DON CABALLERO – live at Emo’s, pilule Austin, website like this TX, 1999

I’m not a fan of the “reformed” Don Cab, with drummer Damon Che leading two dudes I’ve never heard of — nor am I a fan of their earliest recordings, which all sound tinny and limp (the debut album, “For Respect”, bears none of the imprint of now-former guitarist Ian Williams, who joined the band shortly before the album’s recording sessions.)

But their golden period — oh, lawd, it rocked hard. I only got to see them once, in 2001, at the absolutely wonderful day-long This Ain’t No Picnic festival in Orange County, CA, the same place I also caught Modest Mouse, Built To Spill, At The Drive In and Delta 72 live all for the first time. Their appearance was in support of their final pre-breakup record “American Don”, which I think is their finest moment, but this live set, from around the time of their previous record, “What Burns Never Returns”, is fine listening.

Don Caballero – Live at Emo’s Austin, TX, 1999 (ZIP file)

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752 Responses to DON CABALLERO

  1. chuck says:

    MAN , I am glad to see some more boots of Don Cab but I can’t believe how much shit they’re getting from folks all over the place. The new album is just as good , if not better , than their early stuff.
    Give em’ another listen. You won’t be disappointed. Just drop the pretenses.

  2. j.j. says:

    Chuck, I don’t think what Bret states is pretense in the least. What set Don Cab apart from any other “math-rock” of its time WAS ian williams’ guitar work, which is certainly more prominent in their releases forward of FOR RESPECT. For me, What Burns Never Returns is STILL their masterpiece; this is a great boot.

  3. chuck says:

    J.J. is there any doubt that Don Cab IS Damon?
    Without him it’s not DC. Regardless of the guitarists in the band.
    The new guys are just as good as Ian in my opinion.
    I am sort of amazed at all the flack their getting lately when they are still a great band.
    I saw em on the “for respect” and “2″ tours , as well as the “world class” tour
    and I think they were all equally awesome.
    Glad I got to get this boot , though.
    Thanks for the conversation , too.

  4. Dude says:

    I saw them on the american don tour as well. I’m not sure the exact circumstances but for some reason their opening act could not make the show, so each member performed solo. It was very interesting, the bass player had some programed songs on his laptop the drummer had the boomerang going, and ian williams did some strange kaufman like performance art.

    Very awesome, by the time the band came on we were all blown away.

  5. matt says:

    gotta agree with chuck on this: the don is all about damon che’s drumming, and the new album is just as good, if not better, than some of the old stuff. Don Cab II is still far and away my favorite, probably because its the heaviest.

  6. J.J. says:

    ha, well i didn’t want to OVERSTATE the obvious regarding the Octopus.
    They wouldn’t be nearly as heavy without Damon…but Ian’s anagrammatic style of playing added a very particular texture that I think is kind of lost now.

  7. Emmanuel says:

    I definitely agree with J.J. there is a very particular texture missing from the new music. I think that Ian William’s guitar techniques were more firmly planted in jazz and the looping techniques he uses are heavily influenced my minimalist composers like Reich. it wasn’t nonsensical guitar wankery that could just be replaced so easily, I think is all he’s saying; and i agree.