Friday, October 1, 2010
"Friday Night Frolic" - Arriba!
Hands down, Calexico—hailing from Tuscon, Arizona—is one of the most talented, original, and diverse group of musicians today. If I were obliged to choose one band that encapsulates the American experience, as it is today, Calexico would be my pick. Like the USA, Calexico's music is a brilliant admix of many styles and flavors. Fusing world, rock, Spanish (flamenco, mariachi), jazz, folk, blues and country, this band has spawned one of the most unique sounds in the music industry.
It is virtually impossible to lump Calexico into any distinct musical genre, which is what is so exciting about this band—they are pioneering a brand of contemporary music that has no particular taxonomy. Comprised of six members (but often collaborating with others), the group, collectively, plays approximately fifteen different instruments, including the vibraphone, cello, accordion, steel guitar, and glockenspiel.
The song Roka (Garden Ruin—2006) captures the evolution and essence of this band, evoking the American West (think Sergio Leone—as in Frontera, from Calexico's seminal album The Black Light—1998) with its Latin swing, Southwestern spice and wide open spaces. Listen to Roka below. You'll want to dance, swagger, kick up the dust, collapse in a woven hammock, close your eyes and sip a cool mojito:
And my personal favorite—cutting to the heart of the great immigration debate, a narrative of desperate circumstances, a flight across the southern border—is the song Across the Wire (Feast of Wire—2003). Pepe Romero embracing John Prine under a sweeping Texan sky (and if you haven't seen John in concert, I highly recommend it).
Have a wonderful weekend...