Saturday, March 14, 2009

Three bands that should've played Psych Fest

The second annual Psych Fest wraps up on Sunday. Looking back on it, it was a pretty solid lineup. A good mix of local and out-of-state bands. But combing through the list of 30 bands, there were three glaring omissions. Below are three Austin bands that should've played the Psych Fest. Maybe next year? Here's hoping.

Bridge Farmers
Maybe they're too punk? I don't know, because to me Bridge Farmers are the most timeless sounding psych band in town, as well as one of the loudest. Their debut album Adventures in the Magic Love Bus with Sister Mary Mayhem in Search of America perfectly encapsulates what psychedelia is all about: one part guitar distortion, one part political dissatisfaction, and two parts hallucinogenic drug references. "Delilah" sounds like a 13th Floor Elevators outtake, minus the electric jug. But the album's opener "Killing Grove" makes the strongest case. Anyone who can write a song like this deserves an automatic pass to anything that involves both Austin and psych music.

"Killing Grove"


Prayer For Animals
Maybe they're too country? I don't know, because Prayer For Animals are one of the best live acts in town. They're not pure psych, as their influences strongly incorporate aspects of blues, surf, country, and classic rock. Last Thursday, the day before Psych Fest started, these guys put on one of the best shows the Hole In The Wall has seen in recent history. The middle room was packed and just about everyone was dancing. You NEVER see that anymore: An all-local bill on a Thursday night almost at capacity with everyone letting loose and shaking their ass. They may have come for Aaron Behrens' (of Ghostland Observatory) solo acoustic set, but they sure as hell stayed and partied for PFA's set afterward. I think the band made a lot of new fans that night.



The Boxing Lesson
Maybe they're too indie? While a big chunk of their 2008 album Wild Streaks and Windy Days sounds like '90s pop-rock (Gin Blossoms, Third-Eye Blind), its best moments come when The Boxing Lesson channels the best aspects of early Bowie and Waters-era Pink Floyd. How does a band release one of the most progressive and cool-as-a-cucumber psych albums of '08 and not get an invite to the Psych Fest? Oh well, enjoy a free song!



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Ana said...

I've also wondered why The Boxing Lesson wasn't playing...