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ACL Fest 2013: Sunday critics' picks

Staff Writer
Austin 360

MICHAEL CORCORAN

11:15 a.m. Aaron Behrens and the Midnight Stroll. The Ghostland Observatory frontman goes for a more guitar-heavy sound. I can go for that. (Honda)

Noon. Kristin Diable and the City. Some sultry Delta stomping going on here with a singer from Baton Rouge who seems equal parts Lucinda Williams and Marilyn Monroe. (BMI)

1 p.m. The Mowgli’s. It’s a joyful noise when these new Mamas and the Papas get together. It’s corny fun, yes, but at least it’s fun. (Bud Light)

2:30 p.m. Noah and the Whale. My kid plays all their songs on the ukulele, so it’ll be cool to hear how a full band plays them. (Honda)

3 p.m. McCrary Sisters. High-energy gospel music from Nashville, the McCrarys will, I hope, make up for me missing the exceptional Durdens earlier in the day. (Zilker Tent)

4:30 p.m. Divine Fits. Like the record, haven’t seen them live. And with Spoon recording its next record — maybe they just finished — this may be the last chance. (Honda)

5 p.m. White Denim. Psychedelic guitar rock that jumps out of that box. The new record “CorsicanaLemonade” comes out Oct. 29, so I’m in for a taste. (Austin Ventures)

6:15 p.m. Phosphorescent. Since this Brooklyn act didn’t play an all-Willie-Nelson set at Willie’s town of Luck at SXSW, it’s not going to happen here. But a boy can dream. (Austin Ventures)

7:30 p.m. Shuggie Otis. Here it is, folks, the set I want to see more than all the others. Shuggie’s the “missing” link between Sly and Prince no more. And afterwards, I’m gonna file and call it a fest. … Until the next weekend, when we do it all over again. (Zilker Tent)

DEBORAH SENGUPTA STITH

11:15 a.m. Aaron Behrens and the Midnight Stroll. With his new project, the Ghostland Observatory frontman takes a walk on the seedy side of town, stopping in grimy bars and abandoned alleyways, combating certain peril with Texas swagger.(Honda)

12:45 p.m. Typhoon. Thematically, the Portland-based indie folk outfit has a death obsession that can become tedious, but with an ensemble that numbers 10 to 18 executing grandiose orchestral maneuvers, it’s so easy to lose yourself in the gorgeous swells. (Honda)

2:30 p.m. Noah and the Whale. An indie pop band from London that augments its sincere melodies with lush and lovely arrangements. (Honda)

3 p.m. Paper Diamond. For a festival that spent the past few years continually pulsing with electronic dance music, this year’s lineup has scant EDM offerings, but this mid-afternoon set by a Colorado artist with a great ear for soulful hooks and banging beats should get the crowd grooving. (Bud Light)

4 p.m. Peterson Brothers Band. The pair of talented teens demonstrates a knack for making their strings sing that belies their age. They’re incubating their talents with a Continental Club residency, the same way fellow Austin bluesman Gary Clark Jr. did, and their career trajectory could follow a similar path. (BMI)

5 p.m. Toro Y Moi. Chaz Bundick skillfully crafts chill-wave electro pop that’s rich with aural textures and propelled by a palpable emotional weight. (Bud Light)

6 p.m. Red Baraat. A genius, only-in-America mashup of an Indian party band and a New Orleans brass outfit with healthy doses of hip-hop rhyme and go-go rhythm thrown in for good measure. (Zilker Tent)

7 p.m. Phoenix (Bud Light) or 7:30 p.m. Neko Case (Austin Ventures). This schedule conflict produces a classic ACL Fest choose your own adventure, so you’ll have to play this one by ear. If, as the sun begins to dip, you feel like dancing on into the darkness, by all means go see Phoenix. The French indie pop band has one of this year’s best dance albums. On the other hand, if you’re physically exhausted from three days in the field and would prefer a profound emotional experience that will very possibly induce a good cathartic cry, Neko Case’s sunset set is exactly where you need to be.

8:30 p.m. Atoms For Peace vs. Lionel Richie vs. going home. Here are the questions you need to ask yourself. Do I really want to hear Lionel Richie sing “Hello?” What about “Dancing on the Ceiling”? Atoms for Peace is a collaboration of rock juggernauts, but at this point do I have the patience to watch Thom Yorke, Flea and company explore their artsy, non-commercial urges? Will I be crushed if their set produces moments of genius and I miss it? Do I want to skip the shuttle lines? How good does a shower sound? Once again, choose your own adventure, and choose wisely.

