Apr 10 2012

At the Drive In Played Red 7 Last Night

Seminal post-hardcore band At the Drive In reunited and played their first show in 11 years right here in Austin, and I heard the whole thing. I didn’t get tickets to the intimate 400-capacity show, but I joined about 100 alley rats behind the venue, who were holding their own private party amongst dumpsters and barbed wire, moshing and singing along to every word. The moment when the band finished their last song and hopped in the van to make their getaway was straight out of A Hard Days Night with the addition of several camera phones. It was incredible. And now there’s videos of the actual show, which looks like it was exactly how I imagined. Can’t wait for Thursday, when I’ll be making the trek to Marfa to watch these guys in an even smaller venue.

Another “One Armed Scissor” with cooler editing, but worse sound. I thought these guys hated crowd surfing…

Apr 9 2012

At the Drive In @ Red 7 Tonight, Marfa on Thursday

Get psyched.

Jan 9 2012

At the Drive In Reunite!

The day has finally come, or as the band put it on their Twitter feed: “This station is now operational.” El Paso’s finest At the Drive In have announced they are getting back together for…something. Some shows/festivals/a tour, maybe? At this point, nothing has been determined, though I’m not holding my breath for a new album, as Jim Ward is pretty knee-deep in his solo material and the Mars Volta are currently working on their own new release. Still, this small tidbit of news from a band that hasn’t played together in eleven years is certainly exciting. It’s likely they’ll play a date in Austin, so I may actually get to hear “Pattern Against User” live! That’s one to check off the bucket list.

May 13 2011

My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 20-11

Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.

20. The Postal Service – Such Great Heights

My favorite Ben Gibbard album is Give Up, even amongst all those great early Death Cab masterpieces. Before the twee synth became commonplace, Gibbard took it to every first-generation iPod, car commercial, and teen soap montage (I’m looking at you, The O.C.). And of course, he did so with this song, still as beautiful as I remember it back on WOXY-FM my sophomore year of high school.

Continue reading

Mar 22 2011

The Top 50 Albums of the 2000s – Relationship of Command

Today I continue a series of posts dedicated to the best albums of the last decade, posting analysis of one album at a time.

40. At the Drive In – Relationship of Command

Admittedly, I didn’t really get At the Drive In upon first listen to Relationship of Command, their best and final album.  It wasn’t until some time after their breakup that I dusted it off and gave it another shot, and from then on it became a staple for my road trips and, even recently, my city commutes.  I blame my myopia on high school ignorance and misdirected expectations; I was yearning for a fix to my Rage Against the Machine obsession (who had recently called it quits), and first single “One Armed Scissor” seemed to suggest to me At the Drive In were apt to fill the void.

Obviously, that was unfair to the sheer punk this crew were offering the masses – where Rage gets their prowess from old-skool hip-hop, the aggression of At the Drive In can be found in the slicing choruses of “Arc Arsenal,” the tongue-in-cheek comedy of “Rolodex Propaganda,” and the undeniable infectiousness of my personal highlight, “Pattern Against User.”

As we can all see today, this was the El Paso group’s high point – the always-convoluted Mars Volta and the downright terrible Sparta have been poor alternatives to the focus that we discovered on Relationship of Command, and for that matter, At the Drive In as a whole.  While we all anticipate/dread the reunion at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2015 (where they will play Relationship in its entirety), we still have this album to keep us banging our head, maniacally shaking our oversized Omar-homage hairdos.

At the Drive In – Pattern Against User

At the Drive In – One Armed Scissor

At the Drive In – Enfilade

Dec 22 2010

My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 80-71

Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.

80. The White Stripes – Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground

The opening track from White Blood Cells squeals to life, Jack White’s guitar screeching into a staple new-blues riff before Meg pounds in and all hell breaks loose.  For many, it would be the first we would hear from this Detroit duo, and first impressions have a lasting impact.  Jack and Meg needn’t worry – they certainly got our attention.

Continue reading

Jun 16 2010

Ain’t Nothing Like Texas, Y’all

Up until about a month ago, I lived in the blue part of that “map” up there – I recently transferred to deep in the red, but I have been a Texan my whole life.  And there’s no place like it.  Anyone visiting will tell you: there’s something about the Lone Star State, a vibe, a sense of pride you can’t find anywhere else in the Union, or the world for that matter.  And I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

One of the best things about Texas is the music – from the country background of our capital to the rock and roll roots of the South Plains, to the Dirty South “Screwston” scene, to the metal movement based in DFW.  Harlem, Willie, Buddy, Pantera, Paul Wall, we’ve got it all.  I invite you to listen to the new mix Subservient Experiment has posted featuring only the finest in the state’s indie rock offerings.  It’s an awesome sampling of great tunes from such a huge land mass, and it has inspired me to make my own mix.

So enjoy a helping of tracks from the friendliest region on the planet.  I think you’ll agree: everything’s bigger in Texas, even the sounds.

Continue reading