Feast of Calexico

I haven’t had much chance to get my daily dose of music news from Pitchfork this week, but I just read the exciting news that Calexico are set to release the follow up to 2006’s Garden Ruin at the end of the summer. Called Carried to Dust, it’s out in the US on 9th September on Quarterstick. Pitchfork also reports that it will feature a guest appearance by previous collaborator Sam Beam of Iron & Wine.

Calexico’s Feast of Wire got me into Americana music in a big way, with its dramatic tales of the dispossessed and impoverished who try to make a life for themselves on both sides of the Mexico/US divide. This clash of cultures is ever present in their music, which fuses American folk with traditional Mariachi brass, jazz and electronica. John Convertino’s powerful, highly textured drumming forms the backbone of their sound.

With Garden Ruin, the band put their more worldly influences and experimental leanings to one side, favouring a more direct rock sound. While it was a strong record, it didn’t stay with me the way their previous records did, so I was glad to read on their official site that “[Calexico] called on a rotating cast of musicians and friends to help them create what is arguably their most varied and strongest work to date”.

There is a wealth of Calexico MP3s and live recordings littered across the internet, including a stunning acoustic version of Garden Ruin standout ‘All Systems Red’.

MP3: All Systems Red (Acoustic) [Via CitySlang]
MP3: Across the Wire (Acoustic) [via Casa De Calexico]
MP3: Close Behind (Vocal Version) [via Casa De Calexico]
MP3:
Various Live Tracks [via Casa De Calexico]

CD Quality complete live shows can be found at the Internet Archive. I would also highly recommend checking out their World Drifts In: Live at the Barbican DVD, which features a performance that made me extremely jealous of the people lucky enough to attend. Here’s ‘Quattro (World Drifts In)’ as a taster:

Calexico are playing at End of the Road festival in September, along with Mercury Rev, Dirty Three, Conor Oberst, Bon Iver, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin and numerous other Colour favourites. We’re all planning on heading down to Dorset to catch this Americana and folk treat.

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