Review: Austin City Limits with Aimee Mann / Iron & Wine

Program: Austin City Limits
Date: Saturday, Nov. 15
Time: 7 p.m.
Also Airs: Wednesday, Nov. 19, at 10 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 21, at 11 p.m.
Preview the show: AustinCityLimits.org

It may not seem like it these days, but in the music business, perseverance pays off. Consider Aimee Mann. The Virginia-born, Berklee School of Music-trained musician had a hit in the 80s right out of the box with her band ‘til Tuesday’s debut single “Voices Carry,” but it’s her journey as a solo artist that’s ultimately gained the most attention. After 1993’s Whatever and 1995’s I’m With Stupid, her first two solo albums, attracted reams of critical acclaim but few sales, Mann left the major label system behind for good. Befriending film director Paul Thomas Anderson, she made significant contributions to his infamous movie Magnolia, including the Grammy- and Oscar-nominated “Save Me.” Mann then started her own label Superego Records, through which she’s released three studio albums, a Christmas record and a live CD/DVD set. She’s found more success than ever before and become a model for artists who want to do it themselves. With her colorfully-titled latest LP @#%&*! Smilers in hand, at long last Mann brings her intelligent, intricately arranged modern pop to the Austin City Limits stage. more

Review: Austin City Limits "Sharon Jones/Carolyn Wonderland"

Program: Austin City Limits
Date: Saturday, Nov. 8
Time: 7 p.m.
Also Airs: Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 10 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 14, at 11 p.m.
Preview the show: AustinCityLimits.org

With all due respect to contemporary R&B, there’s a hunger for the old-fashioned, sweat-drenched, digitally unenchanced soul sounds of the 60s and 70s. Enter Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, the New York-based collective at the forefront of the soul revivalist movement. Influenced by Ike & Tina Turner, Otis Redding and especially James Brown, Jones spent years in the Big Apple doing session work and the occasional single, supporting herself by working as a corrections officer and armored car guard. By 2000, she hooked up with Daptone Records and its house band the Dap-Kings, a group made up of veterans of NYC soul/funk outfits Antibalas, the Soul Providers and the Mighty Imperials. She and the band have since released three albums and done numerous tours to great acclaim. In addition to their own work, the Dap-Kings provided much of the backup for Amy Winehouse on her album Back in Black, while Jones appeared in Denzil Washington’s film The Great Debaters. However, it’s tunes like “100 Days, 100 Nights?” and “How Do I Let a Good Man Down?” that best tell the band’s story. more