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Featured News Taping Recap

Taping recap: Khruangbin

There hasn’t been a band as unique as Khruangbin striding across the music landscape in some time. With a sonic wave that draws in disparate elements of Thai funk, classic soul, dub, hip-hop, Afghan music, psychedelia and pretty much any other sound that strikes their fancy, the Houston trio has found a huge global audience through a combination of hard roadwork and being really, really good at what they do. So it was with no small pleasure that we welcomed the group to the ACL stage for their first taping, which we streamed live around the world. 

Interestingly, Khruangbin presented a seeming career retrospective, starting with some of their earliest work before heading to tracks from last year’s critically acclaimed LP Mordechai. After Terry Lickona’s introduction, the trio took the stage with bassist Laura Lee resplendent in silver, guitarist Mark Speer casually cool in white with colored accents, and drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson, Jr. in his usual black cape. The group began almost gently with “The No. 3,” from their 2014 10-inch EP The Infamous Bill, a song that serves as an introduction to the Khruangbin aesthetic: reverb-heavy psychedelic guitar, simple but singular bass grooves, and DJ’s steady-as-a-statue drum rhythms. (One live stream viewer playfully noted, “Metronomes use DJ to keep time.”)  It’s a vision both minimalist in arrangement and maximumalist in musicality. The band continue to pull from Bill for the next two songs, the groovy psych funk of “The No. 4” (a reworking of a song from their very first cassette EP) and the surf-inflected soul of the title track. The band then visited their debut album The Universe Smiles Upon You, first with the effortlessly funky, “disco country” (according to a live stream watcher) “People Everywhere (Still Alive),” a song that highlights the sly contrast between Lee’s funky strut and Speer’s laidback stoicism. “Still alive,” Lee repeated into the mic as an affirmation, adding the aside “after 2020.” Khruangbin stuck with the same record for “White Gloves,” a smouldering, starkly pretty near-ballad that would melt an ice cap. “Zionsville” followed, like an easy listening classic played by the hippest musicians in H-Town, as prelude to “August 12,” a clever blend of dub, spaghetti western soundtrack music, psychedelic funk and proto-punk.

With that, Khruangbin moved to “Friday Morning,” an acid soul ballad from their breakthrough LP Con Todo El Mundo that shifts from close harmony vocals to an epic guitar solo. With that brief stop, it was on to Mordechai, their most lauded and successful record so far. The minimal lyrics of “First Class” acted almost as another instrument to the wah-wah soaked tune, shimmering like the sun rising over the clouds. Lee’s bass took the lead for “Father Bird, Mother Bird,” a surprisingly brief but melodically languorous groover. The pace picked up considerably for the catchy Latin rock of “Pelota,” which garnered the biggest round of applause yet. The trio then went into the particularly mesmerizing, genre-defiant “Shida,” all reverbed guitar licks, DJ’s rocksteady rhythms and Lee’s enigmatic vocal interjections. The band closed the set with “So We Won’t Forget,” a disco-laced pop song that kept to the Khruangbinic virtues while saluting the good times the music brought them and the audience. With that the band quit the stage to enthusiastic applause, every clap of which they earned. It was an amazing set unlike anything else on our stage, and we can’t wait for you see it when it airs November 6 on your local PBS station. 

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Featured Live Stream News Uncategorized

ACL to live stream Khruangbin and Leon Bridges tapings

Austin City Limits is excited to announce we will live stream back to back tapings showcasing a pair of Texas originals: Houston’s eclectic groove trio Khruangbin in their ACL debut on Sept. 13, performing standouts from their global sensation Mordechai, and Fort Worth R&B singer-songwriter Leon Bridges with highlights from his latest, Gold-Diggers Sound, in his second appearance on the ACL stage on Sept. 14. ACL offers fans worldwide a unique opportunity to watch these ACL tapings live in their entirety. Join us here on Sept. 13 for the debut by Khruangbin, and here on Sept. 14 for the return of Leon Bridges, at 8 p.m. CT on both nights.

