Hello, what's up, and welcome to the Lite + Brite newsletter.
The other day a wise person on the internet tweeted: "I truly hate that we’re deep enough into the pandemic that I’m nostalgic for things that happened at an earlier time during the pandemic," and, quite frankly, same.
Remember Tiger King? Remember learning the "Savage" TikTok dance? Remember songs about washing your hands for 20 seconds? Remember when I personally watched Cheer, even though I just googled this and apparently that show actually came out in January, but whatever, I didn't have time for it pre-lockdown? Remember when we sent this newsletter out every week??? So here's a new issue for you, to harken back to those early days. Like, is it April or what?! (No, seriously: Is it April? I can't tell.)
If you're not already a newsletter subscriber, click here. Also, please support us by forwarding this email to your friends who enjoy things like listening to music and thinking about leaving the house.
So many months deep into the closure of physical dancing locations and we are still streaming every week. We're still doing No Lights No Lycra from our Twitch account every Monday, only now we are Twitch affiliates so we're sooooo fancy. You can watch videos of the last couple editions of NLNLATX we had on Twitch now, except for they mute the bits where copyright holders got mad that we were dancing to their songs.
To attend the party live, with no possibility of the anger of the copyright gods, head to our channel tonight at 8pm CT / 9pm ET where we'll be dancing in the dark for a good 90 minutes or so.
Because it's pandemic times, there are no guest DJs, so it's always DJ Brian Blackout on the decks. At NLNL he'll spin a wide mix of indie, electropop, synthpop, disco, dusty rock + R&B records, regular funk, future funk, synthwave, new wave, many other waves, and much more live from his living room. Put it as a recurring event on your calendar or RSVP to the facebook event to get reminders.
If you want more Brian Blackout in your life, he's now doing an online radio show on Brooklyn's preeminent DIY urine-themed radio station, KPISS. It's now every Wednesday night at 10pm CT. The show is called No Humans Allowed and it's dedicated to music for robots, cyborgs, androids, mandroids, cylons, skinjobs, etc. You can tune in live or stream last week's episode here, which explored the topic of robot dreams. Scroll down to the bottom for a track listing.
What is No Lights No Lycra?
Austin's weekly judgment-free, substance-free, high-impact dance thing in the dark. It's a DJ night that's not at the club, a workout that's not at the gym, a personal meditation that's anything but silent. Read more about us in the Austin Chronicle.
In this series, we're getting to know some of the Austinites who produce our favorite local events. This week, we're talking to Ryan Padgett and Maria Gotay of Art Island, a multimedia art party in a secluded outdoor space on the banks of the Colorado River.
Lite + Brite: Can you give us a brief intro to the Austin events that you produce?
Maria: Art Island is a crossroads of the ATX arts community. Our gatherings are built on five realms: art, music, fire, tea, and food. We’re always experimenting, and our events are an incubator for our ever-expanding team of collaborators to try something new. While our riverside location is part of our identity, we also produce events in other locations with collaborators in other realms, too!
Ryan: Art Island has grown into an amazing art community over the last couple years and has become a space for local artists to experiment and try new things in a party/event setting. It is purely powered by the passion and dedication of the Austin community.
I also have been doing live visuals for Exploded Drawing since 2011, and that team is amazing, too. Andrew Brown and Butcher Bear have grown a very prolific beat scene here in town.
L+B: For how long have you been producing Art Island?
Maria: Almost two years ago we came up with the idea, and we’ve hosted six big events since, plus lots of smaller gatherings in between. Quarantine has put a crimp on our plans, but we’ve pivoted to “QT Editions”—online digital art raves on Zoom. We’d love to see you there.
L+B: Art Island is basically our dream party: it’s artsy, it’s DIY, it’s site-specific, it’s community-focused. How long does it take to put together an Art Island event? What are some logistical aspects that make it particularly challenging?
Maria: We have a general timeline—six weeks out from the event, we gather interested collaborators for a site visit and from there we work independently towards the event date. We have five amazing party leads who are each responsible for booking talent in their realm, and we start to lock down those details about two weeks out. The most challenging logistical aspect is set-up and powering our space, which is about 100 feet downhill by the river. We get a workout!
Ryan: We truly would not be able to do this without our community. There are so many hands that help put our events together and contribute art to make it what it is. It takes a village, that’s for sure. And our core team is just the best. Can’t imagine doing this with anyone else!
L+B: What’s the most memorable or unexpected thing that’s ever happened at an Art Island?
Maria: Last event I was delighted by some unplanned contributions: someone popped up a henna booth, and someone else brought a shrub (vinegar fruit infusion) bar. Amazing!
