Featured News Taping Announcement

Rodrigo y Gabriela tape Austin City Limits on 5/7

We’ve had our collective eye on Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, who will appear on our stage on May 7, for some time – after all, Austin City Limits has a history of showcasing six-string magic. The pair has been riding high since they took the music world by storm with their self-titled LP back in 2006, raising eyebrows with flamenco takes on thrash metal tunes and forward-thinking originals. Now the duo is touring with C.U.B.A., a 13-piece Cuban orchestra, with whom they recorded their latest record Area 52. The time is right to invite them to their debut ACL performance for a show that’s sure to inspire as much dancing as air guitar.

Keep an eye on the blog, our Facebook page and Twitter feed for news on the public ticket giveaway. We hope to see you there!

Featured News

Austin City Limits wins a Peabody Award

We are thrilled to announced that Austin City Limits has won a prestigious Peabody Award. To quote the Peabody website:

“Austin City Limits receives a rare Institutional Peabody Award. Thirty-seven seasons on air make it the world’s longest running live music television program.  Concerts by the likes of Coldplay, Widespread Panic and Randy Newman made 2011 a banner year for the Lone Star State’s music showcase.”

The mission of the Peabody Awards is “to recognize the most outstanding achievements in electronic media, including radio, television and cable” and has one criteria: excellence. The receipt of this award puts us not only next to our PBS and NPR peers, but also shoulder-to-shoulder with CNN, ABC, HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central and broadcasters around the world. Seriously, folks, check out the winners list – we’re in great company and proud to be there

Thanks to the University of Georgia, who curate the Peabodys, for this most excellent award, and to everyone – artists, producers, crew, behind-the-scenes folks and, of course, the fans – who make ACL the consistently remarkable show that it is.

Featured Taping Announcement

The Punch Brothers tape Austin City Limits on 5/1

Chris Thile – lead singer and mandolinist of the genre-busting band Punch Brothers, who will tape a show for us on May 1 — is no stranger to the Austin City Limits stage. The virtuoso musician has appeared twice with his former band Nickel Creek and once in Dolly Parton’s backup band. The Grammy–nominated Punch Brothers, which Thile formed six years ago, has released three albums, most recently Who’s Feeling Young Now?, and is currently on a sold-out US tour. The quintet’s boundary-less mix of indie-rock, bluegrass, classical music, jazz, folk, and pop has attracted critical acclaim, a slot opening for Paul Simon, two songs on the new T Bone Burnett–produced Hunger Games album, and a loyal, growing audience, including fellow musicians like Steve Martin, Elton John, and Marcus Mumford. We’re pleased to welcome the Punch Brothers to Austin City Limits.

Keep an eye on the blog, our Facebook page and Twitter feed regularly for news on the public ticket giveaway. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter as well.

Episode Recap Featured News

Coldplay takes ACL to Paradise

This weekend we are excited to present a special episode featuring Coldplay.  Recorded last September, the performance features the band debuting several new songs off their latest release Mylo Xyloto, including “Paradise,” “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” and “Hurts Like Heaven,” as well as old favorites like  “Viva La Vida.”

MTV News called it a special night “when a band with a major arsenal finds a way to take its giant energy and squeeze it down into a much smaller space, without losing any of their arena-packing magic.”

Originally presented as a New Year’s Eve special to ring in 2012, the Coldplay show was a milestone for Austin City Limits. Coldplay gave us an extra-special performance, and we’re thrilled to bring it back this spring.

Coldplay performs on Austin City Limits

You can see for yourself this 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, Twitter and Tumblr pages and to sign up for our newsletter for more ACL TV sweet stuff. Next week: a guitar-saturated encore episode with Sonic Youth and the Black Keys.

Featured Taping Recap

Crowd goes wild for Alabama Shakes

We love introducing you to your next favorite band. And we’re pretty sure Alabama Shakes is going to become that for you once you see their smoking hot soul.

While we had a few guests in the audience last night from out of town thanks to SXSW, it was a primarily Austin crowd – many getting to experience the Shakes for the first time.

The evening started off with “Going to the Party,” which flowed directly into “Hold On.” The power of “Hold On” was hard for the audience to resist,  as evidenced by Brittany Howard’s broken guitar string. “I think I was playing it too hard” she said as she switched to another guitar for “Hang Loose.”

