Holy Wave is a band of multi-instrumentalists from Austin, TX. Originally from El Paso, the band's sound has evolved into a unique blend of sun baked surf-psychedelia. Holy Wave creates a brand of psych that brings to mind fellow Texans like The 13th Floor Elevators and modern contemporaries like The Black Angels and Night Beats, dyed in carefully constructed noise with an attention to detail echoing the work of shoegaze influences like My Bloody Valentine and Spectrum.
The Reverberation Appreciation Society is proud to present Holy Wave’s “Evil Hits” which compiles 5 tracks from the band’s 2011 LP “Knife Hits” and all 5 tracks off their 2012 EP “The Evil Has Landed”. "Evil Hits" will precede their upcoming LP to be released in April 2013.
Kyle Hager - Vocals, Guitar, organ
Dustin Zozaya - Bass, Drums, Guitar, organ
Joey Cook - Vocals, Drums, Guitar, organ
Ryan Fuson - Vocals, Guitar, tambourine
Julian Ruiz - Drums, guitar vocals
Holy Wave EP
Best Friends CS
Knife Hits (1/2012)
"Heat Index 104" featured on Absolute USA Indie Compilation by Valleyarm
The Evil has Landed EP (5/2012)
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Unlike other psych-warriors happy to hide behind sonic debris, Holy Wave thrives on attention. The l...Unlike other psych-warriors happy to hide behind sonic debris, Holy Wave thrives on attention. The local quartet's Knife Hits brims with all manner of artsy-fartsy twilight drone, but, as produced by Austin wizard Erik Wofford, is always layered with candied, blue-sky hooks. Frontman Kyle Hager is all stagger and stoned, but he always makes sure to sing like a rock star. Most of the album feels like dense pop with deep intent: "Sleeping" exhibits a gorgeous sunflower jangle with a Nico lilt, while "Brahman" is a warp-speed burst of loose vibes, and "Heat Index 104" feels like a stringent, soul-hollowing ballad. The grooves mostly sound alike, but it's rare when fresh-faced upstarts can pack more perspectives in a single taste than most of the Psych Fest lineup. Holy Wave's execution is off the charts.
Austin Psych Fest: One trip, many destinations
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Of all the poorly defined terms used to describe music, "psychedelic" might be one of the biggest of...Of all the poorly defined terms used to describe music, "psychedelic" might be one of the biggest offenders. During last year's Psych Fest, Alex Maas of the Black Angels said that to him, "four 80-year-old women in yellow bikinis playing the banjo" was psychedelic.
Classic psych rock as played by the 13th Floor Elevators and others expressed and enhanced the altered states brought on by the use of psychedelic drugs. The world of music that sprung from that had specific sounds. Roky howls. Reverb bounces around. Tinny guitars wail.
Austin Psych Fest, happening this weekend at Emo's East and the Beauty Ballroom, has a broader definition that can include musicians trading in their guitars for laptops and synthesizers — some spitting out abrasive electronic music and the like.
More traditional bands coexist with the abstract. The Black Angels, who organize the fest, are more rooted in bands like the Elevators (Roky Erickson headlined last year). The Brian Jonestown Massacre, who have top billing this year, have a style that varies as much as their revolving-door lineup but tends to zero in on the Rolling Stones.
Another Austin band that falls into the latter category is Holy Wave, who return to the fest for their second year. On the band's debut full-length, "Knife Hits," multi-instrumentalists Kyle Hager, Julian Ruiz, Dustin Zozaya and Joey Cook throw classic psychedelic moments — "Piper at the Gates of Dawn"-era Pink Floyd, Stones, Beatles — into a pot along with their more contemporary musical sensibilities to create something that uses familiar elements of another era. They're one of the more exciting new bands in Austin at the moment, and they do it without coming across as revivalists. That's not an easy feat.
"I think our sound changes just as frequently as it should, as life is changing and we're growing, our sound is changing, too," Cook says. "I don't think we can be accused of staying in the same place for too long."
Though Holy Wave is only about two years old, they've known each other for much longer, forming from the remnants of two different bands that date back to their high school days in El Paso, where they consumed a diverse body of music that included both the Beatles and hometown heroes and recently reunited At the Drive-In.
