Austin Psych Fest (April 27-29)
Produced and curated by The Reverberation Appreciation Society (Christian Bland, Alex Mass, Oswald James and Rob Fitzpatrick) and co-presented with The Black Angels, Austin Psych Fest (April 27-29) showcases mind-expanding music of both vintage and modern pedigree. This year marks the fifth anniversary for Austin Psych Fest, and its first year at Emo’s East and Beauty Ballroom. (Admittedly, I am a bit disappointed that it is not at the 2011 location, the Seaholm Power Plant – which is destined to be developed into an “urban oasis.”)
Each year, the Austin Psych Fest lineup has quite admirably expanded its horizons; and this year is no exception to that trend. At first I was surprised that one of my favorite Philadelphia bands from the 1990s – Asteroid #4 – was included in the lineup; but then I noticed that they also performed at Austin Psych Fest 2009. (I have no idea how that performance flew beneath my radar!) One of the few modern “psychedelic” bands who sound like they actually belong in 1967-1973, Asteroid #4 were once leaders of the “Psychedelphia” scene of the late 1990s (along with The Lilys, Photon Band, Lenola and Azusa Plane). Like The Lilys, Asteroid #4 has found it difficult to maintain a consistent roster for more than one album, which has certainly contributed to their chameleonesque sound. Throughout their decade-plus existence, Asteroid #4 has incorporated various doses of psychedelic, krautrock, shoegaze, folk and 70s “cosmic” country-rock influences into their chemistry set sound; and each of the resulting six albums is a head-trip in its own unique way, with masterful orchestration, engineering and production.
Another Austin Psych Fest 2012 band that I am excited to see again is also one of my favorites from the late 1990s, Olivia Tremor Control. As an integral part of the iconic Elephant 6 collective, Olivia Tremor Control was one of my favorite live bands. Like Neutral Milk Hotel, their sets appeared to teeter on the verge of total chaos. Their music seemed intended for the recording studio, not the stage; yet the on stage mayhem of the band members trying their best to replicate the intricately detailed recordings heightened the already enlightening experience. I missed their last appearance in Austin, so I am curious what the reunited Olivia Tremor Control will be like…
The complete lineup for Austin Psych Fest 2012 is:
Acid Baby Jesus, Allah-Las, Al Lover, Amen Dunes, Asteroid #4, The Band in Heaven, The Black Angels, The Black Lips, Blue Angel Lounge, Bombino, Brian Jonestown, Brooklyn Raga Association, Cosmonauts, The Cush, Dead Confederate, Dead Meadow, Disappears, Entrance Band, Feathers, Federale, Feeding People, Golden Dawn, Headdress, High Wolf, Lotus Plaza, Massacre, Meat Puppets, The Meek, Mind Spiders, Moon Duo, New Fumes, Night Beats, NMOSS, Olivia Tremor Control, Orange Revival, Paperhead, Peaking Lights, Pink Mountaintops, Prince Rama, Psychic Ills, Pure X, Quest for Fire, Quilt, Ringo Deathstarr, The Ripe and Holy Wave, Singapore Sling, Sleep Over, Smoke and Feathers, Spindrift, Stepkids, Strangers Family Band, Sun Araw, The Telescopes, Thee Oh Sees, The UFO Club, Vacant Lots, Wall of Death, Wooden Shjips, and Woods.