Austin City Limits

How Is Houston Doing ACL-Wise?

If you have even bothered to venture out of doors during these days of 105-degree heat indices and "Unhealthy" air-quality advisories, you may have noticed that things have been a little light on the roadshow front lately. We have, and not just because we're happy to have a clear calendar for Saturday's Houston Press Music Awards showcase. Sometimes Rocks Off likes to sleep too, you know.

However, if you caught Distant Early Warning earlier today, you may have also noticed that this little pocket of touring doldrums is not going to last much longer. Since the fall touring calendar is starting to become much clearer, and we've got festivals on the brain thanks to the HPMAs, the just-announced GhoulsFest and Austin's Fun Fun Fun November soiree (which announces its lineup tomorrow), Rocks Off thought we'd take a look back at the Houston predictions we made in May for the top tier of artists appearing at this year's Austin City Limits Music Festival.

The Eagles

Rocks Off Said: "A better time to look for them might be at the end of next month."

How Did We Do?: Bingo.


Rocks Off Said: "Muse released the final dates of its tour this morning, and heads back to Ohio right after the festival."

How Did We Do?: Muse has since added several December dates in Australia, traditionally where tours go to die. It's going to be a while.


Rocks Off Said: "The jamlords' ACL date smells like a one-off to us."

How Did We Do?: The band's calendar is empty for six weeks before ACL; totally empty after.

The Strokes

Rocks Off Said: "Pencil these guys in."

How Did We Do?: Whoops. We were sure we'd get a side date from Julian and mates, but Lollapalooza and ACL are the group's only scheduled dates so far this year. We suspect they're holding off until spring, when that long-awaited new album could finally be out. Maybe. However, Rocks Off did hit paydirt with all three acts we suggested as support.


Rocks Off Said: "Forecast: Headlining Warehouse Live."

How Did We Do?: Nope. Ms. Arulpragasam, /\/\ /\ Y /\ if you're nasty, looks to be another artist sticking to festivals until at least next year.

Flaming Lips

Rocks Off Said: "Summerfest, anyone?"

How Did We Do?: Summerfest, anyone?

LCD Soundsystem

Rocks Off Said: "A Verizon tripleheader with the Strokes and Vampire Weekend would be perfect."

How Did We Do?: Two out of three ain't bad. Verizon, October 8.


Rocks Off Said: "Whether or not it's around ACL, we should be seeing Spoon soon."

How Did We Do?: Not so good. But we'll stick to that, because Britt Daniel can't ignore us forever. It'll have to be after ACL, though, because Spoon is heading into Zilker Park from El Paso.

Vampire Weekend

Rocks Off Said: "See the Strokes."

How Did We Do?: Verizon, October 7.

Norah Jones

Rocks Off Said: "Considering she'll also be here for Lilith Fair August 15, three visits in one year from Ms. Jones seems a little much to hope for."

How Did We Do?: Lilith Fair canceled, so if you don't have ACL tickets, hope you enjoyed her in March.

Band of Horses

Rocks Off Said: "God, we hope so."

How Did We Do?: The Horses run from Louisville to ACL to Tulsa. Apparently this is why we review bands, not book them, although at least they're skipping Dallas too.

Monsters of Folk

Rocks Off Said: "Hey, it could happen. But probably won't."

How Did We Do?: ACL is the one and only MOF date listed on Pollstar.


Rocks Off Said: "It's possible the Canadian progressive-house sensation could put another HOB crowd into a trance like he did last year."

How Did We Do?: Looks like Mr. Mau5 needs his rest for San Francisco's Treasure Island Music Festival the next weekend.

Sonic Youth

Rocks Off Said: "We also have a hunch they won't pass us over much longer."

How Did We Do?: The Youth's only tour dates are a couple of stops between Matador's 21st-anniversary bash in Las Vegas and ACL. Like the Strokes, though, Rocks Off called the support right - Beach House is October 7 at Verizon with Vampire Weekend; Local Natives are at HOB the same night.

Gogol Bordello

Rocks Off Said: "Past due and probable."

How Did We Do? Not so much. ACL is the only U.S. date listed between a bunch of European festivals and a regular European tour. To be fair, the band probably has a bunch of family over there.

The National

Rocks Off Said: "It wouldn't surprise us if the High Violet boys showed up at HOB or Warehouse around either ACL or Voodoo Fest."

How Did We Do?: House of Blues, October 8. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Robert Earl Keen

Rocks Off Said: "Keen will be back to say "Merry Christmas From the Family" at right about the same time this year."

How Did We Do?: No official word, but we'll stand by that. If you feel like going to "Turkeyfest" in Cuero ACL weekend, he's headlining that October 8 as well.

The Black Keys

Rocks Off Said: "Opening for Kings of Leon at Cynthia Woods September 22."

How Did We Do?: We haven't heard what the pigeon situation at the Woodlands is like lately, but this one summer tour we figure won't cancel due to slow ticket sales.

Slightly Stoopid

Rocks Off Said: "We don't see it happening."

How Did We Do?: Doesn't look like it.


Rocks Off Said: "This soon? Doubtful."

How Did We Do?: New Orleans gets the honors this time. Oh well.

Besides ACL's Top 20, several other festival acts will be pulling through Houston that weekend or shortly thereafter - Gaslight Anthem/Two Door Cinema Club, Devendra Banhart and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes at Warehouse Live Oct. 7, 8 and 9, respectively; Foals at Fitzgerald's Oct. 8; GIVERS Oct. 27 at Warehouse Live; and Lucero and Frank Turner at House of Blues Nov. 19.

Oh yes. One more ACL artist, Matt & Kim, happens to be heading the HPMAs this weekend too. Just thought we'd remind you one more time.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray