Friday, January 04, 2008

A Dirt Road to Psychedelia

"The story of how Austin became groovy. With a folk singing Janis Joplin, the 13th Floor Elevators, peyote, LSD and the first psychedelic music venue in Texas, Austin was a fertile ground for the emerging counter culture of the 1960s. Seen as nonconformists, Beatnik inspired students were drawn together by folk, country and blues music while dabbling with drugs to create an explosive scene. Traditional values became challenged as they sought a lifestyle outside of the system." -Austin Film Festival

"Janis Joplin the folk singer? Conn gives you photos and vocals to prove it as he traces the musical arc of the 1960s in Austin. Forget the oft-repeated Armadillo World Headquarters legend; this is what came before. The decade begins with the country/folk movement and builds to the psychedelic sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators, Conqueroo, and Shiva's Headband. The drug-infused scene's new headquarters was the Vulcan Gas Company, a freak fest just blocks from the Capitol on Congress, where old-school blues musicians like Muddy Waters mixed with a younger generation in full revolt. The film takes an interesting twist by including interviews with an Austin policeman from the era bent on eradicating drugs from the scene. Conn's film is a love letter to a time period that seems quaint and innocent in retrospect. Longtime Austinites and curious newcomers alike will find this story, with its wonderfully grainy Super-8 footage, a righteous treat." -Austin Chronicle

You can check out a screening of A Dirt Road to Psychedelia at Beerland tonight, as part of "Ready Steady Go!", which goes down on the 1st Friday of every month at Beerland. Described as a "retro-themed dance party", each event features guest bands and DJ’s spinning 45's of all your favorite songs from the golden age, along with retro lighting, vintage films, and an overall feel that will stimulate all your senses. Here's the lowdown from the Ready Steady Go! myspace page:
"January 4ths Ready Steady Go is back at Beerland and this time out we're having a whole night dedicated to the 13th Floor Elevators and other vital garage and psych bands that came out of Texas. Make sure to arrive by 10pm for the seated screening of Scott Conn’s "Dirt Road To Psychedelia." This fantastic film is essential viewing for anyone who appreciates the history of Austin music. Conn comprehensively documents the mid-late 60's scene from its humble folk music beginnings to the exciting blues and psychedelic shows at the Vulcan Gas Company. The 70 minute film portrays the era through outstanding archival footage and informative interviews from the people who were integral to the Austin music scene.

Once the film is over, host DJs Mike Hooker and Shorty Stump will spin classic tunes before and after Acid Tomb’s electrifying tribute set to Roky and the Elevators. The band features members of the Alice Rose and Jungle Rockers and they are note perfect to the original songs, even including the trademark electric jug. Retro-mod attire is strongly encouraged."
Do512 is giving away some free tix to this one, but you better sign up quick.