Marfa Dialogues

At the Drive-In

Zechs Marquise

12 April 2012


Ballroom Marfa and Transmission Events present
At the Drive-In
with Zechs Marquise
12 April 2012
Doors at 7 pm | Show at 8 pm
The Capri, Marfa, TX
Tickets $20 SOLD OUT


At The Drive-In is an iconic Texas band.

Sure you’ve got George Strait, Doug Sahm, Bob Wills and their factions, but start imagining an alternate Lone Star music cosmology signified not by the cowboy troubadours of yore, but the psychedelic gunfighter of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo. At The Drive-In sits in this timeline along with the chaotic visions of Roky Erikson, Butthole Surfers, Lift to Experience and maybe even a little ZZ Top. All true iconoclasts burning with the light of a thousand Texas suns.

At The Drive-In formed in El Paso in 1993, striking a punk stance in a half-forgotten international city that serves as one of the most important border crossings of modern times. Their sound an ever-evolving hybrid of progressive rock, metal and hardcore: Fugazi come screaming out of the borderlands, the Black Flag of Sun City.

Early 7-inches and EPs led to thousands of miles of DIY touring using the maps of their hardcore forebears, as the band brought their furious live show to bars, clubs and the churning mosh pits of off-the-radar basement bashes across North America. By the time of their sophomore album, 1998’s In/Casino/Out, they were an underground legend. Their swan song, 2000’s Relationship of Command was counted alongside Rage Against the Machine as the soundtrack to the millennial anti-globalization protests, in heavy rotation on alt-rock radio as well as the playlists of hundreds of pirate radio stations, anarchist squats and skate parks worldwide.

After splitting in 2001, Jim Ward, Paul Hinojos, and Tony Hajjar went on to form the heavy indie rock band Sparta, while vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López started the wondrously prolific — and sometimes willfully impenetrable — prog rock band The Mars Volta, two units that clearly illustrated all of the disparate elements that made up At The Drive-In’s immediately recognizable sound.

And now they’re back, a self-described “nostalgia trip” reunion tour that stops here in Marfa on April 12, 2012. While band members have shut down hopes for new music under the At The Drive-In banner, that’s not to say they won’t be continuing to foster the scene they helped found. Ward has been in El Paso for years now, one of the figures behind the Hope and Anchor and Bowie Feathers bars, as well as the Tricky Falls live music venue. And now Rodríguez-López says he’s coming back as well, talking in recent interviews of his plans to start an El Paso recording studio.

With their single spark, At The Drive-In started a spectral fire that still burns, their records spinning at house parties in the decaying mansions of El Paso’s Sunset Heights neighborhood as young spray paint artists compose works in the courtyard while fixed-gear bicyclists crash across the floorboards laid by Ciudad Juarez ex-pats in the post-Mexican Revolution era. Creating something just as elusive as a unique musical signature: Hometown pride.

Join us at the Capri on April 12 as we welcome them home.

Please note: Thanks for your support — we are now sold out.

    Special thanks to The Big Bend Sentinel, Dan Chamberlin, Rob Crowley, Robert Lara, Karen Longshore, Rosa McElheny, Gory Smelley, the Thunderbird Hotel, Transmission Events, Victoria Welsh, and Graham Williams.