In Vol. 1, I told the story of three current day Psychedeliacs: New Electric Ride, Maston, and Curtis Godino of the band Worthless and liquid light show Drippy Eye Projections. Now turn your heads because tonight’s headliners are so good that I’m thinking there must be some sort of glitch in the matrix. In my ongoing journey to find the psychedelic luminaries of today, I stumbled upon two worthy contenders: The Bright Light Social Hour and Quilt.
The Bright Light Social Hour
When asked about what the future holds in store, bassist Jack O’Brien answers jokingly. “Tantric sex,” he says and nothing more. Maybe he just doesn’t want to jinx it but I’m sure he knows The Bright Light Social Hour have big things their way.
The band’s self-titled debut album came out in 2010 mixing funk, disco, blues and psychedelic rock and while great in its own right, the band have simply reached new plains since then. Their growth, even from show to show, is extremely apparent. In the three times I’ve seen them live, they have not yet failed to completely destroy and rebuild my self-worth in the span of the show. On behalf of musicians, in general, I’ll even go ahead and say that it’s almost a little discouraging how good this band is live.
Their stage presence is enviable. No matter the circumstances, The Bright Light Social hour manage to radiate such energy from the stage that it stays with you for weeks after. The Austinite foursome look and feel like something out of a movie. Namely, Almost Famous. So much in fact that every time I see them live I turn into my own little version of Kate Hudson’s character… Other side effects of seeing TBLSH live include the occasional to constant bursting into song (“I neeeeddd yourrr loveeee”) and a deep longing for a time when larger than life, yet organic bands were the norm, not the exception. Thankfully for us, the quartet, composed of guitarist Curtis Roush, bassist Jack O’Brien, drummer Jo Mirasole and keys man Edward “Shreddward” Brailif are on a constant touring schedule. This is made obvious by their mastery of the live show which they’ve brought to Miami for the past two years at The Stage and Tobacco Road respectively. They love Miami and have even called this city their second home so hopefully we can count on them coming down here for years to come.
As for the future, we’ll just have to connect the dots. They’ve been touring incessantly, gathering fans since the release of their first album four years ago. Moreover, the band finished recording their second album earlier this year and should be releasing it sometime in the near future. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next. But the way I see it, this band is an explosion waiting to happen. In fact, all this talk about them has made me crave their show. I did not think this through… And it’s not about to get better.
On this here stage, Quilt!
Quilt are a four-piece psychedelic folk rock outfit originating from Boston, MA.The aptly-named band composed of lead guitarist Shane Butler, rhythm guitarist Anna Fox Rochinski, bassist Keven Lareau, and drummer John Andrews have a knack for writing songs that piece together many different elements and somehow end up sounding cohesive. Like a quilt, you know? “I don’t think there can be any particular song that ‘epitomizes’ our sound. We are all fans of such an eclectic scope of music that that would be a little limiting to say that,” says Shane, who along with Anna, is the main vocalist for the band.
In a band like Quilt, the vocals are a main point of focus. Shane and Anna, both of whom possess an impeccable taste in melody, are able to sing intricate harmonies with ease, even in live settings. It is important to note that Anna Fox Rochinski doesn’t have your run-of-the-mill airy female voice. This girl is an actual singer whose style is truly mystifying. Her vocals are best displayed in tunes like “Arctic Shark” and “Just Dust” off the band’s sophomore studio album, Held In Splendor, released in early 2014. Shane, on the other hand, has a delicate and whimsical vocal style that perfectly brings the band full circle. Songs like “Eye of the Pearl” and “Tired & Buttered,” also on Held in Splendor, do Shane great justice.
While on the subject of the excellent Held In Splendor, this is one of those albums that keeps on giving. Even after an almost unhealthy amount of listens, I still find details I had not heard before. The band’s wide array of influences is a great display in their second studio effort.
“I love indian classical music a lot. We are all really into folk music of all kinds — stuff from the 60’s, 70’s and newer stuff like Kurt Vile…Love Mr. Lennon and all his Beatle bros. There is so much good music out there — it’s all pretty influential” Shane of Quilt
This and more is all apparent on Held In Splendor which shows great musical growth since their self-titled debut in 2011.
Although Shane already considers Quilt a great success, he doesn’t see it stopping anytime soon.
“I am just so happy that we stuck with it for this long. Being in a band is hard. You have to constantly make a lot of sacrifices and I am really proud of ourselves for just sticking with it,” he says. So what’s next, you ask? Well, Shane and co. plan to keep touring the United States and Europe through the fall. “I love our music…I can’t deny that. And we plan on taking it to every country in the world, singing and shredding.”
I truly hope the world gets this gift.
Photography By Daniel Fernandez