ACL Music Fest Saturday Listings

The blurbing of ACL 2011

Aloe Blacc
Aloe Blacc

Fresh Millions

Noon, Austin Ventures stage

Named Best New Band at this year's Austin Music Awards, Fresh Millions crafts ideal summertime electro-funk. The local geek squad slices and dices left-field samples with live instrumentation and the occasional vocoder for syrupy beats. Following last year's excellent debut EP for Austin's Insect Records, the trio just dropped a digital single, "Hot New Jam From '73" and "Control Freak." – Austin Powell

Aloe Blacc & The Grand Scheme

12:30pm, Bud Light stage

In tough times it's important to appreciate Good Things. On his breakthrough album, Aloe Blacc doesn't shy away from big problems or big ideas, yet he takes time to relish the minimiracle of cruising through "Green Lights" all the way home. Behind recession single "I Need a Dollar," the Stones Throw artist and Orange County native has transformed from indie backpack rapper to certified California soul man. – Thomas Fawcett

Cowboy & Indian

1pm, Austin Ventures stage

This local group stars actor Jesse Plemons, but the Appalachian roots outfit sounds nothing like his fictional Friday Night Lights band Crucifictorius. Featuring the honeyed vox of Jazz Mills (T Bird & the Breaks), debut single "Troubled Tracks" b/w "Ledbellies (Hurt My Pride)" unplugs on par with the White Stripes.
Austin Powell

Twin Shadow

1:15pm, Google+ stage

Alison Krauss & Union Station
Alison Krauss & Union Station

A breakout act from South by Southwest 2011, Twin Shadow's exceptional debut, Forget, released last year by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor on his Terrible Records, had chillwave momentum in its favor. Yet George Lewis Jr.'s bedroom funk is a darker affair, inhabiting that hazy realm where New Wave slow dances with New Romanticism. A 4AD debut drops early next year.
Austin Powell

J. Roddy Walston & the Business

2pm, Bud Light stage

J. Roddy Walston & the Business is Baltimore's answer to the Jim Jones Revue, a bawdy foursome of derelicts that smacks revved-up Jerry Lee Lewis-inspired choogaloo through Walston's whiskey-soaked bellow. Last year's eponymous debut on Vagrant Records demonstrates that rock & roll lifers "Don't Grow Old."
Chase Hoffberger

Phosphorescent

2pm, Austin Ventures stage

When Matthew Houck emerged as Phosphorescent with 2003's A Hundred Times or More, it was as a compellingly odd and meandering folkie, but last year's fifth LP, Here's To Taking It Easy (Dead Oceans), signaled that the Athens, Ga., songwriter has settled into a steady folk-rock sound and his best work yet. Houck's crackling tenor still aches, but now he's assembled a tightly wound band to match. – Doug Freeman

Recess Monkey

3:30pm, Austin Kiddie Limits

Every musician and his uncle have put out a kids' album, but who better to speak authentically to children than a trio of elementary school teachers? On this year's Flying (Monkey Mama), these Seattleites churn out effortlessly catchy pop- and funk-influenced tunes that speak to the soul of the first grader without killing Mom and Dad's. (Also: Sunday, 1:30pm, Austin Kiddie Limits)
Melanie Haupt

Alison Krauss & Union Station

4pm, Bud Light stage

To follow up Raising Sand, her multi-Grammy-winning collaboration with Robert Plant, Alison Krauss returned to her band Union Station for Paper Airplane. Their first album since 2004's Lonely Runs Both Ways, it features superb covers of songs from Richard Thompson, Jackson Browne, and Peter Rowan. With world-class musicianship and unparalleled emotional potency, they once again lay claim to the pinnacle among contemporary bluegrass bands. – Jim Caligiuri

Abigail Washburn & The Village

Cee Lo (kneeling) with Nakia (blue tie) on <i>The Voice</i>
Cee Lo (kneeling) with Nakia (blue tie) on The Voice (Photo courtesy of NBC)

4pm, Vista Equity stage

Away from her almost-classical work with the Sparrow Quartet, featuring Béla Fleck and Ben Sollee, Nashville, Tenn., banjo player Abigail Washburn makes another transition with City of Refuge. Concocting a brand of progressive folk music using international sounds, it breaks barriers we didn't know existed while creating a spellbinding listening experience. – Jim Caligiuri

Skrillex

5pm, Google+ stage

Like Sleigh Bells producer Derek Miller, Sonny Moore left behind a post-hardcore band (From First to Last) to explore electronic music as Skrillex. Originally signed to Deadmau5's Mau5trap label, his convulsive beats and fractured soul samples mix with a healthy appreciation of West Coast hip-hop and have made him the hottest thing in electro-house and dubstep circles. His Big Beat/Atlantic debut is scheduled for release later this year.
Austin Powell

Cee Lo

6pm, Bud Light stage

The comical, flamboyant half of Gnarls Barkley, Cee Lo Green tumbled down the YouTube rabbit hole into pop culture ubiquity with a high-profile stint on NBC's breakthrough reality singing competition The Voice and his spin-off Fuse show, Talking to Strangers. The Atlanta soul brother still brings the heat though, as evidenced by the Motown vibes of last year's The Lady Killer. Expect a cameo from The Voice's hometown hero Nakia.
Austin Powell

Chromeo

7pm, Honda stage

Those lamenting the breakup of LCD Soundsystem will find salvation in Chromeo, the French-Canadian electro-funk duo of Dave 1 and P-Thugg that stepped into the big time last year with major label debut Business Casual. This Montreal "Hot Mess" assaults the talk box in both French and English, bouncing out a glitzy, club-happy dance pop that's best "When the Night Falls."
Chase Hoffberger

Court Yard Hounds

7pm, Austin Ventures stage

With Natalie Maines on semihiatus from the Dixie Chicks, sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, the other members of the trio, stepped into the spotlight with this project. Last year's eponymous debut as the Court Yard Hounds found them more in singer-songwriter mode (think Shawn Colvin), moving away from the contemporary country sound of the Chicks. They've been in the
studio of late, so a follow-up appears imminent. – Jim Caligiuri

My Morning Jacket

8pm, AMD stage

MMJ's sixth studio LP, May's Circuital (ATO), was a return to their roots, recorded in the quintet's hometown of Louisville, Ky., and bringing its reverb-laced, swooning Southern rock style back to bear. The experimental flair explored on 2005's Z and '08's Evil Urges still licks at the edges, and their live shows still overflow in unexpected turns and incomparable guitar jams. – Doug Freeman

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