"I don't think there's a more well-respected, or better, band on the scene today," offers Justin Bankston of Winslow, emerging masters of slow-building, noisy dream rock who are starting to get the same sort of praise he's heaping upon his musical mentors, ST 37.
"Anytime I refer to them when posting to psyche rock e-mail listserv DroneOn, I refer to them as 'Texas Space Rock Heroes ST 37.'
"My first real Austin band, Lilywhite, had many of the same influences as ST 37, and we became fast friends. Since then, every band I've played in has done shows with ST, and Winslow has played more shows with them than anyone else. Scott [Telles] even let one of my short-lived bands, Bed for Comfort, practice in his garage."
Winslow is only one of a number of now-thriving Austin psyche- or space-rock bands ST 37 has supported, either onstage or with encouragement and perpetually open ears. Bands as diverse as metallic sludgemeisters Tia Carrera, shoegaze popsters Experimental Aircraft, free-jammers Primordial Undermind, and ethereal wizards Charalambides have shared bills with ST 37, and many more with ST side projects Jherri Seignfeldt's Atropheed Sac and Bahrain. Besides the band's affability, they have going for them a musical versatility. ST 37 are as proficient at lo-fi drones that could massage the cortex of Ceremony Hall free jazz pundits as they are at legit psyche-pop nuggets that can wow an Emo's crowd.
"The current community is based on a common place, time, and open-mindedness, as well as genuine camaraderie, more than any direct musical inspiration," says Eric Arn of Primordial Undermind, organizer of the Texas Psyche Fest. "That said, I think everyone genuinely admires ST's tenacity and consistency; their welcoming of newcomers (like us) to the scene."
With creative new bands like Halley and My Education cropping up on a seemingly monthly basis, what better time for the old guard to get their due? One thing's for sure; if Telles and company manage to score Terrastock 6 for Austin in 2003, ST 37 will find new fans scurrying out of the woodwork like rustled insects. Even if they're all "just" musicians.
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