Monday, April 11, 2011

Forget Coachella... Doesn't this look so much better?

Although I had an incredible time at Coachella last spring, I sadly won't be attending this year. However, I am going to be attending Austin Psych Fest, a three-day celebration of psychedelic rock (and experimental visual art) in one of its birthplaces-- Austin, Texas. There's something to be said about smaller music festivals, as they're exponentially less hectic, less expensive and much more intimate. In the summer of 2009, I took a road trip up to Lake Tahoe with one of my best friends to attend Wanderlust, a four-day music and yoga festival that took place against the gorgeous backdrop of Squaw Valley-- we took two yoga classes a day, rode the gondola up to the summit of a mountain where the main stage was set up, listened to Broken Social Scene, Jenny Lewis, Rogue Wave, Spoon and Andrew Bird live (I was actually close enough to touch his adorably awkward Chaco sandals) while bathing in natural lakes, and danced to GirlTalk under the stars. It was the first year that Wanderlust took place, so there were only about a thousand attendees, which was actually amazing-- no pushing past sweaty E-tards while trying to find your friends, meanwhile having no cell service because of the massive amount of people trying to use their phones in such a condensed space, no $2 water bottles being sold by manipulative people in ugly visors who actually tell you to tip them (yes, this happens at Coachella), etc.

The Black Angels

Needless to say, I'm more than excited for this year's Austin Psych Fest, which will feature both established and newly emerging psych-rock bands such as Atlas Sound, Crystal Stilts, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Dirty Beaches, Crocodiles, Tobacco, The Growlers, Black Ryder, Beach Fossils, The Soft Moon, Pete International Airport and ZaZa, as well as established psych-rock cult favorites such as The Black Angels, Spectrum and Roky Erickson (of 1960's psychedelic band 13th Floor Elevators), among many others. And the best part is that I've been generously given a press pass and assigned to take pictures/report on the festival by Oliver Kupper, founder of Pas Un Autre! My follow-up article will appear on his wonderful arts & culture journal/blog.

Alta Real Pictures recently released Oswald James’ documentary of last year’s Psych Fest, which features performances from The Raveonettes, Spindrift, Pink Mountaintops, Warpaint, Spectrum and others. Watch the trailer below (and tell me if Psych Fest doesn't look amazing!!):

AUSTIN PSYCH FEST 3 TRAILER from oswald james on Vimeo.

Curated by The Reverberation Appreciation Society and Austin-based band The Black Angels, the fourth annual Psych Fest will take place at the Seaholm Power Plant in downtown Austin from April 29th-May 1st, 2011.

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