Behind the Music:Rumble In the Capital

I created Rumble In the Capital for a class assignment, but it was something that I had been wanting to do for years. If you ask anyone that knows me they will tell you that music is my obsession. My wife even says that it is my “love language” a quick way to befriend me or get on my good side is to act interested in music. I can’t remember not being obsessed with music. I grew up watching MTV and VH1 anytime I got the chance. Those channels were way different back then, showing music videos almost non-stop and a few shows like Road Rules and The Real World. They also had Headbanger’s Ball, which was my favorite show on the channel. I don’t have the star power or the reach to interview anyone famous, so blogging seemed like the way to go.

Thanks to my Fundamentals Of Digital and Online Media class I finally got off my ass and started blogging. I felt like the heavy music scene in Austin needed a online voice, and it was my goal to be that online voice. I have always felt like I needed to make as many people aware of good music as I could. I have probably annoyed plenty of people playing their music from their IPOD or phone with a, “I have something you might like.” I don’t only listen to metal or heavy sounding music. I listen to a wide range of music, I  decided to focus on metal because it was a very niche subject and because there are plenty of blogs and websites that cover music. There is a relatively small online community that pertains to metal, and an even smaller online community that talks about the metal scene in Austin. I had my blog shared by several different local bands in Austin that have a international presence giving my blog visits from over 24 countries.

Another big reason for the success of my blog is Instagram. I made an Instagram account for Rumble In the Capital, separate from my personal Instagram account. I went to different accounts that people who would be interested in metal music in Austin would be following and started following people and they started following me back and eventually I got 346 followers. I think Instagram has capped the amount of followers I have because they want me to pay them for a business account or something, because I get notifications all day long that people are following me, but it stays at 346.

I also created a Facebook page for Rumble In the Capital, but Facebook limits what I can actually do on behalf of my page. They seem to want money as well. It’s hard to get very many likes outside your circle of friends on Facebook. Twitter is easy to use, but not very useful. I made a Twitter account too, and I started building a little bit of a following I had a few of my tweets favorited by some bands and record labels, but I also got solicited quite a bit too.

Blogging has taught me how to develop an online presence beyond my personal social media accounts. My blog made me showcase myself to an online audience, and I feel like I could use the knowledge I have in a professional environment knowing HTML code in a more realistic fashion and knowing how to synchronize a blog post on different media platforms.

My most popular week was the first week that my blog started I received 108 views from 80 different visitors. My post popular post was also my first post, which received 61 views. I think it received so many views mainly due to my Facebook friends because no other post received anywhere near that many views. The most surprising thing that I found in the stats is how many different countries I had views from 24 all together.

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Guns N’ Roses Are No Longer Estranged

IMG_2526.JPGGuns N’ Roses is the band that introduced me to rock n’ roll, and I have been a huge fan ever since. I first heard Guns N’ Roses in 1991 when their double album “Use Your Illusion I & II” was released and the song “You Could Be Mine” was featured in the summer blockbuster “Terminator 2: Judgement Day.” Arnold Schwarzenegger was even featured in the music video.

I vividly remember playing the old classic Nintendo with my uncle who was fifteen at the time and I had not even turned six yet. I heard music that sounded so different that it just drew me in and made me curious. From that moment on I listened to any rock music I could get my hands on. So, needless to say, Guns N’ Roses is a band that hold a special place in my music repertoire.

The thought of the classic Guns N’ Roses lineup getting back together plays with my emotions a little bit. I am beyond stoked at the idea of the classic lineup reuniting and by classic I mean: Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, and either Steven Adler or Matt Sorum on drums. Preferably Matt Sorum because he’s less of a mess and a better drummer. In the last thirteen years or so Axl Rose has hired musicians and toured under the Guns N’ Roses moniker, but I never had the urge to go see them. So, this reunion tour would literally be a dream come true.

