Amputechture is the third full-length studio album by American progressive rock band The Mars Volta, released on September 12, 2006 on Gold Standard Laboratories and Universal Records. The album debuted at #9 on the Billboard Top 200 selling over 59,000 copies in its opening week and an estimated 400,000 copies as of 2009. The album marks the final appearance of drummer Jon Theodore, and is the first studio album to feature guitarist and sound manipulator Paul Hinojos, formerly of At the Drive-In and Sparta.
The album was recorded in Los Angeles, CA, El Paso, TX and Melbourne, Australia in late 2005 and early 2006. It was produced by Omar Rodríguez-López and mixed by Rich Costey.
Although most of Amputechture was newly recorded, the band also incorporated older material into some of the album's tracks. "Viscera Eyes" evolved from a song originally written by Omar while in At the Drive-In. "Day of the Baphomets" uses lyrics and melody from "A Plague Upon Your Hissing", an un-released song that was recorded for De-Loused in the Comatorium.
In early July 2006, "Viscera Eyes" was officially released on the band's MySpace page. On July 13, the band also posted a link to a stream of the song in full on their website. Soon after, the full version of "Viscera Eyes" on the MySpace page was replaced by a radio edit running at 4:21. "Viscera Eyes" was also confirmed to be the album's first single.
This album is the band's first studio recording with former At the Drive-In bandmate Paul Hinojos and is also the last with drummer Jon Theodore.
Amputechture marked the first time that The Mars Volta created an album without a single unifying narrative.
In an MTV interview posted on July 25, Cedric Bixler-Zavala said inspirations for the album were very diverse, ranging from the recent U.S. immigration marches to the news stories of possessed nuns. He discussed the concept, storyline, and overall mood of the album. He also explained the lyric writing process to "Time Off".
Omar Rodríguez-López stated in an interview with Switch Magazine that the word "Amputechture" (a portmanteau of amputate, technology , and architecture) was coined by the late Jeremy Michael Ward.
The liner notes of The Mars Volta's previous album Frances the Mute feature a credit for "Amputekthure" under the "published by" credits, Cedric Bixler-Zavala's name under the ASCAP corporation. The word also appeared in the storybook accompanying De-Loused in the Comatorium.
Since the release of The Bedlam in Goliath, Bixler-Zavala and Rodriguez-Lopez have taken to referring to Amputechture as their 'autistic child' due to fans' reactions to the album.
Unlike The Mars Volta's first two albums, Amputechture contains no original artwork; the background of each page in the album booklet is a section of Jeff Jordan's "Big Mutant". In addition the CD art itself is "Dwarf Dancing", also by Jeff Jordan.
The artwork was originally to be done by Storm Thorgerson, who designed the covers for their first two albums, De-Loused in the Comatorium and Frances the Mute. Storm's cover featured a picture of a nun standing in a field warding off the presence of a giant floating skull decorated in a mirrorball fashion. For reasons unknown, the band was unhappy with the outcome and used Jeff Jordan's art instead.
Amputechture features almost a dozen artists, including former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante who is featured on every track except "Asilos Magdalena."
* Omar Rodríguez-López – producer, lead guitar
* Cedric Bixler-Zavala – vocals
* Jon Theodore – drums
* Isaiah "Ikey" Owens – keyboards
* Juan Alderete – bass
* Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez – percussion
* Paul Hinojos – sound manipulation
* Adrián Terrazas-González – flute, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
* John Frusciante – rhythm guitar, lead guitar
* Sara Christina Gross – saxophone on "Meccamputechture"
*"Viscera Eyes" (2006)
*"Vicarious Atonement" (PROMO only) (2006)
Category:The Mars Volta albums
Category:Gold Standard Laboratories albums
Category:Universal Records albums
sv:AmputechtureThis text has been derived from Amputechture on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
The Mars Volta is a Grammy award winning American band from El Paso, Texas. Founded in 2001 by guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López and vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala, the band incorporates various influences including progressive rock, krautrock, jazz fusion, Latin American music, and the rhythmic complexity of math rock into their sound. They are known for their energetic live shows, as well as their concept-based studio albums. In 2009, the band won a Grammy Award in the "Best Hard Rock Performance" category for the song "Wax Simulacra." They were named rock music's "Best Prog-Rock Band" of 2008 by Rolling Stone magazine.
