Monday, December 10, 2012

And Something is Happening Here But You Don't Know What It Is -- Do You, Mr. Simels?

So I was perusing one of the Brit music rags the other day, and I learned that At the Drive-In -- a Texas post-hardcore punk band totally unknown to me, but apparently highly regarded by those younger and hepper than I -- had just engaged in a fairly lucrative reunion tour.

So, time hanging not too heavily on my hands, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. And in the process, I discovered this absolutely astonishing performance -- from 2000 -- that had occurred on Jools Holland's always invaluable TV program.

As you'll hear, the intro by Brit disc jockey Zane Lowe is hyperbolic even by my standards -- these guys were better and more exciting than the MC5 or God or the entire history of rock-and-roll blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda...

...and so when the band kicked into their fan-favorite "One Armed Scissor," I was, shall we say, skeptical.

And yet by about half way in, I was a complete convert.

Hell, I felt like I'd been smacked upside the head with a 2 X 4. Sweet jeebus, these guys were amazing.

In fact, if anything, Lowe's description of this performance sort of sells it short in terms of the energy level and its mix of the shambolic and total focus. And lead singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala -- who currently fronts The Mars Volta, who I don't particularly care for -- just might have been, at least at this point, the Latino punk Jagger of my dreams.

So now, one question remains.



buzzbabyjesus said...

First I heard of them. I see what you mean. I particularly liked the singer's twin guitarist. Especially when he throws his guitar away at about 4:30. As shambolic as it is, the charisma level is through the roof.

Anonymous said...

geez, Steve, now I have to wonder if you ever heard of Black Flag, Minor Threat/Fugazi, Refused (their The Shape of Punk to Come is either the apotheosis of this style or its cynical endpoint), or any Butthole Surfers prior to getting on MTV.

steve simels said...

All of the above, save for Refused. -- sure.

These guys, no.

MJConroy said...

You still ain't gettin' no memo from me on these guys! Sorry, the MC5 they ain't.

Ken J Xenozar said...

I have their CD sitting here on the shelf in front of me. Bought it back in the day based on the buzz from my Texas friends. Listened to it once. Decided it was not my elixir. You are more than welcome to it.

Anonymous said...

There's a good song and band buried under all the rococo sludge.


Maria said...

any excitement and/or energy can be attributed mostly to the camera work

Maya Rupard said...

They truly do rock. But I beg you to reconsider your opinion of the Mars Volta. Deloused in the Comatorium is one of the greatest albums of all time!