Wednesday 23 Jul
CD reviews

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

ACL: Day 3 recap

Camping out pays off, kids.

By Matt Carney September 19th, 2011

Looking at the Bud Light Stage’s Sunday lineup, the following thought occurred to my companion James Corley and I: “Why not just spend all day Sunday up there?”

An odd sunburn, mild dehydration, a million sweaty, rank fest-goers and a crammed-so-tight-only-one-of-you-can-sit-down-at-a-time eight hours later, I stand by that thought, because I got to see The Airborne Toxic Event, Broken Social Scene, Fleet Foxes and the biggest indie band on the planet in succession.

Arcade Fire are enormous both in scale of sound and performance, and as well as popular notoriety. Just seven years ago, they were opening for The Unicorns at The Conservatory (of all places). They’ve since won a Grammy to go with the millions of fans who’ve shouted along with “Wake Up” whenever they play an outdoor ampitheater.


I was one such fan last spring, lucky enough to catch them at the Kansas City Zoo. In comparing the two performances, it’s clear to see that they really ham it up for the festival performances. Facial expressions, guitar-hoisting, leaps and bounds and all the usual pageantry seemed ratcheted up so high that even those exiting Zilker Park could see what was going on.

Arcade Fire at Austin City Limits 2011

It wasn’t anything special to anybody who’d witnessed the spectacle that was Kanye West on the very same stage just two nights before. And that’s no offense to Canada’s most important band. It’s just that nobody’s on ‘Ye’s level at the moment. Call me when your stage show exceeds cathartic chorus blasting and enters the level of performance art.


Anyhoo, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jr. started my Sunday off right, and the Detroit duo proved themselves the very best of the weekend’s early-day crop (though I admit I, sadly, didn’t make it into the park early enough Friday for Cults’ 11:45 set— that’s my big regret from this weekend) with beautifully-textured electronica like “Morning Thought,” the rocker “It’s a Corporate World” and a wonderful, true-to-form cover of The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jr. at Austin City Limits 2011

After that, my Bud Light stage phase initiated. I don’t know much about the Airborne Toxic Event, but they really seemed to keep the sun-soaked fans entertained by a set that included a snippet of a Bruce Springsteen song (can’t for the life of me remember which one— maybe it was “I’m on Fire”?) and a cover of the classic “I Fought the Law,” which they dedicated to the various police departments that recently detained them. Plus they had a cute girl on violin. Always a plus with OKSee.


Broken Social Scene were next, and their set opener “Cause = Time” set the standard for the guitar at this year’s ACL. Seriously, they had like four guys all playing at the same time. It was wild. I’ve not listened to BSS enough, but that set was enough to convince me to go home and invest in their discography.

Broken Social Scene at Austin City Limits 2011

As the day wore on, the sun seemed to relent and the waiting seemed to go faster, though squeezed up into the armpit of the crowd, you couldn’t swing a dead Hot Topic tween without spilling dozen cans of Red Bull or PBR.

Fleet Foxes soon took the stage for a sonically beautiful set, one that followed the typical festival protocol to keep lukewarm fans engaged with louder, faster numbers. This was great to hear from Fleet Foxes, who can be a bit too subdued sometimes. Seriously, Robin Pecknold just stands there, at the mic, neck inclined to his left at a 20 degree angle, singing. The whole time. And he’s the most active guy on stage. Though I do think he earns a pass with that gorgeous, rustic voice of his.

Fleet Foxes at Austin City Limits

Well that was my weekend, guys. Hope you enjoyed my coverage as much as I enjoyed covering it. I’ll be posting interviews and more photos over the next couple of days, so stay tuned to OKSee!


Arcade Fire setlist:

“Ready to Start”
“Keep the Car Running”
“No Cars Go”
“Speaking in Tongues”
“Wake Up”
“Neighborhood #2 (Laika)”
“The Suburbs”
“Month of May”
“Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)”
“We Used To Wait”
“Neighborhood #3 (Power Out”
“Rebellion (Lies)”
“Sprawl II”

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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