Review: Austin City Limits with Gnarls Barkley/Thievery Corporation

Program: Austin City Limits
Date: Saturday, Nov. 22
Time: 7 p.m.
Also Airs: Wednesday, Nov. 26, at 10 p.m.
Preview the show:

It’s a point of pride at Austin City Limits to try to give space to as many genres as possible. So we’re always happy to have an artist who represents several genres at once. Both members of the mercurial duo Gnarls Barkley love to mix and match styles: hip hop, rock, electronica, psychedelic soul – anything, as long as it’s musical. Producer/instrumentalist Danger Mouse first gained attention with The Grey Album, a notorious mashup of the Beatles’ self-titled “white album” and Jay-Z’s The Black Album , before going on to provide the beats and backgrounds for pop/dance/hip-hop act Gorillaz. Singer/rapper Cee-Lo Green was a member of 90s hip-hop crew Goodie Mob, before embarking on a successfully eclectic solo career. The pair came together in 2003, releasing tunes through digital download before finally hitting the shelves in 2006 with the Grammy award-winning St. Elsewhere and its worldwide smash single “Crazy.” Now, in the wake of the pair’s second album The Odd Couple and second stop at the ACL Music Festival, Gnarls Barkley brings its colorful, booty-shaking show to studio 6A.

On the surface, Thievery Corporation seems to be just another electronica act. Though producers/DJs Rob Garza and Eric Hilton rule the roost with their turntables and mixing boards, the group is much more than that. Bonding over a shared musical palette, the Washington, D.C. duo created Thievery Corporation to combine sounds as diverse as dub, bossa nova, jazz, African music, soul, psychedelia and ambient electronica into a big, writhing ball of politically charged, irresistibly danceable noise. Known as much for its explosive live performances as for its records, the group brings a small army of musicians and singers to the stages it detonates; studio vocalists have included names like David Byrne, Perry Farrell and the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne. Having left our jaws in the grass after a performance the 2005 and 2006 Austin City Limits Music Festivals, the band now hits studio 6A for its debut ACL taping.

– Michael Toland

About the Reviewer: Michael Toland is manager of national productions for KLRU and contributes music reviews to several online and print publications.