The story behind Guns N’ Roses’ rise to rock stardom is an interesting one. After “Appetite For Destruction” was released it was hard for GNR to get any of their music played on the radio, mainly because they weren’t well known at the time. They filmed a music video for “Welcome To The Jungle” and in the early days of MTV they would not play music videos that they thought were too risqué. It took a phone call from David Geffen to MTV executives to get the “Welcome To The Jungle” video played on MTV. The MTV execs agreed, but with a catch. They would only play the video once in the early morning hours around 5 am, giving it very little chance of being seen by anyone. The video aired October 3, 1987 and the network received so many calls asking for more, that they started airing the video on a regular basis sending Guns N’ Roses down the fast track to rock stardom.

TOP 10 GUNS N’ ROSES SONGS

10. Yesterdays

9. Rocket Queen

8. Don’t Cry

7. Patience

6. Civil War

5. Sweet Child o’ Mine

4. Welcome to the Jungle

3. Paradise City

2. November Rain

1. Estranged

Weekly Rumble (10/17 – 10/22)

There is another string of great bands playing this week. It will be hard to choose which shows to go see Saturday night, so choose wisely.

Duel

MEGANAUT and DUEL (10/17 @ Swan Dive)

If you haven’t gotten a chance to see DUEL play in their own element of Austin, do so now before these guys head west on tour. These guys kill it every time they play, they’ve perfected their sets with dedication and hard work. They bring a really great energy and turn up the volume for a loud, intense show.  Don’t miss out on MEGANAUT either, I gave them a listen and I like them from what I’ve listened to. They’re a little more alternative than metal, but the still rock nonetheless.








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Destroyer Of Light, Serial Hawk (10/17 @ The Lost Well)

Both of these bands are pretty heavy and play some great sludgy, doom sounding metal. Destroyer Of Light hail from Austin and Serial Hawk is from Seattle. This show is guaranteed to get loud, and be very headbang worthy. Both of these bands have a great sound and they are playing in my favorite metal bar The Lost Well.




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Amplified Heat (Tour Kick-Off), Foxmoor Express (10/17 @ Hotel Vegas)

Amplified Heat is a bluesy-psychedelic band who call Austin home. This band will get you moving they have a really great groove to them and rock pretty hard. Foxmoor Express is also on the bill and these New Braunfels natives are a band definitely worth checking out. They have a deep bluesy vibe, but take it “furthur” with some psychedelia and fuzzy overtones.







Red Fang

Red Fang (10/18 @ Mohawk)

The mighty Red Fang is back in Austin! These guys like to party and are one of the most seasoned stoner bands out there. I saw them at Fun Fun Fun Fest a few years ago, and they killed it even in the scorching Texas heat. They put on loud, heavy shows wherever they are. If you’ve never seen Red Fang, then get your ass to the Mohawk Sunday. Noise rockers Whores and Wild Throne open the show, so get there and enjoy the sabbath by keeping it heavy.









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Korn (Playing self-titled debut album in it’s entirety) (10/19 @ Stubbs)

Okay, I understand that most headbangers and metalheads no longer listen to Korn (some maybe even too embarrassed to admit they ever listened to Korn) regardless, Korn’s self-titled album became the album that represented the entire subgenre known as Nü Metal. Any metalhead that grew up in the 90’s had this album and listened to it almost non-stop. “Korn” was released in October of 1994, and Korn is celebrating its 21st birthday by touring and playing the album all the way through. Korn’s original lineup will be present besides the original drummer David Silveria, so it should be decently close to the original sound they had in the 90’s.





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Acid King (10/21 @ Sidewinder)

Acid King is a stoner metal staple dating back to the early 90’s. This San Francisco threesome have a heavy sound and excellent vocals. Don’t miss the chance to see these stoner pioneers play in a cozy, intimate venue like Sidewinder. The Well will be opening this show and they are another great band to check out if you’ve never gotten the chance. The Well was just on tour with KADAVAR, and seem to be taking it easy a little after a long string of shows, playing a couple shows in surrounding cities in Texas in October. Don’t miss them open for Acid King.





The Heaviest and Loudest Blogs: Heavy Metal Reading

Here are our favorite Blogs to read in order to stay up to date on festival lineups, tours and album releases. I have discovered some really great bands from some of these blogs, and I guarantee you will too if you start reading/following some of these.

