Remember how cool El Paso used to be?

In case you haven’t heard, the former El Paso band Cigarettes After Sex is blowing up, as evidenced by this story on Vice.

It’s Sunday night at Baby’s All Right and the little venue is packed with people sitting cross-legged on the floor under the pink and blue lights. Suddenly, the stage door swings open and four men walk calmly to the stage. The audience stands up in a wave, wide-eyed and attentive, but no one cheers. The singer takes the microphone and begins his set. Between songs, he repeats the gratuitous sentiment: “Thank you all for coming out tonight…,” a tell that he’s nervous, but the crowd doesn’t seem to notice. They stand transfixed.

The band is Cigarettes After Sex, and the singer is Greg Gonzalez, a recent Brooklyn transplant from El Paso, Texas. He’s had this band since 2008, but after several metamorphoses in style, reaching what they currently describe as “ambient-pop,” the band released its first EP, I., in 2012, where it lay dormant until just a few months ago when it suddenly blew up online. This show at Baby’s is the first he’s played since amassing millions of views online, as well as being the first sold-out show he’s ever played.

Why can’t our city leaders just like El Paso for what it is, instead spending millions of dollars and jacking our property taxes to make it more like everywhere else?


  1. Your last sentence/question sums things up succinctly. El Paso is following instead of leading. Who are these people? Some of the changes may look pretty on the outside but it will cost in terms of the soul of the city…or lack of one. Folks who have been here for any real amount of time and who have stayed relevant know this. Now that I’m spending more time in Juarez, crossing the bridge back into El Paso can be a bummer.
    Good musings Rich, always.

  2. So how do you express your rage? What’s the point? We have a Hellhound on our trail. There’s no turning back. The glacial effect of the big dumb will suffocate you. Thanks for playing.

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