Heading to Austin this week for Chaos in Tejas? We're glad to hear. It's gonna be an epic - yes, epic - weekend of death metal, crust, punk, and a whole lotta Lone Star. Andy and Van will be at the fest representing the fest for the 'cake, so come give us a drink for our hand and a punch for our nutsacks. Here's a list of the shows we'll be at, plus alternatives if our main picks aren't your thing.
THURSDAY June 2nd
MUST SEE: Hooded Menace/Undergang/Acephalix/Bone Sickness/Mammoth Grinder at Red 7 Inside
Chaos In Tejas is on a wicked death metal bender this year. It's of the best kind too – the murky, raw, filthy kind. After Hooded Menace will have decimated Maryland Death Fest, they will make their way to Austin to do the same. Given Austin's reputation as a 420-friendly city, Hooded Menace's dank brand of death/doom is expected to go over well. They're like Cathedral if they took the direction of making Forest of Equilibrium swampier. As this is part of the band's first American tour, you should give them a warm Texas welcome, whether you've got a beer, a spliff, or pride in your hand. Denmark's Undergang will also bring the vomit and pestilence. Undergang's tourmates, San Francisco's Acephalix, have been a huge favorite around here with their crusty take on low-tuned and low-class death metal, and we're totally stoked to see them too.
Hooded Menace at Roadburn 2011
WILL BE COOL TOO: Converge/Trap Them/Touche Amore/Title Fight/Burning Love/The Menzingers/Dead End Path at Mohawk Outside
If death metal isn't your thing, Converge will be proving once again they ain't nothin' to fuck with over at Mohawk. We've heard if at least 10 stage divers come your way, you win a cruise or something. Go see if that's true. Whether it is or not, we do know for sure that Trap Them will leave you bleeding. In a good way. You'll most likely see our comrade Monsoon Cobra of Mouthful of Acid making a fool out of himself to appease Brian Izzi.
Converge - "Fault and Fracture" Live at New England Metal and Hardcore Fest 2003
FRIDAY June 3rd
MUST SEE: Autopsy/Citizens Arrest/Innumerable Forms/Extortion/Cider/Iron Lung/Hatred Surge at Emo's Outside
If you only go to one show at Chaos in Tejas, it better be this one. Seriously, this has to be most ridiculous bill on the fest. Reunited death metal gods Autopsy (pictured above)? Reunited Ted Leo-gone-punx group Citizens Arrest? MDF exports Extortion? Local urine garglers Hatred Surge? Fuck! It's Chaos in a nutshell – bringing the best reunions and mixing punk and metal into a Four Loko-and-PBR stew. We only hope you don't have anything to do the following morning. Like Loudness cheered, these are rock n' roll crazy nights.
Autopsy - "Dark Crusade" Live at Bonnie's, Atco, NJ, 5/16/93
WILL BE COOL TOO: Big Freedia/Katey Red/Cult of Youth at Red 7 Inside
While I never heard a bit of either Big Freedia and Katey Red's music until recently, in just a short time I think this show could rival Autopsy. Both hail from New Orleans and play a form of hip-hop called “bounce,” which is extremely hyperactive and contains so many gang chants, hardcore kids would approve. You know NOLA can bring a goddamn party with them. It's best if I just show this clip of Freedia's “Azz Everywhere”:
SATURDAY June 4th
MUST SEE: Iron Age/Miasmal/Axeman/Shitstorm/Nukkehammer/The Impalers at Emo's Inside
Well, we would recommend the Tragedy day show, but it's been long sold out. Iron Age it is, then. We are not settling though, we sure are not. As we reported earlier, this will be Iron Age's final show in the Capitol City before going their separate ways. It's gonna get poppin'. Miasmal continue the death metal death party for a third straight day. Our homeboy Carm had much to say about their show in Chicago, and if he digs it, you should too. Axeman, the Amebix-loving unit of SoCal black metal collective Black Twilight Circle (more on them later), will also be representing hard at the show. Saturday night is alright for fighting! [Man, I need to refresh my music critic cliché file.]