"I think because we've been friends for so long, that we've gone through a very transformative period of our lives listening to music and playing music together, we've evolved together," Zozaya says.
They moved to Austin after Ruiz and Hager (along with a former band member) took a road trip to California to see another group that informs their music, British shoegaze pioneers My Bloody Valentine. That band's full-bore noise attack (they handed out earplugs at the door during their last reunion tour) was a heavier presence in Holy Wave's early sound then the pop elements than define it now.
"It was all focused into one feeling of trying to blow people's minds with reverb and being loud, leaving a lasting impression with pure volume," Cook says.
It would be hard to guess that was the case by listening to "Knife Hits," which was recorded with producer Eric Wofford, who has worked with the Black Angels, among others. The album combines well-defined, melodic vocals, a variety of different instruments and plenty of less-is-more moments. "We've gotten sharper about our songwriting skills," Ruiz says.
Finding the balance between noise and song has helped the band define themselves. In a live setting, the band has gotten increasingly good at switching between chaos and order, overloading rooms with force and fuzz before zeroing in on melodic moments.
"We finally got a sound that sounds like all four us together as a unit," Zozoya says. "It's brought down the noise level, but it was naturally where we were going,"
The band's evolution has also afforded them some flexibility as far as where and what bands they play with in town. They're just as likely to show u
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Being raised for half of our adolescence in a city with the word “beach” in its name, we find it dif...Being raised for half of our adolescence in a city with the word “beach” in its name, we find it difficult not to reflect on surfing when under the spell of Holy Wave.
But it’s not necessarily the surfing of sport, skill, and tragically-tight corduroy shorts from OP that we’re paddling toward – nor do we believe it to be the destination of Holy Wave, the group of land-locked Texans who find their epic sound-waves to be a part of Austin Psych Fest for two years in a row.
Rather, it’s a sense of spiritual that we reflect upon when sound-surfing on the face of a Holy Wave. It’s a place full of heart and volume, with enough velocity and air pressure present to keep the threat of a total wipe-out real and present, wrapped within the folds of our brain.
Remarkably, Holy Wave keep their sound-waves from cresting and crashing too soon, making for a smooth but crucially loud ride toward enlightenment or fried amplifiers, whichever comes first. On their magnificent recent LP, “Knife Hits,” the band cuts deeply into that sound, offering the listener the sensation of languid levitation.
But to take our typically-tortured surfing analogy even further out to sea, consider “Surfing into Spirituality and a New, Aquatic Nature Religion,” Bron Taylor’s epic essay printed in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. Taylor makes a compelling case for finding the holy somewhere in the wave. Here, he quotes the author of “The Encyclopedia of Surfing,” who declares:
“When wars and flags and religions and nations and cities and rockets … are gone, there will still be an order of things far beyond the order of power-crazed men. It will be the order of a universe at equilibrium with all natural forces in balance.
And that’s what riding a wave is.”
Replace the act of getting tubed with getting down with vacuum-tube-driven musical amplification, and you’ll have found the wave on which we wish to ride.
Day one of this year’s Austin Psych Fest will get off to an ear-melting start on the Beauty Bar stage, with Holy Wave following the formidable sound-surfing of fellow fry-guy Al Lover. We feel fortunate to be on the same wavelength, and fortunate to share the interview with Holy Wave below. Enjoy.
Is there a single musical experience – first time seeing a certain band, most intense live performance, etc. – that you can pinpoint as being central to your musical evolution? What was it about that experience that makes it so memorable for you? How do you think it continues to inform your music today?
Julian: I think seeing My Bloody Valentine with Spectrum in ’08 was pretty big for me. Kyle and I, along with our old guitarist Ryan, got tickets to both nights in Santa Monica and the whole thing was amazing. We planned the trip to where we would drive to L.A. from El Paso, then the drive back was our move to Austin. So seeing MBV right before we set off to another city to start a band definitely changed us, I think. We all fell in love with the wall of sound that trip. I think we try and maintain that aspect in our sound but change is happening so often I never know what the next tune is gonna be like.
