You Should’ve Been There: The Mathletes at the Proletariat

I will never stop singing the praises of Joe Mathlete – ever. And last night’s Matheletes show at the Proletariat proves I may never have to. (Well, I guess unless he kills my mom or something.) Joe and his Mathletes (which includes all four Dimes) danced, jumped, joked and rocked their way through a set of original tunes and cover songs. Joe’s style is like a combination of They Might Be Giants and Atom and His Package. His lyrics about absurd topics, like hornless unicorns and his friend AJ who doesn’t have a car, are backed by poppy, Casio/Korg-infused instrumentation that just, well, puts a smile on your face.

Photos by Dusti Rhodes

If the smile fades, never fear, as Joe is just as witty when he’s put on the spot. Every song is always introduced or ended with a clever quip from Mr. Mathlete. After the group’s cover of Talking Head’s “Psycho Killer” (which is sung by The Dimes’ Carlos Sanchez), Joe commented on how it’s always a Mathlete crowd favorite despite the fact the he didn’t write it or sing it. Towards the end of the set he explained how sometimes you have to just turn on Oasis’ What the Story Morning Glory? and listen to a little “Wonder Wall,” and then the group broke into a cover of The Flaming Lips’ “Vaseline.” (You never know what to expect from these guys. On a side note, trombonist Tom Adams blew bubbles into the crowd during the entire song.) The night also included a handful of originals including a personal favorite, “Pinocchiobot” about a robot who wants to be a toaster and ended with “Animals” where Dimes Cley Miller, Carlos Sanchez and Iram Guerrero all played drums as the rest of the band backed up Joe as he sang about things that are animals. For example “Ducks are animals/Snakes are animals… etc.” Genius? Yes.

Sad you missed out on the fun? You should be, but here are some videos so you can pretend you were there as you sit at your desk. – Dusti Rhodes

Want your show reviewed? Just ask. But don’t expect anything less than an honest opinion. And don’t say you weren’t warned.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Dusti Rhodes
Contact: Dusti Rhodes