Taping Announcement

First taping of Season 38: The Civil Wars

When executive producer Terry Lickona saw the Civil Wars during production of the ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival special, he knew we had to invite them to tape their own episode of Austin City Limits. The obvious chemistry between singer-songwriters John Paul White and Joy Williams is as infectious as their grassroots success – over 250,000 copies of their debut album Barton Hollow sold without major industry support. Now we’ve booked the duo to tape ACL on February 29 as the first taping of Season 38 (and our first Leap Day taping ever). Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages – and, of course, this here blog – for ticket information. We hope you can join us. In the meantime, here’s a reminder of why Terry wanted to book the Civil Wars.

The Civil Wars “Barton Hollow” from Austin City Limits on Vimeo.

Episode Recap

ACL Season 37, Episode 9: Arcade Fire

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, January 14.

Arcade Fire “Ready to Start” from Austin City Limits on Vimeo.

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.

Arcade Fire “We Used to Wait” at ACL: Behind the Scenes from Jonathan Jackson on Vimeo.

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, Twitter and Tumblr pages and to sign up for our newsletter for more ACL TV sweet stuff. Next week: the ACL debuts of Fleet Foxes and Joanna Newsom!

Episode Recap

ACL Season 37, Episode 8: The Head and the Heart/Gomez

The wide (wild?) world of indie rock has so many disparate roads to travel it’s dizzying. But the best indie rock artists, like the best musicians in any genre, have one thing in common: good songs. And on January 7 you can see two of the best song-centric indie rock bands on Austin City Limits – The Head and the Heart and Gomez.

Seattle sextet The Head and the Heart exploded out of the Pacific Northwest with an eponymous debut that sold 10,000 copies as a self-released disk before being picked up by indie label giant Sub Pop. The group’s upbeat, harmony-rich folk pop has garnered a large, deeply dedicated fan base in a surprisingly short amount of time. Come hear why as the band plays fan favorites “Down in the Valley” and “Lost in My Mind,” among others.

The Head and the Heart “Down in the Valley” from Austin City Limits on Vimeo.

U.K. quintet Gomez have fifteen years of experience behind them and show no signs of slowing down. The band’s eclectic mix of roots rock, pop, psychedelia, electronica and whatever else crosses the members’ radar has gained them a loyal worldwide audience of discerning music fans. Gomez’ seventh LP Whatever’s On Your Mind received the near-universal acclaim all their records earn, and the band shows why with performances of “I Will Take You There” and “Just As Lost As You,” as well as old favorites “Get Miles” and “In Our Gun.”

Gomez “See the World” from Austin City Limits on Vimeo.

Want more details? Head over to the episode page for photos, setlists and biographical info. Don’t forget to visit – and visit often – our Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr pages for tidbits on ACL past and present, or to sign up for our e-newsletter. Next week on Austin City Limits: Arcade Fire!

ACL @ the Alamo

Reel Rarities: Leonard Cohen

Music legend Leonard Cohen has a new record, Old Ideas, coming out on January 31. To celebrate, we’re bringing back Cohen’s classic 1989 episode of Austin City Limits as the latest installment of Reel Rarities, our monthly series of screenings at the venerable Alamo Drafthouse. Recorded during the tour for his acclaimed comeback I’m Your Man, this hour-length show features Cohen and his skilled band performing a range of tunes from that brilliant record, as well as dipping into his back catalog. Given the scarcity of Cohen tours and TV appearances at the time, this episode was a boon to Cohen fans and is easily the most requested episode of ACL outside of Tom Waits.

But that’s not all. Cohen did another episode with us in 1993 during the tour for The Future, and we’re happy to present that half-hour alongside his original appearance. Plus our friends at Sony will be on-hand with some advance music from the new album and some special prizes. So if you’re an Austin-based Leonard Cohen fan, come check it out at the Alamo Ritz at 7 p.m. on January 23 – you can find more details here.

Reel Rarities: Handpicked Gems from the ACL Vault is an ongoing series at the Alamo Drafthouse. Tickets are $5 and the sales benefit our friends at the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians.


New Year – New Episodes!

We’re halfway through the broadcasts of Austin City Limits’ 37 season and you may be asking yourself: how do we follow up shows with Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, the Decemberists, the Steve Miller Band, Miranda Lambert, Raphael Saadiq and Randy Newman (to name only a few)? With a second half equally as strong, of course.

Arcade Fire “We Used to Wait” at ACL: Behind the Scenes from Jonathan Jackson on Vimeo.

Coming up on January 7 we have Seattle up-and-comers The Head and the Heart and British veterans Gomez. On January 14 it’s the return of Album of the Year Grammy winners Arcade Fire. January 21 is ACL acid folk day with Fleet Foxes and Joanna Newsom. January 28 features the debuts of rising stars Florence + the Machine and Lykke Li. We close the season on February 7 with our old pals Wilco.

We’re as jazzed about these new episodes.  Don’t forget to watch on your favorite PBS station!


Stream the Coldplay New Year’s Eve Special at 11pm!

We want you to be as excited as we are at midnight, so start streaming this video at 11pm sharp to enjoy the countdown to 2012 with Coldplay! Happy New Year from all of us at Austin City Limits. Thank you for your support in 2011, and we look forward to bringing you even more great music in 2012!

Watch Coldplay New Year’s Eve: An Austin City Limits Special on PBS. See more from Austin City Limits.