Best Austin Bands at Austin Psych Fest

psychAustin Psych Fest is becoming a pretty big deal, bringing in some incredible bands from all over the globe, not to mention some encouraging the reunion of acts long forgotten by fans.  But, let’s not get carried away and forget that the festival is a homegrown fest, born from the ideas of members of The Black Angels and their friends.  And, like many an Austinite, they’re a proud bunch, so they’ve made sure the bill always has great locals that will represent our fair city.  Below you’ll find the Top 5 Austin Bands playing at this year’s festival, at least in my opinion….and they’re in no particular order Christian Bland and the Revelators

What!? The Black Angels are playing again? Hey, they helped curate this festival, so they can play every night as far as we’re concerned.  But, you should also check out a project that includes their bandmate, Christian Bland and his band.  Christian’s one of the founding fathers, so to speak, of the Angels, but don’t think you’re going to get a special rehash of the band; he’s got a personality all his own.  The music holds true to the psychedelic vibe, but I also really like the fact that Bland seems to have this softer edge that unfolds in this project. Pig Boat Blues, the most recent release, is a good place to start. The band plays at 5:45 on the Reverberation Stage on Sunday, May 4th. Roger Sellers It’s pretty much impossible to classify the music of Roger Sellers.  He dabbles in various genres, which makes him a great choice to play at Psych Fest.  A lot of people seem to talk about how he’s the next electronic artist making waves in Austin, but I think if you look closely, you’ll see varying tapestries within his tracks, often little nuances that are far outside of the electronic realm.  He’s just recently signed to Punctum Records, proving how hot a commodity he is, not to mention the high hopes everyone has for his music. His record Moments has some real inspiring pieces within it. He plays at 5:30 at the Levitation Tent on Friday, May 2nd. Mirror Travel I don’t really know how much more I can fawn over this band.  We praised them again and again for their last effort, Mexico, which was our favorite local record of 2013.  Their lives shows have the three-piece locking down things pretty tightly, as I’ve rarely heard a missed note in their sets.  I know there are easy comparisons to psych with their fuzzy guitars and droning melodies, but live, they’re a full on rock band that you won’t be able to take your eyes off of during the festival.  Check out the track, “Stoner,” and you’ll have them as one of your highlights. The band plays at 1:15 on the Reverberation Stage on Saturday, May 3rd. Octopus Project Octopus Project is one of the most “Austin” bands around.  They dabble in art, film and other projects, but it all culminates with their musical output.  Their live shows are known across the globe for their intricate lighting and stage presence, yet you’ll be championing their music after one of their sets as well.  While it remains largely instrumental, it’s some of the most creative music coming out of our fair city.  It amazes me how successful they are at mastering performing live renditions of these tracks in the live setting. You’ll be in the same boat if you catch them playing at the fest. They play at 7:30 at the Levitation Tent on Saturday, May 3rd. Pure X I think I always take Pure X for granted, though that doesn’t mean I don’t love what the band has done.  Every time people mention great Austin bands, I tend to forget about them…until I go back and listen to their records.  The music is, and always has been, intoxicating, whether you’re talking about their early release Pleasure or the much more pop-centric Angel, which was just released a few weeks ago.  They craft music so unassumingly wonderful, that it’s easy to forget them.  But, in a festival filled with great bands, you’re not going to want to miss out on what the group has to offer you. You can find them at 4:30 on the Reverberation Stage on Saturday, May 3rd.

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