How do you see your musical interests having shifted or expanded over the years? Can you think of something – or some one – within music that you appreciate more now than even a few years ago? What album would the younger you be most surprised to learn that you now really enjoy?
Julian: I think we’ve just been rediscovering all the great stuff we grew up with but have sorta taken for granted. Like the Stones and the Beach Boys and all that great shit. I never thought I would be into Harry Nilsson or E.L.O. but Kyle has developed somewhat of an obsession with both so I’ve developed my own appreciation because of that.
Kyle: Jeff Lynne is a “holy” man.
Music’s connection to the “holy” is nothing new, going back at least as far as the earliest Islamic and early Christian cultures, though perhaps out of favor with m
Sounds Of Austin Psych Fest #5: Holy Wave
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If I could dream up my absolute ideal festival in my head, it would probably end up looking a little...If I could dream up my absolute ideal festival in my head, it would probably end up looking a little bit like Austin Psych Fest. The Black Angels beat me to it, and that’s alright with me. They know what they're doing. For the fifth time, TBA and the Reverberation Appreciation Society are putting on one heck of a party down in Austin featuring the best and brightest of the psych rock scene. I’m not going (heartbreak), but if I was, this is who I’d be checking out for damn sure.
Holy Wave. O, Holy Wave. I don't know why it took until now for me to get myself familiar with this Texas foursome. I guess that whole better late than never thing applies here. Fans of Darker My love might enjoy Holy Wave, as they're full of the sprawling, yet so very harmonic and melodic early 60s noise that the boys of Darker My Love have been so fine at over the past few years. The jangle is fierce, the end result is addiction. You've been warned.
Review: Psychedelic rock at Mediumship
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Mitchell Duncan of Psychic Feel Photo property of Learner Dancer The underground music community ch...Mitchell Duncan of Psychic Feel Photo property of Learner Dancer
The underground music community changes pretty quickly; bands form, disintegrate and re-form (and many of them share members anyway). New venues pop up, other ones become forgotten. It's hard at any one moment to get a handle on specifically where the epicenter of the Indianapolis' independent rock scene lies. However as of right now I'm pretty the vortex of that scene is Mediumship, a house/venue/record label tucked away in the quaint little neighborhood of Bates-Hendricks, just across the highway from Fountain Square.
When I got out of my car, I realized I had no street address for Mediumship (Editor's note: NUVO typically does not list private home addresses out of respect for the houses' tenants, but Facebook events pages are great resources for finding where you're going) and I found myself prowling around an otherwise reasonably sane neighborhood listening for the telltale sound of crashing cymbals and the rattle of bass guitar. Finally, I slunk my way into the two-floor Victorian house that is Mediumship just as two-man outfit Royalty were laying down a carpet of truly bizarro guitar effects and beats, using a feedback pedal to create a noise with more width than I could ever believe would be coming from a guitar and drum kit. Moments later, host/resident/curator of Mediumship, Joey Shepard, put a Miller High Life in my hand and gave me the run-down on the night's lineup.
The crowd at the house, which was made up of about 30 or so people at any one time, consisted mostly of local musicians and their friends. This is the best thing about coming to these kinds of shows: the chance to hang out and get to know the same people you've seen on stage and will be seeing on stage regularly if you go to shows in this city. Instead of being some rarified, exclusive hipsterdrome, as one could imagine, the atmosphere couldn't be more relaxed. You are, after all, watching a rock show in someone's living room..
Next, local hero and one-man show DMA took the stage after some brief introductions by Vacation Club's Brandon Jackson. Every time I've seen David Moose Adamson (solo or with Jookabox) I feel like he's demonstrated something different. Sometimes he plays to the crowd a little more, with tongue-in-cheek humor mixed into his looped synth-techno-hip-hop. That night, he seemed to create a mood and vibe that matched right along with the overall psychedelic character of the night's lineup. Looping noises and effects that sounded like they were coming from some kind of post-apocalyptic cryogenics factory, DMA wailed, coughed, rapped and wheezed into the mic, creating soundscapes rather than songs.
