Los Diablos

There's nothing like seeing the "Download" links enabled for the tunes on a band's MySpace site. Wellll, doggy — free shit! Yessir, Mark Dubin of Fort Lauderdale's Los Diablos ain't no cheapskate. "We believe that if people are gonna take time to check out our shows, pay for the cover, and buy T-shirts and stickers," he says, "the least we can do is give 'em some music for free."

And, cynics, this free shit (visit isn't badly produced or poorly written either — picture John Cougar coming of age in the era of alt-rock ennui. Or don't. "A lot of people these days use 'Americana' or 'alt-country' to tag us," Dubin says. "We wanted to get a nice mixture of loud guitars and acoustic harmony, like take the best parts of stuff like Buck Owens and Gram Parsons, and the best parts of the Replacements and Dinosaur Jr., and throw it all together. So far it's been working well."

The bandmates are finishing up their first self-released album, which will include a few live recordings, some recorded at Tobacco Road, where they play Thursday. "The Road is one of our favorite places to play," Dubin says. "One of the things that makes the place so great is the crowd, and the intent of the crowd to actually listen to the music. Coming from the backgrounds we all come from — punk and underground — we feel comfortable playing in places that are hot, smoky, and smelly, with one toilet and holes in the walls. It's nice when you can set up in a place that respects the music more than the show."

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Eric W. Saeger