Friday, May 20, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Austin Psych Fest was, as predicted, absolutely unreal. Click here to read my review of the festival on Oliver Kupper's blog, Pas Un Autre!
ANNABEL GRAHAM: The Black Angels curated Psych Fest. It seems like you guys had a significant impact on the aesthetics of the festival. Can you tell me a little bit about your involvement? What was your experience in curating the show this year and in forming such an environment for your music?
CHRISTIAN BLAND: We started the festival in 2008. After touring the US, Canada, Europe and the UK since 2005, we've met hundreds of like-minded bands. We figured what better place to bring all our friends’ bands to town for a psychedelic weekend than the place where psychedelic rock was born. The first 3 years I did most of the booking, but this past year we've been so busy touring that Rob Fitzpatrick (one of 4 members of the Reverberation Appreciation Society) did 90% of the booking for APF 4.
GRAHAM: As demonstrated by the festival, the genre of psych-rock is undergoing a major reemergence. Psych Fest is one of the only modern-day festivals dedicated purely to the genre of psychedelic music. What are your views on the manner in which the genre is reemerging in relation to its past (similarities/differences)? What are your predictions on the future of the genre?
BLAND: It seems like psych rock’s gaining more popularity than it has since the late 60's. Hopefully it'll take over the radio waves; then we can start the revolution. I honestly don't think the masses are ready for psych rock to hit the mainstream. It almost seems psychedelic rock is meant to live underground. Maybe one day it'll boil over and take over the world, but I think it'll take a re-awakening of some sort.
GRAHAM: How did this year’s Psych Fest compare to previous years? It’s definitely grown in size and notoriety since its founding in 2008.
BLAND: This was the biggest year yet. Every year it’s grown more and more. It seems to be a testament to the rising popularity of modern psych rock.
GRAHAM: I’d love to know a bit more about your solo endeavor, Christian Bland and The Revelators. How is that developing, and how is it different from your work with The Black Angels? What new avenues or directions has it allowed you as an individual musician?
BLAND: If the Black Angels could put out an album every year, then I probably wouldn't have a side project. It's really an outlet for me to put out as much music as I possibly can. I'm constantly writing new songs, so I need different avenues to release my music other than The Black Angels. I've got another project called The UFO Club with Lee Blackwell from The Night Beats as well.
GRAHAM: The city of Austin has a rich history in the realm of psychedelic rock. In your opinion, in what ways is Austin a prime environment for the reemergence of the genre? Do you think that Psych Fest’s location has contributed to its success?
GRAHAM: I’m sure you’re still cooling off from this year’s Psych Fest, but any ideas brewing for next year?
BLAND: The 5th anniversary’s gonna be the best year yet. Hopefully we can get all the bands we've wanted over the past 5 years, but haven't been able to get.... Clinic, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Zombies...
Friday, May 6, 2011
“My work is about space and the light that inhabits it. It is about how you confront that space and plumb it with vision. It is about your seeing, like the wordless thought that comes from looking into fire.”
In his often ethereal, atmospheric works, James Turrell explores the malleability of light and its infinite spectrum of effects as well as his own ability to accentuate and control the ever-elusive element. Carving a vast crater into the middle of the
The artist had an unlikely beginning—born into a Quaker family of doctors and engineers in Pasadena, California in 1943, Turrell studied mathematics, astronomy, geology and psychology—all principles that would later emerge in his artwork. He began to gain widespread notoriety for his art in the mid-1960’s, when he became associated with a group of Los Angeles artists (including Bruce Nauman and Robert Irwin) who pioneered what is now known as the Light and Space Movement. Turrell currently resides in
John Coplans writes that Turrell’s work possesses “considerable iconic power… the compelling sensuousness of the light and its inexhaustible brilliance are almost hypnotic…[the unconcealed light source] does not rationalize the total effect but adds to its vividness and mysteriousness.”
Turrell himself articulates,
“I feel my work is made for one being, one individual. You could say that's me, but that's not really true. It's for an idealized viewer. Sometimes I'm kind of cranky coming to see something. I saw the Mona Lisa when it was in
Indeed, his artwork demands direct confrontation, creating an inescapable psychological and physical dialogue with its viewers. Turrell has created a form of art that is impossible to glance at for a mere 13 seconds—the viewer is forced to walk through his pieces, to confront his or her own perceptions of and reactions to the space and to experience the transcendent, ever-changing elements (both natural and manipulated) that affect it.
A snazzy photo of the artist in his younger years
Turrell is currently represented by Pace Gallery in
Monday, May 2, 2011
when we were still first rate
and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth
it's no use worrying about Time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners
the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn't need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water
i wouldn't want to be faster
or greener than now if you were with me O you
were the best of all my days
& some swell springtime tunes: