Such fans fail to remember that pop groups exist - a shiny, round, vacuum-packed and doughnut-holed reality - that will never, ever intersect with their own. So why does anyone care how a band lives, grows, splinters, digresses, or dies? How does the creative decision of a bunch of strangers have a profound effect your life? And ultimately, what the hell does liking someone's music have to do with the formation of personal loyalties?

Perhaps it is easier to think of influential bands like ATDI as organisms: In this case, an organism that has recently divided, by creative mitosis, into two distinct and sentient entities. Although the parent organism no longer exists, each healthy offspring shares traits common to their progenitor. Each seed, Sparta and the Mars Volta, is also free to display characteristics of their own. As for At the Drive In, light a fucking candle. Or better yet, buy some records. There are still plenty of residuals to go around. See Sparta at the White Rabbit on Thursday, February 13. •

Thursday, February 13
White Rabbit
2410 N. St. Mary's

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