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The Best of ACL Fest

Band of Horses: Having previously written of the South Carolina equines as Flaming Lips for beardoes, allow me to hereby help myself to a generous serving of crow. Changing my mind were the epic "The Great Salt Lake" and "Weed Party," folk-rock in overdrive with echoes of Paul Westerberg, the Infinite guitar of U2's Edge and Life's Rich Pageant-era R.E.M. By the time they closed with some sinister blues à la "I Put a Spell on You," they certainly had.

Okkervil River: People hear what they want to hear, and for me a steady diet of Clash recently led to obvious parallels between that band and Okkervil's buoyant blend of folk-rock and new wave. Drumming up R.E.M. and the Cure on "Real Knives," they closed with singer Will Sheff urging the crowd, "Let's make some magic," and the band working up from a "Pinball Wizard" vamp to authentic "Clampdown" grandeur. Call them Okkervil Rockstars now.

chris.gray@houstonpress.com

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