Thursday, September 8, 2011

Live music preview: ACL Festival | Beardyman | Fitz and the Tantrums | Social Distortion

With Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival around the corner, we took a look at our custom lineup and selected a few lesser known acts to preview. Beardyman is a champion beatboxer who pioneered sampling techniques that are often imitated. Fitz and the Tantrums are a Los Angeles based neo-soul act who recently stopped in Austin on tour and filmed an impressive segment at the Lounge. Social Distortion is more well-known and enjoying a resurgence of sorts as Mike Ness and the Southern Cal punk act make an appearance at Austin's premiere music festival. 


Darren Foreman is the artist behind the moniker, Beardyman. Since the mid-nineties the artist from the UK has been beatboxing and winning awards for his talent. His innovative approach means he can put together concert-lenth sets to entertain audiences. Folks who have seen him perform often comment on how remarkable his skill is. Beardyman can make any sound with his mouth and then transform that sound using his Korg Synth, an electronic loop and a mic. 
"A talent several thousand leagues beyond his peers… Beardyman is without equal, watching in person is an unmatched experience.” STV 

The Observer called him a "human sound-sample library". We are excited to check out this beatboxer/comedian/musician on Friday the 16th when ACL Festival opens.

 Fitz and The Tantrums

Fitz and the Tantrums are a neo-soul act from Los Angeles who came through Austin back in April and recorded a short set with Austin Music Weekly at the Do512 Lounge (click the link for a great video). We were lucky enough to be there to see the high energy set the band performed. Impressive is an understatement. More like, WHERE have these guys been hiding? They are exceptionally talented. What makes Fitz and the Tantrums work is the old-time style mixed with an LA sophistication, The music is tweeked just right, not too much camp and a little tough street style thrown in. Whatever you call it, neo-soul, new soul, JB inspired, it works. 

Social Distortion
Seminal punk rockers, Social Distortion are returning to Austin after playing a successful date last November at Stubb's BBQ. Social D represents the foundation of Southern California's long-thriving punk music scene. Fueled by surfers, punks and fans who share an infatuation with British punks like the Sex Pistols, punk music became a staple in the region.
Mike Ness, the founder and leader of Social D grew up in Fullerton, California, an inland community of largely have nots peering over the freeway at the wealthy coastal communities. The band formed while he was in high school in the late 70s. 30 years later, the band still tours and plays to appreciative crowds. 
Mike Ness on his music:
 "The most common thing I hear is, 'Man, your music got me through some hard times,'" Ness says. "And I just say, 'Me too.'" -Mike Ness
Austin City Limits begins Friday September 16-18 at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. 3-day passes are sold-out but single day tickets (Sunday only) remain available here. Attending the festival? Check out these helpful (and humorous) tips on how to get the most out of your festival experience. 
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