Holy Wave took the stage next, with an entourage that included five musicians and one light show coordinator, on tour from Austin, Tex. There is no way to accurately describe the overwhelming display of rock and roll these guys produced. To do so would only make me sound like a giddy fanboy (if I haven't already). However, let me just say they created new synapses and etched new grooves into my fragile mind with psychedelic garage rock brilliance. They sounded like Jefferson Airplane meets the Black Lips: lots of tambourine, keyboards, fuzzy guitars combined with repeating, surfy riffs and hollow, echo-chamber vocals. But lest that description lull you into thinking they are some kind of languid, bleary-eyed, flower-power psych-orchestra: imagine all those elements coming at you through a fire hose rather than a sprinkler can, and you're somewhere in the ballpark.
Later, I found myself staring through a smoke haze, watching Psychic Feel as they ripped out another full-on barrage of psychedelic guitar rock. Mitchell Duncan's hollow wail sounded like was coming from the attic of a haunted house, while the sound nearly got swallowed by guitar, bass and drums roaring out from all around him. The bassist played his instrument upside down, and through the incense and w
Tonight’s picks: Holy Wave, Anti-Alls, Lyle Lovett, more
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Holy Wave at Mohawk. Local psych-rock groups follows in the footsteps of Roky Erickson and the Black...Holy Wave at Mohawk. Local psych-rock groups follows in the footsteps of Roky Erickson and the Black Angels with their other-worldly drone. With Hellfire Social, Black Tabs, White Hotel and the Red 100’s. 8 p.m. $6. 912 Red River St. mohawkaustin.com.
The Anti-Alls, Bexar County Bastards, Dirty Charley Band, the Formulae, Boars at Emo’s
Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt at the Paramount Theater
Cory Brim, Cigarette at Trailer Space
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"The eponymous six-song debut from Holy Wave, recorded by Shapes Have Fangs guitarist Skyler McGloth..."The eponymous six-song debut from Holy Wave, recorded by Shapes Have Fangs guitarist Skyler McGlothlin, is a great soundtrack to standing in front of an A/C unit and letting your face go numb. The local quartet's got a psych mind, and its wash of reverb and volume creates a dreamlike state, namely within the jangly sweetness of 'The T.H. Sea' (get it?) and narcotic neo-drone of follow-up 'P.C. Woman'."
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I first caught Holy Wave at Beerland (I think??) a couple months ago on a bill with OBN’s III. I di...I first caught Holy Wave at Beerland (I think??) a couple months ago on a bill with OBN’s III. I didn’t recognize the name and was blown away by their set. I was even more excited to find out that these guys were local. So today I’m excited to bring you these 3 tracks from a little known Austin band that’s had a big affect on me.
Holy Wave is a 4 piece from Austin,TX. They play a mesmerizing style of drone-y neo-psychedelia that while challenging at times is mostly pure otherworldly gold. Sonically they may owe a bit to Spacemen 3 and Galaxie 500 , but Holy Wave remains charming with vague familiarity, honest in their presentation, and infectious enough in their down tempo take to warrant our attention. Though they do not have not much in the way of recorded material outside of the 3 spacey lo-fi recordings featured today, it’s clear that these guys are on to something. Though happily dreary, this is music that is perfect for the sunshine. Since it’s sunny today in Austin I’d encourage you to grab your computer and take it outside. Turn this up. Close your eyes and experience Holy Wave.
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What stands out about Holy Wave is the sonic textures they apply to make their sound pierce through ...What stands out about Holy Wave is the sonic textures they apply to make their sound pierce through the smoke-filled haze that engulfs most psych bands.
Top 10s Austin Music
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Local Chorus Line 1) SOFT HEALER "Gentle One" b/w "Movie Light" (Captured Tracks) 2) SARAH JAROS...Local Chorus Line
1) SOFT HEALER "Gentle One" b/w "Movie Light" (Captured Tracks)
2) SARAH JAROSZ The New 45 (Sugar Hill)
3) FOCUS GROUP Unicornography
4) YELLOWFEVER (Wild World)
5) THE YOUNG Voyagers of Legend (Mexican Summer)
6) SIMPLE CIRCUIT "Boarded Up Houses" b/w "Moon Druggies" (Super Secret)
7) HOLY WAVE EP
8) SILENT DIANE "Riverside" b/w "Juliet the Painting" (Answering Machine Recordings)
9) AGENT RIBBONS Chateau Crone (Antenna Farm)
10) HOW I QUIT CRACK "Gone Away" b/w "In Realm" (Answering Machine Recordings)
Holy Wave - "Knife Hits"
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First 2012 music tip comes from Austin Tx, pretty cool debut garage psychedelic rock album from Holy...First 2012 music tip comes from Austin Tx, pretty cool debut garage psychedelic rock album from Holy Wave out today.
