Join 3,520 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


This is forever.
January 9, 2012 11:35 AM   Subscribe

"THIS STATION IS …NOW…OPERATIONAL." At The Drive-In reunites.

One Armed Scissor (Late Show with David Letterman)
Napoleon Solo
Pattern Against User (Live in Sydney)
198d
Cosmonaut
posted by naju (57 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wasn't expecting that! Wow.
posted by Edogy at 11:40 AM on January 9, 2012


I saw this on Facebook one minute ago and thought "Hmm, I wonder if I should put an FPP on Me-". Doesn't take you vultures long, does it?
posted by howfar at 11:41 AM on January 9, 2012


Just when you think you're all reunion-ed out..
posted by anagrama at 11:42 AM on January 9, 2012


Sparta was mediocre at best and Mars Volta was insufferable... but I would like to see them live.
posted by codacorolla at 11:44 AM on January 9, 2012


Tour dates?
posted by chrillsicka at 11:56 AM on January 9, 2012


"Reliable inside sources have led us to confidently believe that At The Drive-In will in fact be reuniting at Coachella 2012, with all original members, including Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez-López." -Antiquiet
posted by naju at 11:58 AM on January 9, 2012


Hurray!
posted by ddaavviidd at 11:59 AM on January 9, 2012


Sparta was mediocre at best and Mars Volta was insufferable

Indeed. I pretty much had to force myself to sit through both bands as opening acts to see the groups I actually went to see (multiple times with Mars Volta). Hopefully the Volta guys can bring some life to the Sparta side, while Sparta is able to tie the Voltas back to earth a bit. The Volta shows I saw, the band seemed much more interested in looking like they were totally rocking out than in actually doing any rocking, jumping all over the stage and climbing amplifier stacks, Omar stopping his guitar playing to dance around and clap his hands, Cedric making poses while waving the mike in front of his mouth to get a flutter effect on whatever postmodern deconstructivist nonsense he was emitting. This would go on for all three of their 15-minute songs they played in their set. Free Rock (as compared to Free Jazz) is an interesting idea, but it wasn't much fun to watch.

I'll look forward to maybe catching the reunited version, since I just missed them the first time around.
posted by LionIndex at 11:59 AM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope they let the drummer play on the next record.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 11:59 AM on January 9, 2012


At The Drive-In will in fact be reuniting at Coachella 2012

Oh, god. They've expanded it to two weekends this year! At least it's a bit earlier in April so there's a slightly less chance of mega-heat-death.
posted by LionIndex at 12:02 PM on January 9, 2012


Any word of a new record, or just another example of the shrinking nostalgia/reunion cycle?
posted by Jazz.bot at 12:05 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sweet. lotta nuance & dynamics from these guys--
hope they've still got it.
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:08 PM on January 9, 2012


Sparta was mediocre at best and Mars Volta was insufferable... but I would like to see them live.

Sparta was literally one of the worst noises I've ever heard. Like a pretentious Blink 182.

As for Mars Volta, De-Loused in the Comatorium is an album I still listen to regularly, and I saw them perform it (with Saul Williams opening) in a small club right as it came out and before it caught on (/hipster). I can understand not ending up liking that sound, but if you can't recognize that they were the first group to try to do something new in up to 40 years depending on your view, let alone succeed, or the astounding technical ability of every member of that group, then we live in different worlds.

But then, Francis the Mute was only acceptable and a huge let-down after De-Loused and everything after that was, yeah, pretty insufferable. Maybe you had to be there when it was happening.
posted by cmoj at 12:47 PM on January 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mars Volta have all the charm of a Santana cover band on meth.
posted by anazgnos at 12:51 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


That opening assault from the first Mars Volta album (Son et Lumiere / Inertiatic Esp) hits me as hard as anything ATDI recorded. It's a sheer drop-off from there, though...
posted by naju at 12:52 PM on January 9, 2012


De-Loused was excellent; can't speak for the live performance, but the album is great. I think I have a Sparta demo track lying around; it's the only thing from that side of things I liked. That said, everything else since De-Loused made me wish the old band would get back together. Hopefully this isn't just for a couple of one-off shows.
posted by Dark Messiah at 12:53 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can understand not ending up liking that sound, but if you can't recognize that they were the first group to try to do something new in up to 40 years depending on your view, let alone succeed, or the astounding technical ability of every member of that group, then we live in different worlds.

