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 brightondome.org for more details.


by: Mike Cobley


   

Arts Council England has pledged £5.8m towards a major revitalisation of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival's heritage venues following a successful bid by the joint custodians of the Royal Pavilion Estate.
Sir Ian McKellen has given his backing to Wonderkid, an LGBT short film that wants to tackle homophobia in football and provide an insight into the trauma caused by homophobic stigma and challenge preconceptions about what it is to be ‘masculine'.
After teaming up with the Foo Fighters in both Scotland and South Africa, Kaiser Chiefs will find time in their busy schedule to play a date at the Brighton Centre.
After twenty years in Everything But The Girl, and ten years as a respected DJ and record label boss of Buzzin' Fly, Ben Watt announced last year he was parking everything to complete two long-planned creative solo projects. 
Started in 1976, by maverick music entrepreneurs Jake Riviera and Dave Robinson, the legendary Stiff Records changed the landscape of a moribund record industry. 
Imagine your mind has been wiped: memories, knowledge, experiences, language - every word you ever spoke, has vanished. If eventually you found the words, what would you say? 
Following the recent release of her third album 'A Perfect Contradiction'Paloma Faith is set to visit the Brighton Centre next month.
A year ago last Spring, having just announced an autumnal release of their new album, Give the People What They Want, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' world was put on hold when Sharon was diagnosed with cancer.

Brighton Film School has announced a new Film Forum monthly club for young people passionate about films and filmmaking.
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.

Talented vocal coach, Katie Holmes, who has worked with stars Leona Lewis, Professor Green and Lily Allen is the latest musical heavyweight to be included in The Band Project's amazing 'All Stars' line-up. 
It's been claimed that one-time Never Mind The Buzzcocks presenter, Simon Amstell,started his TV career at Nickoledeon where he was fired for making pop stars uncomfortable, and that he then began presenting the Channel 4 show, Popworld - where he gained a huge following for his groundbreaking work in making pop stars uncomfortable!
The city's teachers may have only recently returned to their classrooms but many of them kept themselves busy by volunteering their time over the summer for Young City Reads, Brighton's citywide reading initiative for primary school children.
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