White Lies

Dan Croll – Playing at the same time as Max Frost (ugh.. scheduling) but is probably equally as good. He’s British so bonus points, and has a bit more of an alternative vibe. You might already know: Compliment Your Soul

Autre Ne Veut – If you’re down for some weird pop, Autre Ne Veut reminds me a lot of Grimes. He is pretty electronic and will for sure be all about heavy bass in the show. Fair share of hipsters here I’m gonna guess, so be prepared for some sweet people watching. Listen to: Counting

Sunday

Kodaline – !!!!! SO Good. Worth showing up early – I’m surprised they got such an early slot actually. They’re Irish, so well yeah, and they also are perfect to begin the last day. Easy going rhythms and lyrics will make it a very lighthearted show. Must listen to: Love Like This

F E S T I V A L G O E R S

So this upcoming week I am going to try to write a blog post  everyday leading up to the first weekend of Austin City Limits. This post will kind of function as a guide for those who are trying to figure out the best way to do it this year, I sectioned it out and hopefully you can typecast yourself.

acl

For the “Bro…. ACL’s lineup was just lame this year” (high schoolers, select frat guys)

  • Kendrick Lamar is just about the only guy you are actually excited for this festival. Don’t miss Backstreet Freestyle for a solid grind sesh and a chance to yell at friends hogging the annual Everclear shots
  • Internally debate whether to head back for your frat post-party or to sing along to about 2.5 songs at Kings of Leon (Use Somebody/Sex on Fire)
  • Trip out with your friends at Kaskade and distance yourself far from all those hipsters
  • Key to the festival – Power-through holding hot girls on your shoulders when all you really want is a bottle of water
    • Bonus points for a scorpion make out

For the “music elitist”

  • Make sure to yell over HAIM’s “Don’t Save Me” that you have seen this song performed better “like 3 or 4 times before this” to your neighbor
  • Definitely avoid Vampire Weekend because they were only good when others didn’t like them
  • VERY IMPORTANT – casually bring up in every conversation the amount of straight years you have been attending ACL & your aftershow schedule
  • Key to the festival – Arrive for the 11 AM shows and leave around 4 when the bands start getting very “radio-y”

For the “hipster themed weekend” girls

  • Hit up Free People three separate times this week to get the perfect outfit that shows how independent your spirit truly is
  • DO NOT under any circumstances forget your flower headband **Cardinal rule
    • And remember – if you don’t Instagram it… it’s like it never happened. I don’t care how bad your cell service is!!
  • Make shit up about your opinion on Atoms for Peace (but where’s Bon Iver?? I loved him…)
  • Key to the festival – Leave show immediately if another girl is wearing the same shirt as you (but you look better anyway so it’s fine)

Believe me… I’m guilty of annoying stuff too, it’s all in good fun.