Hail the Titans needs your help!

Last night, we (Hail the Titans) launched our IndieGoGo account to raise money to release our new album, “Hymns of Mare Nostrum.” We need your help.

We have set up various levels of “perks” – from $3 to $500 – to help raise at least $1,300 by the end of June. (Of course, more would help, and we can go over goal, but that amount will be a great boost for us.) You can see the different pricing levels and donate via credit card at IndieGoGo.com/HailtheTitans.

On Sunday, we got together with some friends to film a video to raise awareness for the campaign:

The goal was to make it funny, different and entertaining while still getting the message across. With the help of our friends Joe Collins (of Pseudo Nein), Mr. Steve Andrews, Katie Malachinski, Hillary Andrews (of Pint Bottle Photography), Tamara Spann and Shannon Davis (Yours Truly Designs), we were able to shoot both the “hostage” part of the video and the “chili cookoff” scene.

Check out this gallery on the Pint Bottle page with photos from the video shoot. Click here. It includes photos of Wes hog-tied:

Joe and Wes hamming it up:

and Adam and I discussing camera angles:

OK, so back to the IndieGoGo campaign. Some quick notes:

* When you make any contribution of $3 or more, please email me your physical mailing address (or P.O. Box) so we can send you the “Thank You” note. You can reach me at joshcarples [at] gmail [dot] com.

* If your donation is at least $45, I’ll need your t-shirt size. Email that to me. We can get these sizes (adult t’s): XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL.

* If you live within 50 miles of zip code 36109 and are thinking, “Man, I would like to go with the $350 option or the $500 option, but money is tight,” trust us, we understand. However, here is an idea: Because the acoustic performances and cooking will be at your house, you can invite whomever your want. It’s your house, so your guest list. That being said, while the contribution has to come from one person (it’s on a credit card, after all), I don’t think there are any rules that would prohibit you and your friends pooling your money together to make that happen. So if you want us playing some acoustic solo stuff in your house and/or throwing down our culinary skills in your kitchen, you might still be able to make that happen.

In the meantime, please help us by donating and spreading the word via Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. Here is the link: IndieGoGo.com/HailtheTitans.


“Nothin’ but net!”

That is the catchphrase of the weekend, thanks to the guys from Swank Sinatra. “What does it all mean,” you ask? Well, you’ll have to ask them. Nothin’ but net.

Congrats to the Deadutauntes on their win yesterday. It was their first home bout against the Rome Rollergirls, and they won… I think it was 90 to 52 or something like that. I don’t remember the exact score, but that’s pretty close.

I’m getting ready to meet up with the rest of the Hail the Titans guys soon. The plan is to shoot some video stuff. Can’t go into too much detail now, but I’ll update as soon as I can. Wish us luck!

In the meantime, enjoy a live version of “New Paths to Helicon Pt. 1” by Mogwai:

Speaking of Mogwai, here is a photo of us in the green room of Vinyl, in Atlanta, when we played the Mogwai after party:

(Photo credit: Pint Bottle Photography.)

And if you’re interested in seeing my backstage green room tour of Vinyl, the video is on Facebook. Click here.

On fire!

The title of this post refers to the food I had from Green Papaya yesterday that I ordered, as I usually do, “Thai hot.” It’s good. If you haven’t been there yet, I encourage you to go.

Local CBS affiliate WAKA (channel 8 ) ran a story featuring Chad Baker, a musician known for bands such as El Chupa Cobras (among others) and the label Acerbic Noise Development. The story, however, was not about his music, but about his volunteer efforts after the late April tornado outbreak in Alabama. You can read about it and see the video here.

Earlier this week, Graveface Records began mailing out the “Middle States” vinyl EP from The Appleseed Cast, and my copy arrived in the mail yesterday. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it on the format it was meant for yet, but I’ve heard the mp3 version, and it’s really good, containing lots of noise, which if you didn’t know, can be a good thing (and in this case, is awesome.)

Like other Graveface releases I have purchased, they included random items in the box including a couple of posters, an orange Pixy Stix (which sounds plural because of its proper noun spelling, but is not in this case), some puzzle pieces, a connect-the-dots page from an old school activity book, a math card like the ones you probably had in elementary school and a page from a Bill Clinton book beginning a chapter on Kosovo, Columbine and Kashmir.

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, read Wednesday’s post on this blog about some hometown music events.

Oh… and follow me on Twitter. Thanks for reading!

