ACL fest 2017

Who to See at ACL 2017

The Criquet Caddy's Read On The 2017 Festival

Now that the season of harvest and plenty beckons, we disable our out-of-office messages and trade evenings with the grill for evenings ferrying small humans to and from soccer practice. Here in Austin, where summer tends to hang around a bit longer (like that party guest you invited but never thought would actually show up) we mark the change of season by the two rites of Autumn: Texas football and Austin City Limits. Both combine the essential joys of food, drink, and spectacle. Likewise, both encourage certain people of a collegiate extraction to go buck wild.

Preparing for UT football is pretty simple: break out your burnt orange and make sure the fridge is well equipped come Saturday. ACL, on the other hand, requires a little more tact. And amid work schedules and the roaring chaos that is the daily news cycle, who has time to dig around online for the names on the bill that you can drop to impress your friends? Not you, sir. Short of asking leering hipsters at the record store, you’re hard pressed to make sense of all the newer acts.

Consider this a friendly (and short) primer.

Chance the Rapper— Everybody loves Chance. He’s got charisma to burn and he’s making gospel cool (again?). Plus he is coming off a killer album that actually made collaborating with Justin Bieber seem like a good idea. The kid’s a natural entertainer and his two sets should just be plain ‘ol fun.

Car Seat Headrest— If there’s such a thing as “rock” anymore (there is) this might be the most exciting new act of the last two years. Think big guitar riffs, a healthy dose of angst, and surprisingly complex songwriting. Frontman and songwriter Will Toledo has penned an album well beyond his twenty-four years. Just listen to the guitar riff on album opener “Fill in the Blank.” 

BadBadNotGood— A nod to our jazz heads out there. This Canadian quartet initially grabbed people’s attention with instrumental covers of rap songs and have since expanded into a sound that exists somewhere between jam band and old school jazz.

Run the Jewels and Danny Brown— If Chance and Kendrick are the twin suns of the hip hop universe, then these two acts form some kind of mercurial outlaw planet. Check them out if you had a hardcore phase and can find a sitter, or if you just need to work some things out and want to do so in a crowd of seething youngsters. Good luck.

The Growlers— Psych rock is as native to Austin as barbecue. These guys throw enough pop and dance influence into the mix to offer an ideal set for a date. That is, given you don’t mind standing beneath a thin waft of ganjascent for an hour or so. Head out to see them them at 6:15 on Sunday and then grab dinner afterwards. You’re welcome.

Tank and the Bangas— A hidden gem. If you’ve ever wondered about the current music scene in New Orleans, wonder no longer.

Other notables: Angel Olsen, Solange, Thundercat

As to what to wear to ACL, that's a no brainer.  You can't go wrong in one of these.

Not a bad way to ring in Fall.