COS

Consequence Of Sound    

Consequence Of Sound is an online publication that I have been following for awhile now. They are based out of NYC and Chicago, and cover a wide variety of different kinds of music, but they have a really good ear for metal music. They have done write-ups about several bands from Austin before they broke out. They cover SXSW very thoroughly every year, and they have great live reviews as well as album reviews. They published an article on the Most Anticipated Metal Albums of 2015, that had two bands from Austin that made the cut. COS puts out a lot of material every day and they even cover film. I highly suggest this blog for any music or film enthusiast.

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Doomed & Stoned

I recently discovered Doomed & Stoned after they mentioned Rumble In the Capital after our live review of The Sword and KADAVAR show they recently played at The Mohawk. This blog focuses on Doom, Stoner, and 70’s Black Sabbath sounding metal. Doomed & Stoned has some really great album reviews and interviews with bands, and they always have some really trippy graphics on their site as well. I like how they include songs directly in their articles, making it a really good source when you are looking for new music to listen to.

Heavy

Heavy Blog Is Heavy

Heavy Blog Is Heavy is a blog that covers all things metal. This is a really great source for the entire spectrum of metal music. Heavy did a really good piece on one of my favorite bands Elder, and plenty of other awesome bands as well. Heavy has a great ear for metal and the writing is top-notch. Their website is full of useful information on album releases and tour info, I have become in the more “in the know” because of this blog. Read Heavy Blog Is Heavy and impress all your knucklehead head friends with all your metal knowledge.

Live Review: The Sword with KADAVAR and All Them Witches

The show had sold out just as I arrived at the Mohawk. As I was waiting to get in I heard the last song in All Them Witches’ set, and the excitement started to set in when they finished and announced that KADAVAR was up next. I get a beer from the bar and settle in on the left-side of the stage and wait patiently for KADAVAR to hit the stage. At 9:20 the lights go down except for a spectrum of blue and purple lights on the stage like something out of Picasso’s blue period.

KADAVAR’s stage set up gives each band member an equal amount of visibility by the crowd. Christoph “Lupus” Lindemann on guitar is on the left, Christoph “Tiger” Bartelt on drums is center stage, and Simon “Dragon” Bouteloup on bass is on the right. KADAVAR’s stage set-up seems to be the physical form of their camaraderie.

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KADAVAR’s showmanship is top-notch, Lindemann’s long hair covers his face like “cousin it” most of the time due to his headbanging while giving his SG a beating with his right hand and massaging the neck with his other hand emitting some of the most pleasant rock sounds anyone could ask for. Bartelt doesn’t just keep time for the band he transcends time and space to deliver thunderous beats followed by crashes of lightning like a heavy metal rainstorm. The depth that Bouteloup accomplishes with the bass is unmatched giving all three of these musicians the absolute power of rock n’ roll.

KADAVAR gave a no-holds barred performance giving the crowd songs such as: “Doomsday Machine”, “All Our Thoughts”, “Come Back To Life”, and mixing in songs off their new album “Berlin” They ended their set with “Last Living Dinosaur” putting an end to a metal music spectacle.

The Sword is a band that keeps outdoing themselves with each album they put out. The Sword plays amazing shows every time they hit the stage, making them one of the most consistent bands in metal today. Their new album “High Country” has a different sound, but it is still very Swordlike. I couldn’t wait to hear some of my favorite songs off “High Country” and that is exactly what The Sword delivered with songs: “The Dreamthieves”, “Empty Temples”, and “Tears Like Diamonds.”

The Sword

The Sword also gave their hometown crowd a treat by playing songs spanning their entire discography. When the band jumped into “Freya” everyone went crazy, the mosh pit got bigger, and the weed smoke became even thicker. If The Sword had a greatest hits album it would be the set that they played at the Mohawk Saturday night.

The Sword have a long tour ahead of them playing almost non-stop until December 19th, and KADAVAR will join The Sword on most dates until October 29 when they head back to Europe.

