Centro-matic: “Flashes & Cables”

Growing up in Dallas, local music wasn’t as readily available like in Austin. So when a band like Centro-matic came bursting from Dallas’ cooler, northern cousin Denton, it was a big deal, especially to a musically-obsessed teenager like myself. Seeing Centro-matic live at age sixteen–opening for a buzzed-about Ben Kweller, no less–was revelatory. The group’s blend of rock, country, and lo-fi weirdness was so different. It’s a great feeling to take pride in that kind of local artistry.

After nineteen years, eleven albums, and countless tours, Centro-matic is hanging up its collective boots. This year’s Take Pride In Your Long Odds is a fitting capstone: here’s a Denton band that never set the music world on fire, but they took on those long odds by organically building up a following, touring the world, and making the kind of music they wanted. It’s an inspiring thing to see such consistency in a veteran band when so many groups flame out or lose their touch. Centro-matic is bowing out before that happens, adding just a little bit more luster to their local legacy.

Centro-matic plays the Parish tonight in a sold-out, final Austin show. For today’s song of the day, we dug back into our own live archives and unearthed performance of “Flashes & Cables,” one of the band’s best songs and coincidentally done live at the Parish in 2008.

–Art Levy

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