What is Math Rock?
February 1, 2002 12:05 AM   Subscribe

What is Math Rock? I had no choice but to provide this link. It's funny! It's different! It's twisted! Scroll down to the email at the bottom of the page.
link via kottke. Please, let not this thread turn into a kottke.
posted by ashbury (61 comments total)
This all started with a post to my site earlier this week. Someone emailed me with "new" music links, one of them being the band Monument to Masses. I was chatting with waxpancake about it, and he said it was a new subgenre called "mathrock." It was too funny to keep to myself, and the other night I mentioned it to Jason. While eating out, we came up with all the jokes at the table ("Hello Cleveland, we're Avogadro's Number and we're going to now sing our hit, Pi. Ready? Three! Point! One! Four!....")

Anyhoo, here are some links waxy came up with:

He described it as "It's like indie jazz. All instrumental, all traditional rock band instruments, but playing around with shifting rhythms and texture."

There you go. Mathrock.
posted by mathowie at 12:30 AM on February 1, 2002

From, mathrock.com, Bozart, the best new thing in Math Rock.
posted by j.edwards at 12:34 AM on February 1, 2002

Yay Bozart. A few years ago the band that is now Bozart was referred to as "complicore," which I like better than mathrock as a moniker. But whatever. Just listen.
posted by precipice at 12:43 AM on February 1, 2002

Actually, math rock originated with prog rock in the seventies. King Crimson were ther first rock band to stack time signitures and experiment with metric moduation. Later, a key moment in the development of math rock was the title track from Crimson's "Discipline." With it Crimson created a tapestry of swirling time signitures that still manages to provide the illusion of a 4/4 pulse. Many new bands today are developing the techniques Crimson pioneered. Soundgarden, Tool (HUGE Crimson fans), Sunny Day Real Estate, Shiner (my favorite), and King Crimson themselves who continue to mutate and grow.

I personally think the expression "math rock" has a pejorative connotation. It suggests a focus on the system of creation instead of a focus on end result. Some of the younger bands (I'm not familiar with Bozart) DO tend to focus on the nonmusical aspects of math rock, and that stuff kinda bores me. Done well, it's breathtaking; done poorly it's lame-o.

Probably the coolest non-mainstream math rock album is called BLUE Nights by Bill Bruford, Tony Levin, David Torn, and Chris Botti. My review at amazon sums up how I feel about it.

precipice said:

just listen
posted by tcobretti at 1:41 AM on February 1, 2002

Hardcore prog is quite a good definition. Some would say that Slint were kind of proto-math rock - all quiet/loud dynamics, whispered/shouty vocals and shifting tempos, often verging on the jazzy. As mathowie said, Epitonic is the best place to go for an introduction. I highly recommend Ativin, C-Clamp, Don Caballero and Oxes, and that's just for starters. And don't forget one of the finest bands in the world.
posted by jonathanbell at 2:07 AM on February 1, 2002

This is real interesting to me. Being a Tool fan (or OGT, as they say), loving Soundgarden, trying King Crimson et having just recently discovered Slint (does my sentence makes sense so far ?), I must I'm going to dig into all these links tonite, thanks !
posted by XiBe at 2:26 AM on February 1, 2002

The quintessential (and best) math rock band is Chvez. "Math rock" is Chavez with less vocals. Check out any of their material, its all good. My favorite is Ride The Fader.
posted by noisemartyr at 4:09 AM on February 1, 2002

I second Oxes -- I saw them last year and it was an *amazing* experience.
posted by josh at 5:21 AM on February 1, 2002

Would you believe... a "musimatician"? (it ain't rock, but it is math; requires flash)
posted by verdezza at 5:44 AM on February 1, 2002

I am going to be defensive here: the messed up homophobic message on that page has nothing to do with math rock.

And I thrid the Oxes. Amazing band. Some of my faves: Fin Fang Foom and the jaw dropping Maserati

Get out your graphing calculators, it is time to post-rock!
posted by Keener at 5:47 AM on February 1, 2002

It warms my bitter old heart to see Slint mentioned (multiple times!) in a thread......Spiderland gets listened to at my house at least once a week.

"It's cold. I'm sorry. I miss you." (Guitar roars) That gets me every time.

Never really thought of Slint (anyone know where they got their name, BTW? Inquiring minds want to know) as a particularly musically sophisticated band. What they play is pretty simple repetitive stuff, but the thing that slays me is how it's organized. It doesn't sound like there is a moment of improvisation on that record. Every note is exactly where it should be. It's very deliberate, and the band seems to demand that the listener have patience and let the music develop. Wonderful, wonderful stuff.

