Yesterday, I started a post reviewing the lesser known acts at this year’s ACL line-up. Today, I’m exhausted because I didn’t realize how many freakin’ bands were playing and I only touched the tip of the iceberg here. Please find a continuation of the “finer print” bands below…the rest you’re just going to have to check out for yourself..
Ponderosa– The ACL website compares these guys to an earlier Kings of Leon. They even have the look down. They only have two songs on their Myspace page, but it appears that ACL is right. Unfortunately, the spark that early Kings of Leon had seems to be missing from these guys.
Friday 12:40PM BMI Stage
The Kicks– These guys picked the worst band name because as I discovered while trying to Google them, there are 400 other “The Kicks” playing music out there in the world. They’re also a little too hipster looking for their own good, buuutttt…their harmonies and use of Moog mixed with some hard rock guitar chords and raspy vocals makes for this band an enjoyable listen.
Friday 2:40PM BMI Stage
The Jane Shermans– I wanted to like this band. Each song started with the sweet sounds of indie guitar chords that my pretentious ears looove to hear. However as pleasant as the music is, there is something that just doesn’t put it over the edge. It’s chill, it’s repetitive, but nothing mind-blowing. However, there is a female bassist/lead singer, and that always rocks, so I’d give these guys a chance.
Saturday 2:40PM BMI Stage
JD & The Straight Shot– Nice Dad rock. Good ol’ white man blue guitarist/singer from New York City. A little too vanilla for me.
Sunday 1:40PM BMI Stage
Dan Black– French. Pop. Those are too words I like. Mostly in food though. Little too dance floor/Top 40 sounding for me. However, this guy seems to have quite the following, so maybe don’t listen to me?
Saturday 4:40PM BMI Stage
Saturday 11:20AM Austin Ventures Stage
*Sahara Smith– I heard this lady for the first time today on Austin’s KUT and was very impressed. Looks like she’s from Austin and….sigh…was born in 1988. WTF?! Another lovely and sexy songstress with an alt-country twist. I think it was the lyrics, “I’d like to drive all night and wake up in Laredo” that got me. At least I think that is what she says.
Friday 11:20AM Austin Ventures Stage
Basia Bulat– Uh oh. We have a little bit of a Joni Mitchell vibrato thingy going on here. If you’re into that sort of thing, then this is folk singer from Toronto is your gal.
Saturday 12:20PM Austin Ventures
MyNameIsJohnMichael– I didn’t want to like this band, because who calls themselves one word? Also, who puts “My Name Is…” in their band name? Are they a blog? However, there is something likable about this band. It’s not so much the music but the fact that this New Orleans indie pop group has six band members, lots of horns, and some pretty driving drum beats.
Sunday 2:40PM BMI Stage
*The Dough Rollers– Point loss for the band name, but ten points for being skinny white ass hipsters trying and sound like gravely-voiced middle-aged black men living on the bayou. This fun trio sites various “jug bands” as their influence and can play a mean fiddle and mandolin.
Saturday 2:30PM on Clear 4G
Qbeta– Qbeta doesn’t have a Myspace page, as far as I can tell, and I’m too lazy to go digging around for more info on them. The ACL page says their music has Mediterranean and Latin influence and the band really conjures up the crowd.
Friday 4:30 on Clear 4G
Vonnegutt– This all-white hip/hop group hails from Marietta, Georgia and recently worked with Big Boi on their last album. Do these look like rappers to you!? TELL ME! They look like a bunch of dudebros that own that bar that feeds $1 shots to co-eds in your hometown.
Friday 11:45AM on ZYNC Card Stage
The Ettes– These guys have a lo-fi, garage band sound going on and are often compared to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Not my bag, but they seem to have quite the following. They certainly have the look down, don’t they?
Friday 4:40PM on BMI Stage
The Relatives– Huh. It took me ten minutes to realize I was listening to the wrong “The Relatives”. The Relatives I was listening to were a whispy folk band from New York with 185 Myspace friends. Come to find out, The Relatives that are playing ACL are a kick-ass gospel choir that incorporate soul and psychedelia into their music.
Sunday 2:30 on Clear 4G
*Kings Go Forth– This Milwaukee soul/funk band is on my man, David Byrne’s, former record label, Luaka Bop, so they must be good. Upon first listening to these guys, I thought of 70’s Curtis Mayfield, and if that doesn’t bring a smile to your face and a tickle in your toes, then you have a cold, cold heart. Really enjoy the funky beats and horns of this 10-person ensemble. Worth checking out.
Friday 3:15PM Clear 4G Stage
I actually like The Ettes.
The name does it for the Jane Shermans. Some repressed late 50's housewife in the shadow of the Cold War and black people trying to move into her neighborhood. Tired of meeting her husband at the door with his highball glass and having him sit in his den whild dinner gets cold. Or something like that.
I can listen to French pop… so I can give Dan Black a try out… Sahara Smith has a name that would make me think she looked good and sung better… lyrics like 'I'd like to drive all night and wake up in Laredo' makes me think of the Great American Southwest and why I want to walk the Valley of Fire on a moon lit night…
I appreciate the reviews. Maybe one day I will get a chance to mack it down to an ACL if I don't tear mine first!!
i actually listen to Vonnegutt on a regular basis.
i discovered Kyle Lucas (the lead guy) online and fell in love haha
maybe its his accent?
and the fact that hes really tall..
but yeah..im a huge fan of Vonnegutt…
Can I tell you how lame I am for not having heard of any of these bands.
I'm so jealous of your hipsterness.
Last concert I went to:
I can see I need to broaden my musical horizons. I've never heard of these bands. Great reviews on them though. You've compelled me to check some of them out.