Taking their name from a Thai word that means airplane, Khruangbin has always been multilingual, weaving far-flung musical languages like East Asian surf-rock, Persian funk, and Jamaican dub into mellifluous harmony. The atmospheric Texan trio is formed by bassist Laura Lee Ochoa, guitarist Mark Speer, and drummer Donald ‘DJ’ Johnson Jr.  Khruangbin’s widely-acclaimed recent album Mordechai represents a shift for the primarily instrumental act, featuring vocals prominently on nearly every song, It’s a shift that rewards the risk, reorienting Khruangbin’s transportive sound toward a new sense of emotional directness, without losing the spirit of nomadic wandering that’s always defined it. And it all started with them coming home. By the summer of 2019, the Houston act had been on tour for nearly three-and-a-half years, playing to audiences across North and South America, Europe, and southeast Asia behind its acclaimed debut The Universe Smiles Upon You and their breakthrough second album Con Todo El Mundo. They returned to their farmhouse studio in Burton, Texas, ready to begin work on their third album. But they were also determined to slow down, to take their time and luxuriate in building something together. Khruangbin had worked with lyrics before, but this time Ochoa had found she had something to say—and so did the songs. Letting those words ring out gave Khruangbin’s cavernous music a new thematic depth. Musically, the band’s ever-restless ear saw it pulling reference points from Pakistan, Korea, and West Africa, incorporating strains of Indian chanting boxes and Congolese syncopated guitar. But more than anything, the album became a celebration of Houston, the eclectic city that had nurtured them, and a cultural nexus where you can check out country and zydeco, trap rap, or avant-garde opera on any given night. In those years away from that home, Khruangbin’s members often felt like they were swimming underwater, unsure of where they were going, or why they were going there. But Mordechai leads them gently back to the surface, allowing them to take a breath, look around, and find themselves again. The just-dropped Mordecai Remixed embodies the band’s creative aesthetic: “We write our music to be interpreted; this is another wonderful interpretation of the music. There is something very vulnerable about letting others work on your music. But through the correspondence with the different artists, we gained a bigger connection to the songs themselves.” Frequent collaborators, Khruangbin teamed up with Leon Bridges to pay tribute to the state that raised them with 2020’s EP Texas Sun

Grammy Award-winning R&B artist and songwriter Leon Bridges returns to our stage for the first time since his 2016 ACL debut, showcasing his third release, the acclaimed Gold-Diggers Sound, whose name comes from the East Hollywood studio where the album was made. Gold Diggers Sound is a literal place: a studio, speakeasy-style bar and hotel on an unassuming block in Los Angeles. The Fort Worth native spent over two years in residence conceptualizing, writing and recording, and the result is his most confident, intimate and sensual album to date. Hailed a Critics Pick by The New York Times, Gold-Diggers Sound is a modern R&B album with touches of soul and psychedelia, featuring twelve tracks, including previously released tracks “Motorbike”, “Why Don’t You Touch Me” and “Sweeter,” which Bridges released last June after the police murder of George Floyd.  The record is birthed from extended late nights at the Los Angeles complex and celebrates Bridges’ immersive experience of creating music in the same space in which he lived, worked, and drank. What began as nightly all-night jam sessions where Leon and his fellow musicians could just vibe and let loose away from crowds, cameras, and structured studio schedules, quickly began to form into what he realized was an album. Says Bridges, “I spent two years jamming in what often felt like a musician’s paradise. We effortlessly moved from the dance floor to the studio. We would be finishing our tequilas at 10AM and waking up with coffee and getting to work at 10PM. It was all for the love of R&B and musicianship.” Gold-Diggers Sound is also the culmination of three years of musical experimentation: recording the Texas Sun EP with Khruangbin, duetting with Kacey Musgraves, collaborating with artists including Diplo, Luke Combs, Odesza, Lucky Daye and John Mayer, and contributing vocals to The Avalanches’ haunting “We Will Always Love You.” It positions him as a dynamic artist unbound by expectations, yet always focused on delivering outstanding performances guided by soulful commitment. “I love staying unpredictable. I get high off of that,” says Bridges. “R&B and soul aren’t linear things; they have different outputs. I want my fans to embrace the direction I’m going in. My music is going to continue to evolve, but it’s always going to stay meaningful and soulful.” 

