Bitchin Bajas returned to Marfa for an evening of kaleidoscopic psychedelia and collective good vibes in the Ballroom courtyard. Bitchin Bajas is the project of Cooper Crain, Dan Quinlivan and Rob Frye. Using a combination of synthesizers, guitars, flutes and saxophones, the trio conjures an otherworldly sound informed by the hypnotic rhythms of Krautrock, the scintillating guitar work of Robert Fripp, and the longform mysticism of classic New Age cassette tapes.
Bitchin Bajas’ performance was preceded by a live VJ set from local artist and musician Mellow Arms. Vapegoat Rising, Arturo Bandini‘s micro-exhibition in the courtyard, was also on view with its fog machine adding to the ambiance.
Bitchin Bajas’ album, Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties, a collaboration with Will Oldham, serves as a sort of uplifting guided meditation, Oldham’s voice drifting through the intertwined drones and melodies. Their show at Food Shark Land at the 2015 Marfa Myths festival was among the highlights of the weekend, and their performance at the First Christian Church on New Year’s Eve 2015 has already become a local legend.
This production was a joint venture of Ballroom Marfa and Remote Soundtracks, a mind-expanding radio program hosted by Stephen “Chick” Rabourn from 9-11pm on the last Sunday of each month on Marfa Public Radio.
Bitchin Bajas began in 2010 as a solo side project for Cooper Crain, guitarist of Chicago Krautrock revivalists Cave. The early sounds of Bitchin Bajas were equally psychedelic but decidedly less aggressive than Crain’s primary band, opting for more textural exploration than rhythmic force. The project quickly became prolific in its release of music, starting with the Tones & Zones full-length in 2010 and trickling out split singles, EPs, cassette-only releases, and the like among more actualized full-lengths every year that followed. The solo project was expanded to a duo with the inclusion of Mahjongg’s Dan Quinlivan, adding more synth and guitar textures to Crain’s web of spectral sound. Rob Frye, also of Cave, eventually became a member of Bitchin Bajas, contributing flute, saxophone, and guitar.
Bitchin Bajas at Ballroom Marfa is made possible in part by the generous support of National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, the Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees and Ballroom Marfa members.
Special thanks to Ross Cashiola, Jon C. Coleman, Cooper Crain, Rob Frye, Ginger Griffice, Dan Quinlivan, Chick Rabourn, and Gory Smelly.