You may now return to on-topic posts about mathrock.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:56 AM on February 1, 2002

Labradford is quintessential mathrock.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 6:29 AM on February 1, 2002

I discovered math rock about two months ago (self-link) - it's right up my alley. Oxes does indeed rock, as does Tristeza (in a quieter way) and Don Caballero (in a hard-edged jazzy way) and Shellac (in a damn-I-wish-he'd-shut-up-and-play way). Last week I came across Tortoise and Polvo, both of which are excellent. Glad to see it's catching on.
posted by gleuschk at 6:30 AM on February 1, 2002

Mathrock isn't a "new term" by any means. If it's angular, complicated, and tight, and probably requires band members to count to themselves while playing, it's match rock.

It all started with Devo's "clocked out", was mastered by King Crimson.
posted by glenwood at 6:33 AM on February 1, 2002

Keener I'm in Greensboro too! I was wondering how the hell someone on here knew what Fin Fang Foom was.
posted by glenwood at 6:35 AM on February 1, 2002

I heartily second noisemartyr's endorsement of Chavez. Not only do they reward close listening with serious mathrock chops, their soaring guitar sound could satisfy an arena full of innumerate mooks.
posted by whuppy at 6:35 AM on February 1, 2002

Keener I'm in Greensboro too! I was wondering how the hell someone on here knew what Fin Fang Foom was.

hark, me too
posted by corpse at 6:56 AM on February 1, 2002

June of '44 is another example.

I've read the term "Math Rock" in old old-ass issues of Mojo that describe 70s progressive rock as being mathy, as mentioned earlier. And all the post-Slint bands are definitely mathy, but not new.

Meet the new Math Rock, same as the old Math Rock.
posted by Karl at 7:10 AM on February 1, 2002

let's not forget Polvo, under-appreciated and almost dead heirs to the math-rawk throne
posted by clowersayshaw! at 7:40 AM on February 1, 2002

Dude I gotta say, it scares me that two normally funny people like mathowie and jkottke came up with so many lame jokes about some crazy not-so-new-fangled musical genre. You both sound like you should have teenage kids who complain to their friends how their dads "just don't get it." "Listen to this totally corny joke my dad just told about math rock..."
posted by ericost at 8:03 AM on February 1, 2002

Thank y'all for this thread. I've long been a prog fan and enjoyer of odd time signatures. I'll have to check out some of these newer bands. I knew there was a sort of a prog resurgence going on, but didn't know it included this.
posted by kindall at 8:11 AM on February 1, 2002

It all started with Devo's "clocked out", was mastered by King Crimson

Ok, I admit to being ignorant of the new bands mentioned above, but I do know that King Crimson was playing in 7/4 long before there was a Devo.

The wheel keeps turning. Progressive rock was dumped on by so many critics in the '80's and '90's. Not without justification in many cases - bad music played in an unusual meter is still bad music.

Now I can tell my friends kids I was listening to math rock in the '70's. God, I'm so ahead of the curve.
posted by groundhog at 8:22 AM on February 1, 2002

I discovered math rock posted by gleuschk at 6:30 AM PST on February 1

Wow, I discovered math rock posted by ashbury at 12:05 AM PST! Small world, eh?
posted by Danelope at 8:27 AM on February 1, 2002

ericost, I totally agree. Lame attempt at humour.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 8:37 AM on February 1, 2002

Anybody ever heard The Dillinger Escape Plan? Math hardcore. Loud, raucous, very challenging time signatures. I missed them the last time they came through Cleveland. I've also heard that The Flying Luttenbachers are quite good - never heard them, so I can't be sure if they would be considered math rock, but from what I've heard about them, they probably are.
posted by starvingartist at 8:55 AM on February 1, 2002

Math rock is fun-fun-fun. I reviewed the new Fin Fang Foom album, and though it's got math rock undertones, the vocals utterly ruin the album. On the flip side, however, there's the greatness of Weights & Measures, a Canadian mathrock quartet that's a side-project of Kepler (who are about to go on tour with GYBE!)
posted by Marquis at 8:58 AM on February 1, 2002

so many lame jokes

It was much funnier in person...especially when you don't know what math rock is (being the music lamer that I am).
posted by jkottke at 9:38 AM on February 1, 2002