Holy Wave "Knife Hits' Streaming
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We just caught wind of this debut release from Austin psych pop band Holy Wave and had to share. It ...We just caught wind of this debut release from Austin psych pop band Holy Wave and had to share. It has all the ingredients that we love and is baked and served up in a pretty tasty dish. Check out Knife Hits.
Holy Wave Makes the Cut
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We just came across this Austin (Texas) psychpop outfit over at NWMusicDX and really like what we're...We just came across this Austin (Texas) psychpop outfit over at NWMusicDX and really like what we're hearing. Do the widget thing and, if you like, left-click the Sonicbids mp3 link to download.
The Sonicbids site has three more free and legal downloads. Simply (or complicatedly) click here.
Holy Wave's Bandcamp page has the entire Knife Hits LP ready to stream. It just dropped yesterday, which, if you think about it, makes it a relatively recent release (rrr). Here's one we're bullish on.
So there you have it: some cuts to listen to, download, and further explore. Any way you slice it, we think even Dex would be tickled pink.
Introducing Holy Wave
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Holy Wave is grounded well within the Austin psychedelic scene, but they take many interesting side ...Holy Wave is grounded well within the Austin psychedelic scene, but they take many interesting side steps into other trains of thought. A crutch of some psychedelic rock bands is to fall into a strung out and trudging groove that would be cool if you were stoned. Holy Wave never falls into this defect of their genre. Mixed in with cool surf licks, the band has incorporated a crescendo style into their act. Any time the boys seem to be cruising along in one groove, it isn’t long before one of the members shoots the rest of the band into a jaw-dropping climax. Holy Wave’s intelligent take on psychedelic surf rock is engaging and will make you feel like you’re at a 1950’s beach party.- Taylor Browne
Holy Wave- Knife Hits
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"Holy Wave come from Austin although you’d swear they spawned on the California coast.Their debut dr..."Holy Wave come from Austin although you’d swear they spawned on the California coast.Their debut drops nuggets of psych on a backdrop that slides between shoegaze and sunny breaks of garage pop. It’s also easily one of the most chilled records of the summer. Knife Hits never really goes far, but its melodies are as inviting as they are stoned.
In a different universe, the band would be the love child of Best Coast and Kevin Shields. That actually sounds like a horrid reality, but Holy Wave does have a lot in common with singer Bethany Cosentino and MBV. If you subtract her banal rhyming schemes and other annoyances, Bethany and frontman Kyle Hager’s delivery is so similiar that they could be siblings. They both seem incredibly unattached (in a good way) and almost third-person in vocal presence. And the early Best Coast also shared a knack for simple slacker, love songs and being lazy—ala Holy Wave’s “Best Friends” and “Sleeping”. The latter is about not doing anything because you’d rather be drunk or asleep.
The Kevin Shields influence is more obvious, as you can tell the band is starry eyed when it comes to MBV after listening to any three songs. But there’s also enough garage-laden hooks to keep them from becoming biters of Creation’s tragic masterpiece. The beginning of “Brahman” could almost pass for a Ty Segall intro and “Drugband Blues” feels like Dead Meadow if they’d been influenced by heroin and 12-bar ditties. "
Holy Wave- "The Evil Has Landed"
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With each new release it's becoming more apparent that Holy Wave is the next great psychedelic band ...With each new release it's becoming more apparent that Holy Wave is the next great psychedelic band to come out of Austin. Fresh off the release of their excellent debut LP, Knife Hits, the local quintet released a 5-song EP to coincide with their performance at this year's Austin Psych Fest. "The Evil Has Landed" hits even harder than its predecessor, with echo chamber vocals, reverb-heavy surf riffs and steady organ drones that sound like the foundation to a 21st century Nuggets collection. You can purchase the EP for just a few bucks on bandcamp.
