Encore: Bon Iver

photo by Scott Newton

In a few short years, the world watched Bon Iver’s progression from the “bare boned” yet profound debut For Emma, Forever Ago in 2008, to the lush self-titled LP. Justin Vernon came a long way from writing in total seclusion in a cabin in the mountains to collaborating with artists such as Kanye West and winning Grammys. When the group recorded this episode in April 2012, we were eager to see how this progression and critical acclaim would manifest in the performance. The result is a passionate, meticulously layered display of talent and musical tranquility.

In this episode, Bon Iver draws mostly from the eponymous 2011 album, starting with the opening track, “Perth,” and seamlessly leading into the next tune, “Minnesota, WI.” From there we get “Brackett, WI,” a beautifully-written track that appeared on the 2009 Dark Was the Night compilation album that raised funds and awareness about HIV and AIDS. Audience favorites included a more fleshed-out version of “Blood Bank,” complete with various horns, and of course the hits from For Emma, “Skinny Love” and “For Emma.”

photo by Scott Newton

Go here for more information on this episode, and check here to see where/when you can catch it. Be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest ACL update, and subscribe to our newsletter for even more info. Next week: Florence + the Machine and Lykki Li.


Encore: Arcade Fire

photo by Scott Newton

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.


Encore: Tom Waits

photo by David Eberhard

The Tom Waits episode of Austin City Limits is one of the most requested shows in our 39-year archive. Recorded in December 1978, the show features the iconoclastic singer/songwriter supporting his classic LP Blue Valentine and deep in the transitional phase of his career, evolving out of the jazzy beat poetry of his early work (“I Wish I Was in New Orleans”) and into the bluesier, more dissonant sounds (“Sweet Little Bullet From a Pretty Blue Gun”) for which he became known in the 80s and beyond. He acknowledged the season with the streetwise but lovely “Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis,” which incorporates a few bars of a better-known Xmas hymn. And he debuted “On the Nickel,” one of his greatest ballads, and which wouldn’t be released on record until Heartattack and Vine in 1980.

You can check out the episode page for pics, the set list and the original liner notes for the episode. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages and/or sign up for our newsletter for the latest news on ACL happenings. Next week: Rodrigo y Gabriela with C.U.B.A.


Encore: Widespread Panic

photo by Scott Newton

Widespread Panic has spent time on the ACL stage before, visiting us in Seasons 26 and 31. But we never had a show quite like this. Not only was the Georgia band on a tour celebrating its 25th anniversary, but this Season 37 gem was recorded on St. Patrick’s Day during Austin’s venerable South By Southwest Music Festival. In other words, this episode treats fans to a retrospective show recorded in a party atmosphere. The south’s most resilient jam band performs not only recent material like “Dirty Side Down,” “Up All Night” and the salutatory “May Your Glass Be Filled,” but also reaches deep into its sizeable catalog.  Highlights include the choogling “Pigeons,” from its 1991 self-titled second record, the Junior Kimbrough cover “Junior,” from its reputation-solidifying 1994 LP Ain’t Life Grand, and the concert staple “Chilly Water,” from all-the-way-back-in 1988’s debut Space Wrangler. Add a feisty take on Tom Waits’ “Goin’ Out West” to the party and we’ve got a special Widespread Panic show.

Check out the episode page for more pertinent info, and check your local listings for showtimes. Don’t forget to check in with our Facebook and Twitter pages and newsletter for ACL news. Next week: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and tUnE-yArDs.


Encore: Mumford & Sons and Flogging Molly

photo by Scott Newton

Mumford & Sons are featured in this weekend’s encore presentation of  Austin City Limits, airing November 17 on PBS. The British folk band with a huge stateside following are riding high with the bestselling Babel, one of the biggest releases of 2012. The episode, which originally aired in October 2011, finds Mumford & Sons making their ACL debut and is a must-see for fans and a primer for those new to the band’s cathartic live shows. Highlights include a performance of their current single “Lover of the Light,” which at the time had not been recorded. Viewers are treated to a high-octane night of contemporary music’s best folk rock practitioners, including a set by Celtic folk-punkers Flogging Molly.

Blending acoustic instrumentation, vocal harmonies and a tireless work ethic, Mumford & Sons have earned an international reputation as one of the best live bands, winning over audiences with their masterful, melancholy voices and musical skills. Mumford & Sons’ inspired set features tracks from their career-making debut Sigh No More, and the blockbuster follow-up Babel. The energy on the night of the taping vibrated the walls at The Moody Theater, and it translates directly to the screen. The band perform fan favorites “The Cave” and “Roll Away Your Stone” and poignant ballads “Timshel” and “Awake My Soul.” A highlight is an early televised performance of “Lover of the Light,” previously unrecorded, and now featured on Babel.

“The first time this show aired, Mumford & Sons did not have the biggest-selling record in the world (like they do now),” says ACL Executive Producer Terry Lickona. “But today they still capture the hearts and souls of young music fans better than anybody else around – and this amazing performance shows why. They do it the old-fashioned way, with authentic songs that speak to real life, and they play their asses off!”

Speaking of energy, Flogging Molly doesn’t disappoint in their ACL debut. The band storms the stage with tuneful melodies and puts on a magnificent show with their unique brand of Celtic folk/punk.  Tune in for lively renditions of “Requiem For A Dying Song,” “Tobacco Island,” and “Devil’s Dance Floor.”  Bandleader Dave King called their ACL taping “the most important live performance they’ve ever done.”

“A live Flogging Molly show is an experience as much as it is a show,” hints ACL’s Terry Lickona.  “When you’re watching, crank up the volume and buckle up for the ride!”

Check the episode page for more info, photos and clips. Click over to our Facebook and Twitter pages or sign up for our newsletter for up-to-date news on all things Austin City Limits. Next week: jazz bassist/singer/composer Esperanza Spalding.


Encore: Wilco

photo by Scott Newton

“When people ask what kind of music Austin City Limits stands for,” executive producer Terry Lickona says, “there’s one band that sums it up better than any other – Wilco!” Encoring this weekend, our fourth episode featuring this veteran modern rock band shows exactly why ACL holds Jeff Tweedy and company in such high esteem. Concentrating on its latest release The Whole Love, the Chicago sextet puts such stellar tracks as “Art of Almost,” “One Wing” and “Dawned On Me” through their paces with near-perfect poise. It’s not all the new album, of course, as the band also drops a few deep cuts like “Bull Black Nova” and “War On War” into the set. And as the icing on an already delicious cake, Wilco tour mate Nick Lowe drops by with his classic “Cruel to Be Kind,” backed by the boys themselves.

Tune in this Saturday, August 24, to catch all the Wilco action for yourself. Hit the episode page  for more info, and your local listings for exact airtimes. Keep up with your favorite music television show with Facebook and Twitter, and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter. Next week: Mumford & Sons and Flogging Molly.