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There are constants in the shapeshifting collective known as Calexico: Calexico founders Joey Burns (Vocals/Guitar) and John Convertino (drums). Together they have lit up the indie scene for over a decade, releasing six albums and five EPs. Their music has hints of country, jazz, and indie rock, combined with a hearty dose of Latin styles. Their name reflects their mixed heritage, which is in turn reflected in their music. Another trademark of Calexico is the richly narrative aspect of their lyrics. The stories they tell, in large part reflections of their native Southwest, are moving and dramatic.
Burns and Convertino met in LA in 1990 through the band Giant Sand. They both collaborated with Giant Sand, eventually relocating when the band moved to Arizona in 1994. Their first independent work was recorded on the album Spoke in 1996, under the small Hausmusik label. At the time, Spoke was both the album and band name. Spoke caught the attention of Quarterstick Records, and the band signed under their new name. "Calexico" is the name of a town in southern California, and reflected the band's diverse musical roots. In 2007, Quarterstick re-released Spoke.
By the time Calexico released their next album, The Black Light (1998),they were a cornerstone of the Arizona music scene. The band reinforced this with Hot Rail (2000) and Scraping (2002), still keeping the Quarterstick label. In 2003, their LP Feast of Wire became a huge hit, making the Billboard Heatseekers and Independent Album charts. One song from the album, "Guero Canelo," was chosen for the soundtrack to Collateral, a blockbuster featuring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx.
In 2005, the band was introduced to Iron & Wine, and a collaboration was hatched. The result was an EP under the title In the Reins, a critical success. In the Reins marked the first time the band appeared in the Billboard 200. Additionally, they hit the #12 spot on the independent charts. Since then, the band released Carried to Dust in 2008 and has toured with Arcade Fire. Their new album, Algiers, was released September 11, 2012.
They are on tour in Europe and return to the states in October to play the 930 Club in D.C. on October 11, and a full show at Union Transfer in Philly on Friday night, October 12.
Recent Release: Algiers
Release Date: September, 2012
Label: ANTI Records