Have you seen how stacked the line-up for this year’s Austin City Limits festival is? Seriously, I could have chosen practically anyone from it to spotlight for this particular weekend music round up. You might be wondering why we’re focusing on ACL? Well, we’ve just kicked off KCRW’s Spring Pledge Drive and it’s the perfect time to join or renew your membership because you’ll have a shot at winning a V.I.P. trip to the fest. Downsides? There will be a lot of tough choices you’ll have to make about which performances to seek out. This is what we call a good problem though.
In order to get you as properly hyped as you should be for this joyous occasion, here’s headliner/living legend Paul McCartney’s cult classic from 1980 “Temporary Secretary.” Because you’re lovely, and you deserve all of the nice things.
True story, I was standing next to a British friend at FYF in 2015, watching Belle & Sebastian launch into a rendition of “Electronic Renaissance” (a rarity). My friend and I began seriously geeking out, and he exclaimed that B&S playing that song live was about as special an experience as Paul McCartney playing “Temporary Secretary” live, which he’d also seen! Perhaps it’ll happen again at ACL, only one way to find out…
Now for some music from a few non-former Beatles who are nevertheless equally deserving of praise.
What is there to say about the Breeders that hasn’t already been said? They’ve slayed since their formation in 1989, and will undoubtedly continue that trend with their performance at ACL. Watch the video for their 1993 jam “Cannonball,” and check out their excellent recent Morning Becomes Eclectic session if you need further evidence of this irrefutable fact.
Watching Blood Orange perform live is a visceral, emotional experience that you should definitely have at least once in your life. This 2016 Conan performance is good for a taste of what to expect. Plus, Dev Hynes has a lot of very talented friends and collaborators who he loves to share stage time with. You never know which one of your other favorites might show up during his set.
I know I wrote about Alvvays here not too long ago when their single “Dreams Tonite” was first released. Since then they released what was low key one of the best (and best titled) records of 2017, Antisocialites. I’ve never seen them live, but given how dynamic and pristine their recordings are, I can’t imagine their show being anything less than chill inducing.
New York-based producer Amen Dunes has been one of my favorite discoveries of 2018. “Blue Rose” is a major standout from his new album Freedom. It’s a vibe-y, icy slice of electro-pop perfection. If I were Austin bound for ACL, I’d make a beeline to his set as soon as I possibly could.
Paul McCartney carousel image credit: Oli Gill.