Stevie Wonder Coldplay Arcade Fire Kanye Kanye Kanye blah blah blah yada yada yada. Rocks Off could write about this year's ACL headliners until we're blue in the face - and we probably will this weekend - but what's the point? The real fun of the festival is on the back roads of Zilker Park: The Austin Kiddie Limits area, Austin Ventures Stage, and the tent known as the Vista Equity Stage this year.
This is where curious, adventurous and, well, smart music fans should be hanging out - these stages are fairly close together, and considerably less overrun than other areas of the park. (Just don't linger too long in the kids' area, or you'll get some pretty cold stares.) Rocks Off paged through the fine print at the bottom of the ACL lineup card to find five acts that may sound made-up, but are very real and very much playing Zilker Park this weekend.
We start with a woman who's made a remarkable recovery from licking those toxic invitations some 15 years ago...
5. Heidi Swedberg: Susan from Seinfeld is now a uke-toting Hawaiian folk musician.
12:30 p.m. Friday, Austin Kiddie Limits Stage; 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Austin Kiddie Limits Stage
4. Bomba Estereo: Colombian DJ/visual artist collective best known in the States (maybe) for covering Technotronic's "Pump Up the Jam."
4:30 p.m. Sunday, Vista Equity Stage
3. The Cave Singers: Ethereal folk project featuring Derek Fudesco, an alumnus of two of the noisiest bands in Seattle history, Murder City Devils and Pretty Girls Make Graves.
4:30 p.m. Friday, Vista Equity Stage
2. Elizaveta: Raised in Russia, spent her teen years in an Italian monastery, moved to the U.S. To study opera, now bills herself as "Flower Alchemist with a minor in music." Calling all Regina Spektor fans...
11:15 a.m. Saturday, Austin Ventures Stage
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1. Daniel Lanois' Black Dub: The U2, Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan producer/engineer filters his take on soul music through Jamaican dub and the vocals of Chris Whitley's daughter Trixie.
3:15 p.m. Saturday, Austin Ventures Stage