10. Kings Go Forth http://www.kingsgoforth.com – Andy Noble’s successful attempt to not just bring back soul music, but rather reincarnate it to a new form of soul, representing as he would say “the little guys, the guys in soul that you’ll never hear about.” This record collector and DJ first, bassist and singer second, prides himself on recording everything on a tape machine in his basement rather than in a traditional studio.
9. Slightly Stoopid http://www.slightlystoopid.com/ – this Ocean Beach “stoner band,” is a fusion of acoustic rock, reggae, blues, hip-hop, and punk. In the early 2000s they created their own label, Stoopid Records to “avoid signing a record deal and keep their DIY work ethic and freedom away from music industry politics.” P.S. their favorite munchies include Chips Ahoy and Nutty Bars.
8. Local Natives www.thelocalnatives.com – If there was one band that I could say I heard the most buzz about their performance, it would be this band. The passion on the stage could be felt throughout the crowd, with the pinnacle point being during the song “Airplanes” where you could see fans moved to tears, a stellar performance.
7. Deadmau5 http://www.deadmau5.com/ – famous for wearing an mouse head with oversized ears, this DJ from Canada put on an incredible show, despite technical problems the first few minutes of his set. At one point he took off his mouse head threw it on the ground with frustration and proceeded to try to fix the problem. Once things seemed to be fixed, he eloquently, regained composure, put his mouse head back on, and shrugs his shoulders; to which the crowed erupted into cheers The best part of the set included a light show that resembled a Rubik’s cube that blinked and rotated to the beat.
6. Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich + Fussible http://norteccollective.com/ – a musical ensemble from Tijuana, Mexico that is characterized by mixing traditional northern Mexican folklorico music with electronic music, creating the term, nortec (“norteño” + “techno”). Having never seen these guys before I was blown away at how incredible they were, they rock rocked my world!
5, The Jane Shermans http://www.myspace.com/thejaneshermans – I saw this band for the first time in 2007 at SXSW, and have been following them ever since. So needless to say I was super excited to see them perform at ACL this year. Contrary to popular belief the band’s name is not after the former Rockettes dancer, but rather a family name. Singer, Eulene and songwriter, Angelo met in Nashville, several years back and began performing together. Their debut album, Produced by Angelo himself, engineered by Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo), and mixed by Jacquire King (Modest Mouse), contains arguably their most famous song, “I Walk Alone” which is featured on the Grand Theft Auto IV Soundtrack. For their most recent project, the Jane Shermans have brought in Joshua (drums). Keep a look out for a new full length LP, to be released this winter.
4. Charlie Mars www.charliemars.com –Having recorded an album in Austin, the handsome singer/songwriter from Mississippi is often confused as being a native Austinite. While he visits Austin frequently, he does not live here. He splits his time up between his residences in Mississippi and New York City, where his girlfriend Mary Louise Parker, from the Showtime television series, Weeds, lives. What I found interesting was hearing him tell the story of how they met: “She came to one of my shows, that’s where we met. Then I asked her to star in the video ‘Listen to the Darkside’ because it’s all about getting high . . . we started dating after that.” What I thought was particularly sweet was when I told him I was a big fan of Mary Louise Parker, he smiled, blushed and said “yeah me too.” A cool fact about Charlie Mars is that his favorite movie is “the Big Blue,” specifically, the original French Director’s Cut version, “I’ve seen hundreds of times, and love it because of its meditative aspect, it’s one long meditation . . . I also love the soundtrack.” If you have never seen Charlie Mars live, please take the next opportunity you have to do so, while his albums are great, they do not do him justice, he is really an artist that needs to be seen live to fully appreciate.
3. Flaming Lips www.flaminglips.com – being a huge Flaming Lips fan, yet never having seen them live, this was the band I was most excited to see. Aside from having the space bubble roll right over me, what I thought was really cool, and especially unusual was seeing Wayne Coyne do his own sound check. The show was amazing! My one complaint would be that I wish they had played more songs from Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
2. The Music Lounge at the American Legion, sponsored by Rock the Vote and BMF Media. This has been the third year, Rock the Vote and BMF Media partnered together.
The lounge had various bands performing on the lawn of the American Legion House from noon-6pm, followed with an ACL after party featuring Matt and Kim and Local Natives.
1. Dan Black http://www.danblacksound.com/ –Tucked away, in one of the shady corners of the festival, loyal fans, danced shoulder-to shoulder, in what was a very intimate performance. Despite technical difficulties, this show, by far, was my favorite and had the most energy of all the shows I saw. Words cannot describe how incredible of a performer Dan Black is. If you have not yet experienced one of his shows, make every effort to go see him the next time he is performing in a location near you.