Has ACL Festival Jumped the Shark?
This morning C3 Entertainment unveiled the lineup for the 2008 Austin City Limits Festival, scheduled for September 26-28 in Austin's Zilker Park, and it's looking more than ever like Coachella on the Colorado. The first name on the card is... Foo Fighters. Seriously. That means everyone hoping for Radiohead at the end of the Zilker rainbow will have to pony up for Lollapalooza or pay through the nose for next month's long-sold-out Houston and Dallas shows. Coachella, meanwhile, got Jack Johnson, so I guess we dodged a bullet there. But they also got Kraftwerk.
ACL's other above-the-fold names are, once again, either former chart-toppers gone niche artists (Robert Plant & Allison Krauss, David Byrne, John Fogerty); more recent alt-rock heavyweights (Raconteurs, Mars Volta, Against Me!); favorites of both Pitchfork's hipsterati (Vampire Weekend, Duffy, Hot Chip) and their bearded bong-ripping cousins (Band of Horses, Black Keys, Iron & Wine); R&B ringers (Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings); boot-scooting Lone Star flag-wavers (Eli Young Band, Robert Earl Keen, Kevin Fowler); acts too pricey for iFest (Manu Chao; Gnarls Barkley); Austin A-listers (Roky Erickson; Alejandro Escovedo; Okkervil River); or inexplicable festival perennials who must have some damn good dirt on the producers (G. Love & Special Sauce, Asleep at the Wheel).
Further down the bill comes everyone from mind-melting shoegazers Spiritualized, Temple-born screamo heartthrobs Flyleaf, Brazilian sex bombs CSS, seemingly half of SXSW's Class of '08 honor grads (Yeasayer, MGMT, Man Man, M. Ward, White Denim, etc.) and hell-raisers both British (The Kills) and American (Shooter Jennings). Of course a healthy crop of Austin artists - Patty Griffin, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Octopus Project, Strange Boys, Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears, Scott Biram, South Austin Jug Band, Sunny Sweeney - will be along to rope in the townies. The full 130-something lineup, plus ticket information, is here.
So that's that. At least Beck should kill; ditto Drive-By Truckers. Who did they miss? - Chris Gray