One down and who knows how many to go?
As rumors of an April 13 show at Tricky Falls (with Lowbrow Palace a close second) continue to swirl, El Paso's reunited At the Drive-In takes its pre-Coachella warmup club tour to Dallas' Trees nightclub tonight.
The band, traveling the U.S. by bus for the first time, opened its guerrilla-style tour Monday in Austin, performing before 500 fans at Red7 and a second crowd in a nearby alley.
It plays Marfa's Capri Lounge on April 12, with the rumored EP show on April 13 (if it's a go, they'll post details on their Twitter page and on their Texas tour promoter Transmission Entertainment's site a few hours before the on-sale) and Coachella April 15 and 22.
The band also has festival shows in Spain and Japan in July and the U.K., in August, with more expected. There are rumors of more club shows between their first Coachella show April 15 and second on April 22.
Members of ATDI, which invented its own post-punk sound during its 1993-2001 run, recently opened up to LA Weekly about the reunion, which started with a healing three-day weekend in Mexico in 2009 and gained critical mass when they met to jam in El Paso last November.
"We knew within 15 minutes of that jamming that we were good," drummer Tony Hajjar told the alt-weekly.
This was more about healing old friendships than the money, guitarist Omar Rodriguez Lopez said, though generous annual offers from Coachella organizers dovetailed with what they were exploring.
"We started talking about it, and then of course people hear we're talking about it. And then Paul Tollet at Coachella, who offers us money every year to get back together and play, hears about it ... then it all starts to become a reality," he told the magazine.
The band has formed its own label, Twenty-first Chapter (an "A Clockwork Orange" reference), with plans to reissue some of its three albums and five EPs.
A 500-copy vinyl run of "Vaya" comes out April 21, Record Store Day, and the band plans to re-release 2000's "Relationship of Command," its third album, only major label release and one that, as one of my music industry PR contacts calls it, "changed my life," a sentiment echoed by countless fans.
Guitarist Jim Ward, the only member still living in El Paso, said it's very much an open-ended reunion, much as the recent return of his, Hajjar's and bassist Paul Hinojos' post-ATDI band, Sparta, which follows its Nov. 16-17 reunion shows at Tricky Falls with a string of dates in May, including our Neon Desert Music Festival on May 26 (Rodriguez Lopez is performing there with Le Butcherettes).
"We're doing this very slowly and we literally don't know what's going to happen," Ward told LA Weekly.
We do know what happened last night in Austin. There's all kinds of stuff online about it, including cellphone recorded videos of "One Armed Scissor," "Quarantined" and "Enfilade." They're posted all over the place, including Chartattack.
Rolling Stone called the 15-song, 65-minute set "intense," a word often associated with the reunited band during its '90s run.
But it lamented the "grounded" nature of the show, the lack of wild stage antics from singer Cedric Bixler Zavala (who's 37, but still skateboarding) and noted that Rodriguez Lopez — the member who had been most resistant to a reunion and the last one in — as seeming like "a man apart" from the rest of the band.
Given the dribs and drabs of info I've picked up about this reunion, including their recent rehearsals at guitarist Ward's Clap of Thunder studio and Tricky Falls nightclub (which he co-owns), everything about this influential band's revivification is intense.
I'm guessing Omar's relative restraint is more about getting it right — after all, they haven't played this stuff in more than a decade — and finding ways to grow it. He is probably the least comfortable with it, at least musically. He's not particularly nostalgic and he's taken his music with the Mars Volta and numerous other creative outlets well beyond anything ATDI did, though Rolling Stone noted "long instrumental passages" were a new touch Monday.
Plus, as Bixler Zavala pointed out on his Twitter page today, Omar's mother, Frances Rodriguez, died last month. "give him some slack. we are all human. good days/bad days," he Tweeted.
Cedric told fans who asked about the Tricky Falls rumors to monitor the ATDI Twitter page. "that's how it works," he wrote.
Monday's setlist included seven songs from "Relationship of Command," including show opener "Arcarsenal." There was no new material or stuff they hadn't released.
Here it is:
"Pattern Against User"
One Armed Scissor