Friday, May 16, 2014

The Road to Warped Tour Is Long and Bumpy

It seems fate is laughing at me. Again.

I was supposed to be headed to the Van's Warped Tour this coming June. You see, Warped Tour is coming to my hometown of San Antonio, Texas June 14. I have my tickets. I have my parking pass. My gas tank is being kept topped-off. I've been preparing for this for months, as soon as I heard Motionless In White would be taking the main stage. I've ordered contact lenses and even have an outfit picked out. There's just one tiny problem.

It seems that, without a concert buddy, I can't go.

You see I've never really been one to hit the metal scene alone. I'm about five feet tall. I weigh, usually, less than a hundred pounds. I become a human football in a mosh pit, or I would if I dared get close enough alone. I used to take my friend Jeremy, but these days he's a married man. His wife is not a metal head. I used to take my friend Bobby, but my boyfriend has a problem with me going with another dude. My boyfriend was going with me, but was denied his request off for no better reason than someone closer to the manager had beaten him to it.

So, needless to say, I have two tickets to Warped Tour to see one of the best metal bands in years that I might have to flush the toilet on. Not literally. I would, of course, try to sell the tickets, but that isn't at all what I want to do. 

I want to go to the show; I want to see Motionless in White, and I want to be close enough to be hurled at Ricky Horror like debris. Well hai, Ricky!

Unfortunately, that doesn't seem likely. I have never done this alone, and going to the AT&T Center on the South Side of San Antonio alone isn't a good idea at all. Call me a pussy if you want, I defy anyone to. But even a pussy like me has the sense to know when she's out of her element.

The prognosis is that if I can find someone, anyone--even my mom (not likely)--to go with me, then Warped Tour is still on. If not, I've been promised that it will be made up to me. In light of how excited I was to see this show, it's cold comfort, and does little to appease me. I've been a wreck all day. I stay pretty close to tears, my only respite coming from a chocolate croissant and the occasional glimpse of Tom Hiddleston on Twitter. And the day when the Hiddles can't cheer me up is a terrible day indeed.   

I will try my best. The Rocky Road to Warped Tour winds on.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Blast From the Past May Be the Future of Indie Rock

So there is this guy. Bart Howell. Recognize him?


No? How about now?



Aww, really? He's this guy.



Formerly known as these guys:


Middle: Bart Howell. Left: Ky Haub, Jay Bratland. Right: Ned Johnson, Mykl Sweeney

If you still don't know them, that's okay. I just got all of Iowa's attention. 

These are The Stumbletons of Fort Dodge, Iowa, best known for their chaotic lead singer, Bart Howell, getting banned from June Jam in Sioux City, and trashing other peoples' drum kits--admittedly, that was probably Bart too. 

"The police would come to almost every gig because we'd try to incite a riot or some shit. It was fun, hehe. One of our regular stops was The Brass Monkey. We broke a case of beer mugs New Years Eve, but he had never seen more people in his bar than nights we played."

It may be no surprise that you haven't heard of The Stumbletons. They never signed to a record label (though they almost did twice), and they were really only popular at local gigs. Their  most notable claim to fame is having opened for Whitesnake in 2004. You might want to get used to a few names, and the names of The Stumbleton's writing core.


No, The Stumbletons aren't getting back together. Most of the band is still in Fort Dodge--with the Midwestern Pop-Punk Rock genius loci now in Austin, Texas--so a come-back is out of the question. However, the names one should be watching for in October 2014 are Bart Howell, Ned Johnson, Tim Pingel, Jeff Vandermaten, and Steve Ryburn, with a pinch of Thomas Lowe for flavor. The band--Starcarpenter.


Prototype cover art, courtesy of Bart Howell. Subject to change.

"This is supposed to be a revolving door sort of project," says Howell, "with a lot of different people working on it."

Starcarpenters' writing core will consist of Ned Johnson and Bart Howell, representing a variety of songs not previously performed by The Stumbletons. Though the exact nature of Starcarpenter's music hasn't fully been agreed upon, Howell wants to be very clear that the project's sound won't be anything like his former work. 

Starcarpenter's recording session is set to begin in October of 2014. Until then, there is only to wait. But no matter how long we have to wait for a forthcoming LP from a lyrical genius, I have been assured by Howell that this has been an even longer time coming for him. Stick with The Squealing Nerd for exclusive news on this particular project. Between myself and Starcarpenter, we won't let you down.