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San Antonio, Texas, United States | INDIE

San Antonio, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Education dynamits the Age Cage"

By Enrique Lopetegui

The first thing I noticed upon listening to Education’s Gordon Raphael-produced Age Cage was its distorted, “dirty” sound. I also knew it was an album tailored to explode in a concert setting. But what Education pulled off April 8 at Sam’s on exceeded everyone’s — perhaps including their own — expectations. It was a brutal, loud three-guitar attack by a skilled now-quintet that’s happy to be playing with each other.

But it didn’t happen like that from the get go. First, comedian Matthew van Hellen (in his Mookie Hooper character, complete with balls the size of a Buick) was hilarious introducing Marcus Rubio and the Gospel Choir of Pillows’ killer set (“Goddamn Respiratory,” a new song, is absolutely amazing), but he overstayed his welcome when doing the same for Education. Guitarist Brian Baker and singer Philip Bowman seemed to be edging him gently off the stage, but the guy wouldn’t leave. It all happened in a matter of one or two minutes, but I felt like I was watching a non-Buñuel version of The Exterminating Angel, a film in which a bunch of guests are unable to leave a party. Yet even after he finally left, problems persisted.

Opener “James Rodgers,” from the previous album, was a fierce rocker that seemed to have all the distortion concentrated within it, and the three-guitar mayhem continued through “Hey Shoot It.” There were no shades of gray, just one single huge guitar on steroids denying the song’s colors. But recovery came on the third song, when Bowman skipped a line to turn off an amp during “Bells,” and there you had them: a band enriched by the addition of legitimate fifth member Allen van Hellen (Matthew’s brother), whose passion on guitar, keyboard, percussion, and helping create three-part harmonies added a welcome vertigo.

From then on, it was a frontal, merciless assault, and its intensity didn’t diminish even when they changed instruments. “Number 20,” dedicated to Manu Ginobili (hear it in the video below), sounded even better than on record. And Andrew Kerr’s guitar solo on “Sleep Annie” had the tenderness and elegance the song required, while the others (Bowman on keyboards, van Hellen on percussion, Baker on bass) went all-out, no prisoners taken. They switched again for “Skies of the East” (Kerr on bass, van Hellen on guitar, and Baker on bass), and that’s when it hit me. I realized who Bowman reminded me of. Actually, he is a peculiar monster: he has the torso, throat, and attitude of Roger Daltrey, and the legs of Elvis (next time you see him live, observe him carefully; he’s a beautiful freak of nature). The only thing he didn’t do was show his abs like the Who frontman, but he didn’t need to — Education showed its own abs with genuine hits like “Owen,” the album opener. At that point, the crowd started clapping to Alton Jenkins’ pulsating bass drum and Sam’s became a euphoric pink-and-blue balloon party. With Bowman on bass, Kerr on keyboards, van Hellen on percussion, and Baker on guitar, the song reached its peak with van Hellen punishing the snare drum as if it had stolen his girlfriend.

“Even if the government shuts down, we’re still going to play,” said Bowman just before “Half the Tommy,” an unreleased rocker they play for fun (record it!). I checked the news on my cell phone, and the New York Times headline read:


It was 16 minutes past midnight, and the party was complete.

- San Antonio Current

"SATX Follows Education"

It’s a given that a great education can take one far. If that is the case, then the suddenly vital San Antonio rock scene has its own valedictorian in Education. This five-piece band has certainly done their homework. In powerfully fragile and sometimes dreamlike songs, they conjure a communal and uplifting experience with music that intimately speaks to even the largest of audiences (akin to the likes of Depeche Mode and U2). Ultimately, what shines through in Education is a very San Antonio spirit.

There is a palpable sense of place and purpose in Education’s music, from wide-eyed joy in “Bells” to “Sleep Annie” with its soaring chorus. The barn-rattling “Place I Love The Most” could be a de facto love letter to San Antonio itself. A distant, yet warm, organ intro on “Owen” seems tailor-made to rock a stadium. One can almost hear a festival crowd chanting, “My love is here to stay all the days. My love is in your eyes all the time.” Casually genius lyrics on a track that could also be interpreted as the band’s statement of intent: they’re here to stay.

