LEVITATION (AUSTIN PSYCH FEST): A REVIEW

by Kirsten Becker

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This past weekend I had an incredibly awesome time at Austin Psych Fest (now called Levitation) on Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, TX. This particular festival has been one I have tried to go to for a while, but funds/time/commitments have gotten in the way. Fortunately, this year worked out perfectly and I hopped on a plane by myself to Texas for this unforgettable festival experience.

For some reason, there was a huge international presence. Almost everyone I met was either from Canada, Ireland, or Australia. The crowd was also a pleasant one, made of *real* music fans – people who weren’t just there for the street cred of “being at a festival.” There were so many adorable babies, families, and older people in attendance as well. I could tell this festival was something truly authentic, that the festivalgoers held closely, as many had been to the fest more than just once.

Of course the fest highlights included The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, Primal Scream, Spiritualized, The Black Angels (who present and play the festival every year), The Jesus and Mary Chain, 13th Floor Elevators, and Mac Demarco. I instead wanted to focus this post more on the many smaller artists I either discovered or was dying to see who really blew me away. I highly recommend this festival to anyone and everyone. As it grows bigger each year, it has become a staple of the amazing Austin music scene.

THEE OH SEES

One of the best live bands around today. ‘Nuff said.

LIGHTNING BOLT

Scared the heck outta me when I saw them.


EARTH

Drone/doom/stoner metal band. Played late night, unbelievable show.


RINGO DEATHSTARR

One of the many stellar bands coming from Austin right now, psych pop/shoegaze.


MYSTIC BRAVES

Stumbled on them during the day, classic psych rawk vibes.


LAS ROBERTAS
Garage/lady rock/reverby as hell.


CREEPOID

Philly love! 90s grunge revival stuff.


ZZZ’S

Three ladies from Japan doing some crazy experimental/industrial stuff


GOURISANKAR & INDRAJIT BANARJEE

Stole the festival, they played twice this weekend. Sitar and tabla music, super entrancing.


CHUI WAN

Psych rock from Beijing!

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Notes from the Underground: Thursday May 7th – Saturday May 9th

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The goodie crew providing the laser fullness at their warehouse.

Soooo many good DJs are rolling through Philly this weekend. This is a list of what’s going on to help keep you up to date and up all night.

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Pre-Record Store Day chat with Icebird (RJD2 & Aaron Livingston)

RJD2 & Aaron Livingston

RJD2 & Aaron Livingston in our record library. Photos by Gabe Coffey (lostalgian.tumblr.com)

Everyday is Record Store Day for a lot of us, including RJD2 and Aaron Livingston, who recorded a brilliant album together in 2011 as Icebird. I had the privilege to sit down with them in our studio last week to chat and play some records ahead of the Record Store Day vinyl release of their album The Abandoned Lullaby.

“I feel weird saying I have a lot of records when I’m sitting next to RJ. I have a few records,” said Aaron.

RJ responded, “But I don’t have a lot of records, I don’t have records like Rich Medina. I have a modest record collection when I consider the heavy duty record collectors. I don’t have a storage unit -there’s a defining line and I’m a non-storage unit guy.”

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An obscure Israeli mixtape from Juval Haring (of Vaadat Charigim)!

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Juval Haring– from shoegaze-psych Israeli band Vaadat Charigim– was nice enough to create a super awesome playlist of obscure Israeli music for us! The Tel-Aviv band will release their new album, Sinking as a Stone, May 5th on Burger Records

Listen to a new track from the album and Juval’s playlist below.

Plastic Venus – “Malach”

Ashkara Metim – “Anachnu Hashampania”

Elad Zeev – “Al Tefached Mehamachshev”

Mora Chayelet – “Pachot Amiti”

Ed Turner Vehadanilof Center – “Shefel”

Sadranei Hadeshe – “Hachatul Sheli”

Subway Suckers – “Extacy”

Hameyutarim – “Kalaniot”

Hamahapecha Hameyuteret – “Halaliot”

Charlie Megira – “Nechshalt Beahava”

Pag Adir – 3 songs

Elegant – “Hakol Mitbaher”

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Natalia Zamilska: “All or Nothing”

by Maxwell Stetson

In this National Geographic article, neuroscientist Valorie Salimpoor looks for answers about her personal, euphoric reaction to the Johannes Brhams’s song, “Hungarian Dance No. 5”. She wondered how and why this music moved her and the processes it took within her brain. These questions led her to Thalia Wheatley, a Dartmouth psychologist, who offered an explanation.

Thalia found “[that] every time you listen to music, you constantly activate [musical] templates that you’ve [created] that predict the reward you’ll feel from a given piece.”

In her opinion, “new music is presumably rewarding, not only because it fits implicitly learned patterns, but because it deviates from those patterns, however slightly.” I believe this constant template reformation and pattern shifting is an aspect to be loved, especially when it occurs organically. When this occurs, it can progress your tastes and emotions into a new and unknown fields, allowing you to think and feel differently.

I begin with this to highlight a similar joy I felt when listening to the pioneering artist we’re featuring today.

When I first heard the culturally shattering sounds of Natalia Zamilska, my musical template was completely rearranged in wonder. Her creation of raw and heavy techno, noise, electronica and modern world music was new, artistic and incredibly exciting to me.

“Duel 35” was the first track of Zamilska’s that made me a huge fan. It consists of the toughest booming techno sound, both danceable and sexy. The tribal chants and noisy pops later in the song add to its power. The sound, combined with an incredibly artistic and creative video, made me feel like Zamilska was creating art, not just music.

Natalia admitted she didn’t expect much to happen after releasing “Quarrel,” a 2014 single,  yet the feedback was so affirmative that she felt like she had to finish an album as soon as possible. “Untune” was then created during live shows, as she used the audience members as her collaborators, testing various musical creations on them. Since then, her recognition has been accumulating worldwide. The Quietus, an art/culture online magazine out of London, rated “Untune” as one of the best tracks of 2014, while Vevo ranked “Duel 35” as #15 out of the top 100 songs from their “Other Side of Music” for 2014. She’s since accumulated 7,200 Facebook likes and 1,700 Soundcloud followers and was featured on Dior’s Toyko Fashion Show, 2015.

It’s an honor and a pleasure to share this amazing interview with you! Here’s Booty Shakers’ exclusive interview with the incredible talent that is Natalia Zamilska! Continue reading

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Rich Medina’s ALL VINYL Hot Mix set in GIFs

Rich Medina is a straight up legend. He’s one of the few DJs out there that can bring crowds to a frenzy with literally any style of music. We were blessed to have him come through our studio with a bag stuffed full of soul, funk, psych and African vinyl on a seriously cold and chilly Thursday night (that also was the NBA trade deadline).

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Rich Medina, searching for the perfect beat. All GIFs (cinemagraphs actually) by Gabe Coffey. http://lostalgian.tumblr.com

This Hot Mix was a reunion in a few ways.
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Kevin Devine Live @ WKDU 2/07/15

Singer/songwriter Kevin Devine stopped by the studio a few weeks back before his show with Into It. Over It. and Laura Stevenson at the Church Sanctuary. Listen to the three-song set below!

Some photos of Kevin at the Church are below. For more, see Under The Gun Review.

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