RAMON RAMIREZ

11:15 a.m. Bear Mountain. The Vancouver electronic quartet parlayed a lively Hype Hotel set during South By Southwest into gigs at the bottom of major festival bills this season. Reviews cite Bloc Party and Postal Service; their 2012 album “XO” is laced with big melodies and breakout potential. (Bud Light)

Noon. Foxygen. The San Francisco art rockers spent SXSW stammering through hungover day shows and canceling gigs. I’m giving the live show another look because “Make It Known” is such a well-written song. (Samsung Galaxy)

1 p.m. The Mowgli’s. This Edward Sharpe-esque eight-piece composes California guitar pop that will have baby boomers nodding along in their camping chairs. (Bud Light)

1:30 p.m. MS MR. This duo produces New York alt rock that isn’t bludgeoned by the repetitive aesthetics of its boutique record label culture. That’s mostly because Lizzy Plapinger is an interesting voice that carries May’s “Secondhand Rapture.” (AMD)

3 p.m. The McCrary Sisters. An essential ACL mainstay is the gospel and roots rock revivalist tent wherein you, the weary traveler, can eat and sit. These Nashville soul legends are a prime pit stop. (Zilker Tent)

4 p.m. Franz Ferdinand. The ACL 2005 vets are comeback contenders with the just-released “Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action,” a competent and fulfilling listen. The charitable Scottish band will be donating all festival earnings toward the preservation of Kaiser Chiefs. (Samsung Galaxy)

4:30 p.m. Divine Fits. A year ago, Brit Daniel’s side project Divine Fits was cool, popped collar respite — songs attacked with synthesizers and fastball hooks. A year later, “A Thing Called Divine Fits” sticks — for all its hip sheen, the thing is an aching, addictive breakup record. (Honda)

5 p.m. White Denim. I traditionally spend ACL shelving the domestics for rarer sets, but the local garage sludge punks turned prog soloists turned jarring balladeers make the best rock in the city. (Austin Ventures)

6:15 p.m. Phosphorescent. Athens, Ga. singer-songwriter Matthew Houck boasts five albums that supplement this year’s breakthrough release, “Muchacho.” The thing is stuffed with country-tinged longing, mature arrangements and “Song for Zula,” the most cathartic ballad ever written about a gorilla. (Austin Ventures)

6:30 p.m. Tame Impala. The offbeat mixing, inventive guitar work and walls of backing vocal harmonies turn straightforward British Invasion revivalism like “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” into masterful modern gems. (Honda)

8 p.m. Lionel Richie. Spoiler alert: The set list will be a two-hour parade of ’80s solo hits and Commodores classics. Go forth, sing and dance. (Samsung Galaxy)

ERIC PULSIFER

11:15 a.m. Bear Mountain. Vancouver-based electronic act should deliver some sunshine-soaked dancing to shake some life into the early-risers among the crowd on the final day of the weekend. For fans of Passion Pit and Hot Chip. (Bud Light)

12 p.m. Kodaline. The sweet and soaring guitar rock anthems from this Dublin quartet are reminiscent of early U2 or Coldplay (first weekend only). (AMD)

12:45 p.m. Typhoon. The dozen or so members play orchestral rock expansive enough to fill the Great Lawn with horns, strings and a choir of voices. For fans of Okkervil River. (Honda)

1:30 p.m. MS MR. New York duo — so named for the two members, “miss” and “mister” — are a drearier Florence and the Machine with militant drums and Ms. Lizzy Plapinger’s smoky vocals. The result is gloomy but danceable and could fairly be summed up by the title of one of their songs, “Dark Doo Wop.” (AMD)

6:30 p.m. Tame Impala. Aussie psych rockers may only have two full-length albums under their belt, but they’ve been among the best rock albums the years they were released. (Honda)

7:45 p.m. Atoms for Peace. For those holding out hope Radiohead will play ACL Fest someday, this supergroup should be more than satisfactory consolation. It’s a shame to have to miss the wonderful Neko Case at nearly the same time, but the chance to see Thom Yorke with Flea, Nigel Godrich and company is hard to pass up. (AMD)

