The Austin Corn Lovers Fiesta returns for its ninth edition October 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th 2018 in Austin, Texas. The annual floating club, mini-festival is hosted by Saustex Records and local cowpunk anti-heroes the Hickoids.
The festival was spawned on the fly in the band’s touring vehicle “The Freak Van” on the way home from a West Coast tour. After reviewing the lineup for the upcoming behemoth ACL they wondered aloud why there wasn’t more local talent featured and a little monster was conceived. Originally it was a four consecutive night lineup but followed suit to the much larger provacatuer (“the other ACL” ) and has stuck with the two weekend format since.
The festival talent is primarily label acts along with locals and regionals but over the years has also featured a number of ringers including: Mike Watt (performing a set of Minutemen songs), The Old 97’s, Wreckless Eric, David Yow, The Upper Crust, Blowfly, BP Fallon (who would later release a live volume on Saustex from his ACLF set) and John French (drummer and songwriter for the original iteration of Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band) fronting a stellar cast of locals in a special one-off show.
This year’s lineup leans heavy to the label side and has the unofficial theme “the future of bluegrass ain’t as pretty as its past”, with the plan being to blow it out big in 2019 for the 10th annual edition. As always the mission remains to offer a unique and friendly adult experience in night club settings at a reasonable price along with amenities not readily available at the similarly accronymed fest - air conditioning, indoor plumbing and cheap beverages.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 5TH
THE EMPIRE CONTROL ROOM
606 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701
Doors 8 pm
12:30 am - Cunto! - These Cheeto munching, beer swilling purveyors of streetgrass bring an anarchistic and hard partying vibe as the night’s local headliners.
11:30 pm - Slobberbone - hailing from Denton, TX this alt-country quartet recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. Their latest album ‘Bees and Seas: The Best of Slobberbone’ was released by long-time label New West Records, and they also hold the distinction of being one of author Steven King’s favorite bands.
10:30pm - Hamell On Trial - Ed Hamell aka Hamell on Trial is a one-man juggernaut who has circumnavigated the world several times with only a guitar for a vessel and a paddle. His sound is not easily described but if you consider Gordon Lightfoot to be a folk singer/songwriter imagine the polar opposite of everything one man could do with a guitar and his voice and that will get you to the front door of Hamell On Trial. Also a New West artist, Hamell will be celebrating the release of ‘The Night Guy at The Apocalypse Profiles of a Rushing Midnight’, a special one-off album for Saustex Records, this night.
9:30 pm - Hickoids - the hosts of the Fiesta make their first appearance since returning from this summer’s ‘Rode Hard’ tour. There will be corn.
8:30 pm - 8 Ball Aitken - this good timing hard touring Aussie one-man band plays hundreds of dates a year, splitting his time between the Australian festival circuit and every range of venue in the USA, with occasional forays to Europe and Japan. His latest album is titled ‘Swamp Blues’. The man is a cheeky entertainer who gets the folks moving.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 6TH
THE WHITE HORSE
500 Comal St., Austin, TX 78702
1 am - The Beaumonts - As America’s leading practitioners of the porno honky-tonk genre these Corn Loving perennials never fail to deliver dirty words, thoughts and good times against an authentic hard country soundtrack. Once again, the ACL Fiesta is indebted to the Central Lubbock Dept. of Paroles and Pardons for making Troy Wayne Delco availabe to perform this night via a special furlough.
Midnight - The Prussian Pompadours - Direct from the Berlin Wall come The Prussian Pompadours. The band sports a unique and manic sound that is infused with rockabilly, jazz and polka. The trio have a fall album release for Saustex under another name that cannot be revealed at the moment for a variety of reasons. They are not to be missed.
11pm - Hickoids - will drag their asses on to the stage for a second night in a row and will be almost warmed up by the end of their set.
10 pm - Western Star - Hailing from Baltimore this band of relative youngsters give the classic rock genre a much needed kick in the pants with an indie informed brand of alt-country infused, straight-up rock’n’roll and will be releasing their second album for Saustex ‘Any Way How’ (produced by J Robbins of Jawbox) in November.
9 pm - Churchwood - This quintet of Austin vets play a riveting style of avant-garde blues that is simultaneously challenging, poetic and danceable. File under: must see.
8 pm - Mean Motor Scooter - There is hope for America’s youth - Mean Motor Scooter is proof. Taking cues from classic 60’s garage this quartet from Fort Worth mash up surf, psych and garbage and manage to concentrate on the songs rather than the reverb knob, unlike a large part of the current crop of neo-psychedlic pretenders. Their most recent release is ‘Hindu Flying Machine’ on Dirty Water Records USA.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 12TH
1305 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704
11 pm - Pocket FishRmen - Another Corn Loving mainstay, the Pocket FishRmen give exactly how many you know whats. Singer and lyricist Brant Bingamon has recently changed his focus from simian on human violence to the foibles of the health crises facing aging rockers, some of which was chronicled in the band’s thirty year/thirty song best of ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’ which was released in late 2017 by Saustex.
