LEVITATION (formerly Austin Psych Fest) is a music festival that was founded in 2008 by The Reverberation Appreciation Society, who continue to organize and curate the festival. Inspired by the creative explosion of the 1960s and the music and art that came out of that period, as well as by festivals such as ATP and Primavera Sound, they set out to create their vision of a music festival.
Over the years, this independent festival has grown from a small word-of-mouth event to an internationally acclaimed, full weekend event that attracts attendees from all over the world. In 2015 Austin Psych Fest was renamed LEVITATION in honor of Austin’s legendary psychedelic rock godfathers The 13th Floor Elevators.
The Reverberation Appreciation Society is a creative collective composed of Rob Fitzpatrick, Oswald James, and Christian Bland and Alex Maas of The Black Angels. In addition to the festival in Austin, the group has branched out into other cities beginning in 2013 with Levitation France and in 2015 with Levitation Vancouver and Levitation Chicago. The group also runs a record label and presents events at Austin’s SXSW, The Netherlands’ Le Guess Who, NYC’s CMJ and NRMAL in Mexico City.
Tame Impala (pronunciation: / /) is an Australian rock band founded by Kevin Parker in 2007. The group began as a home recording project for Parker, who writes, records, performs, and produces the music. As a touring act, the project consists of Parker (guitar, vocals), Jay Watson (synthesiser, vocals, guitar), Dominic Simper (guitar, synthesiser), Cam Avery (bass guitar, vocals), and Julien Barbagallo (drums, vocals). Previously signed to Modular Recordings, Tame Impala is signed to Interscope Records in the US, and Fiction Records in the UK.
After a series of singles and EPs, in 2010, Tame Impala released their debut studio album, Innerspeaker, which was certified gold in Australia and well received by critics. The group's 2012 follow-up, Lonerism, was also acclaimed, reaching platinum status in Australia and receiving a Grammy Award nomination for Best Alternative Music Album. The band's third album, Currents, was released on 17 July 2015.
The Flaming Lips is an American rock band formed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1983. Instrumentally, their sound contains lush, multi-layered, psychedelic rock arrangements, but lyrically their compositions show elements of space rock, including unusual song and album titles—such as "What Is the Light? (An Untested Hypothesis Suggesting That the Chemical [In Our Brains] by Which We Are Able to Experience the Sensation of Being in Love Is the Same Chemical That Caused the "Big Bang" That Was the Birth of the Accelerating Universe)". They are also acclaimed for their elaborate live shows, which feature costumes, balloons, puppets, video projections, complex stage light configurations, giant hands, large amounts of confetti, and frontman Wayne Coyne's signature man-sized plastic bubble, in which he traverses the audience. In 2002, Q magazine named the Flaming Lips one of the "50 Bands to See Before You Die."
The band is best known for its associations with 1960s and 1970s psychedelic subculture, with elements of this culture permeating the group's instrumentation, effects, and composition. Coyne's lyrics, in particular, both reference and embody the fascination with the science fiction and space opera genres of fiction that were popular during the golden age of psychedelic subculture. His lyrical style tends to use the imagery and plot conventions of space opera to frame more abstract themes about the unfolding cycles of romantic love, highlighting its vulnerability while delving into its metaphysical implications.
The group recorded several albums and EPs on an indie label, Restless, in the 1980s and early 1990s. After signing to Warner Brothers, they scored a hit in 1993 with "She Don't Use Jelly". Although it has been their only hit single in the U.S., the band has maintained critical respect and, to a lesser extent, commercial viability through albums such as 1999's The Soft Bulletin (which was NME magazine's Album of the Year) and 2002's Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. They have had more hit singles in the UK and Europe than in the U.S. In February 2007, they were nominated for a 2007 BRIT Award in the "Best International Act" category. By 2007, the group garnered three Grammy Awards, including two for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.