Alter-Natives, F-Word, Butterglove, Breadwinner (w/ Bobby Donne from Labradford on bass) were all part of the local music scene in Richmond, Va. in the late '80s. I remember the term "math rock" being used back then, but I always thought of it as a pejorative term. The customer reviews for the Breadwinner cd have a couple of people claiming to have coined the term "math rock", but I don't buy it. The Alter-Natives releases on SST are out of print now, apparently. Group Therapy and Buzz, are really good. If you can find 'em, buy 'em.
posted by gimli at 9:48 AM on February 1, 2002

From the descriptions here and at the links, Math rock sounds a little bit like Rush meets the Ramones or punked-out King Crimson. Which sounds pretty interesting. I love the Dillinger Escape Plan, so the rest of the genre probably sounds like something I should check out. Thanks for the heads up.

Odd, rock cant would have us think that old style prog rock and new school indie rock would be diametrically opposed. But they seem to create some interesting stuff when combined. Maybe country hip-hop will be next. And I don't mean "Gin and Juice" by the Gourds, either.(fun as it was)
posted by jonmc at 9:58 AM on February 1, 2002

I heartily applaud the Dillinger Escape Plan (and Dillinger Four for that matter, but the latter ain't math rock, they's punk rawk!).

Country hip-hop? A la (shudder) Bubba Sparxxx?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:02 AM on February 1, 2002

Bitter - perish the thought. But a collaboration between Johnny Cash and Ice-T is overdue dontcha' think? or perhaps Kinky Freidman and Ol Dirty Bastard?
Actually, all kidding aside Wyclef Jean did come up with an impressive country-rap fusion when he performed "Delia's Gone" at the Johnny Cash tribute special.
Then again, if you told Clef to write a polka, he'd probably come up with something, at the very least, interesting. He's just that able when he puts his mind to it.
posted by jonmc at 10:07 AM on February 1, 2002

Dude - Mathrock pales when compared to Fraggle Rock

Actually, I've always been a huge fan of Prog Rock. This may be my hip new/old thing. Thanks for all the band pointers to check out. I like the Monument to Masses MP3's a lot.
posted by willnot at 10:18 AM on February 1, 2002

Dillinger rocks. I saw them a few years back, they played with Meshuggah and Candiria. It was probably the sickest hardcore show I've ever been too. All those bands (Meshuggah especially) love to experiment, while keeping it heavy for the pit kids.

I'm surprised that prog rock is coming back like this. Sunny Day Real Estate's last album was amazing - it sounded more like Rush than anything they've ever done. I loved that record, and I don't even like Rush...the day that all these emo bands start playing Magma covers is the day that I'll help pack the VFW halls.
posted by eraserhed at 10:19 AM on February 1, 2002

eraserhead - I was so upset that I missed the Meshuggah/Tool concert in Cleveland. Math/art rock pig heaven!
posted by starvingartist at 10:24 AM on February 1, 2002

Yes, the jokes were lame. We were hungry and acting stupid. I've got a whole mess of guitar geek friends that worship King Crimson. When I first heard some math rock samples, that was the first thing that came to mind, old Prog Rock. Good to know my ears didn't deceive me. Now I'm off to the record store to buy my first CDs of the year.
posted by mathowie at 10:35 AM on February 1, 2002

Sunny Day Real Estate's last album was amazing - it sounded more like Rush than anything they've ever done

And this is a reason to like them?

I was going to get that record until I read that......
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:55 AM on February 1, 2002

All right! This is my favorite MeFi thread in a long time! I love me some math rock...

Don't forget about Rodan, everybody - I think they were one of the next key bands to spread the Math after Slint faded out. Then there's Hoover, Don Caballero, Shiny Beast, Phleg Camp, Shipping News, Kerosene 454, Turing Machine, Sweep the Leg Johnny ...

Jeez, there's so many, and the line between Math/Emo/Hardcore/Whatever starts to blur.

Southern Records has some decent info about a variety of bands, and they have plenty of downloadable MP3s (and MP2s from back in the day -- represent!).
posted by redshifter at 11:15 AM on February 1, 2002

Actually, bitteroldpunk, Rush are another underrated act. If nothing else they get credit for sticking to their guns in the face of changing trends. They've also been publicly cited as an influence by artists as diverse as Primus, Pantera and the Foo Fighters. And, every drummer I've ever met, in every concievable genre, has concurred that Neil Peart is one of the greatest living skin-pounders.

