Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 10 February 2013

Calexico: Tucson Collective Caught The New Orleans Vibe & Aim To Infect Brighton

Calexico, the Tucson collective of musicians focused chiefly around Joey Burns and John Convertino, head to Brighton Dome Corn Exchange later this month.

Never afraid to blend musical genres - Burns and Convertino cite everything from Portuguese fado, 50's jazz, 60's surf, the spaghetti western epics of Ennio Morricone and dark indie rock singer songwriters as influences – the band have created an eclectic identity through their exploration of Southwestern culture.

For their latest LP, the band left behind the dusty deserts and the loners that inhabit them and headed to New Orleans to create arguably the most exciting and accessible record Calexico have ever made: Algiers

The feel of the record – the band's seventh full-length album – is recognisably classic Calexico, but their style been revitalised and reborn by the experience of recording in the city


"I've always loved New Orleans," explains Convertino, "I knew that just by being in that place, with all that history that is so rooted in music, things would be different. 

"You can't help but pick up the vibe. The air itself moves you in a way that is very different from anywhere else."

Their working methods also changed, with Burns putting aside his nylon string guitar when he was writing in favour of either an electric guitar or even the piano, whilst Convertino was in turn inspired to play with sticks more than his trademark brushes. 

With the duo both resident in the studio at the same time, they collaborated more closely than for some considerable time, with Convertino adding lyrics and playing a greater role in the song's arrangements.

The duo first met in 1990 when they began playing together in Giant Sand with Howe Gelb.

After a stint in Tucson's neo-lounge combo Friends of Dean Martinez, the duo alternated between experimenting with their own instruments and performing as session musicians. 

Their debut album Spoke caused the music industry to sit up and take notice of their unique Tex-Mex Americana, and follow up albums The Black Light and Hot Rail soon followed.

Over the last ten years the band have release soundtrack work, live DVDs and collaborated with the likes of Nancy Sinatra, Neko Case and Iron & Wine's Sam Beam. 

As well as receiving international success, the band have even seen their music played in space - Crystal Frontier was played as wake-up music for the astronauts on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2008, and song Slowness played as the wake-up song on the space shuttle Endeavour's final flight

Calexico at Brighton Dome Corn Exchange on Tuesday 19 February. See for more details.

by: Mike Cobley


Being a Mod was a lifestyle synonymous with style, soul, Italian scooters, amphetamines and an all-encompassing twenty-four hour lifestyle.The scene was reported to be predominantly made-up of art students and working-class teenagers, who were deemed to be narcissistic, hedonistic and avowedly consumerist.

A group of young men aged 15 – 16 from Brighton & Hove will launch On the Level - an exhibition focusing on vulnerable young men from the city - with a performance at Brighton Dome (29 October 2016).

Three different Dementia Friendly screenings will be shown at the Duke of York's cinema in Brighton, with the aim of making cinema more accessible to people with dementia.

Bringing their spectral indie pop to The Green Door Store, this Autumn, Gengahr's Brighton date is just one of a slew of intimate UK shows.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Sarah McQuaid sets out on her final UK tour before she takes a year-long break from the road to record a new album. 

The Passion of Remembrance, the 1986 groundbreaking feature film by Isaac Julien & Maureen Blackwood that defined the Black experience in the UK, is to be screened at Brighton's Duke of York's. 

Like many a British musician before him, Billy Bragg, bard of Barking, singer songwriter, political activist, and musical historian has made no secret of his obsession with the songs and the mythology of the Americas, not least those of his artistic and philosophical forebear Woody Guthrie.  

It is unusual to find Joni Mitchell's River alongside Sergei Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil, but that’s exactly what happens on Katie Melua's latest record, In Winter.
Photo By James Bellorini

In 2015 William Rennie, 26, originally from Cardiff, and Darwin Prakash, 23, from Delhi in India, were participants of Glyndebourne Academy, based in Sussex, a talent development project for outstanding young singers who face barriers to following a standard path towards music college or a professional singing career.

Brighton-based tailor Gresham Blake's bold and inventive take on traditional suits has generated interested worldwide, with an impressive list of clientele including Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), Plan B, Steve Coogan and Ray Winstone among many others.

Being an iconic band is all about chemistry. Be they the Beatles, Small Faces, the Who, the Jam or the Stranglers. It's the mix of the individuals that makes the perfect whole.

A talented new filmmaker from Brighton has been making waves internationally with an award-winning short film that sheds light on Asperger's Syndrome.

Nina Conti whipped out her monkey early. It's a puppet and she used it to get to know that evening's Brighton Dome audience. It's a clever trick from a genius act as it's also a way for Nina to identify who,. later in the act, is going to be chosen to don one of her famous ventriloquist masks.

Described by the BBC as a 'spookily young Brighton trio with killer melodies and an Arctic Monkeys rasp', The RPMs have plenty to celebrate as they follow the release of their debut EP Digital Disobedience with a coveted support slot on the Buzzcocks 40th anniversary show in Brighton.

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