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24 bands. 9 nights. 1 crown.

An annual springtime Boston Rock Music Festival


Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble, Spring 2015

Everything to know about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble…

THE Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble is a time-honored tradition, an institution and the World Series of Boston Rock. While it is technically a “battle of the bands,” and the longest running one in the country, it has grown into far more of a 9 night Boston music festival than a competition. Bands do compete. Make no mistake. They step up and step out and can really change their course in town and how they perform as a band. Fact. 

All involved have an amazing experience of meeting new people, gaining new fans and rocking many faces.

Bands are invited by me, Anngelle Wood, host of Boston Emissions on WZLX, formerly on WBCN (RIP) where The Rumble began all those years ago. I have hosted and produced The Rumble since 2009.

#RUMBLE35 raised the stakes. I will be looking at bands very carefully for 2015. 

Those who agree to participate are paid to appear. Finalists get cash and prizes. 

Past notables who have participated include ‘Til Tuesday, Morphine, Face to Face, Del Fuegos, Powerman 5000, Letters To Cleo, Piebald, Dresden Dolls, Amazing Royal Crowns, Moving Targets, La Peste, The Neighborhoods, Waltham, Darkbuster, Mission of Burma, Lost City Angels, Kings of Nuthin’, Quintaine Americana, Rods and Cones, The Sheila Divine, Seka, Gigolo Aunts, 6L6, Scissorfight, Sam Black Church, Gang Green, The Shods, Trona, Slaughter Shack, Stompbox, Think Tree, Heretix, Tribe, O Positive, Lemonheads, Slapshot, Girls Guns and Glory, Blake Babies, Big Dipper, Cavedogs, Volcano Suns, Talking to Animals…

Much more can be found at the Rumble wiki page.

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How Does It Work?

No band applies or pays to play in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble. There is no application. It is simply sending music and contacting the show. What I look for when considering bands includes the following. This is the most basic criteria. Other considerations do and will apply.

  • Band/Artist must be from Boston or New England
  • must receive airplay on Boston Emissions with Anngelle Wood on WZLX
    ***Band members (actual members of your band), should reach out to the show, send music and band info. The very public Boston Emissions music submissions page is here.
  • should be working to establish yourself in the local music community. Being local is far more than just the location you listed.
  • must be currently playing the local venues in and around the Boston area. Check the out the local listings and venue sites to learn more.
  • must release new music within the year in single/EP/LP or digital form.
  • must have online presence via social media; things I look at include Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Wordpress, Bandcamp, Soundcloud.
  • must have streaming music available for review. I prefer Soundcloud and Bandcamp. 

Other important info for potential Rumble bands to consider.:

-Have proper contact information, release dates and band member information easily accessible online.

-Have someone who checks your band email regularly.


-Get high-resolution press photos taken, with permission for use.

-Have a professionally written band bio done for press.

What all bands should consider:

Get involved in your music community. This is as simple as attending other local shows besides your own and meeting people.

How is your band promoting yourselves? 

Do you pay attention to what’s happening locally, on Boston Emissions, in the community? Get to know the other bands within your scene.
Leave the house. Go to shows.

I am paying attention to what bands are doing. And not doing.


Anngelle Wood, photos by Johnny Anguish/Daykamp Music

What’s The Deal?

Please know that the list of bands is started well in advance from actual time bands are announced. It is compiled all year long.
It has included some 80-100 bands and must be narrowed down to just 24. This is very difficult and much care is taken in the vetting process. I watch what a bands does, how active they are and how they work to promote themselves. If I don’t hear from you at all, it is safe to say you aren’t really working at it. Fair enough.

This very long list includes some of the most active bands throughout the year as well as bands that have gotten my attention during this time. 

It is not the “24 best bands” in Boston. Some great bands say no. 

