Previewing Austin Psych Fest with The Black Angels’ Alex Maas
What are some new aspects of this year’s festival that you are particularly excited about?
Well, last year we did the festival on this beautiful power plant. It was this 1950’s art deco power plant and it was a super awesome venue—it was really cool and really awesome looking—but the sound wasn’t that good. Being in a big warehouse like that and having two stages, there’s a lot of bleed and tons of echo, which was cool, but this year the people coming are going to hear these amazing bands in an environment that sounds really good. There’s two venues and you can walk between them and each one has its own vibe. I’m really excited about hearing all of these bands in an environment that’s conducive to their sound. That’s probably what I’m most excited about.
Do you guys do all of the booking yourselves?
We ask people what they want to hear, so we’re communicating with people who are coming to the festival. We have bands that we like, but we don’t know every band. It’s impossible. So through asking the community, you’re getting this poll method and we’re pulling from what the community wants. We want to be the festival that shows you music you’ve never heard before, but at the same time, we want people to have a hand in picking these bands.
To close out the festival you guys have Golden Dawn performing their 1968 album Power Plant in its entirety. How did you manage to make that happen?
Part of our goal for this festival is to hit every single style within the psychedelic genre—which is kind of difficult because you have surf-psych, folk-psych, electronic music, rock and roll and garage psych. But we always want to have a vintage element. Last year we had Roky Erickson and this year we have Golden Dawn. They put out a record in ’68 called Power Plant, and its just this record that never got the credibility and attention it deserved. So they’re from Austin and they were playing with the Elevators back in the day. We basically just asked them if they would play and they actually did play Psych Fest #2 a long time ago. So this is us bringing them back and we made sure they got a good time spot. They’re just a band that everyone needs to know about. They’re one of the vintage acts playing the festival.
Can you name some bands playing the festival this year that you are particularly excited to see?
Obviously I’m really looking forward to seeing Brian Jonestown Massacre, they’ve really got their act together and they’re playing really well. Also, Black Lips. I’m also really excited about seeing a band, who we toured with, called Wall of Death—they’re from France. There’s another band called Blue Angel Lounge and there’s a guy called Bombino, he comes from the same north African dessert community as Tinariwen. I’m really excited to see him play. I could say things about every single band. They’re all really, really good. I’m just stoked to be a part of this. It’s kind of a dream come true.
Dame shares a song from her new EP Preventions of Heartbreak.
Golden Bloom stopped by Relix to perform a tune from their latest EP No Day Like Today.
The Chapin Sisters share an tune from their new album A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Minneapolis-based Night Moves share a song from their record, Colored Emotions, live at Relix.
Cloud Cult share a song from their latest album live at Relix.
The Giving Tree Band enjoy a spring day on the Relix rooftop, while performing a classic Grateful Dead tune.
Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden performs a duet with his sister-in-law Lou Canon. The song appears on Us Alone his first record on Broken Social Scene’s Arts & Crafts Productions.
The Milk Carton Kids share the first song from their new album, The Ash & Clay.
Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
Ron Sexsmith visits the Relix office to perform a tune from his latest record Forever Endeavor.
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