Cedric Bixler-Zavala stated in an interview:
Formation and beginning
The roots of The Mars Volta are found in the band At the Drive-In. ATDI members Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez-López formed an experimental, dub reggae-influenced side project called De Facto, which featured Bixler-Zavala on drums, Rodriguez-Lopez on bass, Isaiah "Ikey" Owens on keyboards, and Jeremy Michael Ward on vocals, loops and sound effects.
Due to creative differences and discomfort with mainstream success and drug abuse, Rodriguez-Lopez and Bixler-Zavala quit At the Drive-In in 2001. The remaining members of the band formed Sparta. During 2001 Eva Gardner joined the members of De Facto on bass, and they recorded two songs with drummer Blake Fleming and producer Alex Newport, which became the first demo by The Mars Volta. The lineup for their first public show at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, California was Rodriguez-Lopez, Bixler-Zavala, Owens, Gardner, Ward, and drummer Jon Theodore. This lineup recorded three more tracks with Alex Newport, which became the EP Tremulant, released as a limited edition in early 2001.
After the demise of At the Drive-In, Rodriguez-Lopez and Bixler-Zavala found themselves once again starting from the ground up, touring and performing in smaller venues. In their early years The Mars Volta were characterized by chaotic live shows and very heavy drug use.
De-Loused in the Comatorium
Following Tremulant, The Mars Volta continued touring with a fluid line-up while preparing to record their debut full-length album De-Loused in the Comatorium, produced with Rick Rubin and released on June 24, 2003. Whereas Tremulant had no general theme (except the prophetic mentioning) De-Loused was a unified work of speculative fiction telling the first-person story of someone in a drug-induced coma, battling the evil side of his mind. Though lyrically obscure, The Mars Volta stated in interviews that the album's protagonist is based on their late friend Julio Venegas, or "Cerpin Taxt", who was in a coma for several years. When he woke up, he jumped from the Mesa Street overpass onto Interstate-10 in El Paso during afternoon rush-hour traffic. Venegas' death was also referenced in the At the Drive-In song "Ebroglio" from their album Acrobatic Tenement.
In an interview with The Aquarian Weekly in 2008, Cedric Bixler-Zavala said about working with Rubin, "Rick really over-simplified some of the parts that we thought were unique, and just made them very digestible. He’s got this thing about representing the common man’s ears—I’d rather jab the common man’s ears. If we don’t, we’ll never get to a place where future music exists." , by Daniel Alleva, , 1/30/08.
The Mars Volta had no official bassist during the recording session, but Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) played bass on nine of the album's ten songs, with Justin Meldal-Johnsen playing double bass on "Televators." Flea's bandmate John Frusciante also contributed additional guitar, synthesizer and backing vocals to "Cicatriz ESP".
Despite limited promotion, De-Loused earned strong reviews, and appeared on several 'year-end best-of' lists. The album remains The Mars Volta's best-seller, with over 500,000 copies sold. The band later released a limited-edition storybook version of the album, available by download from the Gold Standard Laboratories website. The book speaks of Cerpin Taxt (Julio Venegas) and his suicide.
While on tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers in support of the album, founding member Jeremy Michael Ward was found dead of a drug overdose. The band had canceled the tour's second leg, and the first single from De-Loused was later dedicated to Ward. It was this event which finally convinced band leaders Rodriguez-Lopez and Bixler-Zavala to purportedly quit using opioids.
Frances the Mute
As the band resumed touring to support De-Loused, they added Juan Alderete (of Racer X, Distortion Felix) on bass and Marcel Rodríguez-Lopez (Omar's brother) on percussion. Work on their second album began in 2004. That year the band received the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Vanguard Award.
In 2005, the band released Frances the Mute. The story given by the band on the album's concept concerns a diary that had been found in a repossessed car by late sound technician Jeremy Ward, while working as a repo-man. The author of the diary is unknown but appeared to be someone who was adopted and was searching for their birth parents, and who may have suffered from mental illness caused by the death of a loved one. The lyrics for each track on the album are loosely based on characters and life events described in this person's diary.