Join us here on Sept. 13 for the debut by Khruangbin, and here on Sept. 14 for the return of Leon Bridges, both at 8 p.m. CT. Both performances will air in an hour-long broadcast episode airing November 6, 2021 on PBS as part of our upcoming 47.

Categories
Featured New Broadcast News

ACL announces Season 47 broadcast schedule

Iconic television series Austin City Limits proudly announces the fall return of the program and the initial Season 47 broadcast line-up with eight all-new installments to begin airing October 2 at 8pm CT/9pm ET as part of the blue-chip broadcast’s thirteen-episode season. ACL brings fans a full season, packed with a stellar slate of ACL legends and highly-anticipated debuts from some of today’s most talked-about live acts. Despite the challenges facing live music during the last year, ACL is proud to deliver brand new performances for fans, all recorded at ACL’s studio home in Austin, Texas in 2021, in front of limited live audiences. The program continues its extraordinary run as the longest-running music television show in history, providing viewers a front-row seat to the best in live performance for a remarkable 47 years. ACL airs weekly on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings) and full episodes are made available to stream online at pbs.org/austincitylimits immediately following the initial broadcast.

Austin City Limits returns this fall with a singular highlight as the season opener: country superstar Miranda Lambert joined by songwriting partners Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, showcase their acclaimed The Marfa Tapes, an album recorded in the West Texas desert town of Marfa. This dazzling acoustic hour spotlights the three longtime friends and co-writers, and offers a fascinating look at the trio’s collaborative and creative process, filled with the stories behind the songs and late night tales behind the recording. 

The season continues with highly-anticipated debut appearances: New Orleans bandleader Jon Batiste, a Grammy and Oscar-winning musician, delivers a high-energy tour-de-force backed by an 18-piece band, performing selections from his soulful album WE ARE in a must-see hour. ACL spotlights next-generation standouts: acclaimed young British singer-songwriter Jade Bird brings songs from her new album Different Kinds of Light; she shares an hour with Austin indie-pop breakout artist Dayglow, who performs songs from his Harmony House. A pair of country sensations shine in a captivating double-bill with CMA Award-winner and eight-time Grammy nominee Brandy Clark showcasing her 2021 Grammy-nominated Your Life is a Record; while rising star Texas country singer Charley Crockett debuts songs from his new Music City USA. Grammy-winning bluegrass stars share a spell-binding hour that forecasts the genre’s future: Sarah Jarosz makes her third appearance on the ACL stage with selections from World On the Ground, the 2021 Grammy-winner for Best Americana Album; while fan favorite Billy Strings delivers an electrifying debut with songs from Home, his 2021 Grammy Award-winning Best Bluegrass Album and debuts new numbers from his upcoming Renewal. Two Texas originals share a highly-anticipated hour: Grammy-winning Fort Worth R&B artist and songwriter Leon Bridges makes his second ACL appearance with highlights from his latest, Gold-Diggers Sound, and Houston eclectic groove trio Khruangbin make their ACL debut with standouts from their global sensation Mordechai

A season highpoint is the ACL return of legendary singer-songwriter Jackson Browne for the first time in nearly 20 years, as he showcases a chart-topping new collection of songs, Downhill From Everywhere, alongside career highlights from his five decade career. Celebrated singer and multiple Grammy recipient Brittany Howard rounds out the first half of Season 47, returning to the ACL stage for a long-awaited solo debut with songs from her 2021 Grammy-winning gem Jaime

“The world is still fighting its way out of this pandemic, but Austin City Limits is back – without missing a beat,” says longtime executive producer Terry Lickona. “As always, we love to mix things up with some remarkable new talent as well as fan favorites, along with a few surprises. ACL celebrates the return of live music!”

