July 31st, 2008

Calexico’s “Carried To Dust” due September 9th

Muzzle of Bees –

Who can resist the warm and welcoming sound of Calexico? Take a record of theirs, add cold drinks and good friends, and you’ve got yourself the essentials in a great gathering. The Tucson, AZ based group will release Carried To Dust on September 9th via Touch & Go Records. “The band lineup that solidified around “Feast of Wire” is back again, along with a number of guests, including Sam Beam, Douglas McCombs, and Pieta Brown.” Yeah, we’re excited.

Chicago fans/readers can catch Calexico for free on Thursday, September 25th as part of the Chicago World Music Festival. If that wasn’t special enough, the band will be joined by Mariachi Luz de Luna and Salvador Duran, the latter whose pipes you’ll remember for his contributions to the Iron & Wine/Calexico collaboration of In the Reins.

November 29th, 2006

Top 10 Album picks

Calexico was recently asked: What are the top 10 albums you enjoyed this year?

benjy ferreeJoey Burns:
1. Benjy Ferree “Leaving The Nest” (Domino Records)
2. Califone “Roots and Crowns” (Thrill Jockey)
3. Vinicio Capossela “Ovunque Proteggi” (Atlantic Italy)
4. A Hawk and A Hacksaw “The Way the Wind Blows” (The Leaf Label)
5. Euros Childs “Chops” (Witchita Records)
6. Dominique A “L’Horizon” (Olympic Disc)
7. Lambchop “Damaged” (Merge Records)
8: Beirut “Gulag Orkestar”
9. Charlotte Gainsbourg “5:55” (Because)
10. Annuals “Be He Me” (Ace Fu)

and a few more…
Thomas Belhom “No Border”(Ici D’ailleurs)
Joanna Newsom “YS” (Drag City)
Smog “Rock Bottom Riser” (Drag City)
Richard Buckner “Meadow”
Lisa Germano “In The Maybe World”

kunstoffVolker Zander:
1. Move D “Kunststoff”
2. Final Fantasy “He Poos Clouds”
3. Beirut “Gulag Orkestar”
4. A Hawk and a Hacksaw “Where the Wind Blows”
5. Ekkehard Ehlers “A Life Without Fear”
6. Candi Statton “His Hands”
7. Milton Nasquimento “Clube Da Esquina”
8. Festland “An Euren Fenstern Wachsen Blumen”
9. Barbara Morgenstern “The Grass Is Always Greener”
10. Blood Music “Sing A Song Fighter!”

Joanna Newsom “YS”
Isan “Plans Drawn In Pencil”

brokebackPaul Niehaus:
1. Brokeback “Looks At The Bird” (Thrill Jockey)
2. TV on the Radio “Young Liars ep” (Touch and Go)
3. Johnny Paycheck “The Gospel Truth – The Complete Gospel Sessions” (Little Darlin’)
4. Muddy Waters “More Real Folk Blues” (MCA)
5. Jimmy Day ” Golden Steel Guitar Hits/Steel and Strings (Bear Family)
6. Brian Eno “Ambient 1-Music For Airports” (Virgin)
7. Lightnin’ Hopkins “Prestige Profiles” (Prestige)
8. Thomas Belhom “No Border” (Ici D’ailleurs)
9. Lambchop “Damaged” (Merge)
10. Dominique A “L’Horizon” (Le Pop Musik)

November 8th, 2006

Roundhouse, London

Calexico + Beirut
@ Roundhouse, London, 5 November 2006

If there was one band in the world that you’d want to be in, it would surely be Calexico. Aside from their jaw-droppingly good musicianship, every time they are on stage they seem to be having the time of their lives. There’s no posturing and barely any banter between songs, yet they ooze charisma and celebration. And crucially, Calexico’s celebration is one the audience can’t help but be part of.

Joey Burns – who ostensibly might be Jake Shears’ shorter, stockier – and considerably straighter – elder brother and his band were supported tonight by two acts who seem to be junior Calexicos.

Beirut is the moniker for the one man band that is sickeningly talented 20-year-old Zach Condon. His is a remarkable story, having begun recording at 15, before dropping out of school in Santa Fe to travel to Europe. Here he was exposed to the traditional gypsy-style music of what used to be Bohemia, and was soon fusing this with the urgent southern sound that has defined Calexico for so long.

Backed up by members of A Hawk and A Hacksaw, who in their own right opened the evening, Condon slayed everyone at the Roundhouse with his effortless charm and musical ability, and a vocal style that seems to ape the unape-able Rufus Wainwright. As soon as he sings for himself, the package will be complete.

Calexico’s new material sees them treading ground already made muddy by the boots of Wilco and Grandaddy. They open with Yours And Mine from Garden Ruin, while the splendid Smash, which does as it says, proves the band are throwing themselves into their heavier, guitar-laden sound just as enthusiastically as any of their other eclectic dalliances.

But they know what they do well and what the London audience want to hear. And that is, of course, trumpets. Lots of trumpets and maracas. So we are treated to the likes of the classic El Picador, the orgasmic opener to Hot Rail (2000), the frenetic Black Heart and the guaranteed showstopper Crystal Frontier in the encore. Equally fun is their version of Love’s Alone Again Or, released as a single in 2003, and Letter To Bowie Knife, dedicated to Gram Parsons.

Then it was their latest album, Garden Ruin, that saw them depart from the sound that has made them so unique. Their mariachi-infused, tragic spaghetti-western style has built the band a solid, loyal and fawning fanbase since their first album, Spoke, in 1996. That they seem to have, on record anyway, abandoned this Ennio Morricone-esque take on Americana has detracted nothing from the mesmerising show these fellows from the Arizona dustbowl put on, as tonight proves.

– Barnaby Smith from musicOMH.com