ACL is happy to announce the return of the great Los Lobos to our stage. The East L.A. rock & roll band honored its 40th anniversary with the 2013 live album Disconnected in New York City. As we’re hitting the 40-year-milestone ourselves, we’re thrilled to join them in keeping the celebration going. Los Lobos has wowed the ACL audience four times during our shared 40 years. They were last on the show in 2002 — a performance that was so full of energy that it knocked some of our tree set pieces down, forcing the ACL crew to conduct a repair while the band continued playing! We hope you can join us in welcoming back the legendary Los Lobos on April 14th. Information about how to get tickets to this taping will be posted in April.
Austin City Limits announces a special broadcast featuring NINE INCH NAILS making a rare television appearance in an epic, full-hour performance. The new episode premieres on Saturday, April 5th as a preview of ACL’s 40th Anniversary Season. NIN’s arena-worthy ACL debut showcases ten songs, and will encore during the PBS music series Season 40, launching in the fall of 2014.
Nine Inch Nails joins the list of legendary artists that have performed on ACL. NIN’s Trent Reznor and the seven-piece Tension Tour band—Alessandro Cortini, Josh Eustis, Robin Finck, Lisa Fischer, Sharlotte Gibson, Pino Palladino and Ilan Rubin—deliver an electrifying performance that is a masterpiece of tension and release. In his remarks from the ACL stage, Reznor said, “We didn’t want to make ACL a NIN show. We wanted to be out of our element.” Reznor added in a recent Reddit AMA: “I have a lot of respect for ACL and I wanted us to be a guest on THEIR show, not to convert their show into our concert. It was unusual to perform in that environment, and ended up being one of the best shows I think we played.”
NIN deliver one of the best live shows on the planet, are considered a pioneer in the industrial music movement and have been highly influential in the evolution of electronic music. The band recently released their first album in five years, the critically-acclaimed Hesitation Marks, which Spin magazine called “the most important artistic statement from Reznor since the late 90s” and Rolling Stone hailed “one of his best” in a four-star lead review.
Stay tuned to acltv.com for episode schedules, news regarding live streams of upcoming tapings and 40th Anniversary updates.
The first time Arcade Fire appeared on the ACL stage, their much-anticipated second album Neon Bible had hit number 2 on the Billboard chart and the band was poised to become superstars. Four years later The Suburbs, the Montreal band’s highly acclaimed third LP, had debuted at number 1 on the album charts and won a Grammy for Album of the Year, and the group had solidified their position as a major festival headliner. What better way to celebrate Arcade Fire’s ascendancy than a triumphant return to Austin City Limits? Find out this Saturday, as we encore one of 2012’s most celebrated episodes.
With The Suburbs at the heart of their performance, Arcade Fire take the stage with the singalong pop single “Ready to Start.” Within moments the crowd is in the palm of bandleader Win Butler’s hand, rolling through new classics like “Month of May,” “Rococo” and the Regine Chassagne showcase “Sprawl II,” pushing the studio to a fever pitch. Never fear, Arcade Fire standards “Haiti,” “Keep the Car Running” and, of course, “Wake Up” also make appearances. With nearly every tune an audience-energizing anthem, the passion never flags – this is truly one of the most exciting shows we’ve ever recorded.
You can, of course, find out for yourself on Saturday – check your local listings for the time your PBS station will broadcast this awesome episode. You can also go here for biographical info, pictures and the setlist. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages and to sign up for our newsletter for more ACL TV sweet stuff. Next week: Radiohead.
Austin City Limits closes out Season 39 with a spectacular hour of country music, Texas-style, featuring the ACL debuts of Grammy Award-winning Texas native Kacey Musgraves and Austin’s own country icon Dale Watson.
Breakout country artist Kacey Musgraves walked away with two trophies for Best Country Album and Best Country Song at this year’s Grammy Awards for her critically-acclaimed major label debut Same Trailer Different Park. The release produced the hit singles “Follow Your Arrow” and the Grammy-winning “Merry Go ‘Round” and topped many critics’ 2013 year-end best lists including Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Country Weekly, Spin and The New York Times, with Rolling Stone calling her “the gen aught Loretta Lynn…ballsy, unsentimental, thoroughly pop and yet totally in the (country) tradition.” Viewers will want to pull up a chair for a front row seat to one of the most arresting ACL debuts of the season. “Welcome to our little trailer park,” says the twenty-five year old singer-songwriter, kicking off her radiant performance surrounded by a white picket fence and porch lights. Musgrave’s honest, effortless vocals shine on songs that demonstrate her witty knack for storytelling in a bold, irresistible ACL set.
“If you didn’t know much about Kacey Musgraves before her triumph at the Grammys, you’ll really know what the buzz is all about after seeing her ACL performance,” says executive producer Terry Lickona. “She’s a remarkable songwriter and all-around talent who is blazing new trails for women in country music.”
Next up is Austin’s king of country music: Dale Watson. Called “the silver pompadoured, baritone beltin’, Lone Star beer drinkin’, honky-tonk hellraiser” by The Austin Chronicle, the hometown hero has flown the flag for classic honky-tonk for over two decades and twenty albums. His latest album, El Rancho Azul, continues his work as one of the world’s finest C&W singers and songwriters, and ACL is thrilled to present Austin’s favorite son in his first feature performance. For Watson’s set, the ACL studio is transformed into a substitute for his regular Austin haunt Ginny’s Little Longhorn, with a room full of dancers two-stepping in the time-honored manner and he gets the ATX audience fired up with “Honkiest, Tonkiest Beer Joint,” his paean to the legendary saloon. Watson turns on the Texas charm as he performs a career-spanning, crowd-pleasing set, turning ACL into a full-on honky-tonk complete with Texas shuffles, closing out the season in good fun on a glorious high note.