Frances the Mute started as a bigger commercial hit than De-Loused, moving 123,000 copies in its first week, and debuting at #4 on the Billboard album charts. Reviews of Frances were generally positive (with a 75 on Metacritic) if somewhat polarized; Rolling Stone called it "a feverish and baroque search for self that conjures up the same majesty and gravity as Led Zeppelin three decades before", while Pitchfork Media called it "a homogeneous shitheap of stream-of-consciousness turgidity." However, even the detractors of Frances the Mute generally praised the band's musical abilities. "L'Via L'Viaquez" was later released as a single, stripped down from its original 12-minute length to five minutes. Frances the Mute has sold nearly 465,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan ratings.
Rodriguez-Lopez wrote all the instrumental parts as well as arranging and producing the recording sessions himself. He used a method that Miles Davis used to evoke great performances from bandmates: refusing to let the other members hear each other's parts, or the context of their own part, thereby forcing them to play each part as if it were a self-sufficient song. In order to accomplish this, the musicians recorded to the pulse of a metronome. While in the studio, Rodriguez-Lopez recruited Adrián Terrazas-González to play saxophone, flute, and additional wind instruments for the album. Terrazas-González was added as a permanent member to The Mars Volta while touring in support of Frances the Mute.
Several songs written during the original recording sessions for the album never made the cut. Notably, the self-titled 14-minute epic "Frances the Mute" should have originally formed the opening track to the album and was ultimately supposed to decode the album's concept, but was abandoned due to time constraints. Instead the track featured as a b-side on the single release for "The Widow". The band has only played "Frances The Mute" at few concerts, therefore, it has been rarely heard.
On May 20, 2005, instead of playing a traditional set at KROQ's Weenie Roast Festival, the band played a 50-minute improvisation jam that was jokingly named on-the-spot as "Abortion, The Other White Meat" by Rodriguez-Lopez. In keeping with The Mars Volta tradition of testing and developing new work live, parts of "Abortion" later appeared on "Population Council's Wet Dream" from Rodriguez-Lopez's 2009 album Old Money.
Mid-way through their headlining U.S. tour, former At the Drive-In member Paul Hinojos (also known as Pablo) left the band Sparta to join The Mars Volta, claiming, "My time with Sparta has run its course, and simply wasn't fun anymore." Hinojos joined as rhythm guitarist and became the band's sound manipulator, the position previously held by the late Ward. Hinojos had previously toured with The Mars Volta in 2003 and 2004.
During mid-2005, the band toured in support of the album with System of a Down and curated the All Tomorrow's Parties festival. In addition, a full-length live album named Scabdates was released on November 8, 2005.
Upon finishing the majority of touring for Frances the Mute in fall 2005, Rodriguez-Lopez traveled to Amsterdam and wrote what became Amputechture, which was released on September 8, 2006 in Europe, on September 9, 2006 in Australia and on September 12, 2006 in the U.S. Rodriguez-Lopez spent much of his time in Amsterdam working on and performing various solo projects most notably under the name "Omar Rodriguez Quintet." During this time Rodriguez-Lopez also composed the score to the film El Búfalo de la Noche, which was written and directed by Guillermo Arriaga and Jorge Hernandez Aldana respectively. The Mars Volta as a whole performed the score.
Amputechture was produced by Rodríguez-Lopez and mixed by Rich Costey. Jeff Jordan provided the artwork, making it their first album not to feature the work of Storm Thorgerson. It was once again a concept album, but rather than telling a story, the album was a series of vignettes, with each song telling a different story. It became the last album with drummer Jon Theodore, whom Rodriguez-Lopez fired before touring in support of the album. Rodriguez-Lopez said in an interview with an Italian fan site that Theodore was the only member in the band who wasn't happy playing live and brought down the moods of the rest.
MarsVoltaJohnFrusciante.JPGthumbleft250pxThe Mars Volta playing with John Frusciante in Toronto on September 25, 2006.
