ACL Or Summerfest: Which Commercial Is Better?

Control Group A: The Flaming Lips are playing both Summerfest and ACL.
As you probably know by now, the Austin City Limits Music Festival released its 2010 lineup of the 130 acts playing Zilker Park October 8-10 under cover of darkness 'round midnight Monday. Meanwhile, Houston's scaled-down, two-day, (mostly) hippie-free version of ACL, Free Press Summerfest, is now less than three weeks away. How the hell did that happen?

Besides sharing a handful of artists - Flaming Lips, Lucero, GIVERS - both ACL and Summerfest have taken to the airwaves to shill their musical wares. Rocks Off thought it would be interesting to put both spots up in a side-by-side (OK, top-to-bottom) comparison. Like in baseball, home team bats last.

ACL is obviously playing the nostalgia card, hoping to trigger fans of headliners the Eagles and Phish's incense-scented memories of the immortal 1987 late-night commercial for classic-rock comp Freedom Rock ("Turn it up, man!"). Wonder what M.I.A. would have to say about that.

Summerfest, then, is positioning itself as the True Festival of the People by using the former Soviet Union's (former) national anthem. Wonder what M.I.A. would have to say about that.

Three-day ACL passes have sold out, but single-day passes ($85) are now on sale at Summerfest weekend passes, which come in general-admission ($30) and Fancy Pants ($60) flavors, are still on sale at and several physical locations including Cactus Music, Soundwaves Montrose, the Warehouse Live box office and all Texas Urban Outfitters locations.

Finally, that's Davy Jones of the Hickoids as "Cheech" in the ACL commercial (on the left). The troublemaking Austin cowpunks, who were somehow left off both festivals' lineups, play Houston's Continental Club Friday with fellow ACL/Summerfest exiles Dash Rip Rock.

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