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Madman Across the Water

Sir Elton John piano-pounded Toyota Center March 28.

ACL Fest

Cheeseburgers in Paradise
Is this the year Zilker Park finally gets Jimmy Buffett?

Craig Hlavaty

Nate Ruess and his Brooklyn band Fun. are a virtual lock to play this fall's Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Jim Bricker
Nate Ruess and his Brooklyn band Fun. are a virtual lock to play this fall's Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Inside and out...
Photos by Marco Torres
Inside and out...

This year will be the first that the Austin City Limits Music Festival expands to two consecutive weekends with identical lineups. At this point the lineup for ACL 2013, scheduled for October 4-6 and October 11-13, is weeks away from being announced.

The annual ACL announcement is always a big deal for Texas festival-heads. Granted, it's not as rich in flavorful band reunions and bearded, tattooed folk like Fun Fun Fun Fest or weirdo corporate gigs like SXSW, but it does offer mainstream spectacle.

Last year's Iggy & the Stooges set was probably as "dangerous" as anything ACL has ever ventured, beyond that one time it scheduled Wilco up against My Morning Jacket in 2007.

Having major musical acts tethered to Austin for two weeks straight would also be grand for cities like Houston, Dallas and New Orleans, and pretty much most of the Southwest. If Bruce Springsteen and his fleet aren't back in hibernation by October, they could be a great get, too.

Daft Punk is every ACL fanboy's wet dream, ever since the Internet was "cheated" out of a surprise gig in front of the state Capitol during SXSW. Alas, the robots have already denied over and over again that they will be playing any shows in 2013.

Nobody listens, though.

And please, no more Jack White appearances for at least three years, or until his EDM project is fully functional.

Over at the festival site at thespacelab.tv, people are asking for everyone from 311 to Nine Inch Nails to play ACL. Nearly everyone is begging for Mumford And Sons and Bon Iver, if that tells you anything about that board's granola-tivity.

Let's indulge in some more speculation, shall we?

Atoms for Peace

This isn't too terribly crazy, and it would finally bring Thom Yorke to ACL, albeit not with Radiohead. The Yorke/Flea supergroup has a handful of dates in October in the States nestled around ACL that would make a great fit.

Fun.

The band is playing scheduled dates around ACL in New Orleans; Atlanta; Starkville, Mississippi; and Houston's Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on October 6.

Mumford & Sons

They've never headlined the festival and would fit riiiiight in with the sandals-and-bikini crowds.

Jimmy Buffett

If Buffett's camp shrewdly decides to position him as the original Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and (insert favorite mainstreamish "indie" singer-songwriter here), Buffett would be a noble fit to close Saturday or Sunday evening at ACL. With a new album reportedly in the works and a built-in following of Texas parrotheads, he could bring in the crowd that came out in massive flocks (ha) to see the Eagles a few years back.

Phoenix

The French act has nothing scheduled after late September, and the closest they get to Austin is a May 4 set at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and a spot on EdgeFest in Frisco, Texas, on April 27, that isn't even on their own Web site yet.

Tame Impala

The Impalas are playing Leeds, Reading, Coachella, Fuji Rock and Bonnaroo. ACL wouldn't hurt, now would it? Could give them the option of hitting up a bigger venue here in Houston, too, since Fitz was a sellout in February.

Lumineers

The "Ho Hey" band's smaller stage created a giant bottleneck at last year's ACL, and they keep building steam behind just one album of songs, so this is a no-brainer unless they shove off to record or something. Much like Tame Impala, they are playing nearly every 2013 festival imaginable.

Depeche Mode

DM is skipping Austin during their mid-September swing through Texas, hitting only Houston and Dallas. They have only one other October show scheduled on their site, on the eighth in Phoenix. That means they could be on a short leash in the Southwest to play two shows at ACL, or are really into sunshine.
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Night Life

A Shady Place
The Top 5 bars, clubs and icehouses in the Heights area.

Matthew Keever

5. Shiloh Club

1321 Studewood, 713-880-2401

Be it Lone Star, Guinness in a can, craft beer or hard liquor, the crowd and friendly staff at Shiloh's are a pleasure night after night. An eclectic mix of music keeps the patrons going as they kick back a few. Inside, there's a good choice of seating — a long bar, a few tables and couches, and then there's always the outdoor seating on the patio off Studemont.

Visit once and you may become a regular. Or, Shiloh Club nothing else, it will offer you an alternative drinkery on those nights when you don't want to put up with all the hustle and bustle of the Heights without having to ever leave.

4. Beaver's

2310 Decatur, 864-2328, beavershouston.com

For those who don't already know, Beaver's is located just south of Hooters. Not really, but that's its motto anyway. This chic icehouse's bar and patio seating more than make up for the lack of on-site parking, but it's the cold drinks that wash down whatever sloppy sandwich you choose that will keep you coming back.

3. Plonk! Beer & Wine Bistro

1214 W. 43rd, 713-290-1070, plonkbistro.com

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