John Frusciante was featured on every track on Amputechture, except for "Asilos Magdalena." Rodríguez-Lopez contributed the solos and riffs where the guitar work needed to be doubled. Bixler-Zavala said in an interview, "...he taught Frusciante all the new songs and Frusciante tracked guitars for us so Omar could sit back and listen to the songs objectively. It's great that he wants to help us and do that."
On July 28, 2006, the drummer's spot was filled by Blake Fleming, formerly of Laddio Bolocko, Dazzling Killmen, and the very first Mars Volta demos. A new song titled "Rapid Fire Tollbooth" was debuted live on September 22, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois, as reported by fans and attendees of the show who had received set lists from the stage. The song originally appears on Rodriguez-Lopez's solo album Se Dice Bisonte, No Bufalo. The song eventually evolved into the track "Goliath" from the band's fourth studio album.
On September 25, 2006, The Mars Volta played a unique set on the opening night of a double-header in Toronto, Ontario. Cedric Bixler-Zavala fell ill and could not perform, so The Mars Volta played with John Frusciante on third guitar. The set consisted of over 47 minutes of instrumental material, including a lengthy cover of the Pink Floyd composition "Interstellar Overdrive." On October 17, 2006, while opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the band played with drummer Deantoni Parks. Rodriguez-Lopez fired Fleming because of complications within the band. Parks remained with the band only until the conclusion of the Japanese tour because of his prior commitments with other bands. On October 31, 2006 in Cleveland, Ohio, as Parks couldn't perform, The Mars Volta played approximately 40-minute improvisation set as a rehearsal for another drummer, Thomas Pridgen.
Tmvwholeband.jpgthumbright250pxThe Mars Volta on stage at the Vegoose Festival.
On a 2007 episode of The Henry Rollins Show, The Mars Volta performed "Tetragrammaton" and "Day of the Baphomets" in a rare television performance. Afterwards, they did an interview with Rollins about the creation of Amputechture.
The Bedlam in Goliath
Thomas Pridgen.JPGthumbleft220pxThomas Pridgen playing at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Saint Paul, Minnesota on April 21, 2008.
In 2007, Thomas Pridgen became the new permanent drummer for the band. Pridgen's first full-time appearance was at the March 12 show in New Zealand, where the band debuted the song "Idle Tooth" which was later renamed "Wax Simulacra" for the forthcoming album. After shows in New Zealand and Australia, The Mars Volta toured a few West Coast venues as the headliner, then entered the studio to record their fourth LP, The Bedlam in Goliath. One of these performances was captured in a forthcoming live concert DVD shot by director Jorge Hernandez Aldana.
Despite finding a permanent drummer and getting the band back on track, the recording and production of the album was reportedly plagued by difficulties related to a bad experience with a Ouija board purchased in a curio shop in Jerusalem. According to Rodriguez-Lopez, their original engineer experienced a nervous breakdown, his studio flooded twice, and both he and mixer Rich Costey claimed that various tracks would disappear at random.
On November 5, 2007, The Mars Volta released a document by Jeremy Robert Johnson titled, "The Mars Volta's Descent into Bedlam: A Rhapsody in Three Parts." The document includes a history of the band and describes the obstacles and inspirations they encountered in the creation of The Bedlam in Goliath. On November 20, 2007 "Wax Simulacra", the first single from the forthcoming album, was released with a cover of "Pulled to Bits" by Siouxsie and the Banshees as the b-side.
The band kicked off their supporting tour with a December 29, 2007 "secret show" at the Echoplex in Los Angeles, California, followed by a special New Year's Eve performance at San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. That night they played their first ever acoustic set, which included six songs and live performance of "Miranda, That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore" The band then departed on a club tour of east coast U.S. throughout January, with an album release show at San Diego's Soma, followed by another month's worth of European dates from mid-February to mid-March.
On January 2, 2008, The Mars Volta released an online game called "Goliath: The Soothsayer", based on a true story that inspired their forthcoming album The Bedlam In Goliath. The album chronicles the band's purported experience with the "Soothsayer", a Ouija board owned by vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala and its transition from a source of fun on tour to a psycho-spiritual force that almost tore the band apart. The game was available for a limited time exclusively via Amazon.com.
