Psychedelic Sounds: Austin Psych Fest Recap

Bradford Cox of Atlas Sound

Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend Austin Psych Fest. The fourth annual psychedelic music and arts festival in the heart of downtown Austin, Texas was put on by The Black Angels (a psychedelic rock band also from ATX) and the Reverberation Appreciation Society. The weekend sonic extravaganza had a lineup spanning a wide range of celebrated psychedelic veterans (Roky Erickson of the prolific 13th Floor Elevators, Omar Rodriguez of The Mars Volta) and rising shoegaze, electronic and psychedelic newcomers (The Black Ryder, Dirty Beaches).

With the background of the Seaholm Power Plant (an abandoned power plant in downtown Austin), the music festival was a great gathering of psychedelic sounds.

I got to Austin late on Thursday night, stayed with some friends and slept in on Friday. On Friday evening, a friend and ventured over to the site. We were able to catch the tail end of the Beach Fossils set, followed by spectacular performances by Atlas Sound (the solo project of psychedelic-experimental band Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox), psychedelic punk band Crystal Stilts, Zechs Marquise and Tobacco (the side project of Black Moth Super Rainbow‘s frontman Tom Fec).

The next day, we were up to a late start, and didn’t get to the fest until 10 pm. When I got to the fest, I had the chance to interview electronic producer Guillermo Herren, otherwise known as Prefuse 73. I wasn’t able to record our conversation, but I was able to speak with him about his new album, The Only She Chapters, as well as collaborations with The Flaming Lips and Trish Keenan of Broadcast. After seeing his phenomenal performance, we were stunned.

Psych Fest made for an incredible weekend, an event and display for veterans and young talent, especially by droning psychedelic California band Sleepy Sun and dreamy, shoegazy Brooklyn band Crocodiles. I’ll definitely be looking forward to next year’s lineup…can’t wait to see what’s next.

– Paula, host of Sit Back and Dream Fridays 2-4 pm EST on WRGW

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