Levitation fest put off until 2018

The news gets worse for fans of Levitation, the nation's largest psychedelic music festival. After losing the 2016 gathering to nasty weather in and around Austin, Texas, organizers now have pulled the plug on the 2017 edition. "We are taking a year off to relaunch in 2018," organizers said on the festival's web site. "While this wasn't an easy decision to make, with more time we can present the best festival without compromises." They didn't elaborate on what issues would have led to "compromises." The psychedelic music festival took a major hit in April, when the threat of flooding caused a total cancellation a day before the three-day event was to begin. "We are completely devastated," organizers said at the time. The 2016 festival was to feature acts including Ween, … [Read more...]

Levitation fest grounded for 2016

"Dangerous weather" has doomed the nation's largest psychedelic music festival for 2016. Austin's Levitation music fest was canceled one day before it opened. "It is beyond our control," organizers said. "We are completely devastated." Some of the many psychedelic music bands that were streaming into Texas are expected to play in various venues around Austin. The festival was to run April 29-May 1, back for the fifth year at Carson Creek Ranch outside Austin. Levitation 2016 tickets are being refunded. Festival tickets will not be good for any alternate bookings in town, however. The Thursday night kickoff events apparently were to continue before the arrival of Friday's bad weather. The festival was to feature acts including the reunited Ween, Brian Wilson, Courtney … [Read more...]

Rock Hall taps Deep Purple, Miller, Chicago

Deep Purple, Steve Miller and Chicago have found their way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. All three acts began in the psychedelic music era of the late 1960s. Each made albums key to the underground music scene, although Miller and Chicago are better known for their mainstream careers. Other artists entering the Rock Hall in 2016 are N.W.A. and Cheap Trick. A notable omission from the inductees list is Yes, a move that no doubt will fuel criticisms that the Rock Hall has a bias against progressive rock. Yes is now unsuccessful as a multiple nominee. Deep Purple found early success with trippy covers of the top 40 hits "Hush" (Joe South/Billy Joe Royal) and "Kentucky Woman" (Neil Diamond).Keyboardist John Lord then steered the British band into experiments with a … [Read more...]

13th Floor Elevators playing Levitation

Psychedelic music pioneers the 13th Floor Elevators are reuniting for a 50th-year celebration this May in Austin. The performance by all surviving original members -- Roky Erickson, Tommy Hall, Ronnie Leatherman and John Ike Walton -- comes most appropriately at the psychedelic music festival Levitation, which was named after a song by the band. It'll be the 13th Floor Elevators' first show since 1968. They'll close the festival the night of May 10. "Having the 13th Floor Elevators on the festival lineup is just something we hadn't even dared to dream about," Levitation co-founder Rob Fitzpatrick said. "The band is massively influential and important to psychedelic rock and music in general." The signing was "surreal," he said. Erickson (pictured), who has gone on to a … [Read more...]

Austin Psych Fest all grown up

Austin's Psych Fest seems in danger of becoming an institution. The sixth celebration of psychedelic music sprawls across three days this weekend, with regional heroes Roky Erickson and the Moving Sidewalks headlining. "Austin Psych Fest has become the world's premiere showcase of psychedelic rock," the event's web site proclaims -- no brag, just fact. The festival has a distinct international flavor this year. Psych Fest peaks Sunday night, with Erickson, the Black Angels and then the Moving Sidewalks (pictured) laying waste to the "Reverberation" stage. Roky Erickson, an inventor of psychedelic music with the 13th Floor Elevators, returns after a 2011 performance at the festival. Top neo-psychedelic act the Black Angels include several producers of the event. The Moving … [Read more...]

Roky Erickson: set lists

Roky Erickson songs played in concert, 1966-2010. View more psychedelic band set lists Maxwell's Hoboken, N.J. Jan. 2, 2010 Cold Night for Alligators Creature With the Atom Brain The Wind and More Bloody Hammer The Beast Stand for the Fire Demon Night of the Vampire Don't Shake Me Lucifer I Walked with a Zombie Ooh My Soul I'm Gonna Love You Too Splash 1 You're Gonna Miss Me Two Headed Dog Don't Slander Me Krannert Center Urbana, Ill. Sept. 25, 2010 Night of the Vampire Two Headed Dog Bring Back the Past Don't Slander Me Forever (electric) John Lawman Stand for the Fire Demon Forever (acoustic) True Love Cast Out All Evil I Walked With a Zombie Starry Eyes Goodbye Sweet Dreams Reverberation Ooh! My Soul You're Gonna Miss … [Read more...]

No. 79: ‘San Francisco Girls’

Fever Tree was another in the long line of Texas bands that migrated to California in the psychedelic era. Before the Houston group made its move, however, it celebrated the charms of the Bay Area ladies with "San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native)," an intriguing single that (barely) cracked the Billboard singles chart in 1968. "San Francisco Girls," written by manager/producers Scott and Vivian Holtzman, came on the heels of the 1967 hits "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" sung by Scott McKenzie and "San Franciscan Nights" by Eric Burdon. Fever Tree's song certainly holds up its end of that city trilogy. "San Francisco Girls" opens as a ballad with a tasty but improbable dance of harpsichord and cymbal. Vocalist Dennis Keller sets the scene as a flute … [Read more...]

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