June is quickly approaching, which means it is almost time for some Chaos in Tejas. You know, the annual music festival that is tirelessly booked by Timmy Hefner? Now in its 7th year, Chaos in Tejas has become a cultural phenomenon recognized worldwide for its focus on music and art originating out of the punk, hardcore and metal scenes. Every year the festival brings in dozens of the most influential and legendary bands from around the world, as well as emerging new and local groups that are making a name for themselves.
Eager fans travel to Austin from all corners of the globe for this event, which spans four days (June 2-5) and always includes a number of once-in-a-lifetime live performances. Some bands reunite to play Chaos in Tejas in Austin, some make it their first and/or final show ever, and some bands travel from as far away as places like Japan, Australia and Syria. According to Brooklyn Vegan, Chaos in Tejas 2011 will mark the last show ever of Kriegshog, the only show ever of Veins, and the reunions of Youth of Today and Rorschach. The guys from Metal Injection know what’s up:
“Slated to be on the 2011 bill is an endless list of bands that would be way too long to catalog. After all, there is four days worth of music to be heard. Among the many, legendary punk rockers KILLING JOKE will be performing. And yes, this is the same KILLING JOKE that has now been around for 32 years and can be said to have directly influenced legendary metal Gods METALLICA as they covered the now famous KILLING JOKE tune “The Wait”. Another notable on the bill is Massachusetts’ own CONVERGE who have been paving the road in the hardcore world ever since 1990. Also appearing will be CITIZEN’S ARREST who have been around the block and were a part of the legendary New York City CBGB’s hardcore punk rock scene during the 80’s and 90’s.”
It’s not all hardcore though, there’s also a mixed bag of indie and garage rock along with a touch of folk and all points in between. Taking place from June 2-5, Chaos in Tejas 2011 will be spread out between Emo’s, Beerland, Red 7 and Mohawk, with additional shows at Trailer Space Records, Scoot Inn, Antone’s and End of an Ear. If you want to go all-in and have access to the full festival schedule, you can get a weekend pass for $125. More info on the festival can be found at www.chaosintejas.com, with constant updates at their Twitter and Facebook pages.
Here’s a look at some of the bands you’ll see at Chaos in Tejas:
On their latest full-length album the band began exploring new pathways and genres, touching on elements of avant-garde pop, surf rock, 1970’s folk, and grunge. The album was mixed by acclaimed producer Jack Endino, known for his work with Nirvana and Mudhoney. Combined with their already constantly evolving sound of experimental, punk, noise & psychedelia, and newest addition/influence to the band, organist Cora Foxx, Crystal Antlers developed a sound uniquely their own which is showcased within their second full length.
TV Ghost is a psychedelic post-punk band from Lafayette, Indiana, formed back in December 2006, while several band members still went to High School. In The Red Records released the band’s debut album Cold Fish, and had this to say about it:
“In The Red is proud to announce the debut full-length album from Lafayette, Indiana creepers TV Ghost who usher in a vile and squalid new disposition to ugly art punk, and have carved out a black hole of pestilence that will delight its sufferers to no end. If you can swim through the murky grime long enough to let your frazzled senses adjust, it’s clear how effectively TV Ghost incorporates the licentious nuances of the earliest Cramps scuzz, No Wave cacophony and Suicide’s terrifying throb alongside cavernous bellows from the depths of the third layer of hell. Cold Fish is ten tracks of a teeth-shattering, unhinged and thoroughly penetrating version of what’s lurking in punk’s darkest corners.”
The Beets, of Jackson Heights, Queens, sound like the emotional singalongs you and your friends had in college, if you and your friends had been musical geniuses reinventing 1960s garage rock with poppy no-fi tracks. Their songs are short and catchy and packed with emotive, poetic lyrics, more inspired by the Beatles and the Ramones than the current indie scene. Their shows are more like parties, complete with strings of lights adorning the stage, and they have more presence than you can handle.
The Beets are the brainchild of frontman Juan Wauters, who immigrated from Uruguay to Jackson Heights, where he met Jose Garcia, his best friend and fellow band member. The pair has been making music at a feverish pace for half a decade, and that hard work has paid off. Because theyʼve been playing together for so long, Wauters and Garcia have an impeccable feel for each other, allowing them to perform beautifully impulsive, spontaneous shows.
Cult of Youth:
Born out of a love for the post-industrial music and culture that had inspired him ever since he had first discovered music as a teenager, Cult of Youth began as a series of home recordings by founder Sean Ragon. He then added three permanent members to the line-up: performance artist/ director/ painter/ occult scholar Micki Pellerano on bass, machinist drummer Glenn Maryanski, and the violin virtuoso/ goddess Christiana Key. Their debut album as a proper band, produced by Chris Coady and mixed by Kevin Mcmahon (Swans producer), is a neo-folk masterpiece, perhaps the first of its kind from an American band. Cult of Youth shifts from delicate pagan folk music reminiscent of Paul Giovanni’s landmark soundtrack to The Wicker Man, to hazy Turkish psychedelic passages, and even to the rugged Americana of traditional country music.
“Whether delving into psych-folk head-trips, wild western digressions, or good old foot-stomping punk anthems, Cult of Youth are always in total control – and yet always feel on the very brim of total chaos. These guys are an unstoppable juggernaut.” – Hex Magazine
On her two most recent solo albums, Texas-born, Baltimore-based singer Jana Hunter created stark, homemade folk songs that made listeners feel as if they were intruding on an intimate bedroom-recording experiment. Accompanied by finger-picked acoustic guitars, her dusky voice dispensed overlapping harmonies with stunning beauty. Now with her backing band Lower Dens, Hunter reinvents herself by playing with a group that might get filed as new wave, or drone pop, or post-punk. With mixing assistance from Chris Coady (who has helped shape albums by TV on the Radio and Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and mastering by Sarah Register of Talk Normal, Lower Dens’ members have constructed a lean yet powerful sound to fill out Hunter’s songs. Swarming guitar fuzz, bass waves, Jana Hunter’s voice, and insistent drum throbs are the core components of Baltimore’s Lower Dens.