10 pm - Hickoids featuring Frontier Dan - after bringing down the house at The White Horse last year the Hickoids decided to bring Frontier Dan (leader of his own act, The Frontier Circus) back to town from his home in Conway, AR for a command performance. Upon securing a crop-duster for his conveyance (Dan insists on flying direct) the ACLF is pleased to announce that Dan will indeed be live on stage with his corn-wielding amigos for a special set that will include an Arkansas Twist Contest.
9 pm - Misty White - longtime friend of ACLF ringleader Jeff Smith dating back to his mid-90’s residence in Memphis is making her first appearance at the Fiesta. Having made her home in Toulouse, France for many years the member of Memphis’ all-girl 80’s garage punk act The Hellcats and occasional drummer for Tav Falco and Townes Van Zandt has recently released a new album titled ‘Worth The Wait’ for the French imprint Bang Records. It’s a slice of folk-punk and garage with a Memphis edge. She will be backed this evening by Harvey McLaughlin and his band.
8 pm - Harvey McLaughlin - Harvey released an album for Saustex earlier this year titled ‘Tabloid News’. From San Antonio, the young songwriter has crafted a sound that reminds of the piano rock greats of the 70’s and 80’s like Warren Zevon, Randy Newman, Elton John and Tom Waits while still sporting a defiantly contemporary twist.
7 pm - Jean Caffeine - Ms. Caffeine has lived many lives in the American Underground, the first of which was codified on her 2017 album ‘Sadie Saturday Nite’, a musical memoir about coming of age in late 70’s San Francisco. In the years since she has fronted a number of acts, most notably the proto-alt-country Jean Caffeine’s All-Night Truckstop, and holds the distinction of holding what is believed to have been the first ever SXSW “day party” way back in the late 80’s. She’ll be joined this night by her band a will likely lean heavily towards the material on ‘Sadie’.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 13TH
THE LOST WELL
2421 Webberville Rd, Austin, TX 78702
12:30 am - Bridge Farmers - The night’s local headliners are a local favorite and play a doom metal/psych hybrid. Fronted by guitarist, singer and handsome drink slinger Tyler Hautala, their recent eponymous LP leans heavily towards the doom side of the equation and while it doesn’t necessarily capture all the nuance or charm of the live experience they should be the perfect nightcap to this bill.
11:30 pm - DiNOLA - DiNOLA (from New Orleans, as suggested by their name) is fronted by Sue Ford and grew out of her Mardi Gras parade band Pink Slip. With a lineup that includes that her husband Jimmy (one time manager to Richard Hell, smong others), Eric Laws and Eddie Payne - they are fixtures of the New Orleans scene, individually and as a band. Their sound is a stripped down heavy British Blues with an unmistakable lilt of gothic voodoo and a second line pulse. Their early 2018 Saustex release ‘Up High’ scored some nice reviews and they continue their collaborations with producer Tony Maimone (Pere Ubu) and guitarist Dave Catching (E.O.D.M., Q.O.T.S.A.) for future releases.
10:30 pm - Texacala Jones & The Pony Island Express - A relatively new act fronted by Ms. Jones (heart and crotch throb of legendary Hollywood cowpunk/glam band Tex & The Horseheads) that features Chelsea Taylor on guitar (daughter of iconic Lubbock axe slinger Jesse Taylor) with the tough as nails rhythm of Nathan Calhoun (B*utthole Surfers, We Are The Asteroid) on bass and Frank Garymartin (Pain Teens, W.A.T.A.) on drums. The band is a return to form of Jones’ 80’s glory and deliver on all their promise. They have just released a self-titled LP on BearWhale Records.
9:30 pm - The Me-Thinks - Straight outta’ Haltom City, TX come the Me-Thinks, simultaneously one of the hardest and goofiest bands you’ll ever see. Not unlike a slightly younger and louder cousin of The Pocket FishRmen, these fellas are not afraid to wear a cape and have some fun with the idiom of rock’n’roll at the expense of others and themselves. Their ‘Make Mine A Double’ 2XCD EP famously included two CD’s and $2 bill while selling for $3, and, at a more recent record release show they opened with the first side of Cheap Trick’s ‘Live at Budokan’ rather than their own material. That is some finely creamed corn.
8:30 pm - Z-Pocalypse - From San Antonio, the ACLF is proud to present this young hard rock band. Originally formed about two years ago as part of the High Voltage Music after school program on S.A.’s Southside, the band has continued on outside of the program and school. Anchored by guitarist Jeremy Solloa, these high schoolers have a real love of and are influenced by the “good stuff”: Ramones, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Dead Kennedys. They bring all this and more to a growing list of their own originals.