All of which flows into my theory that the barrier between old school rock and new school rock is, to a large degree,a false one. Kurt Cobain loved Kiss, Billie Joe Armstrong is a huge AC/DC fan, Steve Albini admires ZZ Top, R.E.M. has been known to do Blue Oyster Cult covers live and to top it all of, Thurston Moore has publicly said that he dug "Girls, Girls, Girls" by Motley Crue.
All you gotta do find unexpected treasures is to listen to everything with an open mind. Outkast, the Bottle Rockets, Godspeed You Black Emporer, Hound Dog Taylor, Van Halen and D'Angelo(among many,many others) all comfortably coexist on my record racks and Winamp playlists.

Also I went to epitonic and downloaded a few "math rock" tracks. The Sweep the Leg Johnny and Arcwelder stuff is absolutely fantastic. Thanks.
posted by jonmc at 11:45 AM on February 1, 2002

Sounds to me like mathrock is rock for musicians in the same way the be-bop is jazz for musicians.
posted by internal at 11:58 AM on February 1, 2002

::Fes hikes up pants to nipples::

I remember when all we had was Pink Floyd! And Yes! And Dream Theatre! And we liked it! Grumblegrumblegrumble...

R.E.M. has been known to do Blue Oyster Cult covers

Mmmmm, Blue Oyster Cult. Last seen in St. Louis playing in a parking lot near an abandoned train depot coverted into a shopping center (truth!), but as tight and goofy as ever. "You see me now, a veteran, of a thousand psychic wars..."

posted by UncleFes at 12:43 PM on February 1, 2002

If nothing else they get credit for sticking to their guns in the face of changing trends

And Bachman Turner Overdirve just played the state fair, too. Takin' care of bidness. Everyday.

Jonmc, I will agree with you that the line between old school and new school is blurry, and I share Billie Joe's love of AC/DC and REM's respect for BOC (The Minutemen liked them, too -- they did a great cover of "The Red and The Black").

But Geddy Lee's voice is the stuff of nightmares.
Neal Peart is a fabulous musician who overplays overplays overplays overplays everything, just to show what a fabulous musician he is. Alex Lifeson (sp?) would probably be a great guy to sit down and have a beer with, but his guitar work I find to be average and predictable (IMO).

It's not so much that they aren't talented, because they certainly are, it's just that they are soooooo fucking bloated and pretentious when, as far as I can tell, none of them have ever had an original lyrical idea*, much less an iota of inventiveness. I'm sure you'll disagree, and point out all that fab stuff on Hemispheres, which to me is just wanking.

Angus Young can say more in four chords than Rush can say in a whole song. IMO.

Oh well. Let's agree to disagree on Rush.

*"Each another's audience inside the gilded cage". I mean, c'mon.

Besides, if my mind were any more open my brain would roll out my ear (some would contend it already has). I listen to all sorts of music, like you do, but I draw the line at three bands that I will never, ever like: Rush, Journey, and Foreigner.

Oh, and Creed. Creed sucks. (It is now my goal to work the words "Creed sucks" into every MeFi post. You Have Been Warned)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:45 PM on February 1, 2002

bitter, my post wasn't meant as a snark at you, I usually dig your posts and the Minutemen are one of my faves too(they also give a shoutout to Steely Dan on the "Double Nickels on the Dime" sleeve, Mike Watt may be the secret missing link between alt rock and mullet rock) I admit Geddy is a terrible vocalist, too. However, any band that duets with Bob and Doug McKenzie can't be all bad.*
I just saw your post as a good jumping off poit to expound on a pet theory of mine and maybe sort of instruct some of the more knee-jerk people out there(and you are not among them).

Fes - I'll go you one better. When I lived in Miami, Joe Walsh(by far the most talented person associated with the eagles) was playing for free(!) at the local horse track. That was not so much funny as plain depressing.

*for a truly brain-jarring musical experience I have an mp3 of a pre-Neil Peart Rush covering Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away." If anyone wants a truly weird addition to their collection send an email.
posted by jonmc at 1:00 PM on February 1, 2002

Fes - we still have Dream Theater! Their new album was released this past Tuesday. It's a double album with - wait for it - 6 songs. That's it. Over 2 hours of music in 6 songs total. The entire second CD is devoted to one long, rambling, multi-movement piece that's longer than many symphonies.

