Calexico : Classic or Dud?

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what do you folks reckon?

Chris Radford (Chris Radford), Sunday, 15 June 2003 07:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i like feast of wire a lot. i think thats their best one. they got some other good tracks around, but this is the first one that strikes me as a great album

Bob Shaw (Bob Shaw), Sunday, 15 June 2003 07:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

dud

faggotry (faggotry), Sunday, 15 June 2003 13:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Used to really think they were boring as hell, but Feast of Wire is a fucking great, great record.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 15 June 2003 16:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Classic, especially live.

ham on rye (ham on rye), Sunday, 15 June 2003 22:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Closer to classic than dud, but I've been looking over at Feast of Wire for about a month thinking "I should give that another listen before writing a review". I seriously can decide whether I've never gotten around to it, or I have, and it sounded exactly as (vaguely)remembered.

Great at ATP two (three?) years ago.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Sunday, 15 June 2003 22:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

WFMU's Frank O'Toole treated us to a song called Pampa off a new? EP. This song's a classic in my book. Nothing groundbreaking, but still great.

Shaun (shaun), Monday, 16 June 2003 07:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

minas de cobre is smashing.
not heard anything else

ambrose (ambrose), Monday, 16 June 2003 08:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I just picked up the Committed sdtrk at a garage sale. No idea about the movie (has Casey Affleck in it, so I can't imagine I would have any use for it) but it features score by Calexico. Great stuff, esp. if you can pick it up cheap, like for $1.

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Monday, 16 June 2003 13:55 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Hot Rail is one of my least favorite album covers I have ever seen, but I did give them a listen after randomly hearing "Service and Repair" on a Merge/Quarterstick sampler. They are no Rory Calhoun but they are fine.

Mr Noodles (Mr Noodles), Monday, 16 June 2003 14:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

anything with john convertino on drums is CLASSIC.
calexico might be a bit hit or miss, but mostly classic, especially when they let the horns blow.

joan vich (joan vich), Monday, 16 June 2003 15:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

John Convertino's work on Neko Case's Blacklisted is quite excellent in particular. Can't really go wrong with him.

ham on rye (ham on rye), Monday, 16 June 2003 16:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I really like 'em, and agree stuff on Blacklisted was good too. BUT. Someone on ILM once labeled them "Sammy Same-o and the Sametones", and I can't think of them without remembering this dis. But I still likes 'em, will check Feast of Wire.

Hunter (Hunter), Monday, 16 June 2003 18:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I saw Calexico with Dirty Three at Club Congress in Tucson a long time ago and was pretty well blown away. Feast Of Wire is a keeper.

Chris Barrus (Chris Barrus), Monday, 16 June 2003 20:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Feast of Wire is really really good but the production doesn't seem too sharp or something. The Black Light is a classic. Love that album. Hot Rail is not so hot. The first album, Spoke, has some fine songs. All in all, maybe not a classic but a damn fine band.

Sandy, Tuesday, 17 June 2003 01:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

three years pass...
saw 'em the other day, and it was not very memorable. nice instrumentation, but i think they should work on their songwriting.

richard wood johnson (rwj), Monday, 25 September 2006 15:25 (eleven years ago) Permalink

agree w/Sandy about The Black Light

held tony (held tony), Monday, 25 September 2006 16:30 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The Black Light is a major classic (haven't heard it in years though). Also, look for 'tour-only' cd Travelall as it's mighty fine, too.

willem -- (willem), Monday, 25 September 2006 18:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I saw Calexico with Dirty Three at Club Congress in Tucson a long time ago and was pretty well blown away.

i saw them play the same club last year and thought it was a good show but that they were starting to get a little more jambandy than i'm comfortable with. then i read in a magazine that they were gearing up to play some big jam band festival.

any cop (Jody Beth Rosen), Monday, 25 September 2006 19:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I bloody love Garden Ruin, but lots of people say it sounds like Crowded House. I say, so what.

