For the eighth year in a row, roughly 75,000 music fans will descend upon Austin's Zilker Park, beginning Friday, for the 2010 edition of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Over three days, more than 130 bands will take to eight stages, with a wide variety of genres represented. Headlining this year's festival are the Eagles, Muse, M.I.A., the Strokes, Phish and the Flaming Lips. (For a complete schedule, visit aclfestival.com.) Although the event has been sold out for some time, those who missed out or don't feel like crowding into Zilker with nearly 100,000 others can get a flavor of the fest right here in North Texas: ACL-bound bands often make stops at Metroplex venues en route to or from Austin.
Here are my picks for the five best shows this week, though there's plenty more where these came from. For a complete look at this week's embarrassment of live-music riches, go to dfw.com/music.
1. The Gaslight Anthem (Friday at Palladium Showroom)
A quartet of punks hailing from New Jersey, the Gaslight Anthem is frequently tagged as heirs to Bruce Springsteen's legacy, although that probably has more to do with where they're from than what they actually sound like. The Anthem is more interested in angular, blue-collar rave-ups -- oddly enough, the band drifts into territory mined by the Killers every so often -- and its latest, American Slang, has earned plenty of critical plaudits. ($25. With Rival Schools and Fake Problems. 888-512-SHOW; frontgatetickets.com)
2. Matt & Kim (Friday at House of Blues)
Earlier this year, when Erykah Badu performed her infamous striptease, Brooklyn dance-punk duo Matt & Kim, who'd first attempted the stunt in Times Square for their Lessons Learned video, were mentioned pretty frequently. That's all died down now, so we can get back to focusing on their music, like their latest long-player, Sidewalks, which arrives in November. ($15-$20. With Fang Island. 800-745-3000; ticketmaster.com)
3. The xx and Warpaint (Friday at Granada Theater)
The Mercury Prize-winning trio has had an extremely successful 2010 thus far. The London-based group's self-titled debut, released last year, landed on several year-end best-of lists. The xx's live show, a ferocious, minimalist affair, has likewise made critics delirious around the world. Warpaint, another up-and-comer, is an L.A.-based art-rock quartet, whose touring behind its debut, The Fool, which drops Oct. 25. (Sold out. With Zola Jesus. 214-824-9933; tickets.granadatheater.com)
4. Two Door Cinema Club (Friday at the Loft at Palladium Ballroom)
Irish indie-pop trio Two Door Cinema Club released its debut, Tourist History, in March, a smart, edgy blend of glitchy effects and frenetic dance beats that should pop like firecrackers in concert. Think Travis or Belle & Sebastian hijacked by Franz Ferdinand or Hard-Fi, and you're in the ballpark. ($12 advance, $15 day of show. 888-512-SHOW; frontgatetickets.com)