Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

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


   

Illustrators Quentin Blake and Posy Simmonds both boast delightfully colourful CVs. Blake, perhaps best known for the illustrations that adorn Roald Dahl's children’s books, has been drawing ever since he can remember. Simmonds meanwhile, recollects, "Making a drawing of buttons when I was three." 
Newly launched monthly acoustic/folk/roots night Woodshackin', held at much-loved Brighton pub/venue The Greys, is featuring hotly-tipped young folk star Hattie Briggs in its line-up on Thursday, 2nd October.

Both headliner Lee Mack and support Mike Gunn were able ride a wave of goodwill, at the Brighton Centre, on Sunday 28th October 2014.
The rapper/poet/playwright Kate Tempest is set to launch her new book of poetry Hold Your Own; an ambitious, multi-voiced work based around the mythical figure of Tiresias.
After two years away the most popular ice show in the world, Holiday on Ice, is returning to The Brighton Centre  for one week only with their 70th anniversary show Platinum, featuring Dancing on Ice All Stars winner, Ray Quinn. **(See competition below).
The Unthanks first came to our attention when they were headlining a Great Escape night. A packed Spiegeltent next to St Peter’s Church, in Brighton, emptied rapidly as support, Bon Iver, left the venue. 

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.
Queenspark Books unveils its 104th new book this autumn. A beautifully edited compendium of writing, memories, oral histories, design and photography, Brighton Trans*formed chronicles the lives and experiences of Brighton & Hove's Transgender community. 
Glyndebourne opera house has announced the winners of its 2014 Tour Art Competition, unveiling three, contemporary female artists of the future.
Brighton was doused in colour twice at the weekend (Saturday September 20th) as more than 10,000 runners of all ages, shapes and sizes took part in The Color Run.
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