Local & Vocal: A Celebration of Austin

We’re so excited to celebrate the launch of aheadintheherd with friends and family this coming week. How better to celebrate than SXSW? As Austin begins to fill with more and more people trying to figure out what makes Austin this interesting utopia of “weird”, we’d like to showcase the people we think are interesting and represent the Austin we love. Here’s a little bit more about the artists and businesses showcasing our Local & Vocal event. We also asked them a couple of personal questions that can spiral any Austinite into a heated debate.   

1. What's your go-to taco joint in Austin?

2. What album were you obsessed with in High School?

3. What's yer favorite waterin' hole?

Dub Academy

Our courses are designed with you in mind.  Our options for day or night classes enable your ultimate DJ learning experience.  Whether your path is DJing or Producing as a career, supplemental income, or just plain fun, let us take you there and give you the tools you will need to be successful. Our location is central, our instructors are fun, calm, relaxing, and inspires learning. 

1. Pueblo Viejo 

2. Lupe Fiasco-The Cool

3. Weather Up 


Hedgehog Bottleshop & Barrelhouse

The Hedgehog Bottleshop & Barrelhouse is first and foremost a beer haven. Hedgehog aims to be an integral piece of the Austin craft beer culture, providing an excellent selection and a warm atmosphere where beer novices and experts alike can unite over a lovely brew. Their friendly, knowledgeable staff will make all customers feel welcomed, and our uniquely Austin environment will invite long-term loyalty. They are excited to open their physical location later this year, but for now, people can catch them at awesome events around town like Local & Vocal. 

1. Con Madre Kitchen.  Best tortillas in town.

2. Blindside's-Silence

3. Draught House Pub & Brewery. Great atmosphere, selection of beer, and they have darts.



These Austin, TX natives have been compared to pop icons like Prince and David Bowie and to newer groups like Phoenix and MGMT for good reason. The trio's vibrant live show has carved its own niche in Austin, where they've sold out popular venues, charted on pop/alternative stations, and become a fixture of the music scene. This was demonstrated on February 13, 2014, when the band performed at City Hall and Mayor Lee Leffingwell proclaimed the day 'Sphynx Day' in Austin.  

1. Con Madre Kitchen

2. MGMT-Oracular Spectacular

3. Krause Springs


Mindz of a Different Kind (MDK)

Together since teens, Mindz of a Different Kind (MDK) was officially founded in 2011 with the release of their 1st mixtape "Mind Elevation". Originally, they were brought together around service projects building strength in the communities often overlooked, and that message of empowerment permeates deep in what they lay out when speaking.

Their sound like sand mixed in motor oil, has a smooth-grittiness that polishes any beat they spit at, and it goes well with their mix of visual pieces from media producers from all around the area. The crew isn't hesitant to work outside of itself either, or even the genre it represents with strength. Its members find their sound almost anywhere and have featured on a range of albums, with artists from up to 15 different countries present.



Anastasia discovered her passion for rap as a young girl in Austin, TX, where her father taught her to deliver MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech with a rhythm and clarity designed to get an audience on its feet. Learning the confidence required to deliver such a powerful message can take a lifetime. Anastasia found it as soon as she stood before a microphone.

Raised on groundbreaking acts like A Tribe Called Quest and Jay Z, Anastasia simply believes that the art of creativity should never take a back seat to any other element. The principles of beauty, truth, freedom, and love are recurring themes. She enjoys the mystery of metaphor. Her purpose is her voice. Her voice is her music. Her music is for the world.

1. El Tacorrido. They never miss. There are days when I have to actively talk myself out of driving thru to get a chicharron.

2. A Tribe Called Quest "Midnight Marauders". It still takes me back. 

3. So many great spots around town, but at this particular moment, I'm partial to Nomad. Great selection, near home base, neighborhood pub feel. 


Blair Robbins (Ama)

Ama is a rock ‘n’ roll band from Austin, Texas. Built around the songwriting of musician and visual artist Blair Robbins, Ama drifts between soulful grooves, stark ambience, country swing, pop melodies, and guitar-driven distortion. They self-released their first single, ‘Losing Less’, in December. An EP of the same name is slated for release early this summer.