The Weekly Rumble (10/9 – 10/15)

This is an exciting week, there are some amazing bands coming through Austin. Weekend 2 of ACL has arrived so there will be an influx of people in town slapping their legs and stomping their feet to the beat of a tambourine, but I will be headbanging to the sound of soaring guitars and thunderous bass drums. Weekend 2 at ACL has more of a local flavor usually, so I am interested to see how many people are present at the local shows.

 

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The Sword and Kadavar (10/10 @ Mohawk)

The Sword is one of my favorite bands. I first listened to The Sword in 2008 when “Gods of the Earth” was released and they were on tour with Metallica. I saw them headline their own show during that tour at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC and they killed it. I have since seen them play in support of each album they have released, and I saw them preview a lot of their songs off their newest album “High Country” when they played Levitation earlier this year. The Sword will always be one of my favorite bands and I will continue to see them live whenever and wherever I can.

Kadavar is a band from Germany that is amazing, especially live. I saw Kadavar play at Levitation a few years ago when it was still called Austin Psych Fest. Their album “Abra Kadavar” had recently been released and they played in the levitation tent and they had some  trippy lighting that projected their shadows on the roof of the tent and they were just rocking out. Kadavar is a three-piece band, but you wouldn’t realize it from listening to any of their albums. Kadavar has a live album “Live in Antwerp” that showcases their talent at playing live. Their new album “Berlin” was released a few weeks ago and I have kept it in my listening repertoire since the day it was released. You don’t want to miss this band if you’re going to see The Sword, so make it a priority to get to The Mohawk early.







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Black Smoke Conjuring: Dead Meadow, Lord Buffalo, Holy Wave, and Greenbeard (10/14 @ Empire Garage)

Dead Meadow is another one of my favorite bands. This band takes you on a musical journey every time you see them live. I saw them the same year I saw Kadavar at Austin Psych Fest, they played the Elevation Amphitheatre and they took the stage and just jammed. Dead Meadow incorporate a lot of improvisation into their live shows, so you never get the same experience when you see them play. I saw them again at Red 7 later that year and of course it was another great live experience. Dead Meadow has a concert film titled “Three Kings” that has a similarity to Led Zeppelin’s concert film “The Song Remains the Same” with each band member having a different dream sequence. It is a really interesting film and I highly suggest watching it if you have never seen it, and you will be able to see the quality of Dead Meadow’s live sound.

Lord Buffalo is band I have never seen play before, but I dig their music none the less. They are kind of chill and I like that about them, there is a slow build up in most of their songs. They come from the Great Plains so I expect that has helped develop their unique sound. Lord Buffalo will deliver a great show that you will never forget and an experience that will leave you feeling like you just time-travelled to another realm.

Holy Wave and Greenbeard are both from Austin giving this show a little bit of local flavor. I’ve seen Holy Wave play all over Austin, they keep themselves pretty busy. I love their sound, it’s very addicting and you hear a little of each of their musical influences in every song. This band will make you want to try out your trancey-psychedelic dance moves unashamedly like something out of “Weekend At Bernie’s II.” Greenbeard is Stoner Rock/Heavy Psych band that is always staying busy playing shows I’ve only seen them play once during SXSW earlier this year when I saw Elder at Beerland. Their album “Stoned At the Throne” was released this year and it is on Spotify, give them a listen I have listened to the album all the way through several times. Greenbeard rocks and they will leave you wanting more, I’m excited they are opening the show, giving Black Smoke Conjuring as solid of a lineup as anyone could ever ask for. I don’t plan on missing any of these bands play.












Evil Triplet (10/10 @ The Lost Well)

I came across Evil Triplet on The Lost Well’s Facebook page. I would go see them if I wasn’t seeing The Sword and Kadavar on Saturday. They have a heavy psych sound and I would like to see them play live to experience their music firsthand. Their guitar work is impressive, and If you are looking to avoid downtown because of ACL this is the show I would recommend.




