(This is a rebroadcast of a panel from the 2012 SXSW Music Conference.)
Rock musicians have been denounced for the apparently “magickal” impact they have on audience, often reciting lyrics replete with mystical references and officiating over public rites that can appear downright sorcerous to outsiders. Is this all merely theater? Voodoo rhythms shaped New Orleans R&B and rock ‘n’ roll while the trance-inducing drones psychedelia borrowed from India, as well as the immersive multi-media rituals are now practiced as concert spectacle by everyone from U2 to the Black Eyed Peas.
Examine the occult philosophies that found their way into the lyrics of Chuck Berry, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Ozzy Osbourne, King Crimson, Tool, and others, along with the collaborations between various rock stars and prominent magicians like Kenneth Anger and Harry Smith. This panel was moderated by Howard Wuelfing, and guest speakers were Joshua Sharp, Andrew W.K., Erik Davis, and Alison Fensterstock.