Yeah, I'll concede that point, but that's why I made the comparison to free jazz. I recognize that Mars Volta was trying something that hadn't really been tried before, and it was interesting to me academically, but I just couldn't get into it. Like free jazz, I could recognize that the players are highly technically proficient, they just weren't playing anything I found all that interesting, since the factor I seem to gravitate to in bands is more of the emotional gut punch their music has, rather than the band's raw technical ability or musical complexity (although those factors can help bring out the emotional factor - it just didn't do anything for me in Volta's case). In free jazz, the players are improvising around things that I just haven't learned to listen for yet, so it all ends up just sounding like noodling to me, which is basically the same impression I got from Volta. The shows I saw were pretty early, one of them also at a small club all-ages club, possibly before De-Loused even came out, so I probably caught them about the same time you did.
posted by LionIndex at 1:01 PM on January 9, 2012


perhaps not surprisingly, cmoj, our last.fm compatability rate is "very low", so different worlds is probably an apt description.
posted by LionIndex at 1:03 PM on January 9, 2012


[Don't do that weird via snark thing here please, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 1:04 PM on January 9, 2012


The Mars Volta is literally the only band that registers any emotional response from me, period. I will never understand the "technical/emotional" dichotomy that people put forth about them. But de gustibus, etc.

I'm still excited about an ATDI reunion. I hope they play Bonnaroo.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 1:05 PM on January 9, 2012


I'm not sure I get the "first group to try to do something new in up to 40 years" stuff... it's basically prog, right?
posted by naju at 1:06 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


but that's why I made the comparison to free jazz.

I can see that and the idea of thinking of it as free rock is interesting, and might explain why I apparently know what to listen for and definitely get the emotional gut punch from it, because I've been heavily into acts like Vanilla Fudge, Captain Beefheart, and Patty Smith before who I think might be characterized at times in the same way.

I don't remember much in the way of theatrics, but they also didn't have much room for it on that stage with all their equipment. I can see that making a difference. Also, they played for at least an hour and a half.

Also, during Saul Williams' set, someone yelled something like, "Fuck you, bring out Mars Volta!" and when Cedric came out for their set he tried to find who had yelled, but couldn't and said something to the effect of, "Whoever it was needs to leave now, because if you can't get with Saul Williams, then we have nothing for you either." I liked that.
posted by cmoj at 1:15 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ehh...no. The way it sounded to me, they were essentially trying to divorce punk rock from rhythm and other structures that kept it static. Someone who's more versed in their work, or actually enjoyed it would probably be able to give a better synopsis though. Prog, as far as I know, was more about merging rock with European art music (i.e. "classical"). I think Mars Volta was a little more avant-garde than that, although they may have been slightly beat to the punch by Refused with The Shape of Punk to Come (yet another free jazz tie-in).
posted by LionIndex at 1:16 PM on January 9, 2012


I don't remember much in the way of theatrics, but they also didn't have much room for it on that stage with all their equipment. I can see that making a difference. Also, they played for at least an hour and a half.

Were they headliners at that show? I've only ever seen them as opening acts, which accounts for the shorter set time. The really theatrical show was the second of theirs I saw, at an outdoor festival (ATP Pacific, in 2004 I think), so they had a lot of room.
posted by LionIndex at 1:20 PM on January 9, 2012


mars volta is way too arranged to be "free rock" - and i hear a lot of prog influences in them - they're somewhat comparable to lemmings era amon duul ii in some ways
posted by pyramid termite at 1:20 PM on January 9, 2012


I'm not sure I get the "first group to try to do something new in up to 40 years" stuff... it's basically prog, right?

