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Feast of Wire

CalexicoAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

Price: $15.47 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 16 Songs, 2003 $9.49  
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Vinyl, 2008 --  

Amazon's Calexico Store


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"Para" from the new album Algiers


They call New Orleans a melting pot. When one thinks about it like that, it’s hardly surprising that this is where CALEXICO reconvened to record their seventh full-length album, ALGIERS. Joey Burns and John Convertino have long called upon an extended range of musical influences, blending them together so distinctly that the results have almost become a genre of their own. Nonetheless, ... Read more in Amazon's Calexico Store

Visit Amazon's Calexico Store
for 39 albums, 6 photos, videos, and 12 full streaming songs.

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Feast of Wire + Carried to Dust + Black Light
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 18, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Quarter Stick
  • ASIN: B000089CPF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,608 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sunken Waltz
2. Quattro (World Drifts In)
3. Stucco
4. Black Heart
5. Pepita
6. Not Even Stevie Nicks...
7. Close Behind
8. Woven Birds
9. The Book and the Canal
10. Attack El Robot! Attack!
11. Across The Wire
12. Dub Latina
13. Guero Canelo
14. Whipping the Horse's Eyes
15. Crumble
16. No Doze

Editorial Reviews

Unlike the ever-experimenting Lambchop, to whom they are often compared, Calexico stick to their niche. Since Calexico don't spring as many stylistic surprises on us as the sprawling Nashville ensemble, their track record is also less erratic. While Feast of Wireis a bit quieter than its three full-length predecessors, it also fits neatly into an ever-impressive body of work. John Convertino and Joey Burns--the Tucson band's core--only confirm their status as folk storytellers, their songs as irreducibly American as Cormac McCarthy novels, and their trademark Southwestern, sun-baked Ennio Morricone sound continues to be ambitiously timeless. "Black Heart," for instance, begins like a Portishead outtake before swelling majestically. Even when they shuffle styles ("Close Behind" marries '60s western grace with assured melodic chops, and "Attack El Robot! Attack!" goes off in an almost Devo-like direction before smoothly segueing into the full-on mariachi extravaganza of "Across the Wire"), they retain an immediately identifiable personality. Calexico may not make headlines, but this album solidifies their standing as one of the most endearingly idiosyncratic bands on the American scene. --Elisabeth Vincentelli

