815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Calexico is a diverse collective based around the duo of guitarist/vocalist Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino. The Tucson, AZ based band has been cited as a melting pot for country, indie rock, various Spanish rooted sub-genres, jazz, and many other musical styles. Calexico has released six full-length albums, six original material tour albums, five EPs (one a collaboration with Iron & Wine), and a live DVD. Additionally, they have performed and recorded with notable musicians such as Andrew Bird, Neko Case, Amos Lee, Nancy Sinatra, Glen Hansard, and many more.
There’s always been intrigue and adventure at the heart of Calexico. Ever since they were a largely instrumental duo experimenting with their unique collection of instruments and soundtrack sensibilities, Joey Burns and John Convertino have constantly imbued their music with an unparalleled sense of drama, calling upon the myths and iconography of the American West and its Spanish speaking neighbor Mexico, equal parts Sergio Leone, Larry McMurtry, Carlos Fuentes and Cormac McCarthy. Naming themselves after a town near the California/Mexico border in honor of this cultural mélange, they’ve spent the eighteen years since they met in Los Angeles mapping out musical territory that had otherwise been neglected or at the very least considered the preserve of historians. Now, with Carried To Dust, they have defined that sound, calling upon almost two decades of exploration and an ensemble of musicians that must surely be the envy of bands throughout the world.
Carried To Dust represents the pinnacle of their achievement, a thrilling and moving journey through a landscape that draws upon the modern world as much as it does the decayed reminders of times past, stumbling upon unexpected delights whilst always moving forward with a pioneering sense of purpose. It presents a vivid picture of a world in which listeners can immerse themselves much as one is caught up in the tangled narrative of a Steinbeck novel or the imagery of a John Ford film, and confirms Calexico as one of the great American bands of the 21st Century.
Visiter by San Francisco band The Dodos is their second full length and first for Frenchkiss. Originally formed in 2006 under the moniker Dodobird as a one man acoustic act, Meric Long would gig around SF playing folky guitar w/ a combination of loops and ambient keyboards. Having already studied West African Ewe drumming, Meric got turned onto country blues fingerpicking and sought to create a band where the drumming could be a center role and help bring out the syncopated rhythms coming out of the acoustic guitar. Through a chance introduction by a roommate, Meric met Santa Cruz transplant Logan Kroeber, who had also been experimenting with drumming, but in the area of progressive metal. Eventually the band changed their name to the Dodos, through constant harrowing from first tourmates Peter and the Wolf, and got a rehearsal studio where they'd spend long hours improvising the music that would become their first record Beware of the Maniacs. The band quit their day jobs as a line cook and a printer and hit the road in Oct. 2006.
The Dodos' principal concept behind Visiter was to reconnect with the energy and intensity of their live show. They decided to return to Type Foundry Studio where Beware of the Maniacs had been recorded. With producer/engineer John Askew back at the helm, they began expounding upon what they had learned since the previous record. The basic drum and guitar takes were recorded live simultaneously with very minimal post production. Type Foundry's warehouse-sized live room led to experimentation with mic placement, capturing a variety of ambient & natural sounds. At one point during tracking, the audible din of a thunderstorm inspired an impromptu horn session between Meric and guest trumpeter, Cory Gray. A small section of this can be heard between the songs "Fools" and "Joe's Waltz" on the record.
Visiter was completely written while on the road from the fall of 2006 to the summer of 2007.
The name of the record came from a drawing a kid did for them when they played for his special education class at Dorsey High in South Central on a road trip down to LA. With all of their time being spent on the road, Meric's lyrics drew heavily from his experiences while touring. They would come home for days at a time, and then leave for a month, always coming and going, which pretty much shaped every relationship the band had during that year.
The Dodos toured in 2007 with Les Savy Fav, Akron/Family, Jennifer Gentle, Wovenhand and Peter and the Wolf. 2008 will bring even more touring for them with a Spring tour confirmed dates at Noise Pop and SXSW.
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