Education - Bells

With Gordon Raphael (yes, that Gordon Raphael) at the helm of Education’s upcoming album Age Cage, the project is gifted with a certain sparkle. And surely there will be those who say that Raphael has influenced this album with a Strokes-like sound. However, the impact of Education’s music would stand out no matter who produced or christened it. Their confidence and musical prowess suggests these artists possess a panoramic vision and refuse to be pigeonholed. Who would have thought getting an Education could be so much fun?

Education will officially release the LP Age Cage on April 8th at Sam’s Burger Joint. Until then, listen to new tracks streaming on ReverbNation


"The first local Gordon Raphael-produced album is Education’s moment of truth"

By Enrique Lopetegui

When producer Gordon Raphael (the Strokes, Regina Spektor) started working with local bands Education, Tangible Green, and Ill Prospekt last December, no one was happier than the bands themselves. Since then, more local bands and some out-of-towners have joined Raphael in the studio built by local supporters, but it is only now that we have an idea of what a Raphael-produced San Antonio album sounds like: loud.

Age Cage, recorded and mixed in nine days, is an in-your-face statement by a band that proved to have the skills, determination, and seriousness to pull off a full album in the time others with bigger budgets spend to work on a single song. (read our review of Age Cage here)

“We practiced really hard, so we did the songs in one or two takes,” said guitarist Brian Baker while visiting with the Current recently along with bassist Andrew Kerr, singer Philip Bowman, and keyboardist/new addition Allen van Hellen (drummer Alton Jenkins was in Austin). “That really impressed [Raphael]. The mixing was done in two days, so we were quick about it. Up until now, no one has been able to capture what we do live with these songs, and Gordon did. He captured every little sound, the raw power of the instruments.”

“They were tight and well-organized,” Raphael told the Current in an email sent from New York. “Making an album in a week takes a great deal of discipline.”

The symbol of the power and attitude of the album is “Number 20,” a song they wrote for Manu Ginobili.

“As the song says, he’s a criminal and is out on bail, trying to steal from everybody,” said Kerr. “When he drives to the hole, he’s just reckless abandon, and that’s what this song is: reckless abandon, the most powerful song in the album, by far.”

“There’s a stigma that musicians can’t be into sports, but we all play sports,” said Baker, “and we all agree that Manu is our favorite player of all time.”

But the album is not all raw power. “I do” is an acoustic love song, a first for Education.

“We specifically practiced that track for 30 minutes and it turned out to be a magical song,” said Baker. “We went, ‘That one’s gotta go in the album.’ We always have been so loud that we never got around to an acoustic song.”

The album ends with a short instrumental ballad on piano, but most of Age Cage is layers and layers of distorted instrumentation, as far away as possible from the clean sound of Is This It, the album that put the Strokes and Raphael on the map. “[Raphael] had this idea of having this raw, powerful album, so we rolled with it and we liked it,” said Bowman.

“I had a very small studio that the band, together with Josh [Villarreal] and Josh Vela set up for me,” said Raphael. “The gear in it was extremely inexpensive, such as an old PC computer, Cubase running thru some MOTU converters: About $30,000 less than anything I’d ever used before! Yet, there it was, the sound was undeniably rocking, loud and clear. It kind of broke my big-time Pro Tools religion.”

For Friday’s release party at Sam’s, the band introduces a new member that’s actually not that new. Van Hellen played with them in Rebels of the Sea, an old high school band, and recently returned from two years of teaching English in South Korea.

“I followed their evolution into Education, thinking, ‘Oh my God, I wish I was still with this band.’ I missed playing music with my best friends in the world.” When he came back in December, he begged the band to let him play “anything, even tambourine.” The band agreed.

“He came back just on time, it was a no brainer,” said Kerr. “He’s a fully talented musician and, when we went into rehearsal, five minutes later he had everything down. And he has the voice of an angel, so we now have three-part harmonies.”

Education and the other bands produced by Raphael aren’t the only ones that are happy. If anyone feels happy and grateful these days, it’s Raphael.

