Music · Treasured Tracks

Treasured Track: At the Drive-In – “Rolodex Propaganda”

Our favorite songs are timeless. Even with years separating us from the last time we heard them, these songs call us back to a bygone era in our lives. Some of them helped us through heart wrenching breakups while others remind us of late nights spent with best friends. In this feature I reflect on the tracks that I’ve obsessed over in the past and always welcome back to my headphones in the present.

I’ll admit, I don’t know what the hell “Rolodex Propaganda” is about. I’ve never cared. There’s talk about half eaten beards and scarecrow plots. Is it about a battlefield? Government censorship? Both? Again, don’t really care. All I know is the song fucking rocks.

There are plenty of At the Drive-In songs I could have chosen to highlight here. I thought hard about “Invalid Litter Dept.” and “Enfilade,” but I stuck with “Rolodex Propaganda” for a few reasons. Iggy Pop’s spastic vocals combine so well with Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s manic energy you’d think Iggy had always been a part of the band. It’s also a fairly light song, considering it’s violent imagery. It’s pop as hell, short and easily repeatable. I’ll bet there are At the Drive-In fans that hate how fun this song sounds. Screw ‘em.

Relationship of Command can be a heavy listen, considering its dark themes and Texan aggression. So a track like “Rolodex Propaganda” is a welcome break – an invitation to dance to keyboard sounds and melodic gurgling. I also dig that during live performances Cedric, Omar Rodríguez-López, and Jim Ward all got in on the vocals. Still, nothing beats Iggy delivering that “Manuscript replicaaaaa” line.

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