Houston Matters

Houston indie band The Mathletes returns for first concert in a dozen years

The band performs Jan. 26 at White Oak Music Hall alongside Houston band Swimwear Department. The lead singers of both bands talk about their music and about the re-recording and re-release of songs The Mathletes first produced 20 years ago.

Recordings and artwork from Houston indie rock band The Mathletes.


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The Mathletes are back! On Jan. 26, the Houston-based indie rock band is giving its first performance in a dozen years at White Oak Music Hall. The show is a reunion prompted by a Kickstarter campaign to re-record and re-release songs first produced 20 years ago.

Joe Folladori – aka – Joe Mathlete – is the driving force behind the band that bills itself as "pathologically lo-fi, violently DIY, and punk rock to the bone, but very polite about it."

That's the language on the back of a book The Mathletes will release along with the music. And the title of the book pretty well sums up the irreverence with which Joe and bandmates have operated over the years. It's called "The Mathletes rock band present The Mathletes: Mathstory: The Mathletes Story The History of the Mathletes as told by the Mathletes...” and the title just goes on and on from there.

A book released by Houston band The Mathletes about their history.
Michael Hagerty/Houston Public Media
A book released by Houston band The Mathletes about their history.

Folladori and bandmates will be joined onstage Jan. 26 by another irreverent Houston rock band, Swimwear Department, which focuses all of its songs on swimming and malls.

Matt Graham, the lead singer of Swimwear Department, and Folladori tell Houston Matters producer Brenda Valdivia how bands that don't take themselves very seriously still wound up making some great — even thought-provoking — music.

Members of the Houston band Swimwear Department.