“Education was the first band I worked with in San Antonio, and in fact the first US record to be released with my work since [The Strokes’] Room On Fire and Regina Spektor’s Soviet Kitsch in the early 2000s!” Raphael said. “While working on that record I was contacted by lots of SA bands and other bands in America, which has begun a big love affair of music and sound here for me. I’ll always have a big love for Education for their awesome music and the fact that they re-opened the door for me here in the USA! An expatriate returns! More distortion, please!”

- San Antonio Current

"Education's "Age Cae""

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the fabulous Education. These are heartbroken local Texas boys who spew lament with buzzsaw guitars and raw ballads that define the very beginnings of staggering rock ’n’ roll. Think Iggy Pop without the flailing around or Donovan’s oh-so-pleasing voice soaked in three quarts of age-old whiskey. Songs like “Hey Shoot It,” “Sleep Annie,” and “I Do” are reminiscent of the best of the British Invasion and possibly belong on a Decca Stereo Anthology. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that famed Strokes producer Gordon Raphael sat in on the knob-twisting. There’s a definitive ’60s rock ’n’ roll tinge here, but it’s still super sexy and kind of sultry, fueled by a wanting angst, unadulterated lingering, sad timing, bad timing, and of course, heartache. Always heartache, backed by a rolling class of thundering bass, pulsing ride cymbal, and a combination of wailing piano and harmonica the howling Sonics or an even-more-sedated Wilco would be proud of. Education makes the grade, if the grade is slightly tainted, raw rock ’n’ roll.

- San Antonio Current

"Gordon Raphael, producer of Strokes, comes to San Antonio to record Education."

“I definitely lit the match,” said Raphael on December 13. “I worked with Education for the last four days and we almost finished a 10-song album, and it’s really good. And I think when people hear this record a lot of them are going to want to come and record with me here, and Education will get a lot of respect and power to get their music out into the world. They’re a really good band and the songs are amazing.”

Education does it with a kind of rock ’n’ roll with a Southern flavor, almost like a modern indie Allman Brothers kind of vibe.
On December 10, I meet Raphael at the studio he set up near 281 and Nakoma, where he’s working on Education’s first full-fledged album.

The players from Education seemed at ease around him. “It’s very easy to communicate with him and get along,” says Brian Baker, who plays guitar and bass for Education. “He makes you comfortable. And what we’ve recorded so far is awesome. It sounds great, and we haven’t even mixed anything yet.”

“[Gordon] hears things no one else hears,” says drummer Alton Jenkins.

- San Antonio Current

"San Antonio brings Education to Long Beach"

Cal State Long Beach's 2010 Smorgasport on Friday kicked the night off with a band known as Education, whose extraordinary journey landed them at CSULB, all the way from San Antonio, Texas.

After their set, which included six of their own original songs, as well as one cover, the Daily 49er sat down with the band and discussed how the group got their start, the inspiration behind their music, as well as some other bizarre moments — one in which includes a rare encounter with Conan O'Brian.

The four members of Education were anything but boisterous. The humble indie-rock combination that mixes simplified lyrics with a catchy, off-beat rhythm began after guitarist Brian Baker, 27, and bassist Andrew Kerr, 28, met in high school and began playing together.

Kerr picked up lead singer and guitarist Phillip Bowman, 28, while working together after high school. Drummer Alton Jenkins, 22, met Bowman outside a nightclub in Texas while watching another concert. Eventually, the four musicians joined together and began writing music in order to create nothing short of pure magic.

Daily 49er:What brings you guys to Long Beach of all places? How did you make your way all the way from San Antonio to our campus tonight?

Brian Baker:We began touring about 23 days ago for a total of 80 days. Mainly, the tour began after playing a music festival in Las Vegas, where we decided that if we were going to do this and really go on tour, we should just do it. Right then, we all decided to quite our jobs, we bought a school bus for a couple hundred bucks, and figured that was it. We hit the road and here we are.

Daily 49er:What is your biggest inspiration behind your music and lyrical content in general?

Phillip Bowman:It's just like anything in rock 'n' roll — passion, heartbreak, heart ache, fuel, hard times, good times and anything that just keeps anyone going.

Daily 49er:What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you guys on the road while touring?

Baker:We actually were in LA when the Emmys were being filmed just a couple of weeks ago and we found a way to sneak onto the red carpet with all the celebrities. Conan O'Brien actually walked right passed us and we practically peed our pants. We were literally speechless.