The band continued with “I Found You” and “Always Alright,” which led  SoundcheckMag  to write, “You know a band is truly great when you feel like you’ve heard every song one thousand times before.”

Howard spent time introducing “Boys & Girls” to explain it was about a time in her childhood when she was told she could no longer be friends with a boy because they were too old. This touching song brought the energy in the room to a whole new level and sparked an amazing rendition of “Be Mine,” which will have people talking for years to come. ATXSocial said “Damn, Alabama Shakes just rocked it!”

They followed with “Rise to the Sun,” “You Ain’t Alone” and “I Ain’t the Same,” each one building off the last for a soulful storm of emotion. Once the crowd was in a frenzy, Alabama Shakes slipped into “Making Me Itch,” adding a little sexual tension to the set. They carried that over into the next song – just before “Heavy Chevy,” Howard demanded, “I want to see some shakers and some movers!”  And our ACL audience delivered.

The band returned to the stage for an encore, including “On Your Way.” And in just about an hour, the Alabama Shakes had won hundreds of new fans.

‏ @MatthewLillard “Watching the birth of a legend right now. @Alabama_Shakes. Buy stock early. A legend is born in Austin. No shit. Divine genius.”

Featured Taping Recap

Radiohead’s ACL taping is a triumph

Radiohead taped Austin City Limits last night. It almost feels like that’s all we need to say. This was a highly anticipated show, not only amongst the fans, but for us as well. Radiohead has been highon our wish list for years, so that rush of “When’s it gonna happen? It’s gonna happen! Now it’s happening!” has been buzzing through all of our veins for a long time.

Needless to say, the band delivered. Not the hits, necessarily – Oxford’s favorite sons have never been the pandering kind. A progressive rock band in the purest sense, Radiohead is always pushing itself forward, deconstructing and reconstructing its own aethestic, experimenting with its sound and presenting its latest iteration, rather than falling back on old habits and familiarity.  In Thom Yorke’s words prior to launching into one of the several brand new songs played during the night: “This is why we press on.”

In that sense, Radiohead gave us one hell of a show. “My face was melted at @radiohead” remarked @zee_funk on Twitter. Drawing almost exclusively from their last three albums Hail to the Thief, In Rainbows and The King of Limbs, the band blazed through some of its most daring material, adding drummer Clive Deamer (last on our stage with Robert Plant, who was in the audience) for extra polyrhythmic emphasis. “Little By Little”  made perfect use of the band’s distinctive three-guitar attack, the interlocking six-string lines slithering in and out of the skittering rhythms. “Myxomatosis” and “Morning Mr. Magpie” were jittery rockers seemingly influenced as much by caffeine as the electronica the band weaves into its rock tapestry. “The Gloaming” hit a unique balance between dissonant and ethereal, the instrumental parts almost fighting each other while singer Thom Yorke floated over the top. “Arpeggi” and the new song “Identikit” built a generous amount of tension into their swirling arrangements, smartly ending before the anticipated Big Rock Climax could happen.

We love it when artists play brand new material, and Radiohead graced us with the atmospheric, rhythm-heavy “Staircase,” the piano-heavy “The Daily Mail” and the lovely “Skirting On the Surface,” as well as “Identikit.” The band also resurrected the odd, intriguing “The Amazing Sounds of Orgy,” an old B-side that Yorke described as having “disappeared like a wet fart in the wind.”

The band ended the main set with the bizarre “Feral,” a strange but compelling mix of dub and Latin rhythms, and the frenetic “Idioteque,” a Kid A gem that got a huge response from the crowd. But not as huge as the final song of the encore – the towering “Paranoid Android” still stands as one of modern rock’s greatest achievements, and everybody gave the band’s fiery performance the love it deserved.

“After Radiohead tonight, I don’t feel the need to RSVP to any more sxsw events,” claimed @chu16 on Twitter. “My experience has already peaked.” While we’d never claim that a single show summarized an entire concert-going career, once the rest of the world sees this performance on PBS in the fall they’ll understand the hyperbole. Radiohead’s show represents what can be achieved by an artist determined to dive deep into the heart of its muse. Or, as @HeatherCuriel put it more simply and breathlessly, “passion, life changing, beautiful. rock and roll is alive.”

But you don’t have to take our word for it – check out what, Austin Metblogs, KGSR, and Austin Bloggy Limits had to say about Radiohead’s ACL taping. And don’t forget to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages and let us know what you think.