Mid-late afternoon on Friday of the Austin City Limits Music Festival's second weekend brought another showdown between Austin's own Golden Dawn Arkestra in the Tito's tent at 3:45 p.m. and Atlanta's (not England's) Manchester Orchestra on the HomeAway stage at 4:45 p.m. Here's our five-point box score:
1. Stage attire. Give Manchester props for coordination: All five guys were wearing black T-shirts and some shade of black/gray trousers. But really, this one was never going to be close. Should we talk about Golden Dawn's dancers with the giant golden fans, or the various guitar players with shimmering veils over their faces, or backup singer Chantell Moody's a-tree-grows-in-my-hairdo coiffure, or the dude with the bathrobe and blue turban? Golden Dawn 1, Manchester 0.
2. Sheer numbers. Manchester is a quintet. That'll beat, say, Saturday's synth duo Sylvan Esso, or Sunday homie Shakey Graves back in his one-man-band days. But we counted 17 dudes and dudettes onstage with Golden Dawn, and we may well have missed a few. Hell, there might have been another dozen Dawners underneath the stage. Golden Dawn 2, Manchester 0.
3. Musical creativity. Golden Dawn is working from the Sun Ra playbook of world music as refracted the lens of outer space. Manchester rocks hard, but that's about it. Golden Dawn 3, Manchester 0.
4. Focus and consistency. OK, we'll give Manchester their due here. Almost all their songs mine the same minor-key angsty vein, but these guys know their territory and stick with it. Golden Dawn is all over the map, which makes for a cool but sometimes bewildering trip. Golden Dawn 3, Manchester 1.
5. What's in a name? Golden Dawn's fearless ringleader is named Topaz. Manchester's frontman is named Andy. Slam dunk. Golden Dawn 4, Manchester 1.
Call us homers if you wish, rooting for the home team. And it's not like Manchester is going to get kicked out of the Premier League. But on this cloudy afternoon, Golden Dawn coasted to the easy win.