I can't wait to get it :)
posted by starvingartist at 1:04 PM on February 1, 2002

Speaking of the Minutemen, doesn't one of their songs refer to their music as "scientist rock"?
posted by whuppy at 1:08 PM on February 1, 2002

Fun sidebar time! Which old-school progrockers would you like to see on a double bill with which mathrockers?
I'll start: Chavez and Yes.
posted by whuppy at 1:10 PM on February 1, 2002

"Our band is scientist rock. Real names be the proof. Me and Mike Watt, we played these guitars for years. Punk rock changed our lives." --"Tour Spiel", The Minutemen

*sob* d boon's death was the end of an era. Fucking drunk driver hit him on fucking Christmas Eve 1985. Goddammit. My whole world changed. *sob*

They were my favorite band ever. I quoted them at my wedding, fer chrissakes. (If you're curious, the quote I used was, "Just wake up and grab my hand. Let me know that the world and you are there, and never be too gentle with me.")

Now I'm all verklempt.

Sidebar: I always wanted to see Husker Du get onstage WHILE Motley Crue was playing and just blow them away. Show those hairstyles what LOUD really means. Fuckers. That's not quite what you were looking for, but I'm shaken by all this talk of *sob* The Minutemen.

BTW, Creeed sucks. And I didn't think you were snarking (is that a legitimate transitive verb?), jonmc. I just react violently to suggestions that Rush is a good band.....
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:27 PM on February 1, 2002

The entire second CD is devoted to one long, rambling, multi-movement piece that's longer than many symphonies.

Great googly moogly.

::searches for wallet::
posted by UncleFes at 2:02 PM on February 1, 2002

It's all about Game Theory, and The Loud Family. Though, admittedly, they are as much geek rock as they are math rock.
posted by Theiform at 2:37 PM on February 1, 2002

i'll second theiform's scott miller rec and raise you a chris butler. yes, he wrote "i know what boys like", but his arrangements and melodies -- and all those weird chords -- would at least put him in the same class. plus, he writes good lyrics.
posted by pxe2000 at 3:38 PM on February 1, 2002

King Crimson, at last something I like, I actually still have a very good old album that I play fairly often. I will have to listen to some of these bands all of you have commented about. An excellent post.
posted by bjgeiger at 4:41 PM on February 1, 2002

sometimes I'm really shocked by how out of it people are. Yes, math rock, it's a term, people have been using it for a while. I suppose it depends on how often you expose yourself to new music whether or not you've heard it before. Quintessential math rock: Don Cabellero. Old skool: Discipline: King Crimson. New: Dilute (from SF, so Kottke should check them out). The "math" compontent relates to the time signatures and polyrhythms used by such bands. It's a more patterned post-rock, if you will.
posted by akmonday at 4:42 PM on February 1, 2002

Ugh. Yep. It's official. It's too loud. I'm too old.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:41 PM on February 1, 2002

Dear God: Don't let prog-rock come back.

Yes, the Minutemen played in shifting time signatures, but that was more of a blitzkreig/schizoid/sweaty fingers sort of shifting around -- like they'd gotten an old paper cutter and hacked out the parts that were boring to them until they got right to the metal skeleton. (BitterOldPunk: If I could have one dead rock star back, it would be d. Boon)

The intricate time signatures and "chops" and tiny rototoms and Joe Satriani-style crapola and Guitar Player transcriptions has given me ulcers since I started loving music -- it's all bollocks. What does 7/4 time have to do with Bo Diddley and Uncle Dave Macon and Johnny Thunders and Charley Patton and The Who and, well, anyone else worth bothering about? Instead of being about sex and sympathy and good humor, prog-rock is about technical prowess -- "rock" music for people who find the real spirit of rock 'n' roll too, well, crude. (If only it were more respectable -- if only Link Wray had gone to Julliard, maybe he could have been as tasty as Al DiMeola!)

posted by argybarg at 6:17 PM on February 1, 2002

"it's all bollocks. What does 7/4 time have to do with Bo Diddley and Uncle Dave Macon and Johnny Thunders and Charley Patton and The Who and, well, anyone else worth bothering about?"

argybarg- all the artists you mentioned are among my favorites(seeing Bo Diddley in Central Park perform "Who Do You Love?" is one of the highlights of my concert-going career) and when you talk about twaddleheads like Satriani and DiMeola you are right on target. But it is possible to merge "sex, sympathy and good humor" with musicianship. Witness Danny Gatton, Sun Ra, Jeff Beck, Bob Wills, Charlie Parker, and Jimi Hendrix for crying out loud. Chops and passion are not mutually exclusive. Although, to give your theory it's due if I had to choose, I would take inspired crudity over boring virtuosity. I'm just saying it's pretty need when we can combine the two.
posted by jonmc at 6:47 PM on February 1, 2002