Hometown music events

Years ago, there was a local website and forum that had listings of shows and music discussions for my hometown area of Montgomery, Ala. It was called “Montgomery Sucks” and its goal was for Montgomery not to suck so much. I think Mobile still has a site like that, if I’m not mistaken.

Anyway, there are some sites that are doing their part to keep you updated with local happenings. I have them listed under “Music Info/Promo” on the “Other Links” page on this site, but if you haven’t seen them, I encourage you to check out MontgomeryMusicScene online and send a friend request to No Loitering on Facebook.

While I am sometimes out of town with Hail the Titans these days, I still want to see my hometown scene grow – I’ve been wanting that for years, actually – so please check those sites out for local happenings, and I’ll try to update about events here as well.

There are some things coming up this weekend.

This Friday at Head on the Door, Music Hates You (from Athens, Ga.) will return and perform with local band Creep List.

Saturday is the first home bout for Montgomery’s roller derby team, The Deadutauntes, as they face off against the Rome Rollergirls. Click here for the Facebook event listing with the details.

That night at Head on the Door will be the official after party for the roller derby bout, featuring the Atlanta-based band, Swank Sinatra.

Third time’s a charm

The guy who predicted the Rapture this past Saturday, and once before in 1994, said that due to a miscalculation, the Rapture is going to be on October 21 this year. If third time’s a charm, this is it, folks.

I know what you’re thinking – leave it to Jesus to go all out and try to ruin the fun of Halloween. Why not wait until late November so people will be giving thanks anyway, or maybe make an extra special birthday appearance in late December? Why does Jesus hate Halloween? It’s probably the candy corn, which is understandable, I suppose, but you can pick out the candy corn and still have the other good stuff. It’s possible.

Anyway, mark your calendars, folks, just like before. This time, though, if you’re going to wipe out your life savings (or what you manage to save up between this past Saturday and Oct. 21), rather than buy billboard ads, why not donate it to people who need it now – like people in Joplin, Mo.?

In non-Rapture news, Pint Bottle Photography has posted more Hail the Titans photos. I know – the girl with the camera stays busy! Anyway, there are photos from the May 13 show with Rowe and the May 15 tornado relief benefit.

This is why I have been called a “bad ass mad scientist” (by Katie M. – credit where it’s due and all) or some sort of “mad scientist” while playing the theremin live:

And here is a full band shot from the Tornado benefit:

And here is Wes’s bad ass Monopoly sweater:

Also, the Atlanta-based band Mice in Cars posted their new EP on Bandcamp. It’s called “Burn the Reader.” You should give it a listen. Hail the Titans will be performing with them, Order of the Owl and Demonaut on June 18 at the Drunken Unicorn in Atlanta.

Weekend Recap: If you’re reading this, you are a sinner

So yesterday, the rapture happened at approximately 5 p.m. Central Standard Time (or was it 6 p.m.?), which means, if you’re reading this, well… you’re a sinner.

Apparently, Allah, Jehovah, Zeus, Jesus, Joseph Smith, the Holy Ghost and Space Ghost had a round table discussion – no, Xenu wasn’t there… Scientology? Really? – and they decided that you were going to be stuck here awhile longer.

The reason is that they wanted you to read this blog. And because you are a sinner. But back to reading this blog. They want you to read it. It’s true. They told me. In a dream. I’m sorry… the proper term is “vision.” Admittedly, I am a bit sleep deprived, but that doesn’t make it any less visionary or Dreamsicle… er… dream-like.

So this is what’s been going on recently:

Thursday, all of Hail the Titans, and our friend Amy, went to WorkPlay in Birmingham, Ala. to see Mogwai. We saw Johnny and Beth from Hellakopta of Love there, and Joseph from Medicine Chest, too.

Errors was the opening band. They were very good. Their music had a lot of electronic, dance type stuff, but it was mixed with ambient post-rock guitar noise – a very nice mixture, actually.

Mogwai was amazing. The music, the lights, the background films and images, the guitars… oh, and the pedal boards. So. Many. Pedals. I am man enough to admit that I may have suffered a case of “pedal envy,” and that Freud would have, too, if he were a musician.

It was a fantastic show, and I got to meet Mogwai guitarist John Cummings, who, along with being a great guitarist in one of my favorite bands, is also very nice.

Friday night, Hail the Titans joined Ricer and Cielo at Vinyl in Atlanta, which is part of the Center Stage complex that also includes The Loft and the Theater (which is where Mogwai and Errors were playing – right next door! In the same building!) Anyone that had a Mogwai ticket was able to get into our show for free. After party!