ERIC WEBB

1:30 p.m. MS MR. The artsy pop duo’s official ACL bio describes their sound as “aural Jenga,” which is somehow both nonsense and perfectly apt. Their schtick is a witchy grab bag of electronic and indie rock influences. (AMD)

2:30 p.m. Noah and the Whale. Earnest folksters who have gradually matured into an earnest rock band with a vibrant sound. Get ready for yearning guitars and vaguely blue-collar melodies. Your heart will be full. (Honda)

4:30 p.m. JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound. Sweet soul rock with a classic vibe. The more intimate tent stage is the perfect place to kick back and watch the Chicago band work their retro magic. (Zilker Tent)

6:15 p.m. Phosphorescent. A little bit country and a large bit folk, Phosphorescent dabbles in the psychedelic with some electronic splashes. Expect a spiritual experience. (Austin Ventures)

7:30 p.m. Neko Case. Charming, gutsy rock chanteuse Ms. Case has emotional honesty down to a science. She’ll have you in the palm of her hand and in the strings of her guitar. (Austin Ventures)

ERIN J. WALTER

11:30 a.m. Caspar Babypants. WHAT? The lead singer of the Presidents of the United States of America now has a kid-pop band? The same guy who wrote “Lump” and “Peaches” back in the ’90s? Actually that makes total sense. Bring the tots and rock out. (Austin Kiddie Limits)

1 p.m. The Mowglis. This energetic Cali 8-piece, including a drummer taught by John Stamos on the set of “Full House,” promises a hand-clapping, hip-shaking, joyful noise. Perfect timing! I was just wishing for some new-fangled Fleetwood Mac. Fingers crossed these guys and girl are it. (If not, let’s hustle over for MS MR: 1:30 p.m., AMD.) (Bud Light)

2:30 p.m. Twin Forks. New folk-rock four-piece Twin Forks features Mr. Dashboard Confessional himself, Chris Carrabba (cue fan squeal). Carrabba’s open-vein emotions weren’t for everyone back in the oughts, but I have missed the acoustic catharsis and live show sing-a-longs. No one connects with a crowd like Carrabba. Welcome back to center stage, sir. (Austin Ventures)

3:30 p.m. Grouplove. Few recent radio singles have screamed “see this band!” as unabashedly as Grouplove’s 2011 hit “Tongue Tied.” And buzz from nonstop touring — plus the new video for “Ways to Go,” featuring blatant band chemistry and singer Hannah Hooper in what must be a spring-loaded skeleton suit — suggest Grouplove’s high-energy indie rock may be a perfect fit for Zilker Park. (AMD)

6 p.m. Red Baraat. Brooklyn 8-piece bring “hard driving North Indian bhangra rhythms” mixed with go-go, brass funk, hip-hop and more. Watch the video for “Shruggy Ji (Live at 9:30 Club)” and get pumped for a sweat-flinging, life-affirming throw-down. (Zilker Tent)

CHAD SWIATECKI

11:15 a.m. Aaron Behrens and the Midnight Stroll. The voice and hips of Ghostland Observatory goes acoustic, a la Willie or Townes. That sounds risky, and it is, but Behrens deserves a shot to go small and wander out on a limb (weekend one only). (Honda)

1:20 p.m. Roadkill Ghost Choir. Feels like fans of My Morning Jacket, Blitzen Trapper and Band Of Horses will all find something to like in this young band of Floridians. (Austin Ventures)

2 p.m. Dawes. Could there be a more prototypical ACL Fest band? OK, other than Wilco. Point is, these Los Angelenos channel tuneful roots rock as well as any act out there right now. (Samsung Galaxy)

3 p.m. Paper Diamond. A year after Avicii, Bassnectar and Thievery Corporation EDM’d all over the fest, Paper Diamond and Toro Y Moi are some of the only beat-driven acts in 2013. (Bud Light)

4 p.m. Franz Ferdinand. These catchy Scots are like that show “Las Vegas” that somehow ran on NBC for four seasons; easy to overlook but carving out an entirely respectable career through sheer staying power. (Samsung Galaxy)

6 p.m. Shinyribs. Kevin Russell’s side gig from The Gourds has steadily grown into one of the most entertaining acts in Austin, full of vivid characters and ace musicianship presented by a veteran performer (weekend one only). (BMI)

7:30 p.m. Shuggie Otis. In the fest’s worst scheduling logjam – Otis competes in part or whole