South By Southwest's Evolution for Agents and Bands
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And that is why John Bohannon, 25, an agent for Panache Booking in Brooklyn, was pushing his way int...And that is why John Bohannon, 25, an agent for Panache Booking in Brooklyn, was pushing his way into the beery air of Hotel Vegas on Tuesday night to see Holy Wave, a psychedelic band from El Paso.
“They keep popping up on bills with bands I like,” he said. “I checked them out and I like it but I have no idea what they are like live.”
The barroom started to fill, as Holy Wave, a five-piece rock outfit, started to play long, loud wall-of-sound songs built around two or three chords and simple introspective refrains, mixing surf rock with bubbling psychedelia. The band had an old-fashioned 1960s light show, using two overhead projectors, stencils and drops of food color in a glass dish. Soon the room was full of people bopping and dancing, a fact Mr. Bohannon noted with a nod.
“Obviously I’m not the only one,” he said.
Holy Wave's Psychedelic Symposium
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Holy Wave's Psychedelic Symposium "I think we're part of something bigger than us,&q...Holy Wave's Psychedelic Symposium
"I think we're part of something bigger than us," concedes Holy Wave guitarist Ryan Fuson.
The local quintet of multi-instrumentalists, who suck audiences into a washed-out current of echoing three-chord rock & roll while beaming in liquid light projections, have emerged as an Austin Psych Fest flagship band, counting three straight APF appearances and a compilation LP called Evil Hits out on the Reverberation Appreciation Society label.
"Just being affiliated with the Reverberation Appreciation Society, we get people buying our album from Greece, Italy, England, and a shit-ton of people from France," reveals bassist Dustin Zozaya. "There's a big group keeping an eye on that label."
"They're keeping an eye on Austin, too," adds drummer Julian Ruiz. "This is the hub, in America, for cutting-edge psychedelic music."
Not Justin Beiber: Holy Wave is (l-r) Joey Cook, Dustin Zozoya, Julian Ruiz, Kyle Hager, Ryan Fuson.
Not Justin Beiber: Holy Wave is (l-r) Joey Cook, Dustin Zozoya, Julian Ruiz, Kyle Hager, Ryan Fuson.
Photo by John Anderson
On the eve of their national tour with Sweden's masked Afrobeat freakout Goat, which has generated a media buzz and sell-out crowds, Holy Wave sat at a picnic table behind Hotel Vegas and indulged me in an accidental debate about the term "psychedelic."
"Psychedelia is mind transformation – when your music makes someone feel different than they would at that moment," outlines multi-instrumentalist Joey Cook.
"But also it has an element of madness to it," adds vocalist/guitarist Kyle Hager. "I think of Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett because he totally went all the way. The most psychedelic thing you can do is walk 20 miles home to live in your mom's house after you quit a band."
Outraged, Fuson nearly spits out his gulp of beer: "That's not psychedelic, man!"
"It totally is," Hager replies.
The group then begins evaluating the genre's history. The end of the Beatles' Abbey Road, very psychedelic. The Grateful Dead, folk-influenced. Most everyone present agrees that early dub music was very psychedelic for its atmospheric focus and use of tape echo. Drugs – they're only tangentially connected to a psychedelic experience. Then Fuson adds a prime example.
"Bob Dylan getting a band – that was incredibly psychedelic," he posits. "That changed the way people thought about music."
Hager, playing devil's advocate, points out the relativity of the grading.
"Girls get in their car and they put on a Justin Bieber CD and they're transformed by his music."
"No, Kyle!" Fuson objects. "I draw the line right there. There's no single definition for 'psychedelic,' but there are parameters, and it's not Justin Bieber."
Zozoya returns from the bar with a drink.
"Are you still talking about the term 'psychedelic'?" he asks. "That's fucking ridiculous."
Set List - Albuquerque Freakout, Hood Dreams, Beach Fight, Starstamp, Los Suenos, Surfin' the Subway, The Pass, Spooky Fuckin' Blues,
Time - 30-60 min.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.