Austin City Limits Quick-Guide

I love my friends, I really do. When they need something from me, I do my best to come through. And when they have important life events – like, say, weddings – I do everything I can to be there to support and encourage them. Late last year, one of my close friends from high school announced he was getting married – the first of that group of my friends to do so. When he informed me that it would be September 16th, 2011, I thought, “Great, I can make that.” And then the organizers of ACL went and moved the festival back up this year. So I’m going to be out of town this weekend (what KGSR so helpfully reminds me is “the greatest weekend of the year in Austin”), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t thousands of you out there looking for help in making your schedules for the festival. As it turns out, we’ve covered a fair number of the artists performing at this year’s festival! So if you want to catch up on our artists without having to search through our site one-by-one, here is a handy “quick-guide” to some local and non-local artists at the 2011 Austin City Limits Festival:

12:30-1:30Theophilus London
London is like a harder Kid Cudi, a hipper Chiddy Bang, and a less cutesy Childish Gambino. This is Brittany’s preview of him when he passed through town for a special show at Lustre Pearl last month.

Reptar stands out to me as the band that impressed me the most at SXSW. I already knew that TV on the Radio was good, for example. But when I saw Reptar at the Driskill at 8 pm on the Thursday of the convention, it was the most pleasant surprise of the whole week.

5:30-6:30Foster the People
Foster the People didn’t rank as highly on my SXSW recap list, but still delivered an enjoyable set at Shangri-La. It will be interesting to see how their meteoric rise to fame since then has or hasn’t changed their live set.

6:30-7:30Gary Clark, Jr.
Holy shit! Gary Clark Jr is playing ACL?!? Screw the wedding!

12:00-12:40Fresh Millions
Not only do Fresh Millions make some of the funkiest music this side of the Brazos, but damn those are some nice dudes. Here is our review of their latest single, “Hot New Jam from ’73.”

1:00-1:40Cowboy and Indian
Stick around the Austin Ventures stage after Fresh Millions and you’ll catch Cowboy and Indian, reviewed here by Brittany prior to their spring tour.

5:30-6:30Gillian Welch
Last month, Brittany and I got to check out the taping Welch and the Decemberists did for the ACL TV show at the new Moody Theater.

7:00-8:00TV on the Radio
Another band we caught at SXSW, TVotR have since seen their bassist pass away from cancer in his early 30s. But on a happier note, they released one of the best albums of the year too.

1:30-2:30The Head and the Heart
The last of our SXSW bands to appear at ACL, Brittany never got around to telling us how she attended a private taping of the Head and the Heart at a house party here in town. Bet you’ll find her swaying rapturously in the audience during this set.

2:30-3:15Suzanna Choffel
Choffel’s album is even better than this write-up makes it sound; repeated listens on my part have served it well. Plus, I caught her at Antone’s last month and her bassist totally kicks ass.

Though Aaron Bruno seems to be yelling at everyone – or maybe he just always leaves his caps lock key on – he was a really nice guy when we interviewed him at La Zona Rosa back in May. Though we were given 10-15 minutes, he insisted that we chat for more like 40. He should find a huge, supportive crowd for his mid-afternoon set on Sunday.

Hope y’all found this helpful! There will be more preview material in the days to come, and possibly even some wistful remembrances next week. Meanwhile, I’ll be silently stewing while witnessing the union of two lovely young adults in holy matrimony. Seriously though, can somebody film Gary Clark, Jr.’s set? That guy is a total badass.