Plan Your Psychedelic Weekend With These Levitation Picks

Nearly two-dozen choices ranging from the Flaming Lips to Elephant Stone

The Black Angels at Stubb's for last year's Levitation (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Kikagaku Moyo

Thu. 7, Barracuda, 12:30am; Fri. 8, Mohawk, 10:15pm
Kikagaku Moyo's acid-folk microcosms incor­por­ate trip-wire rock, Middle Eastern sitar drone, and heavy synth exploration. From the swirling epic "Dripping Sun," wah-wah meditation "Nazo Nazo," and funk boogie "Nana," fourth disc Masana Temples gleans a lush, dreamy ebb-and-flow. As on 2014 debut Mammatus Cloud, the Tokyo quartet spins on its own cosmic axis. – Alejandra Ramirez

Flaming Lips

Fri. 8, Stubb’s, 9pm
The Lips started in 1983 in Norman, Okla., with Mark Coyne – Wayne's brother – singing lead. Mark quit, and after 15 years in business, the core trio broke through with 1999's The Soft Bulletin and 2002's strange, wondrous, and commercially successful Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. The Grammy winners' airy and cinematic King's Mouth, released in July, is slow-building prog-rock fantasy. – Kahron Spearman

Elephant Stone

Fri. 8, Barracuda, 10:30pm
Montréal songwriter Rishi Dhir goes to Madchester lengths to commune with a psych-pop spirit animal first spotted in the wild by George Harrison, and which eventually disappeared into the sunset of Nineties Britpop and shoegaze. Dhir's silt-and-velvet whispers over airy arrangements of guitars and drums, synths and sequencers, sitar and tabla. – Rick Weaver

Death Valley Girls (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Death Valley Girls

Fri. 8, Barracuda, 11:15pm
Since 2014 debut Electric High, DVG has channeled Sixties psychedelia, Seventies fuzz, and Eighties punk. Self-described as hell's house band, the L.A. quartet continue their dark proclivities on last year's third studio album Darkness Rains. – Alejandra Ramirez

Emma Ruth Rundle

Fri. 8, Empire Control Room, 11:15pm
On Dark Horses, last year's fourth solo outing from this L.A.-born/Kentucky-based guitarist, surged a career culmination and breakthrough that spun through Red Sparowes' post-rock, Marriages' melodic heaviness, and the Nocturnes' mellow indie braids. Horses scorches, but ultimately uplifts behind a patiently paced and redemptive catharsis. – Doug Freeman

David J

Fri. 8, Elysium, 12:45am
Erstwhile Bauhaus/Love & Rockets bassist David John Haskins' 12th album, Missive to an Angel From the Halls of Infamy and Allure, is a hugely ambitious project. Featuring Brian Jonestown Massacre leader Anton Newcombe and classical violinist Karel Holas, the double LP moves from folk to pop to cabaret. Holas and pianist Robert Vasicek back J up for one of only two American solo performances. – Michael Toland

Frankie & the Witch Fingers

Fri. 8, Barracuda, 10pm; Sat. 9, Barracuda, 12:45am
Behind "Dracula Drug," "Cobwebs," and "Dark Sorcerer," horror proclivities line fourth Frankie LP Zam. Concocting a witches' brew of Krautrock, proto-metal, psychedelia, and garage rock, the Los Angeles rockers conjure lyricism of infernos, dark arts, and mythical creatures.  – Alejandra Ramirez

Acid King

Sat. 9, Barracuda, 5:45pm
Seldom prolific, San Francisco power trio Acid King make up for it with powerhouse perform­ances so loud and thick they shake the walls. Bandleader Lori Steinberg remains a force of nature on most recent LP Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere. – Michael Toland

The Black Angels

Sat. 9, Stubb’s, 7pm
Levitation's sponsoring band concluded year 15 as Austin's psych overseers by starting to record a new album. The follow-up to fifth liturgy Death Song breaks to open for John Cale, whose Velvet Underground provided the Angels' moniker and last album title. Frontman Alex Maas, guitarists Christian Bland and Jake Garcia, bassist/keyboardist Kyle Hunt, and beat menace Stephanie Bailey lower the drone. – Raoul Hernandez

