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Alt Rock





Levitation: The Flaming Lips Shower the Crowd With Rainbows at Stubbs

 


Since the Flaming Lips last played in Austin in January, the lead singer Wayne Coyne has become a father. The Flaming Lips played at the Hi, How Are You Festival on January 22, 2019, a tribute for Daniel Johnston’s birthday who passed away in September. The Hi, How Are You Project, inspired by Daniel’s art and struggles with mental health, holds space for conversations about mental health and reducing the stigma of mental illness by doing so.

 

The Flaming Lips drew a crowd of freak folk lovers styled in all fashions. Next to me, a couple with green hair. One said to the other, “See, you can have green hair and still be successful.”

 

The band took the stage, two drummers with green hair, Coyne in a white suit with his black vest/holster and Steve Drozd in a rainbow cape. The set begins with “She Don’t Use Jelly.” With each crest of the melody, confetti cannons release with oversized rainbow balloons. The vaseline chorus and rainbow rain mixing with the real precipitation felt like reality bent Levitation, surrounded by people with green hair, face paints, sequin shoulder pads, capes, berets, tangerines. Meanwhile, a crop-topped man straddling a surfboard of jello shots rides the crowd. They played many of the same songs as they did in January, including the Daniel Johnston cover, “True Love Will Find You in the End.” Since Daniel’s recent passing, one could expect the cover to be melancholy, but, instead, the song rang through as a joyful anthem.

 

As is their staple now, The Flaming Lips toted the huge foil all capital letters 'FUCK YEAH LEVITATION' onto the stage. Coyne threw the letters into the hungry crowd, who disassembled the syntax, and letters surfed through the venue like alphabet soup. Confetti still seemed to trickle from somewhere even though the cannons stopped releasing songs ago. 

 

The encore was a little painful given that Stubbs was sold out, peoples’ bodies are touching, but Wayne rides into the audience on a rainbow unicorn with rainbow angel wings fluttering behind him. The crowd was so dense that event staff had to split the sea of people for his chariot to pass through. I don’t remember the song we sang – edit: it was “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt 1” –  because I was levitating and seeing Wayne levitate on that unicorn, and really everyone levitating at that point even though unicorn took forever to make its dressage through the audience while the synth endlessly looped. What a lovely Levitation Fest.

 

-Mel Green

Photo: Casey Holder

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A Deli Premiere: "Pretty People" by World Federal Organization Club

It’s a happy Saturday, New England: revel in the luscious synth-rock of Boston’s World Federal Organization Club. The band’s latest single, “Pretty People,” is a time-traveling composition that will dazzle you with groovy ‘70s disco basslines, sharp ‘80s synth stabs, and ‘00s indie-rock electric guitar flourishes. The vocals, with a hint of Modest Mouse wildness, lead the way toward a liberating-atmospheric breakdown, a finale that drops you into the present with modern electro flair. The upbeat track flaunts its undeniable sonic colors, charming and luring you to let loose and dance away; a single play of the song just won’t do. “Pretty People” is a preview of the band’s upcoming debut record, currently in its final stages, according to the Tufts University students that fashion the group. With shows on the horizon this winter, we are thrilled to keep an eye on World Federal Organization Club; premiering their brand new single is only the start. - Rene Cobar, photo by Gabriella Melchiorri





Levitation: Devendra Banhart Kicks Off Levitation Weekend

 

One of the first acts of the festival, Devandra Banhart christens Levitation and sets the bar high for the weekend. Banhart commands the stage and all the audience’s attention with his charisma, confidence, and contagious mirth. (Shouldn’t Angel Olsen be opening for him?) While singing, he gesticulates and orients his wrist like a “Fancy Man,” and when singing this song he pours himself into microphone like an old crooner. Banhart, full of class and sass, will make you want to have him over for dinner and will make you forget that it’s 40 degrees out and drizzly cold. 

 

“I know it’s hot out there, Austin!” Banhart warms us with laughter,” I know it’s hot out there, but if we play this song well, really well, then in the next two months please go buy someone a pair of socks because people are cold out there.” What a beautiful preface to the following love song, “Shabop Shalom,” from his 2007 album, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. They played it really well and if everyone at Stubbs that night could go buy someone a pair of socks, there would be less cold feet in Austin.  Along with “Never Seen Such Good Things” from 2013, Banhart playing songs off his older albums woke dormant parts of my soul. Amazing how music connects us not only to each other but also to our past selves. 

 

Amidst the play and whimsy, Banhart and the band introduced songs from their new album, Ma, with composure and tact. “My Boyfriend’s in the Band” features Banhart’s quintessential code-switching, the lyrics swimming between English and Spanish. The new album enchants with the same spirit at his previous projects. His magnetic presence is as inescapable as ever and amplified by his enduring sound.

 

- Mel Green

 

Photo: Casey Holder

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Fine Motor Control - Shoegaze/Brit-Rock Combo, Bovine Sex Club 11.16

Fine Motor Control are a 4 piece group based in Toronto. Their sound is a solid combination psychedelic shoegaze and contemporary brit-rock. They started rocking together in 2018 and have released one album thus far. This self-titled album begins with “Radio My TV” which gives a solid understanding of this band’s style. It’s a rockin’ tune with plenty of shoegaze noise all while not losing the vocals in the mix. Fine Motor Control are opening for LA’s Goon on Tuesday November 19th at Bovine Sex Club. Sicayda and Foreign Moon are also on the bill. – Kris Gies





Alt Rock

Time: 
20:00
Band name: 
The Motor Tom
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
https://facebook.com/themotortom
Venue name: 
Baby's All Right
Band email: 
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