It seems like Tom Russell has been around forever, usually rocking his country-folk approach, with hints of Americana fueled by Mexicana. He’s got a new record coming out on Shout Factory in September titled Mesabi, and I’ve really been channeling the music of my father today, so this track definitely hits home. But, for those of you unfamiliar with the veteran, you’ll find vocal reminiscent of Roky E, which is no surprise since both men have been rocking the Texas scene for some time. But, the use of trumpets, gives this more of a straight-up country-rocker, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Oh, and if you need some indie cred to add to your listening pleasure (you know, to make it cool), then note that Van Dyke Parks and Calexico help all over the new work.
Download: Tom Russell – Mesabi [MP3]
Calexico have a sweet new song that debuted this week on the Threadless t-shirt website. The song was released through Threadless in conjunction with a new design by the company. Check out the t-shirt design or listen to new song “Absent Afternoon” below.
Download: Calexico – Absent Afternoon [MP3]
A few days ago, we gave you part one of our albums of the year list. Today we bring you the best of the best from a wide range of artists who brought the noise this year. We’ve fought it out amongst our ATH writers for weeks and these are the albums that we all loved. These 15 albums went into thunderdome and emerged victorious. Follow the jump to see if your favorite band made the Top 15 of 2008.
ATH recently had the good fortune of chatting it up with famed songwriter Joey Burns about his Tucson based band Calexico. The interview should give you an adequate preview for the band’s upcoming sure to be sold out show at Antone’s on Friday night. Mr. Burns answers the tough questions and also reflects on his one and done stint as an actor. Follow the jump to read this incredible interview with Calexico’s front man, Joey Burns.
Apollo Sunshine recently played an acoustic 3 song set for the Livedaily website. The site has also featured some great acoustic sets by The Ting Tings, Rogue Wave, Calexico and a bunch of others. Check out the live videos now and find out why this is one of our new favorite bands.
Calexico recently did a short live set for the NPR Sound Check website. As always, the band blows you away with the strength of their stripped down live songs. Check out the whole thing on the NPR website. Don’t forget that the band will be making a stop in town Nov. 7th at Stubbs but we’ll remind you about that closer to the date.
This is the Calexico I know and love. This is the Calexico I fell in love with when I was just a little lad. No offense to those of you who enjoyed the more rock oriented stylings of Garden Ruin from 2006, but I personally found that album mostly boring and too ordinary. No no, give me that band I used to know from the days of The Black Light or Feast of Wire any day. Much to my delight, newest album Carried to Dust shows a return to that missed form. The guys even hark back to the old Mexican themed album covers after the random black bird on the cover of their last album.
The sound I’m talking about is that dusty, old, spaghetti western, Quentin Tarantino movie soundtrack makin’ sound that’s been the staple of Calexico since their very beginnings. When listening to some of the tracks on this album, specifically tracks “El Gatillo” and “Man Made Lake”, can’t you imagine these as a build up to a bloody shoot out? Or our hero riding off into the Mexican sunset? I can’t seem to get it out of my head.
Another huge highlight on this album, and something I can’t remember Calexico pulling off before, is the sweet dueling vocals of “Inspiración”. The song almost seems like a Spanish version of a song that came out earlier this year called “You Want That Picture” featuring Bonnie “Prince” Billy & Ashley Webber. I loved that song and I can’t get over this one either. Maybe I’m a sucker for good male/female blended harmonies.
Then there’s Sam Bean of Iron & Wine. Sam shows his face later in the album on standout track “House of Valparaiso”. The song sounds like it could have easily been something left over from the 2005 Calexico/Iron & Wine EP. Sam Bean’s rusty and worn voice fits perfectly with the intimate feel of this track. If I had my way, Iron & Wine would merge with Calexico and take over the world.
I can’t really find any holes in the album, maybe besides random filler song “Sarabande In Pencil Form” and a possible throw away in “Writer’s Minor Holiday.” Calexico can speed things up with the best mariachi bands and then bring you back down with a heart felt serenade. Here’s to hoping for more of the same from Calexico.
Spinner has been outta site with all the full album streams they post up each week. This week they have all kinds of goodness, like new Calexico, The New Year, Chad Vangaalen and a whole slew of others. Check out the full album streams and feel free to tell us what you think about any of ’em.
ATH favorite Calexico has a new song available for download off their forthcoming album Carried to Dust due out September 9th. The song is called “two silver trees” and you can hear it below. The album is said to feature Sam Bean of Iron & Wine among others. Read more about Calexico at Casa de Calexico and for those of you that don’t “habla español”, that means “House of Calexico”.