Daily 49er:What's the meaning behind your name, Education?

Bowman:Education applies to all aspects of life. The way you're brought up, you just have to constantly be educated in life. You learn something new everyday. I was actually driving to Austin one night and saw a billboard for ‘Get your education online at Phoenix College' and it just really stuck out to me and I thought, man, not only is it catchy, but education is everywhere in life, and you always need it. Its got a ring to it and it means a lot to us.

Daily 49er:So you guys basically jumped in a rusty old school bus and headed to California with nothing — just to play music. What keeps you guys going and what continues to inspire you guys to play music everyday?

Andrew Kerr:At the end of the day, you realize you have one life and you realize what's really most precious to you and what you love doing the most. And when we meet people who really appreciate our music and what we're here for, if we can go around the country playing music barely getting by, that's good enough for us. Its always just one step at a time, one brick in the road."

Check out the band's Facebook page, keyword "education-rock-music," for moe information and upcoming tour dates.

- Justin Goldsmith

"Take Notes from Education"

WHO: Education

THE MEMBERS: Brian Baker, guitar, bass, piano; Philip Bowman, vocals, rhythm guitar, piano, cowbell; Alton Jenkins, drums; Andrew Kerr, piano, bass, guitar, vocals; Ryan O'Toole, guitar

THE SOUND: Whatever you do, don't try and label this band. Education, which began doing shows in late 2008, doesn't really fit any specific genre. The band's MySpace lists them as psychedelic/jungle/rock, and while that description does come quite close, it doesn't encapsulate Education's sound.

“Our songs are a collective process where someone will come in with an idea and we'll go off that,” Bowman said. That varied creative process has helped the band produce songs audiences aren't likely to hear in metal-laden San Antonio.

With influences ranging from Velvet Underground to Radiohead to Joy Division and Coldplay, Education is constantly trying to incorporate different sounds into one synced production.

The band's upcoming EP has a tentative Aug. 13 release date and includes songs such as the riff-heavy and hypnotizing “Human Sandwiches,” which oozes of Black Keys influence, and the bouncy “Bells.”

THE BACKGROUND: There are a few things that could ruin a young band's chances. Fortunately for Education, getting all of the band's gear stolen after a show at Limelight isn't one of those things.

After buying new equipment, the band continued practicing in gun range-turned-soundproof studios Ampus Rehearsal Studios, owned by Jamie and Michele Ashburn. It was there that Education gained a fan and a new drummer in Alton Jenkins, who would frequently stop by and comment on the band's sound.

If the band's trying to teach people about music through impassioned songs and performances, then listeners need to get their pencil's ready and take note.


SEE THE BAND: 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 29, Sam's Burger Joint, 330 E. Grayson, with Falcon Buddies, $5.

Jessica Elizarraras | 210SA contributor
- 210SA Magazine


"The Ballad of James Rodgers" -2010 (self released)

"AGE CAGE" - 2011 (produced by Gordon Raphael)

*3-4 tracks from each album have been in rotation on San Antonio college radio stations



Education is a group of local musicians from San Antonio with a passion in life to make people happy through music. Our influences range from: Rolling Stones, The Walkmen, Joy Division, Talking Heads and Radiohead. We have played over 200 shows in Texas and receive daily airplay on the San Antonio College radio stations. We became stronger as a band during a 63-day tour of the country which started in El Paso and ended in Portland. Stops along the way included shows in: Santa Fe, Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Boise. At the end of 2010 we recorded our new album, “Age Cage”, with world-renowned producer Gordon Raphael (The Strokes, Regina Spektor). Per Gordon's recommendation the album was mastered by Sterling Sound in New York.

"Imagine the sons of Johnny Cash and now imagine them singing and playing in the Dead Kennedys. Sometimes the heartbroken Texas boy laments about heartbreak and then suddenly takes a left turn with punk curdling screams of rage and buzzsaws guitars going off in all directions. I think when people hear this record Education will get alot of respect and power to get their music out to the world. They're really good and their songs are amazing" - Gordon Raphael (San Antonio Current 2011)

*other quotes can be found at