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Rainbow Quartz Connection

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Some of the best psych-pop music I’ve heard in the last couple of years will be on display at the Soho Lounge as the Rainbow Quartz label will have a showcase for the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas this Saturday night, March 19, 2005. The Lackloves from Milwaukee, The Grip Weeds from Highland Park, The Telepathic Butterflies from Winnipeg, The High Dials from Montreal, and Outrageous Cherry from Detroit will all perform with the show starting at 9:00 PM.

The Lackloves were formed in 1996 from the ashes of the band, The Blow Pops who released some classic power pop albums for Get Hip Records in the early 90’s. The Lackloves were signed to Rainbow Quartz in 2001 and have released two power pop meets the psychedelic Sixties classics of their own; starcitybaby and last year’s Beat And The Time. Sweet harmonies and crunchy guitars should get the Rainbow Quartz night of music off to a running start.

The Grip Weeds (named after the character John Lennon played in How I Won The War) are next on the bill in support of their latest release; Giant On The Beach. The Grip Weeds are led by the songwriting due of brothers Rick and Kurt Reil. They are ably assisted by Michael Kelly and Kristin Pinell. Pinell’s lead guitar work is one of the band’s biggest strengths – after all she is credited with backwards and forwards guitar playing in the album’s liner notes. Most of their studio material stays within the margins of mellow psychedelia, but the band is capable of Three O’clock crossed with AC/DC style heaviness as evidenced by “Astral Man” so look for their live show to be a little rougher around the edges.

Diurnal Lepidopteran creatures, The Telepathic Butterflies have migrated to Texas for this show and after they sprinkle their Beatles flavored pollen around you’ll know Spring has arrived a day early. Last year’s Songs From A Second Wave was a mainstay in the CD rotation for me though I’ll admit to not getting much farther than opening track, “Bonhomie”, since its nostalgic look back at teenage drama was so good I got in the habit of hitting repeat over and over again. Once I did finally go to the next song, “Cutting Elm”, it was so great that I wanted to listen to it multiple times. It would be easy to spend a day with just a 50 minute album sometimes.

Next up on the bill are The High Dials who are sometimes described as being like Squeeze backed by The Clash. I don’t really get that, but perhaps my ears aren’t as attuned as they should be. I do know that The High Dials offered up a potent concept album last year with A New Devotion just filled with riffs and hooks designed to remind you of the past while not forgetting about the future. From the Rainbow Quartz biography page on the band, “A New Devotion tells the story of a mysterious character known only as “Silas” and his attempts to escape a nightmarish city of the future.” It reminds me of the E.M. Forster short story, The Machine Stops written in 1909 which had similar concerns.

The closing act is Detroit Rock City’s finest psychedelic pop band, Outrageous Cherry. I reviewed their latest album Our Love Will Change The World earlier this year and it is a good one delivering on the chewy goodness promised by the pack of gum on the cover. They will bring some Detroit snarl to the night, which should be a perfect way to end the night.

The Soho Lounge is located at 217 E 6th ST in Austin, Texas.

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