Wax Cat (Wax Cat), Monday, 25 September 2006 19:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Haha. I was driving around Tucson about an hour ago listening to Feast Of Wire. That album's a major classic (and the perfect soundtrack for this little city). I think they struck the right balance between atmospheric frontier cinema and pop music on FoW. Then they toured with Iron & Wine and their sound shifted dramatically, not necessarily for the better.

cosmo vitelli (cosmo vitelli), Monday, 25 September 2006 21:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i really dig 'convict pool', they're pretty great. i still think my 'tucson band hierarchy' goes 'howe gelb stuff>>>>friends of dean martinez>>>calexico', though.

gear (gear), Monday, 25 September 2006 21:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Wax Cat, OTM. That album is criminally underrated.

like murderinging (modestmickey), Monday, 25 September 2006 23:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

classic. i love 'em for representing for the stark, unrelenting side of mexican folk.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Monday, 25 September 2006 23:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Saw 'em in Nashville during The Black Light tour - the album's pretty good, but live they were intense. Stripped down two-piece, lotsa fuzz guitar, big tumbleweeds blowing around inside the sound. For an encore, openers Lambchop got on stage and they did a really spacey "Jesus & Tequila" together.

I don't know that they ever caught the magic of their live show on record.... did they?

Edward III (edward iii), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 00:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

_Hot Rail_ is pretty much perfection.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 00:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

...people say it sounds like Crowded House. I say, so what

That was the perfect thing to say to make me want to hear the album, and I don't even consider myself that big of a Crowded House fan.

o. nate (onate), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 00:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yes they have Edward. Go to casadecalexico.com and order Scraping, a live cd. It is my favorite Calexico cd.

Jim Reckling (Jim Reckling), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 01:47 (eleven years ago) Permalink

anyone heard a giant sand song called 'classico'?

joan vich (joan vich), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 07:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

yes

beverly sills ninja (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 08:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"I don't know that they ever caught the magic of their live show on record.... did they?"

try the China Theater show here (approved by the band too) - great soundboard recording from 2003:

http://www.archive.org/details/calexico2003-04-25.flac16

erv (Abe Froman), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 09:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I've only got 'Hot Rail', do I really need another one?

Baaderonixx in the year of the locusts (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 14:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yeah, "The Black Light".

Slumming it on ilx (section241), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 15:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

is it better than Feast of Wires then?

Baaderonixx in the year of the locusts (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 16:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Not for my money. "The Black Light" is much more instrumental, before Joey Burns was really a singer. It's a good early release, but one of the main problems is with personnel. It features a lot of good-great Tucsonans thrown together, before Joey and John would put together their own permanent band featuring stellar musicians from around Arizona and Europe. Calexico's a real band now.

The Black Light = pretty Super8 film
Feast Of Wire = glorious 35mm film

cosmo vitelli (cosmo vitelli), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 17:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Aerocalexico and Even My Sure Thing Falls Through are the two great forgotten necessary records.

jergins (jergins), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 20:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Looking over the track listing, IMO Black Light has some of the strongest songs they've done, none of them instrumentals.

Slumming it on ilx (section241), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 22:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I saw them with the Frames, and they did the Pogues' "Fiesta." Also, Love's "Alone Again Or" and Cash's "Ring of Fire," but any band with mariachi horns gets a free pass on those.

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Wednesday, 27 September 2006 22:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Has anybody heard the Calexico/Notwist collaberation "Careless" Its so disappointing that it is only one song as it beats Califone and 13&God not to mention YHF era Wilco at their own games.

Srsly

I know, right?, Friday, 7 December 2007 17:59 (ten years ago) Permalink

Ugh, terrible grammar.

I know, right?, Friday, 7 December 2007 17:59 (ten years ago) Permalink

Wait, wait. Are Calexico and The Notwist going by the band name Careless? Is the single out now?

Daniel, Esq., Friday, 7 December 2007 19:46 (ten years ago) Permalink

No, they did a song together called careless for some compilation. It is only one song and that is why it is so disappointing. It is really quite brilliant. I can think of about five people who on this board who I'm pretty sure would be blown away by it.

I know, right?, Monday, 10 December 2007 21:17 (ten years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Classic, even if the newer albums have been a bit of a letdown.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 22 November 2009 14:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

(To be fair, haven't fully heard the newest one)

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 22 November 2009 14:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

Jeez I have a lot of catching up to do.

I AM NOT A BALONEY SANDWICH (u s steel), Sunday, 22 November 2009 14:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

What is the newest one and what are their influences these days? I can't find it!!!

I AM NOT A BALONEY SANDWICH (u s steel), Sunday, 22 November 2009 14:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

Carried To Dust (2008).

Their album run of Spoke (1997) -- Feast Of Wine (2003), and their EP run of Even My Sure Things Fall Through (2001) -- In the Reins (2005, with Iron & Wine), are .

