In the list for the Record Store Day 2013 (April 20, 2013) releases I noticed under LP’s that there will be a LP + CD release of Spiritoso by Calexico. The notes say that this was originally available only as a vinyl release on tour. While I’m not sure about that, it was part of the special box set release of Algiers– Calexico’s most recent album release. Here is what City Slang (Calexico’s European label who put out the box set) said about it:
Spiritoso [is] a full album of superb live recordings from two shows in Vienna and Potsdam [last] summer, with full symphonic orchestras. Here’s the tracklisting:
1. Frontera /Trigger *
2. Epic **
3. The News About William **
4. Black Heart **
5. Minas de Cobre **
6. Inspiracion **
7. Two Silver Trees **
8. Para *
9. Quattro (World Drifts In) **
10. Crystal Frontier **
11. The Vanishing Mind *
12. Fortune Teller **
* Live with the Radio Symphonic Orchestra Vienna
** Live with the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg
Here is a video of “Para” with the Radio Symphonic Orchestra Vienna.
Calexico is normally a band with a very complex sound, but having them backed by a symphony is a whole new experience as you can tell from the video above. If you didn’t order or missed out on the box set that included this– here is your 2nd chance!
John Convertino of Calexico holding the vinyl LP of the new Ancienne Belgique Vol 2
This morning via their Facebook Page, Calexico announced that they will be selling CD’s and vinyl of a new tour-only live release titled Anceinne Belgique Vol 2.
Hey Everyone we have a new tour only album for sale. It’s a live recording from the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels this past September 2012 featuring new songs off of the album “Algiers” as well as some old songs too. Mixed by Craig Schumacher and mastered by Jim Blackwood, it is available on CD and as a double LP on vinyl. Here’s John with a copy hot off the press. We have copies on tour.
This is volume 2, because Calexico released the first album back in 2009 of their October 2008 show, which was also a tour-only release. I wrote about it here. The first volume also got a vinyl treatment in the amazing Road Atlas Box Set of their previously CD-only tour releases. That box is out-of-print and really scarce. I wrote about the Road Atlas Box here, and made a nifty 32-minute mix of tracks from it as a freely-downloadable mp3.
The band will have copies with them on tour– currently underway in Europe and running until March 3rd. In response to all of the people commenting on the post that they wanted to buy it and couldn’t see them on their current tour of Europe, they said that they will have copies in the band’s website store “hopefully soon.” The band helpfully provided me with the tracklisting:
04. Dead Moon
05. El Picador
06. Sinner in the Sea
07. No Te Vayas
08. Maybe on Monday
11. Close Behind
13. The Vanishing Mind
14. Güero Canelo
Back in April, I announced that Calexico would be releasing their first album since 2008′s Carried To Dust. Yesterday, the band announced the details around the new album as well as tour dates.
The album will be called Algiers, and will be released by their new US label Anti- Records as well as their long-time European label City Slang.
Along with this announcement is a pre-order for a very elaborate German boxset for $99, which includes Algiers on 180g vinyl with tip on and embossed cover, 2 CD (includes a bonus CD) digipack, a photo book, a screen print of the cover art, a sticker and an exclusive live performance on 180g vinyl. If that wasn’t enough, there is a download of three bonus tracks! Calexico did a great job with the vinyl boxset of the tour-only albums, so it’s great to see they are continuing to cater to the vinyl collectors!
Epic – 4:16
Splitter – 3:30
Sinner in the Sea – 4:14
Fortune Teller – 3:57
Para – 3:53
Algiers – 3:42
Maybe on Monday – 3:37
Puerto – 4:23
Better and Better – 2:33
No Te Vayas – 4:15
Hush – 4:22
The Vanishing Mind – 3:54
Here is the first track from Algiers, “Para” (and you can download it):
Here is the video for “Para” directed by Jack Spiger:
In conjunction with this release is a fall tour with extensive European dates (from Casa de Calexico)
Here is a rough translation of the first part of the press release:
After a several-year break due to changes in their private lives, the two leaders of [Calexico] are hard at work in the studio on new material. In fall 2012 Calexico will be back with a new album and two European tours.
