Saturday, July 13, 2013

Guest Column + Free Track by Tee Double - Inner City Blues

Terrany "Tee Double" Johnson - Photo by Amanda Garcia
Inner City Blues
By: Tee-Double

Growing up in Austin,Texas some may think with the many bars and festivals and hip clothing stores and such that the racial tone is virtually non-existent.

They would be wrong. It is an ongoing struggle, not just in the entertainment section of Austin, but in everyday life. There have been many shootings of kids of color and little justice. Often hard court battles follow if the families want compensation for their unreplaceable loss.

I can remember walking back to school from lunch when I was at Reagan High School as a freshman and a truck driving by me and my friends with some guy yelling "Get back to school nigger!" 

This was not my first time hearing the word but the first time it was directed in such a negative and violent way.

I went home that night and wrote I believe one of my first songs which title I can't recall but it got my pen moving and helped me recognize I had a voice and many thoughts my friends had as well but couldn't utter for whatever reason.

As I've grown I've been blessed to achieve my dreams in music by releasing many albums and being on many advisory and governor boards, but each time I sit in those board rooms I think "what can I do to advance the reach of artists of color in Austin?"

So I founded the Urban Artist Alliance which is designed to educate artists on how to own their "masters" recordings and publishing so in the future they might have revenue streams coming from their dreams they recorded in hopes of a deal or just to express.

With the Trayvon Martin case the issue of race has risen its head higher than before after a nice nap of people being concerned with other issues.If you're not black our of color you could never understand the suspicion placed on you when you enter a retail store or a music venue and people thinking you will steal, kill or fight.

Some love to blame the culture of Hip Hop as a launching pad for this but in actuality when the culture was controlled by its creators it was the CNN of our neighborhoods, telling us the truth of the politics affecting us and the police brutality we finally saw after Rodney King but NWA had rapped for years and many folks of color already saw.

What is race? A competition to the finish? A jockeying for position? What is the end result? To dominate another people or gender? 

I speak for those who have no voice 
to say these inner city blues 
won't hold me down 
or make me sing 
a song of woes 
in a field of depression 
but allow me to celebrate 
the strength of a people 
who for years have been told 
to stay in your place, 
 cry in silence 
and keep it moving.

So I say sorry world WE no longer are silent but as joyous as we could be as justice is within reach for all people as cycles return. The next race could be yours and this pain might finally be understood.

I could go on but I have more songs of struggle and and the overcoming of to write. 

Shine on.

Free Track:

"Sorry World" is from his 2013 release Rosie's Boy. Buy the album here

Editor's Note: Tee Double was the on the cover of the August 2010 issue of INsite Magazine. Read that story here: link

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ten Bands To Catch at Warped Tour 2013

By Sean Claes

The Vans Warped Tour 2013 rolls into San Antonio's AT&T Center parking lot on August 3, 2013 and with it nine-plus stages of music and 95-plus bands that cover a gamut of genres including pop, punk, ska, metal, and acoustic.

This will be my third Warped  Tour (you can see some of my photos from Warped 2012 here - link), so I've had the chance to do run the gauntlet a few times.

In case this is your first Warped... it can be a little daunting to go through the list of bands and pick ones to see...and maneuver through the stages to make it to the shows on time.... so INsite decided to create a short list of bands that will make it worth your while... here's 10 bands to catch during Warped 2013. I listed my picks in alphabetical order and I included a video with each one, just so you can get a taste of their sound.

August Burns Red
This Pennsylvania metalcore band has been at it for a decade. They've risen to the top of their "mainstream" game thus far with their 2013 release Rescue & Restore reaching #9 on the US Billboard charts. They're topped the Christian charts with three albums previous. Look to them for a punishing and positive set. Here's a taste with their new single "Fault Line."

Black Veil Brides
Filling in the KISS / Mötley Crüe / Marilyn Manson / Avenged Sevenfold slot in 2013, Black Veil Brides will be sure to give a good show... and like the aforementioned "shock rockers" they've got the musical chops to back up their costumes and make-up.

Bowling For Soup
 Looks like the last chance to see these Texas rockers. They announced in April that October will be their final tour. Stacy's mom is pissed.

 Metalcore from Osaka Japan. That's just all kinds of awesome.

I Can Make A Mess
When Ace Enders isn't playing with The Early November... he's playing with I Can Make A Mess. Of course.. I prefer the band's full title:  "I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business" but I guess the record label didn't.. and when he signed to Rise Records in 2013 they officially shortened the name. Oh... The Early November is also playing Warped 2013... so you've got two chances to see Ace.

Memphis May Fire
So, I mention below that I saw Kellen McGegor from Memphis May Fire jump on stage with Sleeping With Sirens at Warped 2012. I hope to catch HIS band's set this year. I was impressed with his delivery... and it doesn't hurt that the band is from Texas. 

Reel Big Fish
One of the coolest things about Warped Tour is the versatility in the bands. Reel Big Fish... known for their ska-punk sound and their 1997 his "Sell Out" will be jamming to a whole new generation of kids. And that is awesome. If you're going to discover ska... this is one of the few bands that have done it the right way for over 15 years.... and that's how old the average audience member at Warped is... right?

Sleeping With Sirens
On the heels of the release of their 2013 album Feel Sleeping With Sirens take the stage again at Warped. I caught their set last year at Warped when Kellen McGegor from Memphis May Fire jumped on stage with them. I hope to catch their set again this year.

The Wonder Years
Fresh from the release of their 4th LP The Greatest Generation The Wonder Years have been delivering their brand of upbeat, fist-pumping pop-punk since 2005. And, yes, their name came from the TV show. I wonder if Winnie Cooper crowd surfs?

We Came As Romans
Michigan melodic metalcore makes it to Warped 2013. They've got that clean-vocals-meets-scream sound that defines melodic metalcore. Always fun to catch live.

Please comment below with your picks, as I'm sure I missed your favorite. 

See you at the Van's Warped Tour in San Antonio on 8/3 at the AT&T Center.