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Psych Fest: Like a U.N. Summit of the World’s Most Distorted

Posted by April 23rd, 2013 No Comments »

Austin Psych Fest
April 26-28, 2013
By P.T. Stinson

Freud, Jung, Benet, Kaufman, they’re all here at the Austin Psych fest! Learn more about why negative affect theory can ruin a perfectly good day and learn more about what your relationship with your mother says about … wait a minute, what? You mean psych as in psychedelic? I thought that was just the cast of Dig!, Brian Jonestown Massacre and the remnants of Spacemen 3?

Not true.

“Listen to the Black Angels” commands one window-sized poster outside local Austin institution Waterloo Records in advance of the Austin band’s upcoming appearance at Austin Psych Fest which enters its sixth incarnation this year.

On Record Store day last Saturday, the city’s arguably best music store hosted a record-signing/visit from psych legend Roky Erikson whose Austin-based 13th Floor Elevators helped plant the seeds in the 1960s for the wave of psychedelic music that was to come –Erikson will also be playing a Sunday date at the festival whose bill also includes Spectrum a.k.a. Sonic Boom whose earlier outfit Spacemen 3 covered Erikson. For a brief moment in space and time, the apples will not be far from the trees from which they fell.

Clearly this isn’t just a music festival, it is in effect a three-day living and breathing historical document of a genre that continues to bear a global footprint.

Come Friday, the capitol city will play host to a visit from a wide swathe of psychedelic music humanity, in an almost G-20 or United Nations summit meeting of the world’s most distorted, feedbacky and reverby ambassadors.

In addition to the expected compliment of bands from the United Kingdom, the festival will see visits from Denmark’s The Raveonettes, Sweden’s Goat and Algeria’s Tinariwen –a line-up demonstrating the far-reaching appeal of a strain of music that’s become appointment viewing or attending for those carrying the banner for a genre that just refuses to get off your lawn.

With camping included for the first time ever in the festival, psychedelic music has once again commandeered a giant patch of land. Please leave the Carson Creek Ranch the way you found it, kids.

As an aside, one source related that Goat is playing a show on Friday in Cincinnati before arriving to nearly close out the Sunday festivities. That’s one determined and speedy goat.

Also notably, Black Angels tour-mates Elephant Stone are still enjoying the reverberations from their previous Austin visit which saw their turn at the Psych Fest’s SXSW showcase result in the attention of National Public Radio’s Bob Boilen in addition to garnering some attention at WNYC’s Soundcheck.

P.T. Stinson, our one man Austin office, will be Tweeting from @nadamucho this weekend.

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