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 22 November 2009 14:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

are STELLAR, I meant.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 22 November 2009 14:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

can someone do a S&D or ranking of their recent vinyl reissues for me? not familiar w/any of them.

98-99 road map
aerocalexico
the book & the canal
toolbox
scraping
ancienne belgique
travelall
circo

omar little, Tuesday, 12 June 2012 04:30 (five years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Algiers (the new one) is pretty spectacular. On a par of Feast Of Wire

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 05:55 (five years ago) Permalink

My thoughts exactly. Every Calexico has worthwhile moments, but this one is the best since that previous high water mark.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:51 (five years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

Alison Fensterstock ‏@AlisonF_NOLA 28 Apr
A full NOLA horn section for Calexico at #jazzfest - Jeff Albert, Derek Houston, Jason mingledorff, Charlie Halloran

curmudgeon, Thursday, 2 May 2013 23:33 (four years ago) Permalink

Their cover of Danger Zone is an all-timer.

kaleb h. (Everything You Like Sucks), Friday, 3 May 2013 00:03 (four years ago) Permalink

can someone do a S&D or ranking of their recent vinyl reissues for me? not familiar w/any of them.

98-99 road map
aerocalexico
the book & the canal
toolbox
scraping
ancienne belgique
travelall
circo

― omar little, Tuesday, June 12, 2012 12:30 AM (10 months ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Omar, if you see this I can answer this for you... sorry I missed it the first time. Best of the lot are Book & the Canal and Aerocalexico and Travelall is great almost all instrumental I think. Those live albums are fantastic and fun as well.

Evan, Friday, 3 May 2013 02:39 (four years ago) Permalink

Meant for a period after Aerocalexico there...

Evan, Friday, 3 May 2013 02:40 (four years ago) Permalink

Here's one of the other Calexico threads

New Calexico-anyone care?

curmudgeon, Friday, 3 May 2013 13:45 (four years ago) Permalink

i just saw this, thanks evan

christmas candy bar (al leong), Thursday, 9 May 2013 19:46 (four years ago) Permalink

No problem!

Evan, Thursday, 9 May 2013 20:57 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

New album in April:

For the better part of two decades, the acclaimed band CALEXICO has crossed musical barriers, embracing a multitude of styles, variety in instrumentation, and well-cultivated signature sounds. With their forthcoming record Edge of the Sun, out 13th April on City Slang, they take inspiration from a trip to a place surprisingly unexplored by the band before in Mexico City, with the benefit of many friends and comrades to help guide the way.

The first outside invitation came when the band’s Joey Burns was writing the track “Bullets and Rocks” and recognized space for a former Calexico collaborator. “When putting vocals on that song, it immediately reminded me of the Iron & Wine feel,” says Burns. “So I texted Sam (Beam), who wrote back quickly and got it going.”

Encouraged by the experience, the guest list grew to include Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Nick Urata (Devotchka), Carla Morrison, Gaby Moreno, Amparo Sanchez and Neko Case. Burns’ brother John Burns lent a hand to some lyrics and songwriting, and the band’s keyboardist, Sergio Mendoza, stepped up to co-write and arrange certain songs. “Going to another city to jumpstart the creative process helped us to know what this record is about and where we are as a band, like an open canvas with few ties to normal routines when recording and writing,” says Burns.

Initially expecting for the world of Calexico to mesh with the sounds and vibe of Mexico City and take on varied overt Latin influences, Burns and Convertino were amazed when they left the country with some of their poppiest songs to date. Album opener “Falling from the Sky” is earnestly straightforward in its rafter-reaching approach, while songs such as the electronica “Cumbia de Donde” and the cinematic swell of “Coyoacán” were more direct results of the foreign experience and the type of lessons that can only be realized upon reflection.

Edge Of The Sun tracklisting:
1. Falling From The Sky with Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses)
2. Bullets & Rocks with Sam Beam (Iron & Wine)
3. When The Angels Played with Pieta Brown & Greg Leisz
4. Tapping On The Line with Neko Case
5. Cumbia de Donde with Amparo Sanchez
6. Miles from the Sea with Gaby Moreno
7. Coyoacán
8. Beneath The City Of Dreams with Gaby Moreno
9. Woodshed Waltz with Greg Leisz
10. Moon Never Rises with Carla Morrison
11. World Undone with Takim
12. Follow The River with Nick Urata (Devotchka)

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 27 January 2015 15:49 (three years ago) Permalink

http://www.casadecalexico.com/welcome/edge-of-the-sun/

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 27 January 2015 15:51 (three years ago) Permalink

https://soundcloud.com/casadecalexico/cumbia-de-donde

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 27 January 2015 15:53 (three years ago) Permalink

Last record didn't make a huge impression but I saw them on the tour and they still put on one of the best live shows around. Regardless, I hope they eat well the rest of their lives on the basis of Feast of Wire alone.