While I appreciate any bands’ desire to be part of The Rumble, it is doubtful that I will respond to messages like, “I do Creed covers, can I be in The Rumble?” and “My 3rd cousin is in Godsmack, put me in The Rumble” (though that would entertain me), and “Why is my band not in The Rumble?” or “You suck because my band is the best in Boston and you should put us in The Rumble!” emails. 

I’m pretty in tune to who is bitching online about the Rumble.
Good for you. 

Every effort will be made to respond to legitimate inquiries. People write to me to recommend bands. Bands write to simply express interest, ask a question, or send music and shows as a reminder. This is all good business.

Some bands may not be ready. Some bands may not have gotten airplay. It’s a good idea to send music. Read this BE submissions page.

Full-powered assbasketry could find its way into the public forum.  

Thank you for caring. It really is an amazing experience for everyone involved. April is our favorite time of the year. 

Again, the very public music submission information can always be found at http://bostonemissions.tumblr.com - please read it.

In the words of one of the most successful local bands of 2014, “We started to act like a band.” It showed.

Thank you.

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Congratulations 2014 Rumble Crown Takers, Goddamn Draculas!

An amazing year! Thank you!

And some thank yous from Anngelle.

Photos by Johnny Anguish/Daykamp Music

2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble, the 35th annual, kicks off at TT the Bear’s in Central Square in Cambridge on Sunday, April 6 with 6 preliminary nights:

-Sunday, April 6
-Monday, April 7
-Tuesday, April 8
*Off Wednesday for the traditional day of rest
-Thursday, April 10
-Friday, April 11
-Saturday, April 12
Semi-Finals are Thursday, April 17 and Friday, April 18 
 
Finals are Friday, April 25
 
24 bands from Boston and New England will take part. 
Band selection has been underway and invitations go out this month. 
 
Clear your calendars for #Rumble35!
http://www.bostonemissions.com

2013 Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble

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Rumble design by Tyler Littwin/Blake Ink United
Photos by Johnny Anguish/Daykamp Music

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David Santos of 2013 Rumble champs, Eddie Japan

Class of 2013

Blackbutton, Camden, Cancer Killing Gemini, Coyote Kolb, The Daily Pravda, The Deep North, Eddie Japan, Endation, The Field Effect, Glenn Yoder and the Western States, Herra Terra, Jack Burton vs. David Lo Pan, Lifestyle, Mount Peru, The New Highway Hymnal, The Okay Win, Parks, Ruby Rose Fox, The Suicide Dolls, Supermachine, Twin Berlin, Velah, Whitcomb, White Dynomite.

2012 Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble

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Bow Thayer and Perfect Trainwreck 

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 Bow Thayer, from 2012 champions, Bow Thayer and Perfect Trainwreck

 Class of 2012

Animal Talk, Bow Thayer and Perfect Trainwreck, BrownBoot, The Bynars, Cask Mouse, Cooling Towers, Endless Wave, The Fagettes, Garvy J. and the Secret Pockets of Hope and Resistance, Ghosts of Jupiter, Grey Valley Ghost, The Grinds, The Grownup Noise, Letterday, Motherboar, Never Got Caught, Parlour Bells, Pray For Polanski, The Rationales, Sherman Burns, Streight Angular, The Susan Constant, The Tin Thistles, Thick Shakes.

 Photos by Daykamp Music // Design by Blake Ink United

2011 Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble Bands

                                             Full Body Anchor

                                                 A Wish for Fire

                             Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys

                                                   OldJack

                                             Tired Old Bones

                                             Sidewalk Driver

                                          Cradle To The Grave

                                Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling

                                     The Autumn Hollow Band

                                             Mellow Bravo

                                            The Acro-brats

                                            McAlister Drive

                                               Spirit Kid

                                               Black Thai

                                           Stereo Telescope

                                             TRiPLE THiCK

                                               Cult 45

                                        Tijuana Sweetheart

                                         The Blizzard of 78

                                 Jenny Dee and the Deeliquents

                             John Powhida International Airport

                                      Keep Me Conscious

                                        The Year Million

                                        Static of the Gods