Ryan: I think the most surprised I have been is at the quality and range of art that is made for our events. I am always so excited to see what everyone makes based on the theme we set, and it never fails! There is no shortage of creativity and talent in the Austin community.
L+B: What are steps that you take in order to try to ensure a successful event?
Maria: We’re truly community-powered, and it takes an army to make our events sustainable. At the end of the night, friends and attendees volunteer to help us clean up. Because of the physical challenges for set-up and breakdown in our space, we appreciate it so much. I've met so many of my best friends at Art Island. We feel like everyone who comes and wants to contribute something is part of our family.
Ryan: It is all about the teamwork for sure. We try to lead by example by being supportive, helpful, empowering and taking care of each other. We encourage radical self-expression and the artists and attendees feel and see these things and tend to follow suit.
L+B: What are some of your favorite Austin events to attend that you don’t produce?
Maria: We love our fellow arts events producers, who all work so hard in their own communities to provide opportunities to exhibit, support, and connect. You can find me at Almost Real Things block parties, wherever Floorplay DJs are spinning, Day Dreamer events, art night at Polis Creative, and can’t wait for Hypperreal Film Club to bring back their drive-in series this summer. Also really excited for Guan Yin Tea House’s next chapter.
[Editor's note: As most of you know, we hosted No Lights No Lycra at Guan Yin Tea House for more than a year, so we too have a very soft spot in our heart for them!]
Ryan: I second everything Maria said! I would also add in anything being done by Growth in Decay. James and his crew are putting out amazing music and have done some of the most unique events I’ve ever attended in Austin (shoutout to their SXSW tunnel party).
L+B: How can people support you during this time when we can’t go to events?
Come support by attending our QT Editions on Zoom. We ask for donations to our Venmo, which we use to support contributing artists as well as an ATX-based charity. It’s like an Art Island party, but virtual! We have DJs, live hooping, VJing, painting, and whatever else you’d like to contribute! (For me, that’s mainly just dancing). It’s a place to check in with community, let out some steam and let in some positivity. Find information on our Instagram!
L+B: While we’re all stuck at home, are there any streaming events that you’d recommend?
Luxxury - What Do Ya Really Want
Poolside & Ben Browning - I Feel High
ZZ Top - Cheap Sunglasses (HS Light Is Hurt Yo Hedit)
Boney M - Silent Love (Rune Lindbaek Edit)
The Phenomenal Handclap Band - Do What You Like
Carly Simon - Tranquillo (Melt My Heart) (Young Pulse Rework)
Private Agenda - Paralysed
Crystal Waters - Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)
Chromeo - Don’t Turn the Lights on
Of Montreal - It’s Different for Girls
Miami Horror - Sometimes
Jens Lekman - What’s That Perfume That You Wear?
Grover Washington Jr - Summer Song (Tom of Finland Edit)
King So So - Disco in the Sky
Yung Bae - Day by Day
Heatwave - Boogie Nights
Bobby Byrd - Signed, Sealed, Delivered
The Sonics - Shot Down
Paul Revere & the Raiders - (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone
Seal - Kiss from a Rose
Chicks on Speed - Glamour Girl
John Rocca - I Want It to Be Real (Farley’s Hot House Piano Mix)
Cut Copy - Lights & Music
First Choice - The Player (Gay Marvine Edit)
Daft Punk - Technologic
Ssion - Heaven Is My Thing Again
Sunscreen - Love U More
Home - All at Once
No Humans Allowed 16
No Humans Allowed is Brian Blackout's weekly robot-themed radio show on KPISS.fm, it's live every Wednesday at 10pm CT / 11pm ET or streamable on demand via KPISS' archives.
Last week was an episode centering on the dreaming lives of robots and computers, featuring lots of dreamy downtempo, balearic, vaporwave + some new age. Stream it here.
Kelley Polar – A Feeling of the All-Thing
Lali Puna – Together in Electric Dreams
Blank Banshee – B:/ Hidden/Reality
The Glove – Mouth to Mouth
Long Distance Analog – Plecked Medium
Young Galaxy – Body
2 Nu – Ponderous
Das Komplex – Maybe There
Quiet Force – Sometimes
LA Priest – Oino
Rasmus Folk – Coupé
Games – Everything Is Working
Eugene Tambourine – Blue Lagoon
Who are we?
We make this newsletter. We put on No Lights No Lycra each week. We do some other stuff here and there. We love going out to creative events in Austin, and we want you to join us. Visit us at http://liteandbriteatx.com/