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Hear Beto O’Rourke’s 1993 Single with At The Drive-In’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala

In his younger days in El Paso, Beto O’Rourke—the Democratic congressman running a heated Texas Senate race against Ted Cruz—fronted a punk band called Foss alongside Cedrick Bixler-Zavala of At the Drive-In and Mars Volta fame. Earlier this week, the Texas GOP attacked O’Rourke on Twitter, posting a few oddly flattering photos of the Texas Democrat skateboarding with constituents and posing for photos with his band.

In light of all the mudslinging, O’Rourke recently dug up an old recording from Foss’ The El Paso Pussycasts EP, which the band released in 1993 while O’Rourke was a student at Columbia University. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, O’Rourke recalls meeting and befriending a younger Leslie Feist while on tour with Foss in Canada. “My memory is that [she] didn’t have any money to get in and so she traded, I believe, her brother’s lock-picking set and a T-shirt or a tape and then we traded her a ticket to get in,” he said. “And then when we came through next year, she had a band called Placebo that we played with.”

O’Rourke also played drums in the band Swedes, who released an album called Summer in 1995. The album has since made its way onto Bandcamp, and includes a Swedes cover of Galaxie 500’s cover of Jonathan Richman’s “Don’t Let Our Youth Go to Waste.” After hearing the news on Twitter, Galaxie 500 drummer Damon Krukowski tweeted, “Wait seriously is that Beto O’Rourke playing drums on a cover of our cover of Jonathan Richman?”

Earlier this summer, O’Rourke jammed with Willie Nelson at the songwriter’s annual Fourth of July Picnic in Austin. Check out Foss’ song “Rise” here via Rolling Stone, listen to Swedes’ album Summer below, and revisit our interview with O’Rourke here.