My music playlist for today (July 18, 2012 edition)

Now comes the part in the playlist’s “Latino week” where it gets the toughest.  I know there are or have been Latino progressive rock bands out there — just from Spain alone, there are bands like Atila, Haizea, Itoiz, Mezquita, and Triana — that, like so many other progressive groups regardless of nationality, have found problems crossing borders to a larger audience.

The Mars Volta on stage at the Vegoose Festival.

The Mars Volta on stage at the Vegoose Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then there’s The Mars Volta.  They’re from America — specifically from El Paso, Texas — but there’s a definite Latin American connection there.  You’ll know it when you hear lead singer/lyricist Cedric Bixler-Zavala belt out a tune in Spanish, as in “L’Via L’Viaquez.”  Guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Texas, as with his younger brother, keyboardist Marcel.

They have definitely made a name for themselves.  Rolling Stone magazine named The Mars Volta best prog rock band in 2008, and they took home a Grammy Award in 2009 for best hard rock performance for the song “Wax Simulacra.”

There is everything here that makes a rock group “progressive,” right down to a kind of “math rock” flavoring — time signatures galore, experimentation, songs that go on seemingly forever (over 32 minutes in the odd case), a bit of psychedelia and jazz.

It’s all there, brought to you in a way that slaps you across the face a few times and says, “WAKE UP!!!”

Smooth, easy listening it is not.  Complex, in-your-face … definitely.

About A View From The Middle (Class)

Hi, my name's John. I've thought about this blogging stuff for a number of years now. I got into it for real on November 10, 2011, after suddenly losing my job in late October that year. I've been blogging ever since, and I kept it up on a daily basis over a period of a year and four months of being unemployed or under-employed, to try and paint a picture of what being jobless with a family to support can be like. Finally, on February 28, 2013, I got a better job that put us back into the "middle class." But then that job went away, and I took a job as a transit bus driver that put us more in a lower income bracket. Now, I want to blog again on a more regular basis to tell of the kinds of struggles people like us go through as we work toward something better. Who knows, maybe I can actually turn this blogging stuff into a way to earn a living someday! If you go to my blog at and click on my About page, it'll tell you a lot about me -- maybe more than you ever wanted to know. I'm just your average, laid-back guy who's GOING TO MAKE IT IN THIS WORLD, despite all the roadblocks thrown in the way. I also launched a "niche" blog on music at that I'm very excited about because of the popularity of music playlist articles here. Also, check out and "Like" this blog's Facebook page at for instant updates. Look forward to seeing y'all around!
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2 Responses to My music playlist for today (July 18, 2012 edition)

  1. Eric says:

    Fantastic band and great clips! I absolutely love the Tetragammaton live video. For any of your readers who don’t know The Mars Volta, check them out. Serious chops, energy, talent and just all around great music.

  2. Thanks for the comment Eric! I agree, very serious chops worth checking out.

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