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photos by Bryan Bruchman
"The last three months of our lives have been devoted to this night," said Yvonne Lambert, dressed resplendently in a bustier-meets-Wild West parlor dress. She stood behind her keyboard on a circular stage positioned under a giant rectangular tent in the parking lot of Whole Foods. Surrounding her and her three tie-wearing bandmates, collectively an instrumental rock band from Austin called the Octopus Project, were a couple hundred curiosity-seekers gathered last Friday night for show one of a two-show spectacle.More pictures from the free Austin show (that happened during SXSW Friday), and some videos, below...
Surrounding them were eight speakers blasting a cacophony of sounds, and above that eight screens transmitting all sorts of psychedelia: rocks piling up in supermarket aisles, animal headshots, cartoon planets, random patterns, the view of a snake slithering through grass, cityscapes, atom signs, pink Grimace-looking figures wearing mirrored masks like those found on the front of astronauts' helmets, and, in the final scene, a pair of girls in matching blond wigs who could have been David Lynch characters.
And surrounding all that, buoying the entire operation with euphoria, was the Octopus Project's music, a glorious waterfall of humming circuitry. You are now in "Hexadecagon," an imaginative example of not only the convergence of music and cinema that's representative of SXSW, but also the free, open-to-the-public scene built around the fringes of official festival showcases, in this case with visual stimulation in the vein of the Merry Pranksters' Acid Tests and auditory aspiration on par with the Flaming Lips' "Zaireeka" album. [IFC]