Music fests terrify me. Too often they are corporate shit-shows with major label agendas and huge crowds of assholes that I'd rather not spend my weekend in line for a Porta-Potty with. I avoid them at all costs except for one: I love Chaos in Tejas. There are no sponsors, no PR vultures, no hologram Tupacs, no feathered headdresses, no celebrity VIP areas, no foodie tie-ins, no educational panels, just one dude who has been busting his ass for eight years to give us the best time ever. Chaos in Tejas is four solid days of great punk, hardcore, metal and garage bands with a zine reading and a bounce pride party thrown in for good measure and it starts next Thursday.
This was from last year. This could be you. I spoke with Timmy about what he's looking forward to this year. Here are some of the fest’s can’t miss moments:Japanese Bands: Forward, Skizophrenia, Zyanose, and Reality Crisis should all be excellent. Three out of four of these bands are playing their only US shows at the fest, but you can catch Forward without shelling for the plane tickets if you live on the West Coast.Important throwbacks: It’s hard to compete with legends. The Mob, Antisect, and Cockney Rejects (who are sadly replacing dropouts Sham 69) are all playing with great openers. Moss Icon will be making an appearance. NYHC legends Breakdown play Friday night and Timmy is especially excited for Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments on Saturday.Maybe these asses will be there again this year. New York goes to Tejas: Okay, let’s face it, it is kind of fun partying with your pals in a different time zone. The holy trinity of NYC labels, Dais, Wierd, and Sacred Bones are putting on one hell of a showcase featuring Brooklyn favorites like Rosenkopf, YOU, Pop 1280, and Xeno & Oaklander. King Dude and the somehow simultaneously over-hyped yet underrated Iceage aren’t from New York, but they round out the line-up. Plus there are tons of other great New York bands on other bills.Black metal down the block: NY bands aren’t your bag? There is a promising metal show happening simultaneously around the corner. Black Witchery, Absu, Morbosidad and Ares Kingdom all play Saturday night inside at Red Seven.
Dare to be different: There are a few breaks in the aggression with sets like rock n’ rolls greatest power couple (Thurston and Kim are quitters, RIP Lux Interior) Fred and Toody Cole playing a set of Dead Moon songs, Rat songs and some choice covers. The fest overlaps with Austin’s Queer Bomb with the Big Freedia/Katy Red show as the unofficial kick-off party. Another note, people are being babies about Best Coast playing the fest, but as Timmy put it, “They write catchy, cute pop songs. What’s to hate?”The best of the rest: Austin rules. Go to Bouldin Creek and get the Timmy Taco (not a promotional foodie tie-in I promise, he just used to work there.) Take a dip in the Greenbelt and wash off the sweat of 1000 dirty punks after the Mob show. Buy records at End of an Ear. Buy clothes at the always stellar Feathers. Marvel at how less crowded and cooler everything in Austin is than during SXSW. Too broke to rent a car? No problem, almost all of the fest’s venues are within walking distance from each other with the exception of Emo’s East and Beauty Ballroom which will be accessible by shuttle bus. There are the inevitable scheduling conflicts that make going to a good fest hard (Saturday’s night shows are especially densely awesome) but a lot of the can’t-miss international bands are playing multiple shows, a major plus.If your mind is blow but all these options, check out the handy spreadsheet schedule. It’s got every band, every venue, hour by hour. It’s beautiful.Check back for daily dispatches from the fest starting next Friday. Expect to see lots of Mauser belts, engineer boots, dread mullets, and most importantly, great bands.Chaos in Tejas is May 31-June 3 at multiple venues in Austin, TX.For more info go to http://www.chaosintejas.com