The show was a lot of fun. And while Vinyl may be the “small” venue of the Center Stage complex, it’s still pretty big for an independent band. They have a nice sized stage, great lighting and great sound. Here is a photo Hillary (Pint Bottle Photography) took with her phone:

And here are some photos that Tracey from Rock Science Atlanta sent out via Twitter from her phone:

Oh… and Hillary also took this photo of our van, Ragnarok, parked next to the Mogwai tour bus:

Oh yeah… we got to talk with John from Mogwai again, as well as the drummer for Errors (who is  filling in for Mogwai’s regular drummer on this tour). Apparently, they played “Travel is Dangerous” Friday night… and I missed it. I was hoping to hear it Thursday night. But alas, when you have seven full-length albums and a number of EP’s out, you can change your set each night during the tour.

However, at Thursday’s show, the last song they played during the encore was “Glasgow Mega Snake.” (And hearing “New Paths to Helicon Pt. 1” live is amazing.)

Saturday, as sleep-deprived as it had been, included seeing a couple of my friends get married (Congrats to Dave and Rebecca!), a much-needed nap, a punk rock show (Kids on Coffee and Skeptic?), good friends, and laser lights and DJ’s. Oh yeah, and the rapture.

Thanks for reading, sinner.

A weekend full of Mogwai

If you, after reading some of the past posts on this blog, were still unaware that I’m a fan of the band Mogwai, allow me to clear things up: I am a Mogwai fan.

Tomorrow, the Scottish rock band is performing in Birmingham, Ala. at WorkPlay, and everyone in Hail the Titans is heading that way. I have never seen them before, but I’ve heard good things about their live show, as well as some live recordings such as their “BBC Sessions” album and the most recent “Special Moves” live album.

(Promo photo by Steve Gullick, courtesy of the Sub Pop Records website.)

Also, on Friday, they are playing at the Center Stage Theater in Atlanta. The Center Stage, if you haven’t been there, is three venues in one building – the Theater, for big shows (I saw Sunny Day Real Estate there a couple of years ago, and Glassjaw played there recently), the medium-sized Loft, and Vinyl, the smallest of the the three.

Well this Friday, literally two doors down from Mogwai, in the same building, Hail the Titans is joining our friends Ricer and a band called Cielo for a show at Vinyl. In fact, if you have a Mogwai ticket, you can get into our show for free. From what I understand, our show will have music during the intermission between Errors (the opening band that’s signed to Mogwai’s Rock Action Records) and Mogwai, as well as afterwards. After party, anyone?

If you’re on Facebook, and you plan on coming to the show Friday, here is the event listing. Go ahead and click “attending.”

Now I just have to make sure I can fit all of that into the weekend with attending a wedding, taking pictures and doing normal “life” things (like laundry, for example). Wish me luck.

Also, Hillary Andrews of Pint Bottle Photography posted some photos from last month’s show at Bottletree when we played with Maserati and the Great American Breakdown. There are plenty of live shots, as well as some shots of us just hanging out, such as these:

Click here to see the entire gallery.

Stories from the road

For Hail the Titans, this weekend has been busy, fun, frustrating, funny and a host of other adjectives I just cannot think of at the moment.

Friday’s show at Head on the Door with Rowe went very well. We got to debut a new song, met and hung out with some cool people and just had a great time.

Saturday, as I was going on about two hours of sleep, we got in Ragnarok (our van) and headed toward Mobile for our show with Sun Hotel at The Blind Mule. I think we were just a little past the exit for Atmore on I-65 South, somewhere near mile markers 49 and 50, when Ragnarok had a problem.

Hello side of the road on Twitpic

I don’t know much of anything about vehicles. I admit it. Adam is more familiar with these things and saw that a tension pulley (I think that’s what it is) bracket and belt had broken, losing power steering and causing the van to overheat. As we’re on the side of the interstate, Trey and Wes begin walking south to see mile marker signs while Adam and I stayed with the van.

We ended up getting the van and trailer towed to nearby Bay Minette to an O’Reilly Auto Parts store (that had just closed). As we were stuck and trying to figure out a way to get to the venue (after all that, we were still ready to play a rock show), Wes’s dad called to say that one of his friends lives in Bay Minnette, about a mile from where we were, and that he was picking us up, hooking the trailer to his Tahoe and that we were going to make the show.

Mr. Bill Duck went out of his way to get us to the show, even sticking around, watching us play and driving us back to Bay Minette.

The show went well. The staff and people at the Blind Mule are always very kind to us. All the guys in Sun Hotel were very nice, and they play great music and like delay pedals as much as we do.