“Dale is the real deal. Nobody else is making country music like this today,” Lickona says. “It’s time for the rest of the world to discover why he’s so special to us in Austin.”
We hope everybody enjoyed this weekend’s episode featuring Sarah Jarosz and The Milk Carton Kids. If you missed it, you can catch it here. In the meantime, our longtime audio support guy and intrepid gear reporter gives us a new installment in our Gear Blog series, featuring the equipment onstage with these solely acoustic acts. Take it away, Kevin.
Sarah Jarosz is no stranger to the viewers of PBS affiliate KLRU (home of Austin City Limits). Many Austinites recall being introduced to a barely teenage Sarah in a segment on the local children’s show The Biscuit Brothers. Even by then she was already a fixture of the Central Texas bluegrass and folk scene. Sarah released her first album at 17, then headed Boston to study composition at The New England Conservatory and found time to record and tour during her studies. This is Sarah’s second appearance on ACL – she made her first ACL appearance in Season 36 with Steve Martin. Nathaniel Smith (cello) and Alex Hargreaves (mandolin and fiddle) also mark their return with Sarah.
Sarah also brought what looks like a custom built “Burning Sun” banjo built by Blanco, Texas piano restorer Bernard Mollberg. The esoteric instrument to the right is an octave mandolin crafted by Fletcher Brock of Seattle, Washington.
All instruments on stage run to their own pickups into their own dedicated Radial Tonebone PZ-Pres and then into the PA.
Hailing from Eagle Rock, California, Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan formed, The Milk Carton Kids in 2011 – after years of paying dues as solo artists, they were hailed as an overnight sensations as a duo. Whereas Ms. Jarosz and company avail themselves of a more modern technology to amplify their acoustic instruments, Ryan and Pattengale go the old-fashioned route and use microphones exclusively to project the sound of their voices and instruments. For the taping, MCK brought their own preferred setup of Ear Trumpet Lab microphones. Below you’ll see a couple of pictures of a far more complicated set-up than what was used at the actual taping. For the recorded show, “the less is more” approach was decided and a single microphone was used. Though one microphone makes life simpler (or probably more complicated) for the sound guys, it necessitates a more dynamic approach to performing for Kenneth and Joey, meaning they have to physically move toward and away from the microphone as their musical parts dictate. That’s quite an accomplishment of technique that is rarely seen these days.
Pictured are the Edwina models for vocals and the Ednas placed lower for the guitars. Though they may look ancient, Ear Trumpet Lab mics are quite contemporary, extremely versatile, and very affordable.
Joey plays a 1951 Gibson J-45, pictured below. Kenneth plays a 1954 Martin 0-15.
Join us this weekend as we present Americana music originals Sarah Jarosz and The Milk Carton Kids in a brand new episode. Both artists showcase their bona fides in an all acoustic hour with roots/folk singer-songwriter Jarosz making a return appearance on the ACL stage and newcomers The Milk Carton Kids in their ACL debut. The episode showcases the young folk acts who were both nominated for Best Folk Album at this year’s Grammy Awards.
Pushing the limits of Americana with her own distinctive style, multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz takes the ACL stage for her second appearance performing highlights from her recent album Build Me Up From Bones. The incredibly talented Jarosz has already released three albums at the age of 22. With her two-piece band featuring a fiddle player and cello, Jarosz begins a stellar set with the Grammy-nominated title track in an acoustic performance that showcases her musicianship and songwriting. Switching between mandolin and banjo, Jarosz also dips into the songbooks of others, treating the audience to an accessible take on Joanna Newsom’s “The Book of Right On” and a solo rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Kathy’s Song”. She invites The Milk Carton Kids out to join her and the band for “Annabelle Lee” (based on an Edgar Allen Poe poem), displaying their complementary visions of contemporary folk music.
“We are so proud of Sarah, we feel like she’s part of the family,” says ACL executive producer Terry Lickona. “The last time she graced our stage she was on her way to college, now she’s graduated with honors and her remarkable talent has grown exponentially. We couldn’t resist having her back!”
The Milk Carton Kids, the L.A. acoustic folk duo consisting of Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan, make their ACL debut playing songs from their critically-acclaimed new album The Ash & Clay. The besuited pair “play a sweetly dazzling variation on close-harmony vocals, part Simon and Garfunkel and part Everly Brothers” (LA Times) for a sound NPR calls “gorgeous contemporary folk.” With flat-picking harmonies and a touch of twisted humor, the duo play purely acoustically on the ACL stage—no guitar amplification and one vocal mic—to beautiful effect. In a skillful performance infused with their signature wit, the Kids charm the Austin crowd with their playful, deadpan banter, exquisite guitar work, rich harmonies and timeless folk.
“I first saw Kenneth and Joey perform on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium last September, and it was obvious that they are world-class entertainers beyond their years,” says Lickona. “They are traditionalists with a modern spin and a mischievous sense of humor.”
Check out the episode page for more details. Be sure and visit our Facebook and Twitter pages or sign up for our newsletter for more ACL goodness. Next week: Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves and Dale Watson.