Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

From Rock God to Aspiring Lawmaker

Texas businessman Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, who bested Rep. Silvestre Reyes in last week’s Texas Democratic primary, isn’t just a political rock star. He’s a veteran of the ’90s emo-progressive invasion and has friends that still fill arenas on the reg.

O’Rourke once handled guitar-playing duties for the El Paso-based band Foss (“waterfall” in Icelandic):

Foss in 1993

(Courtesy Cedric Bixler Zavala)

According to O’Rourke, the homegrown group came together rather organically.

“We were all grade school and high school friends,” O’Rourke said of a tightly knit group that once included Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Cedric Bixler-Zavala, current folk duo Arlo Klahr and Aisling Cormack (Aisling & Arlo) and buddy Mike Stevens.

Bixler-Zavala continues to perform with the Mars Volta and Big Sir, both of which have new albums out this year. “It was a great time in my life,” O’Rourke told HOH of the band’s short-lived, but surprisingly prolific tenure ­— it released a 7-inch and two full albums in just two years. “I got to tour the country with good friends, meet amazing people and had a really good time.”

O’Rourke brushed aside inquiries about a Foss reunion. But the one-time performer remains plugged in to modern rock.

“I’m listening to all kinds of music,” he said, listing Aisling & Arlo and Sleepercar as “current favorites.”

Assuming O’Rourke carries the day this November, perhaps he’ll request that seminal Foss jams such as “Vendetta,” “The Floor” or “I’m All F*cked Up” be played at the swearing-in.

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