1. Tyson’s Tacos

2. Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? by of Montreal

3. Krause Springs


Award (Jones Fever)

Summary of Project: Jones Fever is hopefully the sound Uncle Tom would have heard if he lived in a villa.

1. Torchy's or any place you can get a TC's Way.

2. I don't think I had one but if I had to choose one based on listening hours alone in HS, I would have to say 2Pac's Better Dayz.

3. I don't think I've ever been to one.


DJ Zetroc

DJ Zetroc DJ, Producer - Homegrown in the desert of southwest Texas; Zetroc spent most days experimenting with turntables, scanning for new techniques, and mastering his skill and sound. An avid record collector and explorer, he was influenced by Dj’s such as Roc Raida, DJ AM, The Beat Junkies, & DJ Jazzy Jeff. He takes a fresh look on vintage samples and spins them into brilliant modern vibes. Attend one of his sets, and it will provide music for your soul and energy to keep the party moving. DJ Zetroc is a selector, spinning relevant music for everybody, while keeping it true to the essence of DJing.

1.Pueblo Viejo if I am in the Downtown area! The Pueblo Viejo Taco is my favorite! Taqueria Gardenia when I am on the North side!

2. Raekwon - Only Built for Cuban Linx. I was obsessed with Wu-Tang & specifically RZA production.

3.  Empire would have to be my favorite place to catch a few drinks. Always great shows (local or touring acts) Diverse crowd, & always a great vibe!


DJ Maktub

Maktub is an Austin native with a deep appreciation for art in all forms, most especially, chopped and screwed music. He was introduced to turntables as a teenager by his older brother and has perfected his craft ever since. Growing up in Texas in the 90’s, Maktub was immersed in painting, instruments, and skate culture. He has been influenced by artists like DJ Screw, MF Doom, Kid Cudi and Isaiah Rashad. An artist in various forms, he aims to transcend you into a specific experience with his passion and ear for music.

1. Little Mexico taco truck on Oltorf

2. N.E.R.D.-Seeing Sounds

3. Lost Creek


Rex Hamilton

Rex believes that we are created to create. Creating is a way for us to connect and flow with the universe. In his art, he attempts to create a sense of peace, harmony and balance. He says, “What we give our energy to, persists. So, I give my energy to what I want to see in the world, which is Love and Peace. Cliché, I know, but hey.” Impressionist painters are a big source of inspiration for Rex. As well as the Surrealists and the Neo expressionists. Artists like Basquiat, Keith Harring, Picasso and Van Gogh inspire Rex to trust the journey. He gathers inspiration from all his loves and channel that into his art. Whether it be music, occult metaphysical knowledge, nostalgic images or women. Rex says, “Art is my dream and I'm infinitely grateful that it is now my life.”

1. La Mexicana bakery on South First

2. Graduation -Kanye West

3. Krause Springs/ rope swing part of Green belt


Mighty Swell

At Mighty Swell, our mission is to rescue people from the average and artificial.  That's why our Sparkling Cocktails are made with real fruit juice and never with any artificial flavors or high fructose corn syrup.  Available in four refreshing flavors: Mango, Peach, Grapefruit and Lemon, Mighty Swell Sparkling Cocktails are perfect at the beach, golf course or anywhere that you have a thirst for something extraordinary.

1. One Taco.  We walk there 2-3 times/week because it's simple, tasty and local.  Pastor taco FTW!

2. Incubus - Make Yourself  

3. Black Sheep Lodge or Deep Eddy Cabaret


Casper Fermentables

Casper Fermentables sells probiotic food and drinks. Spectacular pickles, vinegars, and mustard are available for pick up or local East Austin delivery. Casper also consults with local restaurants providing fermentation and preservation expertise.

1. Vera Cruz

2. Gucci Mane-The State Vs. Radric Davis

3. Stay Gold


Swank Vintage

Austin based vintage boutique, Swank Vintage, hunts all over the world to find swanky and unique pieces to decorate your home and body. Swank Vintage collection comes from private sales, European markets, and everywhere in between.

1. Quality Seafood

2. Beastie Boys-Ill Communication and Smashing Pumpkins-Siamese Dream



by Veronica Hermosa

Amber Harris