Singles going steady 19: Calexico

Thursday, 13 March 2008, 14:51 | Category : Uncategorized
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Calexico are one of my favourite bands, and one that I’ll usually go to see every time they’re in London simply because they’re a fantastic live band who always put on a great show. I know I was a bit lukewarm about the last time I saw them, when they were outclassed by Beirut in support, but that won’t stop me going to see them again. Their gig at the Barbican with their Tucson buddies Mariachi Luz de Luna back in 2002 was one of the best I’ve ever been to. They must have known it was going to be special too, since the performance was filmed for their live World Drifts In DVD.

Joey Burns, John Convertino and co. are also pretty prolific. In addition to their five ‘official’ albums, they’ve recorded a heap of other stuff – EPs, tour albums etc – which have only been available at gigs or through their website. And coming to the point of this post, they’ve also done some cracking one-off singles, which include the two CD singles in my collection. They are the live favourite and oft-time encore Crystal Frontier, and their ace cover of Love’s Alone Again Or. Two brilliant songs, particularly Crystal Frontier which fairly blew me away the first time I saw Calexico at the now defunct Ocean venue in Hackney back in 2001. There are two versions of the song on the CD single – the acoustic version, which I assume they never play live, and the ‘widescreen’ version, which is as apt a title as any because Calexico’s music is just so damn cinematic, evoking Morricone, cowboys and the dust of their desert home town. Ironically, the only major use of their music in a film that I can find is Guero Canelo in the very much urban setting of LA in Michael Mann’s Collateral.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings. Here are these two songs, plus a couple of decent b-sides from the singles.

Download: Calexico – Crystal Frontier
Download: Calexico – Alone Again Or
Download: Calexico – Convict Pool
Download: Calexico – Chanel #5

Buy Calexico music from their website.

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