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One Day This Chalk Outline Will Circle This City
January 24, 2013 2:39 PM   Subscribe

The Mars Volta is no more, lead singer and self-described 'Latin Danzig' Cedric Bixler-Zavala announced on twitter early this morning. Not coincidentally, this came on the heels of bandmate Omar Rodríguez-López' new band, Bosnian Rainbows, releasing the first track from their upcoming album on soundcloud: Torn Maps.

Rodriguez-Lopez just gave an interview to NME yesterday; Bixler-Zavala is also rumoured to be working on an acoustic solo album, which is being kept secret.

a few MV selections from youtube:

Televators
L'Via L'Viaquez
The Widow
Goliath
Wax Simulacra (on Letterman)
Teflon (live @ Abbey Road)
Roulette Dares (live @ Big Day Out)
posted by mannequito (24 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Tonight one thousand ravenous psych rock bands will feast upon the bloated corpse whose appearance now most resembles a melted Alejandro Jodorowsky wearing Warby Parkers.
posted by basicchannel at 2:46 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Jadedpunkhulk:

OH MAN THE MARS VOLTA BREAK UP? WELL, BACK TO LMFAO FOR THOSE GUYS.


I was in a horrible relationship with a woman who was obsessed with The Mars Volta. I never really liked them, and she used to get angry at me for siding with her classic rock loving Dad over her. Right after we broke up they were playing at a festival I was reviewing. I went to see them partly out of spite and partly out of curioustiy, and they utterly blew me away. I couldn't believe the sounds coming out of those guitars.

I'm guessing the 'Live at Big Day Out' link is taken from that show.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:52 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I saw them live once before, as well. It was fantastic. That said, they do have certain... qualities about them that are fun to mock.
posted by basicchannel at 2:54 PM on January 24, 2013


I think I would have loved these guys in my musically omnivorous early-20s : as it is they've never worked for me like they should. I love psychedelia and prog and don't mind a bit of shronk, but listening to the MV has always been a hollow experience for me.
posted by misterbee at 2:58 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


At the Drive-In was far better anyway.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:00 PM on January 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


Tablecloth
Punch bag
itemize
navigate

you'll FALL in, FALL in, duh duh duh
ALL in, ALL iiiiiiiiiiin

(guitar break)
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:00 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mars Volta was my favorite of the bands that formed in the wake of At The Drive-In's break-up, and I've enjoyed everything most of Omar's solo work. I wasn't wowed by the Bosnian Rainbows track but they're showin promise. What surprised me was how surprised and how hurt Cedric Bixler's reaction was, and how public and personal he made it.

I don't pay amphitheater prices to go to shows any more, but Mars Volta was one of the few bands I'd advocate people dropping 50 bones on (plus another 50 for a bag of mushrooms) that don't do anything on stage but play their instruments (as opposed to Flaming Lips' whole blood-and-glitter circus or Tool's whole Jacob's Ladder LIVE! stage show)

...and Sparta is welcome to refund the bus fare I spent to go to a free show I went to years ago. Any day now, Sparta.
posted by elr at 3:06 PM on January 24, 2013


Yeah I saw Sparta on a mid-afternoon side-stage at a UK festival in 2003 and I still felt ripped off. Within 5 minutes I couldn't recall a single thing about their music. So so bland.
posted by mannequito at 3:10 PM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I dunno -- I kinda liked them musically, but the vocals were like Billy Corgan pumped through an Super-Annoy-O-Tron 2000 with the annoy knob turned up to 11. I usually gave up at about the 2-minute screech-mark.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:12 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tool's whole Jacob's Ladder LIVE! stage show

So that's what they were reminding me of.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:14 PM on January 24, 2013


So, Bosnian Rainbows is a Rush cover band then?
posted by dortmunder at 3:15 PM on January 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


What surprised me was how surprised and how hurt Cedric Bixler's reaction was, and how public and personal he made it.

Cedric's always been like this, though. During ATDI, he was pretty publicly affected by poorly received shows.
posted by spiderskull at 3:33 PM on January 24, 2013


I guess the At the Drive-In reunion was just a temp thing anyway. But yeah, meld the freakouts of Mars Volta with the groundedness of Sparta and you've got a band I can listen to.
posted by LionIndex at 3:37 PM on January 24, 2013


I went to see them partly out of spite and partly out of curioustiy, and they utterly blew me away.

