Q: When is The Mars Volta NOT The Mars Volta?

A: When it’s the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group feat. Cedric Bixler-Zavala OR when Omar says it isn’t.

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The backstory: The Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group headlined the Sargent House Showcase last Saturday at SXSW at Emo’s Annex, an impromptu stage and concert area built in a small lot on the corner of 6th/Red River. Fans lined up as early as 2 p.m. for a show whose doors/gates opened at 7 p.m. Zavala appeared on stage about 10 minutes before opening time to soundcheck with ORLG. Predictably, Twitter, Facebook and many a carrier-pigeon were sent into the skies of Austin to carry the news prompting the line to stretch out like an intestine up the street and behind the “venue.” The group (Rodriguez-Lopez, Bixler-Zavala, Deantoni Parks, Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez, Juan Alderete and Lars Stalfors) took the stage at 12:50 a.m. to a capacity crowd that included fans who filled up the alley behind the stage and down the sidewalk.

Here’s a clip of the madness and the music by Refused TV:

Continue reading “Q: When is The Mars Volta NOT The Mars Volta?”

How I Came to Love the Lone Star State: SXSW 2011 in Pictures

I made my first trip to Austin, TX last week to attend the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival and though I only spent 48 sleepless hours there, I’m already making plans to return next year. Coachella, I love you and we had great times but I’m now in love with another music festival.

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I saw a lot of great bands, made some new friends, bumped into some old friends and drank some great local beers (hello 512 Porter). The only bad memory I have of the trip is of the non-existent taxi service at night. Hooray for (almost) being left stranded in Austin at four in the morning!

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Head over to my Flickr for photos of The Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group feat. Cedric Bixler-Zavala (sort of The Mars Volta but not technically The Mars Volta), Adebisi Shank, Polock (interview with Polock coming soon), Fang Island, Little Red Radio and many more.