 

ghost

Honorable Mention: Ghost (10/14 @ The Aztec Theatre, San Antonio)

Ghost is a metal band from Sweden  that I’ve been wanting to see play live for a few years now, and I still kick myself in the ass for missing them when they played at Emo’s a few years ago. They are touring in support of their new album “Meliora” and the only Texas shows they are playing are in Dallas and San Antonio, but San Antonio is just over an hour away so you could easily make it to their show. I have seen videos of their live show and I have heard really good things from people who have seen them. Dave Grohl is actually a huge fan of this band and has dawned a ghoul costume and has played an entire show with them unbeknownst to the crowd. The horror-church theme of this band is pretty interesting and gives this band a uniqueness that is hard to come by.

 

The Most Headbangable Bands At ACL

ACL is not the best music festival for the average metalhead, but there are always hidden gems at ACL. ACL in my own experience has been mostly folky-indie sounding bands and musicians. ACL is produced by the Austin based company C3 Presents, which is the same company that produces Lollapalooza in Chicago. The festival was inspired by the PBS concert series of the same name, and began in 2002. ACL is an enjoyable festival for the average person that listens to a wide variety of music. Sometimes the festival gets a bad rep due to its mainstream appeal. We have gone further and further down the rabbit hole when it comes to music. We want to see a band play a bar gig before they blow-up with popularity and start playing arenas and we want to discover a band and let everyone else know about them. ACL appeals to the music mainstream and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With the success of ACL and the rise in popularity of festival culture, there has been several music festivals that have popped up in recent years. Euphoria, Levitation, and Fun Fun Fun Fest are all Austin music festivals that have started in the last few years, and appeal to a more niche group of music listeners.

If you do find your way into ACL on either the first weekend or second weekend and want to see something heavier than an acoustic guitar and a banjo then here are my suggestions.

WEEKEND 1

The Strokes

The Strokes are one of my favorite bands, and I am lucky enough to have seen them play twice in 2002 and 2003. They  sound great live and put on an awesome show. Their songs live are more raw, so you can definitely rock out to The Strokes. They are one of the few bands that haven’t really put out a bad album. Their latest album “Comedown Machine” is my least favorite, but it is still a decent album, therefore the song repertoire is lengthy and fulfilling. The festival producers obviously have a lot of faith in The Strokes since they are closing out the festival for weekend one. If you have passes do not miss this band, or else you will regret it for the rest of your life.





Foo Fighters

I have never seen the Foo Fighters and honestly do not listen to much of their music. I did enjoy their HBO series “Sonic Highways” because I am a huge music nerd and music history is a huge interest of mine. I will be honest though I am a huge Dave Grohl fan I respect his artistry and I love his drumming style. He recorded most of the drum tracks on Queens of the Stone Age’s latest album “…Like Clockwork”, which was an amazing album and he was in the super-group Them Crooked Vultures with John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin and Josh Homme from Queens Of the Stone Age. Dave’s most notable music contribution is obviously Nirvana, providing drums on the legendary album “Nevermind.” We cannot forget another notable member of the Foo Fighters Pat Smear who was a founding member of the legendary punk band The Germs and was later recruited to play live with Nirvana to provide some relief for Kurt Cobain on guitar.

 





Gary Clark Jr.

Gary Clark Jr. is an Austin native and also a blues powerhouse. He plays incredible solos off the cuff and has an authentic blues sound unlike all of the Jack White and Black Keys wannabes that have appeared in recent years trying ride the blues popularity all the way to the bank. Gary’s latest album “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim” is a great album the guitar riffs are the type that instantly make you pull out your air guitar and squint your eyes. Gary Clark Jr. performed in the film “Chef” and I got to see him play a secret show at the Mohawk during SXSW in 2013 and of course he killed it. He has a live album “Gary Clark, Jr. Live,” which says a lot about his live shows. I have watched interviews with Gary and he seems like the nicest guy and very humble. He was also present at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony this year when Stevie Ray Vaughan was inducted, and I respect that SRV was one of his major influences, and it shows in his guitar sound.

 





TV on the Radio

TV on the Radio is band that I have been wanting to see since I discovered them in 2006 with their album “Return to Cookie Mountain” these Brooklynites have a bunch of really good songs that are highly addictive and you will catch yourself bobbing your head and singing along. I have seen youtube videos of them play and they sound great and the lead singer Tunde Adebimpe is very energetic, giving the band all the ingredients for a great show. They are playing an official ACL Late Night Show on Friday October 2nd at Emo’s that is sold out, but I’m sure their are tickets on StubHub and Craigslist. If It fit into my festival schedule I would go see TV on the Radio play at Emo’s on top of seeing them at the festival.

