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Austin City Limits 2011

Austin’s other music fest celebrates its 10th anniversary

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Death From Above 1979

Like Ely Guerra and Julieta Venegas before her, Chilean-American Francisca Valenzuela is the newest — and hottest — Latin alternative singer-songwriter being launched internationally. Actually, she’s pretty much launching herself, remaining, for now, fiercely independent. So far, her writing and music career haven’t suffered from lack of multinational help. Her book of English-language poems, Defenseless Waters (2000) has an intro by Chilean author Isabel Allende, and Bono invited her to sing with U2 at a show in Santiago.

Valenzuela’s alternative pop is radio-friendly, but her infusion of ska, folk, and jazzy touches has matured with the help of producers Vicente Sanfuentes (Sr. Coconut) and Mocky (Feist), who co-produced Buen Soldado, her second album of all originals. “The most important thing is to have songs,” she said. “You can mix anything you want, but if you don’t have songs you don’t have anything. My songs are super pop, but not generic pop. My stuff is more poetic and introspective.”

As one of only three Latin alternative acts at ACL (the others being the internationalist Manu Chao and Colombia’s Bomba Estéreo), Valenzuela left a good impression at this year’s South by Southwest and is now ready for the next step. “It’s a very important invitation,” she said. “I don’t think there are too many Spanish-language acts who will be playing hour-long sets, so I’m very excited about this. I’ll do my best not to disappoint.” 3pm Fri, Sept 16, Vista Equity stage. — EL



Others you might’ve heard of

8:10pm Fri, Sept 16,
AMD stage


Kanye West
8:30pm Fri, Sept 16,
Bud Light stage


Cee Lo
6pm Sat, Sept 17,
Bud Light stage


Stevie Wonder
8pm Sat, Sept 17,
Bud Light stage



Three-day passes are sold out, and at press time the only one-day pass available is the one for Sunday, which you can get for $90 (no extra fees) at Make sure you choose the PrintPass option, so you have a print out your ticket. Hey, auto-updater! We’ll need Adobe Reader for this. Be ready.

Sunday performers include Arcade Fire, Manu Chao, Fleet Foxes, Social Distortion, Randy Newman, Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses, The Walkmen, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mariachi El Bronx, Bomba Estéreo, The Greencards, and 25 other bands.

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