Wednesday, March 14, 2007

ROCKIN' with Calexico, the eclectic Tucson, AZ inde-roots band with an automotive heart









Calexico is a Tucson, AZ-based collective of musicians focused around Joey Burns and John Convertino. They created an eclectic identity through their forays through Southwestern culture, Portuguese 'fado,' Afro-Peruvian music, '50s and '60s jazz, country, and surf music.
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Calexico is named after the border city in Southern California.
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The band originated in 1990 when Burns, who was studying music at the Univ. of California at Irvine met up with Convertino, who was playing drums in Giant Sand. That band moved to Arizona in 1994, and after some evolution became Calexico in 1996. Their debut album was "Spoke," recorded that year--and is the inspiration for the poster second from the top, above. The poster artists were the Factor 27 design collective, headed by Geoff Peveto and Paul Fucik. They used a bicycle chain as part of the art, along with foil. It is now a rare and desirable piece, given the band's popularity.
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Calexico built their inde profile by touring as a support act for bands such as Pavement, Wilco, Iron& Wine, Ozomatli, and Los Lobos. They also have been cheered by crowds at festivals including Bonnaroo, and have collaborated with artists as divergent as Nancy Sinatra and Neko Case. Many of their best CD's are live recordings.
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As you can well see, the band has great affection for automotive art to portray their roots, influences, and discoveries. Their newest gig poster, shown fourth from the top here, was illustrated by Daymon Greulich for a recent Australian appearance. Billy Perkins, based in Austin, handled the poster featuring both Los Loney Boys and Calexico.
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"[Lately] I've been channeling Charlie Watts [drummer for the Rolling Stones] while Joey channels Mike Watt [bassist for the Minutemen]," remarked John Convertino on the band's website http://casadecalexico.com/about/.
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