Iron Age Live at Chaos in Tejas 2011
WILL BE COOL TOO: Balmorhea/Oneohtrix Point Never/Pure X/SURVIVE at Antone's
Here, we're going to single our Oneohtrix Point Never as the band to see should you not get down with Iron Age. The first two days feature some intense metal, and you may want a break. We understand. Oneohtrix Point Never is the electronic work of Daniel Lopatin, and he sounds a lot like two of our favorite electronic groups: Tangerine Dream and Boards of Canada. Since the former has descended into New Age hell, and the latter we don't know where they are, this is the next best thing. Drift out into space, maaaaaaan.
Oneohtrix Point Never - "Returnal"
SUNDAY June 5th
MUST SEE: Dolorvotre/Ashdautas/Volahn/Arizmenda/Blue Hummingbird on the Left/Shataan/Kuxan Suum at Red 7
We – well, Van and I at least – are avowed fans of the Black Twilight Circle. They are a group of dudes from Southern California whose interests include black metal, playing in caves, and making extremely limited tape releases. Basically, BTC are if the dudes in Crustcake witnessed the strength of street knowledge (and magick). We caught a few BTC bands last year – Ashdautas and Volahn mainly – but this year the extended family is coming out. Well, “extended family” may be stretching it. It's mostly the dudes switching around instruments and presto – new band! With black metal this chaotic, however, we don't mind how they roll personnel-wise. This is an interesting cap-off to Chaos in Tejas.
Ashdautas - Where the Sun is Silent...
WILL BE COOL TOO: Baroness/Capitalist Casualties/Nerveskade/Teargas/Perdition/Manipulation at Emo's Outside
If there's an odd band out at Chaos in Tejas, it's Baroness. Wasn't punk supposed to destroy prog? False narratives aside, if you can't make it out to Black Twilight, this is a good substitute. Perhaps they'll debut new material? Who knows.
Baroness - "Wanderlust"
Most of our food recommendations from our SXSW guide still hold, but we can't believe we forgot to put our favorite taco joints! And we can't blame that on the fest fatigue.
If you're looking for something good on the cheap, Tamale House on 51st and Airport is your destination. While there are no tamales, they do have plenty o' tacos that run for .89 a pop. That's for two ingredients, though if you want three, it shouldn't go over 1.29 a taco. Any place that can get you filled for under five bucks (hell, under four if you're not a fatass like I am). If that's not enough, our founder and Batillus drummer Geoff Summers backs this place hard. They only take cash and there's no seating, but shit, those tacos are damn cheap!
If you've got a little more money in your pocket, head down to Maria's on 2529 S. Lamar. They have scrumptious breakfast tacos - I personally recommend getting a ham and potato. Even if they are just a little bit pricier than Tamale House, going broke is impossible. Their Tacos Al Pastor are also quite delicious, especially with some chimichurri. While I've never had Maria's enchiladas, people who have say they wouldn't dare eat any other. Be warned - they get packed on Saturday mornings, and with their live music on Sundays, it's damn near impossible to find a table.
Tacodeli (three locations, but we prefer 4200 N. Lamar), on the surface, seems like a yuppie joint. It's not run by your abuela, and the name conjures up pastrami on corn tortillas. Luckily, this joint is among the best with Tamale House and Maria's. You can't go wrong with a sirloin, egg, and cheese for breakfast or a mole taco for lunch. Their Cowboy Taco - beef tenderloin, grilled corn, guacamole, caramelized onions, queso fresco, and roasted peppers - is also a huge favorite around Austin.
If I had to pick my absolute favorite taco in Austin, though, it would have to be the Trailer Park from Torchy's (several locations throughout town - we like 2801 Guadalupe). Fried chicken and queso - what more could a man want? Cosmo Lee and Todd Nief (Like Rats) really need to get me on a fitness plan.