On January 17, 2008, the band made their U.S. network television debut, performing "Wax Simulacra" on The Late Show with David Letterman (Rodriguez-Lopez, Bixler-Zavala and Hinojos had appeared on the show with At the Drive-In in 2000). On January 22, they made a surprise appearance at Toronto, Canada's MTV Live studios, where they performed "Wax Simulacra" and an extended version of "Goliath." In late January, the new album debuted at a career-best #3 on the Billboard 200.
Omar Rodríguez-López.JPGthumbright200pxOmar Rodríguez-López playing at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Saint Paul, Minnesota on April 21, 2008.
The song "Wax Simulacra" won the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance. It was the band's first nomination and win. The band members thanked their families and Bixler urged people not to forget the memories of the recently departed Lux Interior and Ron Asheton.
Rodriguez-Lopez had discussed the band's next album as early as January 2008, the month that The Bedlam in Goliath was released, claiming "I consider it to be our acoustic album." Cedric Bixler-Zavala had expressed an urge for the album to not be released on a major label. In February 2009, Rodriguez-Lopez claimed "the next two Mars Volta records are already recorded and waiting for a release date."
On April 14, 2009, The Mars Volta announced their fifth studio album, entitled Octahedron. It was released June 23 in the United States and June 22 in the rest of the world. According to Vintage Vinyl Records St. Louis MO the LP will not be released until July 21 with 500 limited edition LP's. In the spirit of distillation of the band's sound, Rodriguez-Lopez asked saxophonist Adrián Terrazas-González and guitarist/sound manipulator Paul Hinojos to leave. Regarding their departure, percussionist Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez noted that: "it's like we got a whole new band. It's two less members — we got to play differently."http
The first single released in North America was "Since We've Been Wrong". The first European single was "Cotopaxi".
An excerpt from The Mars Volta's performance at the All Tomorrow's Parties, UK 2005 A Nightmare Before Christmas festival was featured in the All Tomorrow's Parties film, which was released in cinemas during October 2009.
Towards the end of the Octahedron US tour, Thomas Pridgen left the band. As reported by several attendees of cancelled October 23 show in Raleigh, NC, Thomas was fired by the band leaders after a soundcheck. Weeks later, it appeared on Pridgen's Facebook page that he was "no longer in TMV". As yet, no official statement has been given by the band on the issue. In a February 2011 interview, Pridgen said he left the group "because the singer had a jealous ego trip. There's nothing more to elaborate on."http On November 29, 2009, the band performed a show in Oslo, Norway with drummer Dave Elitch. The band played throughout Europe and Australia until the end of January 2010.
In October 2010, The Mars Volta played two shows in Brazil and Chile respectively.httphttp Long-time keyboardist, Ikey Owens, was absent during these dates due to touring commitments with his own project, Free Moral Agents.
Shortly after Octahedron's release, Omar claimed to have put the supposed follow-up "on hold", as he felt the album was boring. He claimed to have started working on a completely new album as the follow up.
In an April 2010 interview with Rolling Stone, Rodriguez-Lopez talked about trying to loosen his grip in the studio. He claimed to have finished the album, and was awaiting lyrics and vocals from Bixler-Zavala.http
In May 2010, The Mars Volta entered pre-production for their sixth album.http The only news available on their upcoming album is a statement made via the ORLProductions Twitter page on December 9, 2010, which read: "In LA finishing up the new The Mars Volta album". Another notable comment made on Sargent House's Twitter page says that Deantoni Parks recorded the sixth album with Omar and is now the band's official drummer.. In an interview with Rob Perez on NocheLatina.com, Omar stated that "The record is done. Whenever the record label decides to put it out that’s when we’ll hear something new."http
In addition, other future projects have been mentioned by band members. Rodriguez-Lopez is working on a film documenting the entire history of the band including studio and backstage footage taken over the years. Another project mentioned is a new live album similar to Scabdates featuring songs from Frances the Mute and Amputechture.
