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Calexico - Feast of Wire

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Feast of Wire

Calexico

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Langue disponible : anglais

Feast of Wire does indeed offer a tantalizing array of sounds new and old from Calexico, including more pop-oriented takes on their already eclectic style as well as some different sonic twists. Though the album features plenty of the atmospheric interludes of their previous work -- such as the squelchy, piano-based "Stucco" and the cello- and pedal-steel-driven "Whipping the Horse's Eye" -- the overall feel of Feast of Wire is one of restraint and refinement. The album's longest song, the gorgeous, film noir/spaghetti western fusion "Black Heart," tops out at just under five minutes, and the vast majority of the tracks barely make it past the three-minute mark -- not enough time for experimentation to turn into self-indulgence. However, it feels like these shorter compositions have more impact: "Sunken Waltz" sketches a vignette of Southwestern despair with just acoustic guitar, brushed drums, accordion, and Joey Burns' papery vocals. Burns' voice plays a larger part on Feast of Wire than on previous Calexico albums, adding a humble charm to sweeping songs like "Quattro (World Drifts In)." Despite its seeming limitations, Burns' small, parched-sounding instrument is surprisingly versatile, lending a Dylan-like cast to the aforementioned "Black Heart" and a Dean Wareham-like drawl to the lilting Tex-Mex melody of "Across the Wire." Burns' vocals also dominate Feast of Wire's most uniquely accessible moments: "Stevie Nicks," a surprisingly, sunny bit of folk-rock, and the quiet, alt-country-ish "Woven Birds." But despite the steps forward Calexico makes on this album, the band still has time for their more traditional, instrumental-based music, exemplified here by "Dub Latina," "Pepita," and "Guero Canelo." The second half of Feast of Wire in particular sounds more like what you'd expect from a Calexico album, and the group touches on the different facets of that style, including the kitschy-cool "Attack el Robot! Attack," which with its crunchy drums and gurgling synths, does sort of sound like it could be from a Mexican sci-fi movie; the shuffling Latin beat, pedal steel, and mod horns on "Close Behind" give it a Morricone-meets-mariachi feel that makes it a quintessential Calexico track; and best of all, "Crumble" builds on the smoky, jazzy side of their sound that they began developing in earnest on The Hot Rail. In the hands of a lesser band, all the different sounds Calexico explore on Feast of Wire could result in a mish-mash of an album, but fortunately for them and their fans, it's one of their most accomplished and exciting efforts.
© Heather Phares /TiVo

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Feast of Wire

Calexico

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1
Sunken Waltz
00:02:27

BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

2
Quattro World Drifts In
00:04:37

BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

3
Stucco
00:00:20

BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Lunada Bay Adm. By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

4
Black Heart
00:04:48

John Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Joey Burns, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - John Burns, Composer, Lyricist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt, Words Fail Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

5
Pepita
00:02:36

BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

6
Not Even Stevie Nicks...
00:02:43

BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

7
Close Behind
00:02:51

J. Burns, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Lunada Bay Adm. By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

8
Woven Birds
00:03:47

BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

9
The Book and the Canal
00:01:44

Calexico, MainArtist - Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

10
Attack! El Robot! Attack!
00:03:16

BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

11
Across the Wire
00:03:26

J. Burns, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Lunada Bay Adm. By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

12
Dub Latina
00:02:19

BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

13
Güero Canelo
00:02:57

J. Burns, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Lunada Bay Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

14
Whipping the Horse's Eye
00:01:24

BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher - Conventino, Composer, Lyricist

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

15
Crumble
00:03:54

BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Valenzuela, Composer, Lyricist - Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm. By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

16
No Doze
00:04:14

BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Niehaus, Composer, Lyricist - Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

DISQUE 2

1
Black Heart Jazzanovas White Soul Dub
00:08:11

John Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Joey Burns, Composer, Lyricist - Jazzanova, Remixer - Calexico, MainArtist - John Burns, Composer, Lyricist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt, Words Fail Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quarterstick Records

2
Attack! El Robot! Attack! ...and How He Lost Remix by Wechsel Garland
00:03:46

BURNS, Composer - Calexico, MainArtist - Wechsel Garland, Remixer - Convertino, Composer - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2003 Quartersticks Records

3
Güero Canelo Nortex Mix by Panoptica
00:04:48

BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Panóptica, Remixer - Lunada Bay Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2003 Quartersticks Records

4
Quattro Gotan Project Remix
00:03:37

Gotan Project, Remixer - BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2003 Quartersticks Records

5
Pepita Iso68 Remix
00:05:25

BURNS, Composer - Calexico, MainArtist - Iso68, Remixer - Convertino, Composer - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2003 Quartersticks Records

6
Alone Again Or
00:03:24

Bryan Maclean, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - THREE WISE BOYS MUSIC LLC, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

7
Woven Birds Cinematic Orchestra Remixico
00:07:33

BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

8
Convict Pool
00:03:58

Joey Burns, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Lunada Bay, Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

9
Woven Birds Stratus Remix
00:06:31

BURNS, Composer, Lyricist - Calexico, MainArtist - Stratus, Remixer - Convertino, Composer, Lyricist - Lunada Bay, Good Clean Dirt Adm By Bug Music, MusicPublisher

2003 City Slang 2002 Quartersticks Records

Descriptif de l'album

Feast of Wire does indeed offer a tantalizing array of sounds new and old from Calexico, including more pop-oriented takes on their already eclectic style as well as some different sonic twists. Though the album features plenty of the atmospheric interludes of their previous work -- such as the squelchy, piano-based "Stucco" and the cello- and pedal-steel-driven "Whipping the Horse's Eye" -- the overall feel of Feast of Wire is one of restraint and refinement. The album's longest song, the gorgeous, film noir/spaghetti western fusion "Black Heart," tops out at just under five minutes, and the vast majority of the tracks barely make it past the three-minute mark -- not enough time for experimentation to turn into self-indulgence. However, it feels like these shorter compositions have more impact: "Sunken Waltz" sketches a vignette of Southwestern despair with just acoustic guitar, brushed drums, accordion, and Joey Burns' papery vocals. Burns' voice plays a larger part on Feast of Wire than on previous Calexico albums, adding a humble charm to sweeping songs like "Quattro (World Drifts In)." Despite its seeming limitations, Burns' small, parched-sounding instrument is surprisingly versatile, lending a Dylan-like cast to the aforementioned "Black Heart" and a Dean Wareham-like drawl to the lilting Tex-Mex melody of "Across the Wire." Burns' vocals also dominate Feast of Wire's most uniquely accessible moments: "Stevie Nicks," a surprisingly, sunny bit of folk-rock, and the quiet, alt-country-ish "Woven Birds." But despite the steps forward Calexico makes on this album, the band still has time for their more traditional, instrumental-based music, exemplified here by "Dub Latina," "Pepita," and "Guero Canelo." The second half of Feast of Wire in particular sounds more like what you'd expect from a Calexico album, and the group touches on the different facets of that style, including the kitschy-cool "Attack el Robot! Attack," which with its crunchy drums and gurgling synths, does sort of sound like it could be from a Mexican sci-fi movie; the shuffling Latin beat, pedal steel, and mod horns on "Close Behind" give it a Morricone-meets-mariachi feel that makes it a quintessential Calexico track; and best of all, "Crumble" builds on the smoky, jazzy side of their sound that they began developing in earnest on The Hot Rail. In the hands of a lesser band, all the different sounds Calexico explore on Feast of Wire could result in a mish-mash of an album, but fortunately for them and their fans, it's one of their most accomplished and exciting efforts.
© Heather Phares /TiVo

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