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.
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.
- My music playlist for today (July 17, 2012 edition) (viewfrommiddleclass.wordpress.com)
- My music playlist for today (July 16, 2012 edition) (viewfrommiddleclass.wordpress.com)
- My music playlist for today (July 15, 2012 edition) (viewfrommiddleclass.wordpress.com)