The new album by the band appears in early September on City Slang; directly after the album release the band will play the first [of the two] European tours.
This is pretty exciting news! It will be interesting to see where they take the new album stylistically. Although it is true that they took a break from Calexico, they have been pretty busy since 2008. They have worked with Amos Lee on his last album, Iron and Wine on the “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” contribution to the Twilight soundtrack, and the wonderful vinyl box set of their tour releases Road Atlas as well as a bunch of other work that I’m probably forgetting.
Watch my site for any updates as the story progresses! Here’s hoping for a U.S. tour!
The dusty desert highway of Tuscon-native band Calexico’s15-year career is dotted with a notable collection of passionate Latin infused Americana (for lack of another general category to place them). While the band may not be familiar to most, their music shows up in many places– from interstitial music in NPR to movie soundtracks and in their many collaborations (including one fantastic album with The Iron and Wine). If only for these works, Calexico will stand as one of the important and influential American bands.
Along this same highway of releases are the roadside attractions of Calexico’s self-released albums. These generally “tour-only” albums were released under Calexico’s own imprint Our Soil, Our Strength and served sometimes as a clearing house of studio demos and projects that didn’t make it to other albums, live albums or other experiments. Ironically, maybe, it was through one of these albums that I was first exposed to Calexico. Someone posted the instrumental collection Travelall as mp3′s on the internet newsgroup alt.binaries.sounds.mp3 which left me initially of the opinion that Calexico was an instrumental post-rock similar to Tortoise. (I didn’t know it at the time, but Travelall has Thrill Jockey artists Rob Mazurek (Isotope 217, Chicago Underground), Doug McCombs (Tortoise, Brokeback, etc.), and Noel Kupersmith (Brokeback, Chicago Underground Quartet) on it which lends some weight to that idea).
This misconception was quickly dismissed with the 2006 release of Garden Ruin which quickly made me a fan of the band and motivated me to get all of their albums, including the tour-only releases which were all limited releases and quickly fell out of print, so I had to resort to Amazon and eBay to track the ones down I couldn’t get from the band’s website and from the band during the Garden Ruin tour. All of these releases are essential to the fan of Calexico, as they provide valuable insight to the band’s creative workouts. Not forced into an album format that would have appeal to a more casual listener, we are treated to a much richer view into the true heart of the band which include an audio treasure trove of atmospheric instrumentals, audio experiments, home demos, live performances, one-off collaborations and outtakes.
So, you can imagine my excitement hearing that Calexico is releasing a vinyl box set titled Road Atlas 1998-2011. Encased in a cloth hardbound box and limited to 1,100 hand-numbered sets, Road Atlas 1998-2011 collects the tour-only releases, plus the aforementioned live release and the Circo soundtrack as well as a 40-page book by music journalist Fred Mills. In addition to the 12-LP’s, the box will include mp3-downloads of all the tracks, PLUS BONUS other unreleased music not found on the LP’s or the band’s regular releases! Here is the breakdown:
ROAD ATLAS 1998-2011
Limited Edition Hand Numbered 12 LP vinyl boxset of Calexico’s tour only CDs
Includes: 98-99 Road Map LP (originally released on CD 1999) Travelall LP (originally released on CD 2000) Aerocalexico 2xLP (originally released on CD 2001) Scraping 2xLP (originally released on CD 2002) The Book And The Canal 2xLP (originally released on CD 2005) Toolbox LP (originally released on CD 2007) Ancienne Belgique-Live in Brussels 2008 2xLP (originally released on CD 2008) Circo- A Soundtrack By Calexico LP (originally released on CD 2010) MP3 download codes for all the albums MP3 download code for previously unreleased Calexico tracks A 40-page perfect bound book of photos, handwritten notes, and extensive liner notes A heavy duty, linen wrapped, screen-printed slip case to house it all!
Priced at around $130, the box will be available via the band’s website, Touch and Go, Amazon and Insound.com. For those that don’t want to drop that kind of cash, there is also a great compilation CD of tracks from the box available as well.
