Calexico has been described many ways, alt-country, desert-noir, indie-rock, even Latin/jazz fusion. No matter what you label it, the band from Tucson plays an exceptional live show. Last night's performance at Emo's was the first time Calexico had played in Austin in four years. The large audience on hand, late on a Wednesday evening is an indicator of how well-liked the band is in Central Texas. The satisfying, 90-minute set turned in by the band is why Calexico has gained such a big following in Austin and nationally.
Four years is also how long it has been since Calexico put out an album. Core members, Joey Burns and John Convertino decided to record their latest effort in New Orleans at the urging of longtime producer, Craig Shoemacher. The new album, "Algiers" was named for the NOLA neighborhood the band stayed in while recording at Living Room Studios. It is the seventh full-length album by Calexico. You can grab a free download of "Para" from "Algiers" at the band's website.
The setlist contained plenty of material from the new album interspersed with recognizable songs like "Across the Wire" from 2003's "Feast of Wire" which the band played early in the set. The inclusion of a vibraphone and accordion in the instrumentation demonstrated the band's willingness to experiment with new instruments while staying true to their sound. Watching Convertino play trumpet is always a treat. Seeing Calexico perform is akin to watching a well-trained orchestra the way they play together. Other highlights included "Splitter" (see video) from the new album and "Sunken Waltz" (Feast of Wire). See a sample setlist from their tour below.
Setlist from Jan 22 via Setlist.fm:
Across the Wire
Minas De Cobre
Maybe On Monday
Sinner in the Sea
Not Even Stevie Nicks
Alone Again Or (Love cover)
Better and Better
Corona (Minutemen cover)
The Vanishing Mind
Calexico continue on their U.S. tour with eight more dates before heading to Europe. Remaining U.S. tour dates are listed below.
Jan 24 One Eyed Jack's New Orleans,
Jan 25 Buckhead Theatre Atlanta, GA
Jan 26 Cat's Cradle Carrboro, NC
Jan 27 Mountain Stage Charleston, WV
Jan 29 Brown Theatre Louisville, KY
Jan 30 Mercy Lounge Nashville, TN
Jan 31 The Pageant St Louis, MO
Feb 01 The Blue Note Columbia, MO
Feb 02 Granada Lawrence, KS
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