It’s easy to assume that music and art enjoyed at a local level is “underground.” Austin, being the live music capital of the world, selflessly serves musical visionaries city-wide, regardless of their stance in societies rigid hierarchy pertaining to the arts. “Underground” art and music is unapologetically itself–no flashing lights, no heavy auto tune, minimal filters…it’s raw art. Austin’s self proclaimed post-indie outfit, The Real Man is a fine testament to the importance of recognizing true-underground music.
The Real Man is a rustic combination of Daniel Maldanado (vocals), Matt McVinnie (drums), Mike Ruiz (bass) and Bob Batey (guitar). Their sound is a soft, contemporary parallel to The Fray, and while it appears to be underproduced at first, careful listeners will be rewarded with a polished, beautifully-gritty, vinyl-expulsion–fire place music if you will.
The band combines Spanish culture with contemporary indie-rock. The Real Man uses psychedelic rock influences, then layers it with a softer, kinder reverb often expressed in Spanish rhetoric. At a recent meeting called by the Austin Music Commission, artists and behind the scenes visionaries gathered to express their concerns in regards to the future of Austin music. Many topics and ideas were discussed. One particular concern was raised by a number of people–Austin’s inability to maintain awareness and acceptance of contemporary genres. There was an emotional five minute conversation on the subject of the Austin music community not respecting and showcasing Latin/Spanish music in the same fashion as we exhibit psychedelic rock and new-age dance music. The Real Man takes the sound of an already popular genre and culminates it with the sound of culture, creating an enticing yet delicate sound.
The band is heavy on acoustics, and the vocals are soft and soothing. It yields an introspective, calming sound. There is no bells and whistles about it; it’s raw, real music at a beautifully basic level. Underground music should be respected and recognized in the same manner as the Austin-based ensembles that headline festivals and tour nationally. All artists in Austin are a facet of a greater picture, a picture of a sustainable community through creation. The Real Man’s performance schedule can be followed on their frequently updated Facebook page. On Vinyl recommends supporting underground music and The Real Man.
(Photo Courtesy of Rogue City Media)