Relapse Records showcase

Sat. 9, Mohawk, 7pm
Philly metal kingpin Relapse Records' Mohawk takeover begins with the acid doom jams of Sweden's Monolord and fourth LP No Comfort. Miami's Torche reanimate Nineties grunge on new album Admission, while Virginia's Windhand showcases the slow-burning witch metal of last year's acclaimed Eternal Return. Portland's Red Fang follows up 2016's Only Ghosts with pounding digital single "Antidote." Pinkish Black and Cat­man shake the aftershow inside. – Michael Toland


Sat. 9, Hotel Vegas, 9pm
Forever bearing the scarlet letter of "noise rock" for the redlined tones and crazed wails on their Trance Syndicate-issued 1994 sophomore heave Heroin Man, Cherubs are, in fact, a pop group – a sonically warped, lyrically deviant, nontraditional-time-signatures one. After a two-decade breakup, the ATX trio returned in 2016 and followed up with two brilliant albums. – Kevin Curtin

Deantoni Parks

Sat. 9, Empire Control Room, 12:45am
Working with John Cale, Sade, Flying Lotus, and the Mars Volta, Deantoni Parks' beatmaking skills on just a drum kit and sampler remain astounding. A collage of cut-and-paste BPMs and samples, this year's Augusta traverses pocket grooves ("Manganese"), hi-hat experiments ("Chrome Snare 1977"), and speedy footwork ("Bass Drum 1966"). – Alejandra Ramirez

Third Man Records Showcase

Sun. 10, Hotel Vegas, 5pm
Jack White's label curated gunning garage rock behind Nashville's Stools, Philadelphia's Long Hots, Detroit's Deadbeat Beat, and Miami's Jacuzzi Boys. Omaha post-punks David Nance Group, Motor City fire-breathers Easy Action – fueled by John Brannen of Laughing Hyenas/Negative Approach – and Detroit noiseniks Wolf Eyes add gasoline. Sabrina Ellis/Har Mar Superstar collaboration Heart Bones caps it off. – Michael Toland

Dinosaur Jr.

Sun. 10, Stubb’s, 6pm
Now 14 years and four albums deep, the reunion of guitar rock gods Dinosaur Jr.'s original Eighties lineup revisits its Nineties LPs, on which only bandleader J Mascis appeared. British reissue specialist Cherry Red Records' loving reissues of Green Mind, Where You Been, Without a Sound, and Mascis fave Hand It Over prompt a whole new set list. – Michael Toland

Kurt Vile (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

The Black Drumset

Sun. 10, Mohawk, 7pm
The solo project of local Brian Willey employs minimal vocals, striking strings, and bellowing horns on March release Charged. Kick drums con­trast with easy guitar riffs in a fight for the senses: One moment is a tidal wave of electricit; the next is calming repetitive synth riff. – Alyssa Quiles

Kurt Vile & the Violators

Sun. 10, Stubb’s, 7:45pm
Rootsy psychedelia somewhere between Neil Young and Jonathan Richman, Vile's playfully nonchalant lyrics and understated vocals twist through warped, hazy guitar waves. The prolific former War on Drugs guitarist followed 2017's Courtney Barnett collaboration Lotta Sea Lice with last year's seventh solo outing, Bottle It In. – Doug Freeman

Black Moth Super Rainbow

Sun. 10, Mohawk, 9:15pm
Wings dipped in vocoder and ego death, Tom Fec's vocals float like a poor man's Bon Iver and sting like a madman's Bruce Haack. Ancient hard­ware collects rust and residue as it tunnels through aging analog pipelines, summoning a swirl of sonic sediment to rise as a swamp thing whose tapehead spits Tobacco-soaked spatters of acid-washed, jewel-case-encrusted mixes. – Rick Weaver


Sun. 10, Barracuda, 10:15pm
Far removed from frontman Nicholas Wood's solo bedroom project, London duo KVB channels the Jesus & Mary Chain and New Order. Sleek electronic stabs and robotic hand claps unfurl inside delayed shoegaze guitars and wall of sound reverb. Six LPs in, flanged bassline and swift percussion drive ethereal lucidity. – Alejandra Ramirez

A Place to Bury Strangers

Sun. 10, Barracuda, 11:45pm
Outlining the rudimentary composition of Joy Division with the repetitive tension of Suicide, APTBS shakes out moody anti-grooves populated with metal-plated bursts of clarified noise that double as demos for the Queens-based effects pedal maker Death by Audio, founded by Oliver Ackermann, the band's shredder and co-singer. – Rick Weaver

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