Once back at the van, we went across the street to Waffle House for some food. After getting a bit of sleep, we began trying to figure out how to get the van running. Mr. Duck stopped by to check on us. We were told the bracket we needed was a dealer part and none of the stores had it. Since it was a Sunday, this was not looking good, but Mr. Duck took the part to his house and welded it. Good as new.

During this time, Wes’s parents were heading our way from Prattville. I don’t know what we would have done without Mr. Duck and Mr. and Mrs. Andrews. If any of you are reading this, thank you for everything! The staff at O’Reilly Auto Parts in Bay Minette were also very helpful and extremely nice.

Also, there was a mouse under the van. He looked like he was sleeping, but we think he was sick or something because he didn’t move much, except for breathing and adjusting his sleeping position. Adam tried to feed it a piece of waffle, but he didn’t even touch it.

Sleeping mouse under the van on Twitpic

Yesterday, the doors at the Blue Iguana in Prattville opened at 3 p.m. for a benefit show raising money for the Red Cross to help out with tornado relief from last month’s devastating storms. Our original plan was to be back from Mobile at least by the time the doors opened, but alas, plans changed when the van became inoperable.

Once the van was running again and we were able to get on the road, it was at least 4 p.m.

Unfortunately, we missed sets by Sunday School Riot, Fear the Jackalope and .50 Cal Syndicate. We got to the venue about 7 p.m. as Pseudo Nein was setting up, so we at least got to see them perform. Thanks to Joe Collins from Pseudo Nein for letting us use his bass rig and Vonny Nguyen from .50 Cal Syndicate for letting us use his guitar rack. (If I’m missing any thanks, I apologize. We’ve had a lot of people helping us out this weekend, and I hope I’m not leaving anyone out. All the help and support is greatly appreciated.)

All in all, even with the negatives, we had a great time. I think Wes summed it up well when he posted on Facebook: “Van broke down on the interstate. Being towed now. As much as it sucks, we’re making memories. Yes!”

That’s one thing about this band, even when we’re put in negative situations, we can still have a good time. Thanks to everyone who came out to the shows, helped promote, told your friends, and continue to show us so much love and support. It means a lot to us, and we can’t thank you enough.

Ps. – If you want updates from the road, be sure to follow @HailtheTitans and me, @joshcarples, on Twitter. (And if you like the stuff you’re reading on this blog, you can subscribe by entering your email address at the bottom of the page.)

“The man of much wordage”

Yesterday, Jason Snellgrove of Flip the Switch and Breaking Aim & The Rhythm referred to me as “the man of much wordage,” so I’m periodically using it as somewhat of a tag line. But I’m posting this in fairness to the person who coined the phrase and so you’ll know where it came from.

Thus sayeth “the man of much wordage.”

I have now officially seen the Explosions in the Sky “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care” vinyl edition, and I must say, along with being a phenomenal album (especially on vinyl), the packaging is very original and creative. It’s a double LP, with side D having designs etched in it like their previous three full length vinyl releases, but the casing is different this time. It folds out four times, has a poster and an outer sleeve. Forget me describing it… Look:

(Click image to see larger version.)

Also, Pint Bottle Photography has posted a few more galleries, including photos from the recent acoustic show I was part of that included a chill set by Breaking Aim & The Rhythm, Clint Darby and To All My Dear Friends.

See the entire gallery here.

Are you sure it was a book? Are you sure it wasn’t ‘nothing’?

Does that post title have anything to do with the rest of this post? Not really. But here are some things I thought were important enough to type on this blog.

Let’s see, I mention the Hail the Titans / Rowe show this Friday in Montgomery…

…the Hail the Titans / Sun Hotel show this Saturday…

…and the Tornado Relief Benefit Show on Sunday already…

…but what I neglected to mention, for the folks who will still be in central Alabama on Saturday instead of making the drive to Mobile, is that my friends in Flip the Switch are playing at Head on the Door with Kill, Baby… Kill and The Mystery Men. Click here for details.

I try to post about things that are happening in my hometown area, even if I’m not directly involved. I hope the levels of support that I’ve recently witnessed for many of the music and art events continue to grow.

I remember the days where there really was nothing to do in Montgomery. There are more things going on these days – you just have to go.

Also, the upcoming June 18 Rock Science show at the Drunken Unicorn with Demonaut, Order of the Owl, Mice in Cars and Hail the Titans is now on the Creative Loafing website. “This may be your only chance to see all this awesome under the same roof at once, so missing it is not an option.