I created a special 32-minute mix of tracks from the box to get you in the mood including these tracks:
“Hushabye” from Aerocalexico
“Ghost Writer” from The Book and the Canal
“Waitomo” from Toolbox
“Escrito En La Piedra” from Circo
“Two Silver Trees” from Anceinne Belgique – Live in Brussels 2008
“Dona Lupe” from Circo
“Chachaca” from Travelall
“Griptape” from The Book and the Canal
“Wind Up Bird” from Scraping
“Glowing Heart of the World” from 98-99 Road Map
The Landfall Music Festival starts this week. The Landfall Music Festival is the Legion Arts’ World Music festival that has taken place since 2008. Like last year, the festival will take place at Greene Square Park in downtown Cedar Rapids. Boasting 16 bands from all around the globe, it will run from Wednesday, September 22 to Saturday, September 25. There will not be any performances at CSPS as it is under construction due to remodeling.
One of the bands I’m looking forward to see is Cordero from Brooklyn, NY. Cordero is a Rock/Latin Rock band fronted by Ani Cordero. Following a very busy run touring in a blur indie bands– including a stint as the drummer Tweety Tone for Man Or Astroman? all-girl “clone” band the Gamma Clones– she moved to Tucson for a brief time. With help from Tucson music scene regulars Howe Gelb of Giant Sand, Joey Burns of Calexico, Naim Amor of Amor Belhoum Duo she self-released her first album Deserter in 2000. Shortly on the heels of this she moved to Brooklyn to assemble what would become Cordero, the band. The band signed to Amy Ray of Indigo Girls record label Daemon Records where they released two albums: 2002′s Lamb Lost in the City and 2004′s Somos Cordero.
In 2006 Cordero signed with Bloodshot Records (home of Alejandro Escovedo, Neko Case, Split Lip Rayfield and Ha Ha Tonka among many others). They have released two albums here: 2006′s En Este Momento and 2008′s De Donde Eres. Up until De Donde Eres, the releases from Cordero have been largely bilingual– in an interview around the release of En Este Momento, Ani said that she is comfortable writing in either Spanish or English. To that end, she said that she doesn’t even plan which language she’s going to write a particular song in. With De Donde Eres the whole album was in Spanish. Ani found that writing this album in her native tongue a catharsis following a string of unfortunate events in her life and those around her. The result is a particularly moving album and possibly her most personal effort to date.
Ani reports from the Cordero Facebook page that they have finished recording the follow-up to De Donde Eres. Produced by Sergio Eres of the venerableOs Mutantes, Cordero has left some hints about the album in the wall feed. Back in March, Ani reported that she had just returned from Las Vegas with material recorded there as well as some field recordings from Puerto Rico– so we can expect some interesting texture to these recordings.
Cordero will be finishing up the Friday night lineup of the Landfall Music Festival starting at 7:30PM. The Landfall Music Festival does not have a cover charge– but graciously accepts donations.
In what has been a treat for collectors like myself Calexico has been providing “Tour Only” releases since 1999 on their in-house label Our Soil Our Strength.
Their last tour release was in June, 2007 with Tool Box– a recording of instrumentals with just Joey and John rather than the full band.
This morning on the casadecalexico Yahoo group, Calexico/Giant Sand Archivist, KUAT jockey Jim Blackwood announced that there will be a new Tour CD Ancienne Belgique – Live in Brussels 2008. It was recorded in Brussels on October 13th, 2008, and mixed at Wavelab by Craig Schumacher. It will be available during the summer Europe tour and casadecalexico.com as well.
Here is the tracklisting:
1. Bisbee Blue
2. Roka (w/ Amparo Sanchez)
3. Bend To The Road
4. El Gatillo
5. Two Silver Trees
6. Inspiracion (w/ Amparo Sanchez)
7. Minas de Cobre
8. Man Made Lake
9. Alone Again Or
10. Fractured Air
11. Red Blooms
12. Victor Jara’s Hands
13. Crystal Frontier
01 Bisbee Blue
02 Across The Wire
03 Roka (w/ Amparo Sanchez)
04 Bend To The Road
05 The News About William
06 Writer’s Minor Holiday
07 Black Heart
08 Slowness (w/ Francoiz Breut)
09 Ballad of Cable Hogue (Francoiz Breut)
10 El Gatillo
11 Two Silver Trees
12 Inspiracion (w/ Amparo Sanchez)
13 Minas de Cobre
14 Man Made Lake
15 Alone Again Or
16 Fractured Air
17 Red Blooms
18 Victor Jara’s Hands
19 Les Jeunes Pousses (w/ Francoiz Breut and her band)
20 Guero Canelo (w/ Amparo Sanchez and Francoiz Breut’s band )
21 Crystal Frontier
It is interesting to see what songs they had to cut. All of the songs that had Francoiz Breut and her band in them were edited out.