In March of 2011 it was revealed that The Mars Volta is confirmed to play Summer Sonic in August of 2011 at Makuhari Messe near Tokyo, Japan. In the same month, it was revealed that they would also be added to the billing of Sonisphere Festival.
The upcoming album will feature 13 songs of what Rodriguez-Lopez describes, "is a simplified version of what we've done before".
According to the liner notes for Amputechture, The Bedlam in Goliath and Octahedron: "The partnership between Omar Rodríguez-López & Cedric Bixler-Zavala is The Mars Volta. These compositions are then performed by The Mars Volta Group."
*Omar Rodríguez-López – guitar, production, live backing vocals (2001–present)
*Cedric Bixler-Zavala – lyrics, vocals (2001–present)
*Isaiah "Ikey" Owens – keyboards (2001–present)
*Juan Alderete – electric bass (2003–present)
*Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez – percussion, synthesizers, keyboards (2003–present)
*Deantoni Parks – drums (September−November 2006, 2010−present)
*Lars Stalfors - sound manipulation (live only 2009-present)
* John Frusciante – guitars (2002–present in studio, occasionally part of a live setting)
*Jeremy Michael Ward – (2001–2003)
*Paul Hinojos – (2003–2004 live offstage, 2005–2008 joined officially in recording and onstage, also performed additional guitar)
*Jon Theodore – (August 2001–July 2006)
*Blake Fleming – (July−September 2006)
*Thomas Pridgen – (October 2006−October 2009)
*Dave Elitch – (November 2009–October 2010)
*Eva Gardner – (2001–2002)
*Ralph Jasso – (2002)
*Jason Lader – (2003)
*Flea – (2003, on De-Loused in the Comatorium, also performed trumpet on Frances the Mute)
*Linda Good – (2002)
*Adrián Terrazas-González – (2004 in studio, 2005–2008 live, also performed additional percussion)
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id:guitar;production;backing;vocals value:orange legend:Guitar, production, backing vocals
id:keyboards value:brightblue legend:Keyboards
id:bass value:purple legend:Bass
id:wind value:gray(0.5) legend:Wind
id:sound;manipulators value:yellow legend:Sound manipulators
id:drums value:teal legend:Drums
id:rhythm value:pink legend:Additional guitar
id:percussion;synthesizers;keyboards value:red legend:Percussion, synthesizers, keyboards
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at:06/24/2003 color:black layer:back
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at:06/23/2009 color:black layer:back
bar:Omar text:"Omar Rodríguez-López"
bar:Cedric text:"Cedric Bixler-Zavala"
bar:Ikey text:"Isaiah "Ikey" Owens"
bar:Linda text:"Linda Good"
bar:Eva text:"Eva Gardner"
bar:Ralph text:"Ralph Jasso"
bar:Jason text:"Jason Lader"
bar:Juan text:"Juan Alderete"
bar:Jeremy text:"Jeremy Michael Ward"
bar:Paul text:"Paul Hinojos"
bar:Marcel text:"Marcel Rodríguez-López"
bar:Adrián text:"Adrián Terrazas-González"
bar:Blake text:"Blake Fleming"
bar:Jon text:"Jon Theodore"
bar:Deantoni text:"Deantoni Parks"
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bar:David text:"David Elitch"
bar:John text:"John Frusciante"
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bar:Blake from:03/01/2001 till:08/31/2001 color:drums
bar:Jon from:08/31/2001 till:07/31/2006 color:drums
bar:Blake from:07/31/2006 till:09/30/2006 color:drums
bar:Deantoni from:09/30/2006 till:11/01/2006 color:drums
bar:Thomas from:11/01/2006 till:11/28/2009 color:drums
bar:David from:11/29/2009 till:10/31/2010 color:drums
bar:Deantoni from:11/01/2010 till:end color:drums
bar:John from:05/01/2002 till:end color:rhythm
* De-Loused in the Comatorium (2003)
* Frances the Mute (2005)
* Amputechture (2006)
* The Bedlam in Goliath (2008)
* Octahedron (2009)
* All Tomorrow's Parties (2009)
ReferencesThis text has been derived from The Mars Volta on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0