The light fantastic: The Bright Light Social Hour
After releasing its self-titled first album, The Bright Light Social Hour swept the SXSW 2011 Austin Music Awards when it won Band of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year. The group, which first formed as an art-rock band in 2004 at Southwestern University, plays neo-psychedelic rock without the ironic affectations typical of the genre. Caught in the hard-driving, trance-inducing snare of its second album, Space Is Still the Place, it would be easy to approach the kind of transcendental moment that ’60s mystics were searching for. Even though the song titles include “Slipstream,” “Dreamlove,” “Infinite Cities,” and “The Moon,” there is nothing lighthearted or hippie-trippy about the complicated instrumentation and carefully attuned experimentation. The music whirls and echoes but never loses its edge. Catch the Santa Fe leg of the North American tour at Skylight (139 W. San Francisco St.) on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m., with opening band Sun Dog. Tickets, $14 in advance, are available from www.holdmyticket.com; it’s $17 at the venue. — J.L.