ACL Staff Picks for Top Albums of 2011

Well everyone else is doing it…so why not us? Here are the 2011 releases that inspired the people behind Austin City Limits. Cheers to discovering and sharing even more great music in 2012!

Terry Lickona, Executive Producer
The Head and The Heart (self-titled)
Gillian Welch: The Harrow & The Harvest
Coldplay: Mylo Xyloto
Florence + The Machine: Ceremonial
Tom Waits: Bad As Me
Bon Iver (self-titled)
Adele: 21
Radiohead: The King of Limbs
Lupe Fiasco: Lasers
Raphael Saadiq: Stone Rollin’

Leslie Nichols, Associate Producer
The Head and The Heart – S/T
Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Wilco – The Whole Love
Wild Flag – S/T
Quiet Company – We Are All Where We Belong
Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean
The Jayhawks – Mockingbird Time
Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong
The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest
Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire

Emily Joyce, Associate Producer / Digital & Interactive Director
The Head and the Heart (self-titled)
Wilco – The Whole Love
M83 – Hurry Up We’re Dreaming
Bon Iver (self-titled)
Real Estate – Days
The Antlers – Burst Apart
The War on Drugs- Slave Ambient
Blitzen Trapper – American Goldwing
Tom Waits – Bad as Me
The Jayhawks – Mockingbird Time

Tom Gimbel, General Manager Austin City Limits
1.  tUnE-yArDs – whokill
2.  White Denim – D
3.  Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
4.  Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
5.  Radiohead – The King of Limbs
6.  Motopony – Motopony
7.  TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
8.  Wilco – The Whole Love
9.  Cults – Cults
10.  M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
11.  The Black Keys – El Camino
12.  My Morning Jacket – Circuital

Maury Sullivan, Publicist
Wilco – The Whole Love
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Vetiver – The Errant Charm
Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts
Jay-Z and Kanye – Watch the Throne
Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
Bill Callahan – Apocalypse
PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Real Estate – Days
Destroyer – Kaputt

Ed Bailey, VP Brand Development
Blitzen Trapper: American Goldwing
Rapael Saadiq: Stone Rollin’
Jessica Lea Mayfield: Tell Me
The Echocentrics: Sunshadows
James Vincent McMorrow: Early in the Morning
A Tribute to John Martyn: Johnny Boy Would Love This
Bill Callahan: Apocalypse
Jonathan Wilson: Gentle Spirit
Johnny Nicholas: Future Blues
Robyn Ludwick: Out of These Blues

Tamra Wilson, Project Manager
1. “Blood Pressures” The Kills
2. “Let England Shake” PJ Harvey
3. “21” Adele
4. “Velociraptor” Kasabian
5. “Biophilia’ Bjork

Michael Toland, National Productions Manager
The Bevis Frond – The Leaving of London (Woronzow)
The Blurries – Paper Cuts (self-released)
The Breakers – s/t (Wicked Cool)
Brother Eye – Emotional Fingers (self-released)
The Decemberists – The King is Dead (Capitol)
The Feelies – Here Before (Bar/None)
Leatherbag – Yellow Television (self-released)
Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’ (Columbia)
Gillian Welch – The Harrow & the Harvest (Acony)
Wiretree – Makeup (self-released)


This weekend on Austin City Limits: Tom Waits

The Tom Waits episode of Austin City Limits is one of the most requested shows in our 37-year archive. In the spirit of the holiday season, we’ve put this Season 4 delight back on the air for the first time in over a decade. Tune in this Saturday 12/24 – that’s right, Christmas Eve – to see this classic episode once again.

Recorded in December 1978, the show came in through the back door, so to speak. Terry Lickona, who became producer in Season 4, was trying to book singer Leon Redbone. Redbone and Waits shared a manager, who promptly requested that Terry book his other client as well. In order to make sure the Redbone show happened, Terry agreed, even though he was nervous that the roots-oriented audience ACL had already built in its previous three seasons might think that Waits’ avant-garde gutter poetry was too radical for the show.

The rest is, well, you know the cliche. Supporting his classic LP Blue Valentine (but aren’t they all classics?), Waits was 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.

Tom Waits “Silent Night / Christmas Carol From a Hooker in Minneapolis” from Austin City Limits on Vimeo.

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, or to go to our Tumblr blog for a look back at ACL’s photographic past. Next week: our New Year’s Eve blowout with Coldplay!

News Taping Announcement

We’ve Got a Gift for You – 2012 Tapings Announced!

We know, we know, we just finished taping shows for 2011 but we are bursting at the seams to share news about NEXT season.

Since it’s the holidays and all, in the spirit of gift giving, here are the first confirmed tapings for 2012 and Season 38:

The Civil Wars


The Shins

Rodrigo y Gabriela and C.U.B.A.

Follow the blog, Facebook and Twitter for dates and ticket giveaway information.

Don’t forget to ring in 2012 with Coldplay New Year’s Eve: An Austin City Limits Special on Dec. 31!

Happy Holidays from Austin City Limits!


KLRU and Austin City Limits invite you over for some holiday cheer!

Shop for last-minute holiday gifts with an Austin flare at the Austin City Limits Holiday Gift Fair on December 16 from 3-7 p.m.

