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    Calexico Biography

    Calexico, a Tucson collective of musicians focused around Joey Burns and John Convertino, has forged an eclectic identity through their exploration of Southwestern culture. Composer Ennio Morricone's spaghetti Westerns as well as Portuguese fado; Afro-Peruvian music; and '50s and '60s jazz, country, and surf music all factor into Calexico's melting-pot music.

    Given the band's eclectic, adventurous sound, it's no surprise that Joey Burns' picks for 10 "mixtape" songs run the gamut from avant-garde jazz to minimal electronica to blues slide guitar. Learn more about Joey's picks and listen to the ones for which we were actually able to track down clips:

    1. Vinicio Caposella - "Non Trattare" from the album Ovunque Proteggi
    "Italy's very own master of the strange and mysterioso. Vocals that creak, caw and moan under a rusted moon, all accompanied by eastern stringed instruments, primitive sounds and surreal musical diversions, the whole scope of this album moves like a freshly peeled scar. Heard about this album from producer JD Foster while working in Tucson. Picked it up in Milano while doing press interviews. It proved an excellent soundtrack for the long winding train rides and only wished I'd given it to Marilyn Manson when I saw him boarding the same plane going back home. Think he would've gotten into it. Good music for doing watercolors."

    2. El Perro Del Mar - "I Can't Talk About It" from the self-titled album on Memphis Industries
    "Makes me think of David Lynch, Julie Cruise, Phil Spector, Brian Wilson, I can't really pin it down. It is weird. Minimal. Saturated with a head tilt beauty that is hard to...talk about. It's Swedish, what more can I say. Excellent photo on the back cover of chanteuse Sarah and her chihuahua."

    3. Eric Dolphy - "Gazzeloni" from the Blue Note album Out to Lunch
    "Eric is my hero. His arc is bird like. He swoops. Soars and is not afraid to skronk. The ensemble backing him know exactly how to balance the chaos and dissonance with sweet bepop lines most harmonious and soulful. I take this wherever I go."

    4. Wechsel Garland - "Verbluten" on the album Liberation von History
    "This album came out a while ago. One of my favourite ambient, instrument and electronic albums along similar thought-lines and aesthetics as Oval. There is a texture and tone that I love. There are some beautiful surprises here and a playfulness from a simple melodica that interplays with glockenspiel and Rhodes keyboard while in the background there are some very laid back ambient percussive beats and bonks. Daydream Highway."

    5. Madalena DeMelo - "Fado Estoril" from the Archives of Portuguese Fadistas (1928-1931)
    "I once walked into a junk store on Congress Ave in downtown Tucson and heard the sound of a woman's voice heavy with emotion and steeped in minor blues, accompaniment was minimal just a nylon string guitar and another draped with flourishes from a harpsichord-like double chorused guitar, known as the Portuguese guitar. These old recordings from 78's seem more and more to make sense as technology takes off omitting the most important ingredient, soul."

    6. Euros Childs - "Circus Time" from the album Chops
    "Solo album from the lead singer of the band Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. This album of simple home recorded pop songs sung in both Welsh and English makes the inner clocks turn both ways and evokes feelings both joyful and sad. Simple melodies placed with electronic synth sounds and acoustic arrangements keep toes tapping, hums a humming and the mind drifting. This here track is keeper. Enjoy."

    7. Lhasa - "Con Toda Palabra" from the album The Living Road
    "One of the best singer/songwriters I have heard in a long, long time. Her music is timeless. The ambience on her album seems to unveil a world full of raw emotion, mystery and capturing the essence of saudade. Her voice draws the audience closer and closer upon each listen with her descriptive tales sung in English, Spanish and French. Looking forward to the next album, or if you are interested buy her first, La Llorona."

    8. Rainer - "River of Real Time" from the album Worried Spirits
    "Tucson's own otherworldly blues maestro of the slide guitar (National and Dobro). His ability to draw upon tradition and yet take the spirit of the music further out, remains a landmark for those that have been fortunate to hear his music or see him play live. Unfortunately Rainer Ptacek has passed away in 1997 due to terminal cancer. His music is love and embraces the spirit in the most down to earth way."

    9. Admiral Freebee - "Baby's Chest" from the album Songs
    "Belgian crooner and disciple of the Neil Young school of poetic pondering and wandering heart songs that never tire of being spun or sung along to. This one drifts in like a cloud and hangs there in between stereo speakers and does what so many songs don't do. Floats like a ghost in the middle of the chest."

    10. Erik Satie - "Danses Gothiques" and "Prelude de La Porte Heroique de Ciel" - Reinbert de Leeuw on solo piano
    "Actually the whole 2 disc set on Phillips is essential listening, as the pianist takes the repertoire and for the first time interprets Satie's minimal music slower paced than pianists before him. The songs make more sense with air and space allowed into the mix. A great way to end a mix or drift into the end of your day. I am finishing mine in Paris, seems fitting."

    bon soir - joey from calexico

    Calexico's latest album, Garden Ruin, is available now in the ARTISTdirect Store.

    Calexico Bio from Discogs

    Calexico is a band from Tucson, Arizona that shares a sun-bleached border with many performers and musical styles. Comprised of two core members, Joey Burns and John Convertino, Calexico became its own entity in 1996 with the release of the Spoke LP. Although that record marked the band’s first official output, Joey and John had already been playing together as collaborating members of Arizona mainstays Giant Sand. A wide variety of tours, performances (including the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals) and recording sessions as Calexico and with other artists (Neko Case, Victoria Williams, Richard Buckner), as well as their continuing relationship with Giant Sand, allowed the band the opportunity to develop as artists. Over time, Calexico has featured a revolving cast of musicians and instruments, and the band’s sonic growth can be traced through its varied releases.

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