It's my job to have at least a passing knowledge of what most bands and artists sound like. In my one of seven capacities here at the paper, I am in charge of music listings, those things in the back of the paper that tell you what is happening every week.
(While I am on the subject, I need let you guys in on a secret. Sometimes there is more space for listings one week in the print issue than there is for others, which means sometimes I have to cut some of the copy. Fear not, all of your club shows are still contained in our online listings.)
Part of that job is classifying each name I see into a category. I have about 100 or so to choose from in our database, and only use about 15 of them. So that means I listen to at least 30 seconds of everything that I type in, so I don't list Big Time Rush as a metal act.
Tuesday and today, the Vans Warped Tour announced even more bands for the 2012 roster, and I realized I had only heard maybe eight of the 40 bands on the traveling showcase.
There was a time in my life when I knew what every single band on the Warped lineup sounded like, what their last album was called, and whether or not they were worth my time. That ended around 2004, when I discovered that everything was moving too fast and I needed to take a breather.
Which sucks because I have probably been missing some good stuff, but I have also been spared having to know about some really, really awful stuff that would just make me weep for our future.
Houston doesn't see the Warped Tour until July 1, at the Reliant Center. So kids, you have plenty of time to save up cash to buy water.
We have some freelancers on board now that know more about some of these bands, but in the interest of me exercising my own mental gaskets, I tried to at least attempt my hand at "getting hip" to some of them. Just as I don't know who Miss May I is, I am sure there is a superfan out there who doesn't give a fuck who my beloved Pentagram is.
Of Mice And Men: I liked the book and the film version with Gary Sinise and John Malkovich. So much screaming and double-bass drum. If the world doesn't have another Pantera on their hands in five years, all of this noise will have gone to waste. A lot of these new metal bands have a lot of flash and volume, but they don't seem like the kind of guys you would want to have behind you in a street fight.
New Found Glory: Ah! I know these guys! I saw them in 2002, and I owned three of their albums. They had tattoos and spiky hair and wore those silver booty beads around their necks. I guess these guys on this bill is like if you put The Fabulous Thunderbirds on the main stage at Free Press Summer Fest. (Hey, Omar...)
Four Year Strong: This has nothing to do with this, band which I have never heard, but I really liked the Story Of The Year record Page Avenue. They were one of the first bro bands to embrace screamo, you know.
We The Kings: I pushed play expecting a burly voice screaming about a crazy bitch murdering his soul, but it reminded me of caffeinated Weezer and I was all "Awwww" and imagined them playing at high school dance in a teen movie when the fat kid makes out with the hot chick and they hold hands.
Lostprophets: I think their first song came out before even 9/11 happened. Shouldn't they be playing ArrowFest or something, you guys? LOL j/k.
Taking Back Sunday: I saw TBS just last July at House of Blues, and they remind me of drinking in my friend Gomer's garage and crying a lot.
The Used: Lead singer Bert McCracken dated Kelly Osbourne when she was real chubby, and I think he used to make out with Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance on tour. Their original drummer quit to join Rancid. Not bad for some dudes from Utah.
Streetlight Manifesto: They have fiddles too right? Kinda like a Celtic-ska thing?
Falling In Reverse: I think -- maybe -- these guys were on the cover of Alternative Press a few months back, and they looked like a high school Motley Crue cover band. Kinda sound like Papa Roach. Bands like these always have super-hot blonde girls with tattoo sleeves hanging out around them that were somehow born in 1991. HOW IS POSSIBLE TO BE BORN IN 1991?
Yellowcard: The band with the fiddle, or was it a violin, right? There was a music video in a corn field, or was it a football field. They played one of their songs at Minute Maid Park in between innings. Or was it Maroon 5?
Anti-Flag: 1997's Die For the Government was the coolest thing ever, and I knew people who had four of their cloth patches on their hoodies in high school. Though all I remember now was their hairstyles and their socialist leanings, which now make me cringe as I near 30. One of them is named Justin Sane I think too.
Sleeping With Sirens: Whoa, the lead singer is a dude.
Senses Fail: I had a girlfriend once who dated a dude that liked this band, which made me hate them. Logical, right?
Motionless In White: Back in 2003 and 2004, I wore guy-liner and girls' jeans, and this was the kind of stuff I listened to. I was also like 30 pounds lighter and had a shag haircut so it didn't look too weird. This band (above) gets props from me for wearing Bauhaus shirts and repping goth stuff, and I can't wait for lead singer Chris Motionless' electro death-rock project.
Man Overboard: That was the title of a blink-182 song about kicking their old drummer Scott Raynor out of the band.
Memphis May Fire: Most things with Memphis in their title or name, or coming from Memphis, have always done me right. Rapper Memphis Bleek, Elvis Presley, Memphis Belle, the porn star Memphis Monroe. Though MMF is from Dallas, which means that I am obligated to hate them, which I don't.
Miss May I: Did they get this name from a damaged venue marquee that once said Memphis May Fire? Jokez...
You Me At Six If you see it really fast... nothing happens.
Breathe Carolina: The term "electro/screamo duo" almost always makes me run for the mental door. I saw these guys at the Hard Rock Hotel house in Austin during SXSW and they seemed really agitated to be there so I went back inside and got a free shave.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.