Season 47 Broadcast Line-up (second half of season to be announced separately):

October 2 Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram & Jon Randall: The Marfa 

Tapes

October 9 Jade Bird / Dayglow

October 16 Jon Batiste

October 23 Sarah Jarosz / Billy Strings

October 30 Brandy Clark / Charley Crockett

November 6 Leon Bridges / Khruangbin

November 13 Jackson Browne

November 20 Brittany Howard

Watch live, stream anytime, and let ACL be a trusted sidekick for entertainment during these challenging days. The complete line-up for the full 13-week season, including five new episodes to air beginning January 2022, will be announced at a later date.  Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding live streams, future tapings and episode schedules or by following ACL on Facebook, Twitter and IG. Fans can also browse the ACL YouTube channel for exclusive songs, behind-the-scenes videos and full-length artist interviews.

Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits (ACL) offers viewers unparalleled access to featured acts in an intimate setting that provides a platform for artists to deliver inspired, memorable, full-length performances. Now in its 47th Season, the program is taped live before a concert audience from The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. Austin City Limits is the longest-running music series in television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. Since its inception, the groundbreaking music series has become an institution that’s helped secure Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. The historic Austin PBS Studio 6A, home to 36 years of ACL concerts, has been designated an official Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark. In 2011, ACL moved to the new venue ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. ACL received a rare institutional Peabody Award for excellence and outstanding achievement in 2012.  

Austin City Limits is produced by Austin PBS and funding is provided in part by Dell Technologies, Workrise, the Austin Convention Center Department and Cirrus Logic. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at acltv.com.

Categories
Featured News Taping Announcement

New tapings: Khruangbin, Leon Bridges, Jackson Browne and St. Vincent

Austin City Limits’ esteemed forty-seventh taping season continues with a highly-anticipated September schedule, featuring the debut of eclectic groove trio Khruangbin on Sept. 13, the second visit from R&B singer/songwriter Leon Bridges on Sept. 14, songwriting icon Jackson Browne in his first appearance in nearly two decades on Sept. 22, and a new taping with modern rock star St. Vincent on Sept. 30. 

Khruangbin; photo by Pooneh Ghana

Taking their name from a Thai word that means airplane, Khruangbin has always been multilingual, weaving far-flung musical languages like East Asian surf-rock, Persian funk, and Jamaican dub into mellifluous harmony. The atmospheric Texan trio is formed by bassist Laura Lee Ochoa, guitarist Mark Speer, and drummer Donald ‘DJ’ Johnson Jr.  Khruangbin’s widely-acclaimed recent album Mordechai represents a shift for the primarily instrumental act, featuring vocals prominently on nearly every song, It’s a shift that rewards the risk, reorienting Khruangbin’s transportive sound toward a new sense of emotional directness, without losing the spirit of nomadic wandering that’s always defined it. And it all started with them coming home. By the summer of 2019, the Houston act had been on tour for nearly three-and-a-half years, playing to audiences across North and South America, Europe, and southeast Asia behind its acclaimed debut The Universe Smiles Upon You and their breakthrough second album Con Todo El Mundo. They returned to their farmhouse studio in Burton, Texas, ready to begin work on their third album. But they were also determined to slow down, to take their time and luxuriate in building something together. Khruangbin had worked with lyrics before, but this time Ochoa had found she had something to say—and so did the songs. Letting those words ring out gave Khruangbin’s cavernous music a new thematic depth. Musically, the band’s ever-restless ear saw it pulling reference points from Pakistan, Korea, and West Africa, incorporating strains of Indian chanting boxes and Congolese syncopated guitar. But more than anything, the album became a celebration of Houston, the eclectic city that had nurtured them, and a cultural nexus where you can check out country and zydeco, trap rap, or avant-garde opera on any given night. In those years away from that home, Khruangbin’s members often felt like they were swimming underwater, unsure of where they were going, or why they were going there. But Mordechai leads them gently back to the surface, allowing them to take a breath, look around, and find themselves again. The just-dropped Mordecai Remixed embodies the band’s creative aesthetic: “We write our music to be interpreted; this is another wonderful interpretation of the music. There is something very vulnerable about letting others work on your music. But through the correspondence with the different artists, we gained a bigger connection to the songs themselves.” Frequent collaborators, Khruangbin teamed up with Leon Bridges to pay tribute to the state that raised them with 2020’s EP Texas Sun