Still, a nice selection of songs and the Carried to Dust songs have been sounding really good on tour. Amparo Sanchez from Amparanoia reprises her part on “Inspiracion” from Carried to Dust and adding her vocals to “Roka.”
The website doesn’t mention where the bonus track “Crumble” was recorded.
Here are some YouTube videos of the performance– which are gorgeous (what, no DVD release??)
“El Gatillo” from Ancienne Belgique – Live in Brussels 2008
“Inspiracion” (with Amparo Sanchez) from Ancienne Belgique – Live in Brussels 2008
“Fractured Air” from Ancienne Belgique – Live in Brussels 2008
“Red Blooms” from Ancienne Belgique – Live in Brussels 2008
Click Here to order Ancienne Belgique – Live in Brussels 2008 ($18 US, $21 World)
I was pretty happy to hear about this release. Back in 2006 during their Garden Ruin tour, Calexico taped an Austin City Limits show– part of which was aired with part of a Sufjan Stevens performance. As much as I like both acts, I was disappointed that Calexico didn’t get a full hour. On January 20th, this is fixed as New West is releasing as part of their “Live from Austin, TX” series the full Calexico performance from Austin City Limits expanding the show from the seven tracks aired to 15!
Tracklist (I’ve included whether each was originally aired and what order):
“Across The Wire” (originally aired as 1)
“El Picador” (originally aired as 3)
“Sunken Waltz” (originally aired as 4)
“Not Even Stevie Nicks” (originally aired as 2)
“All Systems Red”(originally aired as 7)
“Alone Again Or”
“He Lays In Reins”(joined onstage by the Iron and Wine) (originally aired as 6)
“Letter To Bowie Knife” (originally aired as 5)
This is a nice mix of (at the time) old and new songs. With a catalog like Calexico’s it’s interesting to see which tracks the band chose for their set at ACL, and which tracks ACL chose to air. Considering that “All Systems Red” from Garden Ruin is about the frustration of second Dubya election, it’s sort of fitting that this DVD is released at the Inauguration of President Obama.
As announced on Casa de Calexico– the official website of Calexico– Threadless is hosting exclusively as part of its “Threadless Loves Travel” contest. The contest picked a shirt design by Alex Solis called “Bird Migration” that will be a regular teeshirt at Threadless. To celebrate, the got an exclusive track from Calexico for their site called “Absent Afternoon.” It has the very distinctive sound of Willie Nelson’s harmonica player Mickey Raphael on it which is pretty cool. Per Joey:
hello threadless nation
hope you and all at threadless like the song.
it’s one of my favs.
written at home looking out the window at the weekly funeral procession…
nick luca played pump organ, first day back in the studio after recovering from a serious bout with keta acidosis and was in the hospital for a week diagnosed with diabetes type 1.
mickey raphael plays harmonica. we met him through the i’m not there movie when we recorded with he and willie nelson. he loves tucson and hangs out here whenever they are on tour. he wants to record a whole album with us here. should be fun.
paul niehaus on slide acoustic archtop guitar and lush pedal steel.
john convertino on badass drums
i play guitar, bass and sing.
enjoy threadless love what you do
thanks for being there and opening the door to our world
It’s not clear to me how long they will host the song, so grab it while you can!
Click Here to download “Absent Afternoon” by Calexico
Click Here to see the winning design at Threadless
Thanks to the folks at the Yahoo Group CasadeCalexico, we bring you a streaming video of Calexico’s concert on 10/15/08 at Paradiso Main Hall in Amsterdam. Calexico plays a nice set that focuses on Carried to Dust but also delivers old standbys like “Across the Wire” and the cover of Love’s “Alone Again, Or.”