The fourth annual Northwest Psych Fest will boast an appearance by legendary Mexican psych-rockers Los Dug Dug's, who'll be playing their first stateside show since 1985. In the '70s, Los Dug Dug's released four albums of insanely infectious and combustible songs. Kudos to festival talent buyers Peter Koslik and Nick Arthur—who have a tradition of supporting Mexican psychedelia at their venue—for booking this possibly once-in-a-lifetime event, which happens September 1-3 at the Sunset Tavern. "In many respects, hosting bands like Los Dug Dug's is what Northwest Psych Fest is all about," Koslik said in an e-mail.
The rest of Northwest Psych Fest's lineup is very strong, too. Look out for Seattle's LORBO, a distinctive, new kind of power trio featuring Skerik on keyboards, Master Musicians of Bukkake's Brad Mowen on vocals and keyboards, and Wild Powwers' drummer Lupe Flores, who is the Latina John Bonham. In a 2017 show at Fred Wildlife Refuge, LORBO forged a heavy, eldritch sound with an implied metal framework; it was both kinetic and destructive in ways that provoked a totally different kind of headbanging. LORBO left me thinking they were one of the city's most exciting units going.
Other highlights include Máscaras, a poised Portland instrumental trio with fantastic dynamics, slashing guitar pyrotechnics, and no vocals. Check out their action-packed El Morán EP on Bandcamp. South Korea's Julia Dream are like if Radiohead were way more psychedelic. Their songs blaze and mesmerize with equal effectiveness.
In an interview from last year that The Stranger published about "festival fatigue," Arthur said this about the 2016 edition: "People fell in love. Bands became best friends. Bands broke up. We left people in joyous tears, and we pissed people off. We lost tons of money." Perhaps they can turn it around financially this year, bolstered by an ultra-rare gig by Los Dug Dug's.
Check out Northwest Psych Fest's partial lineup below and go here for more info.