Leon Bridges; photo by Justin Hardiman

Grammy Award-winning R&B artist and songwriter Leon Bridges returns to our stage for the first time since his 2016 ACL debut, showcasing his third release, the acclaimed Gold-Diggers Sound, whose name comes from the East Hollywood studio where the album was made. Gold Diggers Sound is a literal place: a studio, speakeasy-style bar and hotel on an unassuming block in Los Angeles. The Fort Worth native spent over two years in residence conceptualizing, writing and recording, and the result is his most confident, intimate and sensual album to date. Hailed a Critics Pick by The New York Times, Gold-Diggers Sound is a modern R&B album with touches of soul and psychedelia, featuring twelve tracks, including previously released tracks “Motorbike”, “Why Don’t You Touch Me” and “Sweeter,” which Bridges released last June after the police murder of George Floyd.  The record is birthed from extended late nights at the Los Angeles complex and celebrates Bridges’ immersive experience of creating music in the same space in which he lived, worked, and drank. What began as nightly all-night jam sessions where Leon and his fellow musicians could just vibe and let loose away from crowds, cameras, and structured studio schedules, quickly began to form into what he realized was an album. Says Bridges, “I spent two years jamming in what often felt like a musician’s paradise. We effortlessly moved from the dance floor to the studio. We would be finishing our tequilas at 10AM and waking up with coffee and getting to work at 10PM. It was all for the love of R&B and musicianship.” Gold-Diggers Sound is also the culmination of three years of musical experimentation: recording the Texas Sun EP with Khruangbin, duetting with Kacey Musgraves, collaborating with artists including Diplo, Luke Combs, Odesza, Lucky Daye and John Mayer, and contributing vocals to The Avalanches’ haunting “We Will Always Love You.” It positions him as a dynamic artist unbound by expectations, yet always focused on delivering outstanding performances guided by soulful commitment. “I love staying unpredictable. I get high off of that,” says Bridges. “R&B and soul aren’t linear things; they have different outputs. I want my fans to embrace the direction I’m going in. My music is going to continue to evolve, but it’s always going to stay meaningful and soulful.” 

Jackson Browne; photo by Nels Israelson

Jackson Browne’s classic self-titled debut album was released in 1972, and for over 50 years he has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music, and defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics. Hailed as one of the Greatest Songwriters of All Time by Rolling Stone, Browne is revered for era-defining hits like “Running On Empty” and “The Pretender,” as well as deeply personal ballads like “These Days” and “In the Shape of a Heart.” He was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004 and 2007. Throughout his storied career, Browne has regularly threaded activism into his life and songs, raising funds and awareness for social, political, and environmental efforts. 

In a season highlight, Browne returns to our stage for the first time since his ACL debut in 2002, showcasing a new collection of songs, Downhill From Everywhere, his fifteenth studio album, which debuted in the Top 5 on Billboard’s Current Album, Album Sales and Americana Album Charts. Though the songs were recorded prior to the tumultuous events of the past year, the album feels remarkably prescient, grappling with truth and justice, respect and dignity, doubt and longing, all while maintaining a defiant sense of optimism that seems tailor-made for these turbulent times. The album’s breakout single “My Cleveland Heart,” inspired by a Cleveland factory that produces artificial hearts, imagines the liberation that would come from replacing our fallible, human hearts with unbreakable, artificial ones (“They’re made to take a bashin’ / And never lose their passion”). Like much of Browne’s illustrious catalog, Downhill From Everywhere is fueled by a search—for connection, for purpose, for self—but there’s a heightened sense of urgency written between the lines, a recognition of the sand slipping through the hourglass that elevates the stakes at every turn. While such ruminations might suggest a meditation on aging and mortality from a rock icon in his early 70s, the truth is that Browne isn’t looking in the mirror; he’s singing about us, about a world fast approaching a social, political, and environmental point of no return. Clean air, fresh water, racial equity, democracy—it’s all on the line, and nothing is assured. “I see the writing on the wall,” says Browne. “I know there’s only so much time left in my life. But I now have an amazing, beautiful grandson, and I feel more acutely than ever the responsibility to leave him a world that’s inhabitable.” The songs on Downhill From Everywhere are ultimately portraits—of people, of places, of possibilities—that appeal to our fundamental humanity, to the joy and pain and love and sadness and hope and desire that bind us all, not only to each other, but to those who came before and the generations still to come. Browne, currently on a U.S. tour with James Taylor, has announced a fall headlining tour and will also be a featured keynote speaker at this year’s AmericanaFest. We’re thrilled to welcome him back to the ACL stage.

