Austin Psych Fest Spotlight

On Friday April 29th at 5pm, the gates of the Seaholm Power Plant will open to mark the start of the 4th annual Austin Psych Fest. The 2011 festival will be held at Austin’s iconic decommissioned steam power plant from April 29 – May 1, 2011. Featuring three days of mind expanding music and art, this independent festival has become internationally known as the premiere showcase of psychedelic rock. The 50+ band lineup spans a full range of psych from founding father Roky Erickson to the modern vanguards of noise – headliners like Spectrum, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group, Atlas Sound, Prefuse 73 and festival presenters The Black Angels join up-and-coming acts like The Soft Moon, Woodsman, Dirty Beaches, The Nights Beats and many, many more for a weekend of psychedelic sights and sounds.

The full festival schedule is available on Day tickets are still on sale on for $40 per day. A limited number of weekend passes are still available for $100, get them while they last.

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with some of the great bands who will be present at APF. First up is a video of festival presenters The Black Angels performing as the backing band for the legendary Roky Erickson. Both of these artists will be performing on Sunday night.

Next up is a quartet from Jersey City known as The Black Hollies. The band formed in 2005 and have three full length LP’s, a slew of 45’s, and years of touring under their belts. Their themes have always been exploration of form, nasty fuzz tones, tight grooves, tape echoes, and feeling the flow. As a collective all the players involved share a varied yet connected musical past. Here’s what the press is saying about The Black Hollies:

“A mash up of British Invasion blues, guitar heroics and psychedelia that would bring a smile to Brian Jones’ face” – Rolling Stone

“The Black Hollies are not throw-backs; rather they’ve traced these musical pedigrees to their source, and are now fostering a natural evolution of those soulful sounds – what should have happened – had the 80’s not.” – The Deli Magazine

Los Angeles four-piece The Meek is the creative brainchild and musical vehicle of conceptual artist Amy Lee, fronted by husband and sonic vanguard Jeff Lee. The band takes the psychedelic proto-punk foundation laid by The Velvet Underground and the raw power of The Stooges, crossbred with the murky post-punk of Joy Division and the pop sensibility of The Jesus and Mary Chain, all played at maximum volume with just the right amount of white noise.


“Fronted by husband-and-wife team Jeff and Amy Lee, the Meek build swirling towers of distortion and feedback atop sturdy, well-worn drumbeats. Their noise-drubbed songs would come off as derivative if not for the consummate skill with which theyre written. The songs themselves are ominous and dark, captivatingly primitive in their minor-key melodies and steady drone; harking back to an older kind of rock and roll built on simple chord progressions and at the same time moving shudderingly into the future of pure, angry, mechanical sound. Wisely, the Meek never let the layers of fuzz entirely obscure the vocals; bathed in reverb, they drift from clarity to incomprehensibility as the song ebbs and flows.”

The Soft Moon is Luis Vasquez, who channels both his punk upbringing and Afro-Cuban heritage to sculpt decidedly dystopian soundscapes for a new generation of torn romantics. The sound palette in particular harks backs to the sonic experimentation of krautrock and early post-punk. But an urgent sense of futurism pulls Soft Moon out of nostalgia and towards some uncanny sort of new florescent void on the horizon. Globular synth melodies dance over a guzzling motorik beat reminiscent of Neu! Bass guitar riffs fissure and crack. Chants, whispers, and echoed screams wave in and over the empty space, equal part mourning of loss and prophetic of life yet to come. Recommended for paranoid train rides in a post-apocalyptic world.

Deerhunter front man Bradford Cox will be bringing his Atlas Sound project to the festival on Friday night. In early 2008 he released his first solo album entitled Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel on 4AD. His second album, Logos, was released in fall 2009 to critical acclaim. In explaining his reasoning for a solo project, Cox has stated, “It’s just that I have ideas that I can’t make work with a five-piece rock band…there’s kind of this palette of sounds that I use that I don’t necessarily get to use with Deerhunter”.

Sleepy Sun is a California band from many Californias. They hail from the rolling oak and sage hills of Sierra Gold Country, The San Francisco Peninsula, where Kesey raged and the Dead were once Warlocks, and the forever-sunshine climes of the Southland. They came together young and garage strutting in the coastal Northern California crucible of Santa Cruz. And there they birthed the Sleepy sound dead blues shaken alive, razor sharp and ramblin’, soul, sonic science and dead-on pop surgery. Wooden, earthy, stratospheric, and swinging California music of beautiful contrasts for conflicted times.

“Takes you back to a time when rock wasn’t afraid to be ‘out there’…just as ambitious as it is old school with songs that aren’t afraid to go for the gut and leave your ears ringing…Sleepy Sun are on their way to making a name for themselves as one of the top acts in a new wave of psychedelic bands.” – Consequence Of Sound

This Will Destroy You are an instrumental quartet from the great state of Texas who play a cascading brand of cinematic rock music. Often compared and linked to purveyors of the “post-rock” sub-genre, the band has managed to transcend the tag and carve its own niche via a delicate and balancing infusion of electronics, strings, and an array of unconventional “rock” instrumentation over bombastic and receding harmony.

Click the poster art to see the full lineup, schedules and more:

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