 





Tame Impala

Tame Impala is a pyschedelic influenced band and in fact I saw them play at Levitation last year and they are a great live act, their newest album “Currents” has a very chill, relaxed feel to it, but their earlier albums have a little more energy to them. Tame Impala (mainly Kevin Parker the main contributor) is receiving a lot of media attention lately, so I expect a big crowd for Tame Impala. Tame Impala is from Australia so go see them while you can because in case you didn’t know Australia is really far away.

 





Royal Blood

This English rock-duo have a fun rock sound that reminds me of early Muse. They have a very full sound for only having two people in the band. I look forward to seeing Royal Blood play, they have a great energy to them so I feel like I’ll get some decent headbanging going during their set. Their first album is self-titled and is pretty damn good. Make your way over to see this band, they play at 2 pm on Friday so this will be the first band I see during weekend kicking off a long music filled weekend. I hope to see some craziness during their set. If you have never crowd-surfed I suggest giving it a try during Royal Blood’s set, because you will have the highest probability of not getting hurt and you will figure out what it’s like and you’ll be ready to do it at other shows.

 





The Decemberists

The Decemberists are a likable indie band from Portland that aren’t the most headbangable band, but have some decent songs. I saw them in passing during Fun Fun Fun Fest last year and I would see them by way of waiting in the beer line. There are so many bands playing ACL that sometimes you have to multi-task and go to the beer tent next to a band that you only half-assedly want to see and just watch and listen from the line and then head to the stage of the band you 100% want to see. For me The Decemberists is this band.

 





Kurt Vile and The Violators

I really like Kurt Vile, he looks like a metalhead with his long hair, but he is an indie rock artist. He was a founding member of The War On Drugs and if you listen to “Wagonwheel Blues” you can hear his contributions. He has a slightly softer sound than that of The War On Drugs, but they are really good songs. I find that when I listen to folky, americana kind of music I tend to get bored, but I don’t get bored with Kurt Vile and in fact I find myself wanting more. I suggest Kurt Vile and The Violators in order to get your singer/songwriter fix, at least that’s where I’ll be getting mine.

 





Brand New

I will confess to being being a Blink-182 fan back in junior high, but I never got into Brand New. They are on this list because I had a lot of friends that were big fans of this band in high school and they have a higher score on the headbangability scale than most of the other bands at ACL. I have nothing against Brand New I just had already outgrown the alternative pop-punk stuff by the time this band became popular. This might be a good merch-table visit if the stage they’re playing at is close to the merch-table otherwise I’ll go see a majority of their set and then hit up the port-a-potty nearest to the stage and let the music compliment the smell of urine and feces.

 





Billy Idol

Do I really need to say anything about Billy Idol? It’s a no-brainer, if you get a chance to see Billy Idol you take advantage. This will be a really fun time, I already know it.

 



WEEKEND 2

The only change I would make from Weekend 1 is basically replacing The Strokes with Modest Mouse since The Strokes aren’t playing Weekend 2 and Modest Mouse is only playing Weekend 2. I have seen Modest Mouse play three times and they have put on one great show out of those three and two mediocre shows, but they are still one of my favorite bands. They just seem to play better when they are not playing a festival gig. It’s not a problem with their music not being played well they are outstanding musicians, its their showmanship. The singer/guitarist and main contributor Isaac Brock seems to get a little introverted in front of huge crowds. They have probably the longest repertoire of great songs out of any band playing ACL. If you have never seen Modest Mouse play then you should make it a priority to see them play. The last time I saw them was at Fun Fun Fun Fest last year and a comet shot across the sky in the middle of their set and it was the talk of the town the entire week. Their latest album “Strangers to Ourselves” is great album and I anticipate most of their set will be made up from this album. No matter what goes on during the Modest Mouse set you will leave more of a Modest Mouse fan than you were before. Check out the meteor at 2:50 into the video below.