First appearing on ACL in 2009, groundbreaking Texas native St. Vincent opened our Season 44 broadcast season in an epic hour, and we’re thrilled to have her back for her third appearance on the ACL stage. Hailed in a four-star Rolling Stone review as “a mutant strain of retro pop steeped in New York lore,” Daddy’s Home, the sixth album from Annie Clark, a/k/a St. Vincent, is the latest facet of an ever-evolving artist widely regarded as the most consistently innovative and intriguing presence in modern music. In the winter of 2019, as her 2017 masterpiece MASSEDUCTION‘s title track won the Grammy for Best Rock Song and the album won Best Recording Package, St. Vincent’s father was released from prison. She began writing the songs that would become Daddy’s Home, closing the loop on a journey that began with his incarceration in 2010, and ultimately led her back to the vinyl her dad introduced her to during her childhood. The records she has probably listened to more than any others: music made in sepia-toned downtown New York from 1971-1975 – gritty, grimy, sleazy. The first full broadcast from St. Vincent’s synthesis of this came in the form of “Pay Your Way In Pain” and “The Melting Of The Sun” – played live before a crowd for the first time during her return to Saturday Night Live – highlighting Clark’s ability to shred both vocally and on the debut appearance of Goldie, the newest model of her signature Ernie Ball Music Man guitar. The reaction to Daddy’s Home has been immediate and ecstatic, with raves including. “In an industry crowded with artists who claim singularity, there is perhaps no musician more deserving of the label than St. Vincent” (Interview), “St. Vincent’s sound is more electric than ever” (Los Angeles), “St. Vincent has gotten to the point where we can’t look away, because there’s just nobody in indie-pop quite like Annie Clark” (Paste), and so many more. St. Vincent is now taking 2021’s most talked-about record on the road along with her top shelf Down And Out Downtown Band comprised of Justin Meldal-Johnsen (bass), Jason Falkner (guitar), Rachel Eckroth (keys), Mark Guiliana (drums), and backing vocalists Nayanna Holley, Stevvi Alexander and Danielle Withers—don’t miss out on the invitation to spend the night with St. Vincent in the world of Daddy’s Home.

Due to implemented safety measures and the ongoing uncertainty relating to COVID-19, there is currently no public ticket giveaway for access to attend these upcoming ACL tapings. With the safety of the artists, crew and guests top of mind, the limited studio audience will be prioritized to our donors who make Austin City Limits possible and who have continued to support the show during this challenging time and beyond. Effective 8/23/21, Austin PBS has adopted updated health & safety protocols for those in attendance at tapings until further notice. As public health conditions for live entertainment change, ACL will remain flexible and adapt to applicable health protocols. We will expand the audience as safety measures allow and will post giveaway opportunities on acltv.com as available. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we continue to respond to ever-changing conditions. Our top priority is bringing y’all great music and keeping everyone who attends ACL tapings safe. In the meantime, select tapings will be offered as livestreams for our wonderful fans and supporters to enjoy on ACL’s YouTube Channel. Viewers can visit acltv.com for the latest news regarding livestreams.

About Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits (ACL) offers viewers unparalleled access to featured acts in an intimate setting that provides a platform for artists to deliver inspired, memorable, full-length performances. Now in its 47th Season, the program is taped live before a concert audience from The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. Austin City Limits is the longest-running music series in television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. Since its inception, the groundbreaking music series has become an institution that’s helped secure Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. The historic KLRU Studio 6A, home to 36 years of ACL concerts, has been designated an official Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark. In 2011, ACL moved to the new venue ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. ACL received a rare institutional Peabody Award for excellence and outstanding achievement in 2012.

Austin City Limits is produced by Austin PBS, KLRU-TV and funding is provided in part by Dell Technologies, Workrise, the Austin Convention Center Department and Cirrus Logic. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at acltv.com.