And another thing (I know, I'll stop soon):

What is it with indie-rock's little tiny agorophobic movements, with their fastidious classification and re-classification and determination to service their armies of insular scenesters? Enjoy, for instance, just the tiniest slice of '90s music "movements" -- just the alternative ones -- listed at allmusic:

Hardcore Punk
Punk Revival
Indie Rock
Paisley Underground
Neo-Psychedelia (different, apparently, from Paisley Underground)
Alternative Country-Rock
Rockabilly Revival
Third Wave Ska-Revival
Riot Grrrl
Space Rock
Emo (what -- no emocore? Like they're the same thing?)
Retro Swing (remember that great idea?)
Twee Pop (just kill me now)
and now ... Mathcore, no doubt already splitting into seven equally insular sub-movements.

Jesus, if, back in the heyday of my youth (cue collective groan) I'd been so devoted to my mini-movement, I'd have had my ears shut to a lot of magnificent music -- maybe I'd have been so devoted to the Minneapolis Junk Revival movement (Husker Du, Replacements) I wouldn't have been allowed to listen to the Pogues (Reelcore). Or -- worse still -- I'd take it as I sign that I was eclectic.

Lord knows the music of the Sixties -- that great swamp of Motown, Soul, and rock 'n' roll of every stripe -- couldn't have been enjoyed by the indie-rock scene of today unless all the music had been meticulously labeled, banned from the radio, declared over before it was started, and encouraged to disappear up its own ass.
posted by argybarg at 6:48 PM on February 1, 2002

jonmc --

It's not either/or necessarily -- all the examples you name are good ones, and Robert Johnson and Louis Armstrong, as we all know, could really play. I just have never liked the impulse to make rock 'n' roll respectable -- to advance the music, as if it needed more classical-style complexity before it was worth considering. I don't like that the virtuosity is taken as a token that the music is growing up -- hence the misnomer "progressive."

Remember, there were plenty of people that thought Thelonious Monk wasn't a great pianist because he didn't play fast enough and hit all those "wrong" notes.
posted by argybarg at 6:55 PM on February 1, 2002

argybarg -then we're more or less on the same page, my man. I just notice that even the most "eclectic" people I meet tend to stop short of embracing some genres or artists. I can't count the number of times I've heard people say "I like all music except Metal(or Rap, or Country or all three.)
I just enjoy taking up the cause of terminally unhip genres and alerting people that there are treasures everywhere.
For instance 80's metal had it's share of crap but also some great moments(Twisted Sister, Judas Preist) same with gangsta rap(NWA, Ice-T) even Top 40 country(Deana Carter and Dolly Parton).

But I'm right with you on "respectability." "Art Rock" is a stupid term. Rock and Roll was art from the very beginning.

Remember the words of Tom Paris on 'Star Trek: Voyager' to the aliens who had just discovered music-

"If you like Jazz, you'll love Rock and Roll, it's one of the 20th century's greatest inventions"
posted by jonmc at 7:06 PM on February 1, 2002

What does 7/4 time have to do with Bo Diddley and Uncle Dave Macon and Johnny Thunders and Charley Patton and The Who and, well, anyone else worth bothering about?

Nothing. Why, should it?
posted by kindall at 7:34 PM on February 1, 2002

Gawd, I miss the Minutemen. I still listen to Double Nickles on the Dime pretty regularly; it's one of the few records from that era that seems to improve with age. I remember walking into our local record store right around Christmas and having my friend the (record) pusher tell me about d. boon dying. We were both pretty stunned.

As for math-rock, I always thought of Polvo as the archetypal math-rock band. I always thought of them as unlistenable, too, but hey, different strokes.... Anything David Grubbs did with Jim O'Rourke probably counts too, and I couldn't listen to that either. Hard to believe that someone from Squirrel Bait wound up making math rock....
posted by geneablogy at 10:30 PM on February 1, 2002

No math rock discussion is complete without mentioning The Archers of Loaf.
posted by hipstertrash at 11:24 PM on February 1, 2002

I am going to attempt to bookend this thread.

What is Math Rock? It's funny! It's different! It's twisted!
posted by ashbury at 11:27 PM on February 2, 2002

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