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SXSW review: Marijuana Deathsquads get weird at the North Door

Staff Writer
Austin 360

By Eric Pulsifer

Editor’s note: This article was originally published March 14, 2014

Have you ever wanted to see a grab bag of a dozen musicians jam out while polishing off a bottle of Maker’s Mark? Then a Marijuana Deathsquads show is for you, or maybe not. The group’s bizarre avant jam session at North Door Thursday night definitely wasn’t for everyone half the crowd cleared out after Lizzo and Har Mar Superstar’s sets.

The experimental crew out of Minneapolis has a revolving door lineup and recruits musicians that happen to be on hand. Last night that included members of Gayngs and Poliça, Butcher Bear, Har Mar and Lizzo, among others.

Their setup involved eight to 12 people swapping spots and vocal duties on stage, three full drum kits and a long table loaded with keyboards and electronic gear. The gang layered on bizarre beats and distressed alien vocals filtered to sound like a choir of possessed robots freestyling over car alarm beeps and more drums than the brain can process. It was weird, but the half of the house that stuck around dances to the beat of a different drum or three.