The Black Angels: Reed Scholars

The Black Angels take time off from planning their festival to play ours

The Black Angels have slowly built up that fanbase through nonstop touring and a reputation for feedback-soaked, feel-it-in-your-chest gigs. (Song placements in Californication and a Target commercial also helped.) It took some time—and shows where "one person would clap and a couple booed and some people would start screaming for the headliner"—but this weekend the band headlines the Village Voice's 4Knots festival, and is in the middle of planning the fifth edition of their annual Austin Psych Fest. Last year's installment brought in more than 50 artists, including Atlas Sound and Austin legend Roky Erickson.

The festival is born out of love—for psychedelia, Austin, and Maas's favorite bands—but the legendarily cranky Reed might be happy to know that discussion of its inner workings revealed some cracks in Maas's laid-back mood. (Helping bands book shows on the way to and from the festival is a real time drain, apparently.) "One thing we've learned is that it's a pain in the ass to throw a music festival. It's a lot of work, and it's a lot of the ugly side of the music business," says Maas with a sigh. Not exactly a classic Lou Reed takedown, but given the circumstances, it'll do just fine.

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