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99th Floor

Austin Psych Fest summit

By Raoul Hernandez, Fri., April 26, 2013

99th Floor

By the time the Black Angels closed out Psych Fest 2011 at the now gentrifying Austin Power Plant in a billowing cloud of stage fog, they'd transformed the annual gathering of spiked musical tribes into a veritable Reverberation Appreciation Society to match the entity that produces the local occurrence. Last year at Emo's East and the Beauty Ballroom, psych culture tripped the bright lights fantastic on the Eastside. At Carson Creek Ranch near the airport, Austin Psych Fest now takes full flight with a three-day international bill to rival Chaos in Tejas and Fun Fun Fun Fest. Going up!

Bass Drum of Death

Fri., 4:30pm, Reverberation stage

Mud-caked Oxford, Miss., native John Barrett has swapped drummers and added a bass guitar to his Bass Drum of Death baby, molding an iteration of 2011's scorching GB City that's tighter on the hooks and looser around the edges. A self-titled sophomore LP arrives on L.A.'s Innovative Leisure in June. – Chase Hoffberger

How to Get There Before You Forget Where You even Are

The sixth annual Austin Psych Fest will be held at Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, located about five minutes from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The Besnard Lakes

Fri., 5:45pm, Reverberation stage

Following 2010's aptly titled crunch of The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night, the Montreal quartet's newly released fourth LP, Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO (Jagjaguwar) swoons with more lush, shoegazed atmospherics. Led by Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, the married couple weaves the latter's mellow vocals and bass-rhythms into the expansive bursts of the former's guitar, a potent mix of subtle beauty and significant power. – Doug Freeman

Vietnam

Fri., 6pm, Elevation amphitheatre

Neil Young's politics often feel like drunk uncle ramblings, but the songs they produced remain unparalleled war-time commentary. Brooklyn rockers VietNam lean on the same aesthetic, though Michael Gerner and company allowed self-importance and pomp to lead them astray. First release after a five-year hiatus, An A.merican D.ream, sprawls cinematic rock, likely influenced by Gerner's movie scores. – Abby Johnston

Suuns

Fri., 7:30pm, Levitation tent

Montreal four-piece Suuns wasted no time between its debut and this year's Images du Futur. From the first slap of opening sustain on "Powers of Ten," it's clear the band isn't afraid of a challenge. And yet Suuns has the rare insight to cordon off those tendencies, reserving full-neck rundowns for the right moment, which then leaves them wavering between the disparate realms of sparse and explosive. – Abby Johnston

Warpaint

Fri., 8:30pm, Reverberation stage

West Coast all-girl quartet Warpaint breaks through the psychedelic wall, keeping its indie guitar rock intimate yet expansive. 2010's The Fool was a ceremonious full-length debut, an intimate blood oath between three longtime friends who comprise the original lineup and the soprano harmonies that mark Warpaint. – Abby Johnston

Capsula

Sat., 2:30pm, Reverberation stage

Acid-tinged garage rock with one foot in Detroit and the other on some distant planet, 2011's In the Land of Silver Souls put Capsula on the international map. The Argentine/Spanish trio's subsequent remake of Bowie's Ziggy Stardust gained the attention of Tony Visconti, who's producing the next LP. – Michael Toland

The Holydrug Couple

Sat., 6:30pm, Elevation amphitheatre

THC wowed the lysergically-inclined with both its second disc, Noctuary on Sacred Bones, and its appearances at SXSW last month. As strong on melody as atmosphere, the Santiago, Chile, duo's dreamy acid pop goes down smooth and leaves a blurry aftertaste. – Michael Toland

Quintron & Miss Pussycat

Sat., 8:15pm, Levitation tent

New Orleans' husband-and-wife duo produces a spectacle of DIY performance dance-party art. Behind a bevy of homemade instruments, such as his "Disco Light Machine" and "Drum Buddy," Quintron lays down beat-driven psychedelic pop exploded by the frontwoman's maraca breakdowns and hand-crafted puppets. Last year's Sucre du Sauvage was recorded during a months-long residency at the New Orleans Museum of Art. – Doug Freeman

Black Mountain

Sat., 8:30pm, Reverberation stage

There's a sense of traditionalism to Vancouver collective Black Mountain, a hippie ideology with a known weakness for massive guitar blasts. Despite an unapologetic fanaticism for Sabbath and Zeppelin, theirs is psychedelia by the blues, not druids. Last year's fourth LP soundtracked "postapocalyptic surf movie" Year Zero. – Luke Winkie

Kaleidoscope

Sat., 8:30pm, Elevation amphitheatre

Birthed in 1963 and titling its debut four years later Tangerine Dream, original UK quartet Kaleidoscope remains best remembered perhaps for its first single "Flight From Ashiya," found on the second Nuggets box set Original Artyfacts From the British Empire and Beyond, 1964–1969. Singer Peter Daltrey here fronts a band comprised of members from the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Winter Flowers, Young Elders, and Silver Phial. – Raoul Hernandez

The Saint James Society

Sun., 2:30pm, Elevation amphitheatre

This recent Austin-to-L.A. transplant puts some glittering pep in its psychedelic step, blazing through 13th Floor Elevated occult boogie with a shiny swagger borrowed from acid rock's face-painted glam successors. Bab(a/y)lon Rising, the quartet's full-length debut, spins its mindbending tale with flash and fire. – Michael Toland

White Fence

Sun., 5pm, Reverberation stage

Despite mop hair and gooey eyes, California's acid-burned psych-merchant Tim Presley remains relentlessly artistic and thoroughly hardworking. As White Fence, he intended this month's Cyclops Reap as a final exposition for some of the 40-plus unreleased songs he had lying around, but then he wrote a fresh batch of songs and killed the compilation idea all together. – Luke Winkie

The King Khan & BBQ Show

Sun., 6:15 pm, Reverberation stage

Last time we saw King Khan in Austin, he brought his Shrines. Now, the doo-wop-fused garage rocker reunites with Mark Sultan (aka BBQ Show). While the pairing hasn't surfaced any records since its 2010 breakup, the punkers end a monthlong tour at Psych Fest. – Abby Johnston

No Joy

Sun., 7pm, Levitation tent

Montreal's No Joy crashed through with a mid-fi garage rock version of British shoegaze. On "Lunar Phobia," the single previewing the trio's new LP, Wait to Pleasure, the dream pop remains yet the aggression yields to ethereal textures and undulating grooves. They're getting both weirder and more accessible, psychedelic in a nutshell. – Michael Toland

Indian Jewelry

Sun., 8pm, Levitation tent

On its website, Houston-based fivepiece Indian Jewelry lists its home as New Frackington, Texas – a place that doesn't exist. In the context of its sound, this makes sense. The synth-layered barrage seems to be its own new language, equally confusing and chaotic, but somehow just strange enough to be intriguing. – Abby Johnston

The Black Angels

Sun., 9pm, Reverberation stage

With recently released fourth LP, Indigo Meadow, these Psych Fest progenitors and backbone of Austin's psych-scene revival continue expansion beyond the heavy drone of 2010's more energetic Phosphene Dream. The new disc still shakes with classic, room-shattering reverberation, but it also turns toward distinctly Doors-influenced trips and up-tempo, driving surges cut against their searing and searching social consciousness. – Doug Freeman

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