Yes, and I wouldn't personally go the full 40 years, but I know people who made the case that they opened a lot of doors in the same way the Beatles did, but I think most prog tends to try to shrug off or negate genre Mars Volta embraced it, brought in a lot of new technology and effects in more intentional ways than previous groups did or could. They were virtuosos with their soundboards and effects as well as their instruments. They also brought, as mentioned, a free jazz bent to the "post hardcore" pure/hard rock thing.

I seriously doubt any of them would have described themselves as prog rock. At least early on, it seemed more genuine than that.

I feel like this is turning into a major derail, though, so I'll just say that I hope ATDI tours so that I can see them.
posted by cmoj at 1:23 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I stayed with Omar in a house in SF way back in 1999. He's a nice guy although from what I remember he really liked pinching people when he said hello. Not sure why.
posted by josher71 at 1:26 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Were they headliners at that show?

Yes. It was just them and their opener, so they had all the time they cared to have.

mars volta is way too arranged to be "free rock"

Yeah, this si the problem with having to talk in terms of genre, but I don't know how else to describe it. The rock part requires structure, but the structure itself is pretty free and gives the impression of chaos, which of course wold make it totally impossible to replicate songs in any meaningful way.
posted by cmoj at 1:27 PM on January 9, 2012


If this isn't the place for a furrow-browed deconstruction of the entire careers of all members of ATDI, I really don't know where is. That's no a derail, that IS the rail. Ride it.
posted by howfar at 1:28 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]



Yeah, I totally remember the very first time I put on their CD I was readily analyzing the both the contrast and the collision of prog, punk, and vicodin at length....

YOU'RE BREAKING ROCK MUSIC, PLEASE STOP IT.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 1:30 PM on January 9, 2012


If this isn't the place for a furrow-browed deconstruction of the entire careers of all members of ATDI, I really don't know where is. That's no a derail, that IS the rail. Ride it.

Yeah, the news is basically "ATDI is back!", and there's not much room to go with that other than "yay!" or some other expression, or remembering their original albums or shows, which are all over 10 years old now. I didn't catch onto them until Relationship of Command came out, and they had a concert date lined up in town, and then they broke up before the concert.

I do hope they do some warm-up dates prior to Coachella, or at least put together a mini-tour on the way there. A lot of bands seem to do that - I've caught Beta Band and a couple other groups stopping in San Diego on their way up to Indio, and with my previous Coachella experiences I'm not really excited to try to go to another one, especially with how they force you to get a whole weekend's ticket instead letting you get a one-day like they used to.
posted by LionIndex at 1:52 PM on January 9, 2012


So, this is totally fucking awesome. I cannot wait to see them live again.
posted by spiderskull at 2:17 PM on January 9, 2012


I do hope they play more than just festival dates, because I detest festivals. I had the opportunity to book them in '98 after I had setup a gig for Buzzov-en/Season to Risk (ATDI had the same booking agent), but had never heard of them and didn't have a regular venue to work with at the time. I saw the last half of their set during a tour for In/Casino/Out when they were working support for some big mall-emo band (Jimmy Eat World, maybe?) and immediately regretted not booking them when I had the chance.
posted by ndfine at 2:22 PM on January 9, 2012


I was disappointed to discover this had nothing to do with Joe Bob Briggs :(
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:30 PM on January 9, 2012


Yeah, who cares about the Mars Volta? At the drive-in is reuniting!
posted by brevator at 2:40 PM on January 9, 2012


Ok, now please strong-arm The Blood Brothers into reuniting for a double headline tour and I can die happy.
posted by 1adam12 at 3:38 PM on January 9, 2012


This is relevant to my nostalgia. Thanks.
posted by defenestration at 3:55 PM on January 9, 2012


Who?

How the reunion of some group that didn't even exist until after I got out of college be "nostalgia?"
posted by Foosnark at 4:04 PM on January 9, 2012


Because not everyone is you, attention seeker.
posted by defenestration at 4:06 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


And to explain, in case that was a legit inquiry:

When you've been going to shows since the age of thirteen, as part of a DIY music scene that glides quickly on waves of influence, in effect dating music rapidly, thus tying certain sounds to specific times and places, it's easy to feel nostalgic about it, considering it's been over a decade since At the Drive-In broke up, which feels like a long-ass time ago in context.
posted by defenestration at 4:20 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Who?

