|Origin||Omaha, Nebraska, United States|
|Years active||2001–2002, 2010, 2012–present|
|Labels||Saddle Creek, Wichita, Epitaph|
|Members||Conor Oberst |
Formed in 2001, "desaparecidos" figuratively means "disappeared ones" in Spanish and Portuguese and is a reference to the people who were arrested by various South American right-wing military dictatorships and then vanished without a trace. More specifically, Desaparecidos take their name from the forcibly disappeared under Augusto Pinochet’s right-wing military dictatorship in Chile between 1973 and 1990.
Desaparecidos broke up in 2002 while the band was attracting an increasingly large following after their debut album Read Music/Speak Spanish, especially touring with Jimmy Eat World and The Promise Ring and being the feature of an MTV You Hear it First episode. However, Oberst did not have the time to dedicate to the band with the continually increasing success of Bright Eyes. Oberst continued to record with Bright Eyes, while the other members of Desaparecidos went on to form other projects. Matt Baum joined The '89 Cubs, later drumming Race for Titles and the Coffin Killers; Ian McElroy formed Rig 1; Denver Dalley moved onto bands Statistics and Intramural; Landon Hedges joined (and is currently in) Little Brazil.
Desaparecidos reunited for a single show at the Concert for Equality in Omaha's Benson neighborhood on July 31, 2010. In April 2012, the band launched an official website and announced that they would again reunite, this time to play Omaha's MAHA Fest. In August 2012 the band embarked on a short tour, their first since 2002.
The band released two new tracks, "MariKKKopa" and "Backsell" in August 2012, the first recorded material since their return. The song "MariKKKopa" was written in reference to Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona and his outspoken stance and civil rights abuses he's committed against undocumented immigrants.
In February 2013, the band made available two tracks, "Anonymous" and "The Left is Right" via stream through Rolling Stone. The songs deal with the Anonymous hacker group and the Occupy movement. On August 2, 2013, the band released a new single "Te Amo Camila Vallejo", b/w "The Underground Man".
Desaparecidos released their second album, Payola, in June 2015, thirteen years after Read Music/Speak Spanish. Payola was co-produced with Mike Mogis and was recorded in several batches over the past few years. The album contains the six tracks released since reforming as well as eight additional tracks.
On October 28, 2015, it was announced that Conor Oberst had been hospitalized due to "laryngitis, anxiety, and exhaustion," according to a press release. The entirety of Desaparecidos' remaining tour dates were cancelled and Oberst returned to his hometown of Omaha to recuperate.
The band's sound was labeled "full-on emo-in-the-garage" by Alternative Press, "the sort of howlingly tuneful Midwestern punk that disappeared with Hüsker Dü" by Entertainment Weekly, "anthemic thrash" by Rolling Stone, and as such is noted for its sonic differences from Oberst's primary band. They have also been hailed as the "Saddle Creek supergroup". Hailing from Omaha, Nebraska, Desaparecidos' lyrics are mostly about the sociopolitical state of affairs in America. The band has been both lauded and criticized for its intentionally raw sound following the release of Read Music/Speak Spanish. In sharp contrast to Bright Eyes' confessional, even sometimes mournful lyrics, Desaparecidos's angular, energetic and engaging vocals sound like those typically heard in post-hardcore.
Both EPs contain the same tracks in a different order.