They've had a strange career; never really had a buzzband/BNM album from the indie crowd, yet they aren't fully on the jamband circuit either. Nevertheless, every show of theirs I've been to has been packed.

klonman, Friday, 30 January 2015 17:23 (three years ago) Permalink

New song sounds like it exists solely to be a clap-along for their live show.

I'd say Feast of Wire WAS their buzz/indie cred album. They are a very fun live band- the kind of show you can bring your otherwise disengaged parents/friends/family/whoever to and they'll have a great time.

I worry that most people perceive them as merely some kind of tostitos-commercial/Wilco hybrid. They have some great albums and I particularly love when they experiment with sparse instrumentation.

Evan, Friday, 30 January 2015 19:02 (three years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Listening to an advance of the new album, unsurprisingly great.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 1 April 2015 02:43 (two years ago) Permalink

And last night on TV

http://teamcoco.com/video/calexico-04-02-15

Ned Raggett, Friday, 3 April 2015 17:48 (two years ago) Permalink

Haven't heard it but the early buzz is very encouraging. Hope they get a late career revival ala Kozelek (but more deserved).

Unfortunate tosititos-commercial perception otm. I remember even when Feast of Wire was out, critics always backhandedly referred to them as a one-trick pony, which seems unbelievably off the mark considering how much genre territory they cover.

klonman, Tuesday, 7 April 2015 18:34 (two years ago) Permalink

I mean they are always pretty overtly southwestern/desert vibe, but if you actually actively listen it's easy to see that they're always creative and bring in a variety of influences for sure!

Evan, Tuesday, 7 April 2015 19:09 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

dunno this album is kind of awful - no distinctive edge or angle or vibe or appeal

courtney barnett formula (seandalai), Saturday, 25 April 2015 01:00 (two years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

I would disagree! But I would.

Interviewed John C. for the SF Weekly:

http://www.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco/calexico-fillmore/Content?oid=3771221

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 2 July 2015 16:45 (two years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

The new one is Calexico goes arena rock? Three preview songs out now that couldn't/could bode well?

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 08:42 (three weeks ago) Permalink

After a second listen, I would add more question marks to that post.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 23 January 2018 08:43 (three weeks ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Anyone check out the full album yet?

hoooyaaargh it's me satan (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 15:42 (one week ago) Permalink

I haven't. I'm like 3 albums behind on this band, honestly. I usually put on all those tour only albums that got reissued a few years ago (love those) but have been slacking otherwise.

Evan, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 15:46 (one week ago) Permalink

listening now, kinda a grab bag in terms of style and quality. my fav track so far is "Thrown to the Wild," which does the windswept tex-mex post rock thing that only they can do so well.

hoooyaaargh it's me satan (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 16:32 (one week ago) Permalink

They've put out lots of good stuff, but I still can't tell if they take too long between records or not enough time.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 6 February 2018 17:06 (one week ago) Permalink

They've been hit and miss for a while now. New one especially.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 18:49 (one week ago) Permalink

I thought Algiers was a solid album, and they always manage to bring the best out of their collaborators whenever they do a joint project.

idk, i loved their '00s output enough that i'm gonna listen to everything they do from now on

hoooyaaargh it's me satan (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 19:27 (one week ago) Permalink

"Unconditional Waltz" is kinda weird in that it's essentially a instrumental cover of "America" by Simon & Garkfunkel, I wonder if they credit it on the liner notes?

It's not delivery, it's Adorno! (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 21:22 (one week ago) Permalink

idk, i loved their '00s output enough that i'm gonna listen to everything they do from now on

― hoooyaaargh it's me satan (voodoo chili), Tuesday, February 6, 2018 Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Oh, I feel the same way - I mean, I give every album a chance and I make a point to hang onto all the songs I like. But it's been a while since I loved an album all the way through.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 22:21 (one week ago) Permalink


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