You could read the arti.....

Right, you're being a jerk.

Carry on then.
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:23 PM on January 9, 2012


and Refused too!!!!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. already taking out life insurance for coachella. (and death grips!) (oh man, i am going to get so hurt those weekends.)
posted by raihan_ at 4:33 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also reuniting: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and the lineup says Jeff Mangum but Billboard says Neutral Milk Hotel.
posted by LionIndex at 5:00 PM on January 9, 2012


Saw them a couple days after they flipped their van. Hands down one of the most intense shows I've ever seen. Can't wait to see them again!
posted by TheCoug at 5:04 PM on January 9, 2012


I know it's too much to ask, but can Fugazi start playing shows again too?
posted by brevator at 5:24 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Refused too?! Oh god oh god.
posted by naju at 5:56 PM on January 9, 2012


Man I used to love this band. Saw them a couple times as an older teen, and both instances were desperately needed respites from the stale pop-punk and macho straight-edge posturing that passed for a music scene where I grew up. I hope my enthusiasm for this news proves warranted.
posted by Rustmouth Snakedrill at 8:04 PM on January 9, 2012


cmoj pretty much summed up how I feel about Mars Volata up above. Sparta, the only thing I know about them is I stumbled on to them playing in a side stage tent at Reading Fest years ago and their music made me feel like going to sleep. But At The Drive In ... wow. I'd love to see them live.
posted by mannequito at 11:58 PM on January 9, 2012


Yeah, I really loved the Mars Volta's first album, and then their second album came out, sounding like an overdone rehash of their last, then another album that basically sounded the same. By now I've kinda lost interest because instead of being wildly creative I've realized that all their albums are pretty samey. All the slight changes in sound to the Mars Volta boil down to new personnel and not really creativity by the driving forces of the band leaders.
posted by fuq at 4:54 AM on January 10, 2012


At the Drive-in is pretty much the last new band I ever cared about. Like, gotta get their new album, analyze all the lyrics (well, you know) and painstakingly scribe them into the margins of my notebooks during classes/meetings, frantically hit refresh trying to get tickets before they've sold out. So yeah, I welcome this news. I feel like they were the last indie rockers to rock hard without just being pure noise for noise's sake. You can take your Bon Hiver and your Sufjan Stevens and all that wuss rock and wrap it in a cardigan and cram it up your mangina. I need some music that gets me AMPED.

And holy crap, someone else has heard of Season to Risk.
posted by Eideteker at 5:33 AM on January 10, 2012


I never really got them - they took themselves SO SERIOUSLY.

Or maybe I'm just bitter because I arrived at university in 2000 expecting to meet boys into The Smiths and they were all haircut-dodging US SRS INDI fans.
posted by mippy at 5:58 AM on January 10, 2012


(And I say this as someone who alienated her hall mates by playing Slint's Good Morning Captain on a nightly basis for about a month.)
posted by mippy at 5:59 AM on January 10, 2012


Season to Risk weren't that obscure, were they?
posted by josher71 at 6:56 AM on January 10, 2012


Rascuache (off of the Vaya EP) was the perfect "I have a term paper due in five hours and only two paragraphs written" song. On repeat, of course.

Pacemaker pace yourself, you were slowly crawling your way out...
posted by pianoblack at 6:59 AM on January 10, 2012


I remember hearing At The Drive In for the first time in 8th grade (I guess that was 2 years after they broke up) at a Halloween party this girl was throwing. Had a huge crush on that girl for a while.
posted by azarbayejani at 7:32 AM on January 10, 2012


(And I say this as someone who alienated her hall mates by playing Slint's Good Morning Captain on a nightly basis for about a month.)

oh dear god please marry me
posted by mannequito at 8:50 PM on January 10, 2012


Sorry, I'm already spoken for (by a man who knows what Tractor Rape Chain is...)
posted by mippy at 1:45 AM on January 11, 2012


« Older Last week Montana's Supreme Court ruled 5-2 to ess...  |  Battlestar Galactica RPG conta... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments