Extraordinarily creative Austin psychedelic-garage rock innovators The 13th Floor Elevators amplified rock 'n' roll's cultural promise to unprecedented heights. But the reality of Roky Erickson's band's methods and ideology was nothing short of flabbergasting.
Compelled to live as outlaws, never rehearsing or performing without the benefit of pharmaceutical LSD, routinely locked into their own tour van and hotel rooms (both for their own good and to keep the cops away), the Elevators proposed a complex, psychedelic philosophy of spiritual liberation, always delivered with more aggressive proto-punk emphasis than trippy noodle-drone. Their rewards were scant: Lyricist-bandleader Tommy Hall wound up living in a cave, singer Erickson was confined to a state hospital for the criminally insane, guitarist Stacy Sutherland landed in jail, drummer John Ike Walton was subjected to involuntary shock treatment. After his release in 1972, Erickson proved himself still plenty capable: Since 1980, he's released 15 studio albums—11 more than the Elevators ever did.
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Opening for Erickson on this bill is Austin's latest bunch of psych rock saviors, The Black Angels, and Dallas' own jangly, roots-influenced, goes-well-with-everything Dove Hunter.