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Recap: Austin City Limits Festival Oct 11-13

The Shouting Matches | Photo by Jeremy Quattlebaum | www.theangrymountain.com
The Shouting Matches | Photo by Jeremy Quattlebaum | www.theangrymountain.com

All photos by Jeremy Quattlebaum | www.theangrymountain.com

Last week’s Austin City Limits Festival featured a variety of sounds and styles, ranging from the soulful harmonies of the Blind Boys of Alabama to the introspective and moody hits from The Cure. Held in Austin’s Zilker Park, the six-stage, two-tent festival was a non-stop show of up-and-coming acts like the electro-rock group Cherub to the soulful sounds of Luella and the Sun to the stadium filling acts like Muse and Kings of Leon.

LocalNatives3
Local Natives | Photo by Jeremy Quattlebaum | www.theangrymountain.com

The ever-present heat did not stop Local Natives from giving there all in a high-energy set that was a departure from their more mellow albums. A raucous set by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion was the highlight of the first night, with the front man acting as part bluesman, part revival minister, and part rock god. The Queens of the Stone Age’s set featured a bevy of fan-favorites like “Go With the Flow” and the high speed closer “Song for the Dead.” Depeche Mode wowed the audience with their mix of dominant stage presence and the over-the-top graphics that accompanied their set.

The second day’s performances were typified by the alt-rock shuffles of the Silversun Pickups and a bluesy set by The Shouting Matches, who peppered their set with blues standards that got the audience moving. Passion Pit proved to be the favorite for the dance crowd as the audience chorused their electro-pop hits when they were not in a dancing fury.

In fact the only thing that could stop the top caliber performances was a true Texas gully-washer that flooded the festival and caused the festival to cancel its final day.

Austin City Limits festival grounds and skyline | Photo by Jeremy Quattlebaum | www.theangrymountain.com
Austin City Limits festival grounds and skyline | Photo by Jeremy Quattlebaum | www.theangrymountain.com

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The Key’s Week of Folk: A World Cafe campground spectacular with Star & Micey and more

Star and Micey | Photo by John Vettese
Star and Micey | Photo by John Vettese
Last night the 52nd Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival kicked off as it always does – with a live taping of XPN’s World Cafe with David Dye.

This year, David’s featured guest was Nashville four-piece Luella and the Sun. The honky-tonk blues four-piece was fronted by the stylish and charismatic Melissa Mathes, aka Luella, who had a tremendous stage presence, a voice straight out of gospel and a dress assembled from plastic six-pack rings.

Their performance left a positive impression on the crowd, many of whom were on their feet and dancing by the close. New England gypsy swing band Caravan of Thieves also played an enjoyable opening set, though it wasn’t as warmly received by the trickling-in audience (many of whom were still staking their tents when the band went on.)

The undeniable stars of the show, though, were eclectic Memphis four-piece Star & Micey. They were impossible to pin down to a style; their set started with a cappella ’round-the-drumset riff on Dylan, then launched into boisterous indie-pop (“Love”), twangy nods to Hank Williams (“So Much Pain”), bootstomp blues (“I Can’t Wait”) and probably three or four other genres in between.

Best of all was their energy; guitarist Nick Redmond cracked “my grandma warned me never to do this” before taking a backflip into the crowd. Meanwhile the whole band descended into the audience to play their encore off-mic. The revved-up vibe of the night-time campground show lent itself well to the band’s vivaciousness, but we expect they’d be this much of a blast anywhere; can’t wait till the next time. Meantime, check out photos of the showcase in the gallery below.

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The Key’s Week of Folk: David Dye previews World Cafe’s campground concert with Luella and the Sun and more!

LuellaThe Key’s Week of Folk is our series of interviews, reviews, artist spotlights, playlistings and general ephemera to get you ready for the 52nd Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, happening August 16th to August 18th at Old Pool Farm in Schwenksville. For this installment, David Dye tells us about tonight’s festival kickoff at his annual World Cafe campground concert.

The Thursday night campground stage kick-off to the Philadelphia Folk Festival has at least a couple of goals: To present a new artist that might be a little outside the usual folk fare and to be the best party of the entire fest.

Our World Cafe selections have been pretty good. Over the last few years we have had Deer Tick, The Felice Brothers, Amanda Shires, ukulele genius Jake Shimabukuro, and this year a great new blues-soaked artist we heard about on our Sense Of Place visit to Nashville, Luella and The Sun.

Luella is Melissa Mathes and she and guitarist Joe McMahan are the core of this band that brings blues, gospel and rock into the mix in kind of an unhinged way. Ann Powers from NPR is a fan. Tchad Blake produced their first single. They will make a new album later this summer, out next year. In other words they are perfect for the campground.

Caravan Of Thieves and their gypsy swing influenced pop open. And bringing the party is another band we met doing Sense of Place – Star and Micey from Memphis.

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Nashville Sense of Place: Download the World Cafe Next segment about Luella and the Sun

louella-and-sunAll week on World Cafe with David Dye, the Sense of Place series is exploring the city of Nashville and its rich heritage in country music and beyond. Today, in his weekly World Cafe: Next segment, David introduces you to Luella and the Sun, a band made up of Nashville music scene vets John Radford, Joe McMahan, Adam Bednarik and Melissa Mathes, who write songs that draw from gospel and the blues. Download the segment below. You can listen to the Sense of Place series on WXPN at 2 p.m. Monday through Friday all this week, or at 7 p.m. on XPN2: Singer-Songwriter Radio.