This is your chance to buy limited edition hand-printed posters, gorgeous photobook by Scott Newton featuring inspiring photos from the show’s archives and the cookbook Music In The Kitchen featuring recipes from performers who have been on the show. Also lots of Austin City Limits merchandise like warm and cozy hoodies, classic T-shirts, trucker hats, little onesies for the babies on your list and much more.

These items not only make great gifts, but you’re also supporting public television with every purchase!

The studio is located in Communications Building B on The University of Texas Campus, 2504 B Whitis, Austin, TX 78712 (corner of Dean Keeton and Guadalupe). map

Put a little Austin in your family’s stockings this year by stopping by the Austin City Limits Holiday Gift Fair. See ya’ll there!


R.I.P. Bee Spears, Willie Nelson’s long-serving bass player

We here at ACL TV were saddened to learn that longtime Willie Nelson bassist Bee Spears passed away this weekend. You can find more details here.

Here he is with Willie from the pilot episode of Austin City Limits.


Watch Pilot Performance: Willie Nelson “Bloody Mary Morning” on PBS. See more from AUSTIN CITY LIMITS.


ACL Christmas list

Music is a great present to give! The holidays bring out the music fan in all of us here at Austin City Limits as we make our lists for Santa. Here are some of the things we’re hoping to find in their stockings this Christmas. Feel free to share your list in the comments.

Leonard Cohen’s new album and tickets to see him live.
Joanna Newsom concert tickets
Screaming Females tickets
New R.E.M. retrospective.
Jeff Peterson, Producer

I want a piano so I can pick up where I left off at age 12. Also I would  like tickets and a driver to the annual Polyphonic Spree Holiday Extravaganza on 12/10 in Dallas.
Leslie Nichols, Associate Producer

A Very She & Him Christmas
Tickets to see Radiohead @ the Erwin Center
The Smiths Complete (box set)
New albums from The Black Keys, The Roots
Emily Joyce, Associate Producer / Digital & Interactive Director

The Stone Roses Limited Edition 20th Anniversary Boxed Set
The Unforgettable Fire Super Deluxe Edition
The Black Keys El Camino
The Rolling Stones Some Girls – Live in Texas ’78
Tom Gimbel, General Manager Austin City Limits

Leonard Cohen – the complete studio albums collection
The Roots – Undun
Olafur Arnalds – ….And They Have Escaped The Weight of Darkness
EPMD – There’s No Business Like Showbusiness (coming out in 2012!!!)
Real Estate – Days
Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
Herman Dune – Mas Cambios
Alex Cline Ensemble – Continuation
Maury Sullivan, Publicist

Black Keys’ El Camino and Nick Lowe’s Jesus of Cool on vinyl.
Lauren Burton, Production Coordinator

Slayer Soundtrack To The Apocalypse
JJ Weber, Production Manager

Gorillaz The Singles Collection: 2001-2011
Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures
The Black Keys El Camino
This Is A Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl by Paul Brannigan
Tickets to The Kills @ Stubbs Jan. 25th
Tamra Wilson, Project Manager

The Black Keys, El Camino
SuperHeavy SuperHeavy a
KGSR Broadcasts – Volume 19  (for a little bit everything to reminisce all the great music that made it through Austin in 2011)
Cake Concert at Stubbs on 12/4
Willie & Friends Family New Year Concert at ACL Live on 12/30 & 12/31
Hayes Carll’s Burlesque Circus and Sideshow Freakout at La Zona Rosa on 12/31
Tori Amos Concert at Bass Concert Hall on 12/21
Big Head Todd and the Monsters at Stubbs on 3/3
Amanda Hutchins, Manager Friends of Austin City Limits

I am lusting for Pristine Audio’s newly restored version of Wilhelm Furtwangler conducting Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” from 1952. Furtwangler is thought by many to have been the greatest conductor of the 20th century, and he lives up to that reputation in this amazing performance. I also covet their restoration of Artur Schnabel’s Beethoven sonata cycle from the 1930s. This was the first complete recording of the Beethoven piano sonatas, and Schnabel’s playing, while technically flawed, is intensely musical. This company does amazing work with historical recordings, and you should check them out just for that, even if you’re not interested in the music.
Paul Sweeney, Videotape Operator

Randy Newman – Live in London
Gorillaz – The Singles Collection: 2001-2011
Giant Sand – Chore of Enchantment (25th Anniversary Edition)
The Wagoneers – The Essential Wagoneers
Various Artists – Fire in My Bones: Raw, Rare & Otherworldly African-American
Gospel, 1944-2007 and This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw African-American
Gospel on 45 RPM, 1957-1982
Had Me a Real Good Time: The Faces Before, During & After by Andy Neil
Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath by Tony Iommi
Groove Interrupted: Loss, Renewal and the Music of New Orleans by Keith Spera
Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever by Will Hermes
Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles Bk. 1 by Colin Meloy
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage DVD
Stones in Exile DVD
The Secret to a Happy Ending DVD
Ballad of Mott the Hoople DVD
Lemmy: 49% Motherf*cker, 51% Son of a Bitch DVD
The Who – Quadrophrenia: The Director’s Cut box set
Orange Juice – Coals to Newcastle box set
The Smiths – Complete box set
Richard Thompson – Live at the BBC box set
Robert Plant – Nine Lives box set
Michael Toland, National Productions Manager