ACL Fest Schedule Released; Your Guide To The "Death Duels"

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Stevie Wonder on Facebook
Stevie Wonder: Even My Morning Jacket will be watching.
This morning, the organizers of the Austin City Limits Music Festival announced the schedule for the September 16-18 Zilker Park throwdown. We all knew there would be some tough choices, but Rocks Off found that when we actually dug into it, it wasn't so bad, as long as you hate generic indie-rock, which (1,2,3,4) you probably don't.

With names like Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Arcade Fire, My Morning jacket, Coldplay and Randy Newman in the mix, we knew things would get interesting. We matched up some of the bands playing head-to-head and jotted down some advice for those of you on the fence.

Bear in mind, none of this will matter when you hit the park in September and your friends start dragging you to whatever it is they want to see.


Tickets for the first night of ACL began melting away like an ice cube on Houston blacktop once Kanye West and Coldplay were announced as that night's headliners. Overall, Friday is light on stars, but is richer in actual thought-provoking artists.

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Craig Hlavaty
Teardrops at the Zilker Waterfall: Coldplay
Kanye West Vs. Coldplay (8:30 p.m.): Do we watch white couples from Austin sway to "Yellow" or do we wait for Kanye to say something vulgar about Texas? Our pick is Kanye, because if not for him, we would just be at our usual table at Jackalope on Sixth Street.

Kanye: Bud Light Stage; Coldplay: AMD Stage

Nas & Damian "Jr Gong" Marley Vs. Bright Eyes Vs. Gary Clark Jr (6:30 p.m.).: Seen the first two, missed Clark while we were covering Peter Gabriel last month. Advantage: Ball-busting blues-rock from Austin.

Nas & Marley: Bud Light Stage; Bright Eyes: AMD Stage; Gary Clark Jr.: BMI Stage

Cold War Kids Vs. Foster the People (5:30 p.m.): Everyone loves Foster the People now, and the Cold War Kids still put on a great show, even five years past their first great breakthrough. We pick the Fosters to see what the fuss is about live, because on record, we ain't feeling it.

Cold War Kids: Honda Stage; Foster the People: Zilker Stage

Big Boi Vs. Ray LaMontagne (4:30 p.m.): Some would say that Kanye would be a contender to appear at Big Boi's set, but at this point, Kanye is just as likely to show up at LaMontagne's slot too.

Big Boi: Bud Light Stage; Ray LaMontagne: AMD Stage

James Blake Vs. Kurt Vile Vs. Smith Westerns (3:30 p.m.): Blake is boring, the Smith Westerns are adding nothing new to the conversation, but Vile is doing something interesting. We've been fans since a few SXSW gigs years back.

James Blake: Honda Stage; Kurt Vile: Austin Ventures Stage (3:45 p.m.); Smith Westerns: Zilker Stage

Asleep at the Wheel Vs. Ha Ha Tonka (12:30 p.m.): Asleep at the Wheel is in Houston a lot, so we switch over to Ha Ha Tonka, whose last three albums have put them firmly in the next wave of Americana that includes our own Buxton and Robert Ellis. Speaking of those two, let's assume they will be at Zilker next year too.

Asleep at the Wheel: AMD Stage; Ha Ha Tonka: BMI Stage (12:45 p.m.)

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I saw most of Ray LaMontagne at Bonnaroo this year and I say SKIP. IT. He doesn't even pretend he's having a good time up there on stage, or do anything different than his recordings which are both deal breakers for me. I listened to him on the drive home and called it a day.


Empire of the Sun on Sunday at 7:30pm wins all the way!! Way to omit them!!

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