Maybe you’ve been a longtime fan. Or, perhaps your introduction to the 13th Floor Elevators was through High Fidelity. It’s the distinctive track crackling away at the beginning as the vinyl spins, moments before John Cusack‘s character utters the immortal question, “What came first? Music, or the misery?”, while gazing long faced in your general direction with headphones on.
“You’re gonna wake up one mornin’/as the sun greets the dawn…” Admittedly, some of us were mystified by a certain unique instrumentation in “You’re Gonna Miss Me” – Tommy Hall‘s quiver-shiver “electric jug,” giving it that unmistakable shudder-like signature down the spine. Hell yeah. This is the band you can trace it all back to. This was the start of what gave psychedelia its very identity. Of course, the songwriting of Roky Erickson was at the core of it all.
A multitude of Austin musicians are gathering this evening to honor Erickson, one of the most influential artists not only of our city, but one whose influence reached far beyond Texas into several music scenes embracing psych sounds.
Roky Erickson’s Birthday Tribute and Ice Cream Social happens tonight at Barracuda, 611 E. 7th St. And it’s one gargantuan line-up: Christian Bland and The Revelators, Crypt Trip, Nolan Potter, The Bad Lovers, Moving Panoramas, The Ugly Beats, Teenage Cavegirl, The Zoltars, Magic Rockers of Texas, Hong Kong Wigs, and many more, including a set by Garbled Head (featuring Billie Buck, Mike Buck, Eve Monsees and Mariah Stevens-Ross).
Doors open at 8 p.m., and the music starts at 8:30 p.m. Recommended.
-Photography by Eddie Gaspar for KUTX.