Yeah, it's pretty easy to listen to a recording and not really compute that people are making those sounds on purpose. Some Mars Volta tracks are staggering technical achievements, but it's true that especially later on some of those staggering achievements are just not that fun to listen to.

This is where I trot out my only "I saw them back before..." story.

I saw them at what was then the Gypsy Tea Room in Deep Ellum in Dallas back on their tour following De-Loused in the Comatorium. Not a tiny venue, but not more than 250 or 300 people. I got my Mars Volta poster from Cedric who had them in the trunk of his car.

Saul Williams opened for them and some dude yelled at some point during Saul's set, "Bring out Mars Volta!!!" which is not an appropriate thing to yell during a Saul Williams performance. When Mars Volta finally did come out after the audience had quieted down some Cedric said something to the effect of, "Whoever was yelling during Saul's set needs to get the fuck out of here right now because if you can't appreciate him, then we have nothing for you." I liked that, though I doubt the guy left.

It was mind blowing for 17/18 year old me. They played for more than two hours, no break, no stopping to make small talk, just the extended version of every song on De-Loused in the form of a wall of sound.
posted by cmoj at 3:42 PM on January 24, 2013


Yeah, it's pretty easy to listen to a recording and not really compute that people are making those sounds on purpose.


Sweet Moses, I'm old. When I heard "Deloused" I was delighted by the technical bravura of it all. Maybe it is a generational (or stylistic) gap.
posted by absquatulate at 3:46 PM on January 24, 2013


Well, which isn't to say that I don't listen to De-Loused and become amazed, it just seems like it can be overwhelming for people or they assume that it's some kind of improvised, structureless jam.
posted by cmoj at 4:00 PM on January 24, 2013


Cedric really does take their shows seriously. At a concert in NC (Raleigh maybe?) some fan in the audience threw something (a rock, piece of candy, something) at him and he stops singing and berates(rightly so) the dude. 2 minutes of "You want take this out back? You sing along with us and then throw shit at me. Lets go man, your friends can meet my friends after the show"'

It didn't feel like he was threatening the guy so much as it was "if you have a problem with me, why don't we settle it at the appropriate time/place" sort of thing. Though it was definitely angry.

The funniest thing is the band just kinda kept the music/atmosphere going. A lot of the stage show is pseudo-improved. They just kind of go. Their stage show is ( or was I guess) PHENOMENAL. Truly awesome stage show.

De-loused is very easily in my top 10 albums list. But I really enjoy everything TMV has done (except maybe Octahedron, though it did grow on me after awhile)
posted by Twain Device at 4:06 PM on January 24, 2013


Man, that Big Day Out performance is one of those things that I get so much more out of watching and listening than I would just listening. Seeing them make the music is at least as energizing and inspiring as hearing it.

Enjoyed their first album, diminishing returns subsequently, but I also didn't give them as much of a chance.

Thanks for posting this, mannequito.
posted by the sobsister at 4:16 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


isn't that what bands on hiatus do, though? - members go out and work with other musicians?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:38 PM on January 24, 2013


dunkadunc: "At the Drive-In was far better anyway."

not surprisingly, a bit of speculation already: What Does the Mars Volta Breakup Mean for At The Drive-In?
posted by mannequito at 7:26 PM on January 24, 2013


I saw the Mars Volta live a few years back in Providence, and it was hands down the best concert I have ever been to. Not least of which because they played a set that was over two hours long. I'm not surprised they've broken up, but I'm sad to hear it anyway.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:04 PM on January 24, 2013


I found Omar's "Rapid Fire Toolbooth" before I found MV itself. For whatever reason I didn't find MV's version as compelling; and for me the same has held true for MV generally. But it's sad to see it go...
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:43 PM on January 24, 2013


Aw, this makes me sad. I like most of Omar's solo stuff and side projects, but TMV is a different beast. However, after Octahedron and Noctourniquet, it started to feel like they wouldn't make another De-Loused or Frances the Mute, both of which I think are more experimental and artistically mature.
posted by neushoorn at 3:34 AM on January 25, 2013


I still remember the first time I heard Son Et Lumiere / Inertiatic Esp. Local indie radio show was playing it 1:30AM when I was coming home from a bar and it blew my mind.

Check out the video of them live at Meadowlands if you haven't seen it. Amazing.

Everything went downhill from Deloused though.
posted by daHIFI at 6:30 PM on January 25, 2013


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