Sorting the chaos
“I’d never seen them before, so I got in touch to see if they could play.”
That simple logic — identify the problem, then set about fixing it — is one of the guiding tenets of Austin’s Timmy Hefner and Chaos in Tejas, the punk and metal-dominated festival he started eight years ago that has grown into a mini-behemoth, featuring more than 100 acts from all over the world.
A good chunk of the bands slated for this year’s fest — which runs Thursday through Sunday at more than a dozen Austin clubs and record stores — are performing for the first time in a decade or more.
Beyond the reunions the fest features a broadening array of sounds, hosting its first all hip-hop showcase on Saturday night and throwing in a set by critical darling indie-pop stars Best Coast.
Names like Moss Icon, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Cockney Rejects and The Clean won’t sound familiar to your typical Red River or Sixth Street music fan, but for diehards like Hefner — a Virginia native who started organizing shows in his local flea market as a teen so he could see bands he liked — Chaos In Tejas is a long weekend of musical bliss.
Albeit a type of bliss with lots of screaming and guitars played offendingly loud.
Beyond the reunions the fest features a broadening array of sounds, hosting its first all hip-hop showcase on Saturday night and throwing in a set by critical darling indie-pop stars Best Coast for no other reason than “why not?”
As he was finalizing preparations for the four days of good-natured mayhem, Hefner offered his thoughts on some of the acts he’s most excited about at this year’s Chaos In Tejas.
Cockney Rejects (12:30 a.m. Thursday at Emo’s East)
Hefner says: “Young me didn’t think I’d ever be able to book them, since they’re one of the premiere pioneering oi(!) punks bands from ‘70s and ‘80s England. Another one of those bands I’ve never seen and it’s great because it’s the same two brothers from the old days doing this classic kind of punk thing.”
Daughn Gibson (9:20 p.m. Friday at Cheer Up Charlie’s; 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Club De Ville)
Hefner says: “He’s a little different from most of the stuff we have, but I went to New York to see him and he’s amazing. It’s a two-man thing that’s electronic meets country with a very updated feel. Lots of people describe him as James Blake meets Johnny Cash and while I don’t necessarily agree with that, I guess it’s not that far off when you think about it.”
Moss Icon (9:30 p.m. Sunday at Mohawk)
Hefner says: “One of those bands I never saw because they broke up in ‘92, when I was like 11. They influenced a lot of emo bands, many of whom I never cared for, but I dug Moss Icon whenever I heard anything they did. It’s weird how emo is a genre I’ve never been into, but I loved these guys and I’m so glad we were able to get them for a show.”
Best Coast (12:30 a.m. Sunday at Emo’s East)
Hefner says: “A lot of people have been asking me about this one because they think a band like Best Coast is so different and out there for us, but I don’t think they’re that far from another band we have, The Clean. The simple fact is they write catchy, awesome pop songs. It’s amazing music and nowhere near as big a gap than a group like Art Vs. Science (12:30 a.m. Thursday at Beauty Ballroom) who are this pop dance band from Australia. That’s a group that’s totally different for us.”