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sweeping Southwestern Soundscape April 21, 2004
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
My first taste of Calexico was a song they did on a Lee Hazlewood tribute album. I was intrigued by their sound and decided to get one of their CDs to broaden my overview. For no particular reason, I settled on Feast of Wire.
There is a lot to like here, with a multitude of musical influences evident. Listening through, I swear at times I'm hearing Neil Young or Ennio Morricone. At other times, I hear the sounds of funk-soaked jazz soundtrack music a la Barry Adamson. And always around the corner one hears strains of the borderlands sounds that have come to be known as desert rock. Even the cover art is evocative of the southwestern frontier.
My favorite songs here are Sunken Waltz, Quattro, the Morricone-infused Close Behind, Dub Latina, Guero Canelo, and the Adamsonian soundtrack jazz of Crumble.
With Feast of Wire, Calexico offers a sweeping southwestern soundscape that will carry you far away from the cares of the day. I recommend this to anyone who is musically adventurous and has a taste for the borderlands in their blood.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pitchforkmedia Review 8.9 out of 10. Exceptional! March 15, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Calexico have always been restless experimenters, juxtaposers and journeymen, crafting a unique fusion of bluesy Mariachi, desert-rock and jazz, and injecting healthy doses of experimentation into the otherwise straightforward records on which they've made guest appearances. Yet, for their innovation and distinctive sound, their albums have always had their weak spots-- moments in which their ideas seemed to be running away with the band's ability to execute them. That time has passed. All of Calexico's previous strengths come home to roost on Feast of Wire, the band pushing their experiments further than ever before and pulling each of them off unfalteringly. In short, Calexico have created their first genuinely masterful full-length, crammed with immediate songcraft, shifting moods and open-ended exploration.
A brief acoustic guitar figure and pounding waltz beat open things at a crisp gait. Joey Burns quickly intones with the lines, "Washed my face in the rivers of empire/ Made my bed with a cardboard crate," immediately establishing the tension of the borderline that pulls Calexico's music in its many directions. Burns is suddenly a singer-- he's always made do with what he had, but the limitations that were once so apparent have developed into a strong and confident tenor, assertive and emotive. The music behind him feels bolder and more courageous, too, as the veil of obscurity that guarded so much of their previous releases has vanished. The detail of this album is utterly stunning, as melodies rise against countermelodies, subtle electronic processing seals guitars in amber, and instruments blend in fascinating and unpredictable ways.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A feast of post-Mariachi rock music March 3, 2003
By ogmb
Format:Audio CD
In a way the reviewer from Phoenix sums it all up, because if you believe in a world strictly divided into simple categories by intransigent boundaries, Calexico's music obviously isn't for you. Gringos shan't play with mariachi bands just as the white hillbilly kid from Tupelo, Miss., had no business stealing that negro groove (or even worse, their gospel music), Robert Zimmerman turned into Judas when he picked up the electric guitar and Sandy Koufax should have been driven off the mound because Jews don't play baseball. Boundaries are easy ways out for those who want to avoid the harder task of judging a work on its merit rather than by the classifiers it reinforces or breaches, and Calexico have always made it their business to negate the borderline that separates the Sonoran desert into a Calexican and a Mexicali part (which might explain in part why they're so much more popular in boundary-infested Europe than in their home country).
For those who appreciate Calexico for who they are, this album is amazing. For most of the album Calexico's high wire (sic) act between the populist and the intricate works out perfectly, and unlike some of the earlier albums Feast of Wire actually flows. Sunken Waltz and Quattro find a perfect way to match the groove of the music and the sobriety of the message, and Black Heart even manages to top this feat. Ironically, for the most part the mariachi elements are muted and make place for a more pronounced European influence: the string arrangements on Black Heart and Close Behind recall Goldfrapp, Yann Tiersen or Francoiz Breut's stunning Vingt a Trente Mille Jours rather than Mariachi Luz de Luna. (Again, the influences here are mutual and far from a crowd-pleasing career move.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A FEAST OF AMERICANA November 10, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Feast of Wire bends the alt. country genre, literally past the border!

Swelling with Mariachi horns and latin rhythms, this monster of an album really is a veritable feast!

Calexico kicked around for years testing the waters and playing with their border crossing sounds until finally providing the album of genius they'd always been capable of.

Its got country, folk, mariachi, salsa and even jazz at times. But it maintains a gritty alterantive ethic the whole way through.

Its got plenty of twang, but doesnt fall into any genre traps or monotony. The variety is constantly engaging, yet the album has a fantastic coherency.

Calexico are expanding the musical palette of alternative artists in the south, and are melding their very own brand of Americana.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!!
Somewhere between Ry Cooder and Raidohead is Feast of wire. Lush soundscape strings, horns, Lap Steel, western movie sound track one second full on Jazz the next. Read more
Published 11 months ago by jimmyd
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor copy of the original "Feast of Wire"
First of all, the original "Feast of Wire" is one of my favorite Calexico albums, and I've owned it for years. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Renee Gee
4.0 out of 5 stars 2003 Calexico Abum
I hesitated to purchase this mp3 as it was older - 2003 - but it has all of the songs their known for and is truly Calexico at their best.
Published 22 months ago by coryo
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent VINYL!! Far better than the CD
The content of Feast of Wire, Calexico's most fully realized album, is 5 stars. Like 99% of modern CDs, the disc is heavily compressed; Calexico's music needs range and room to... Read more
Published on August 7, 2012 by Geee!
1.0 out of 5 stars Noise. It's Just Noise.
Noise. This album is just noise. Slow, experimental, instrumental, dissonant, plodding, moody noise. Setting your noise in a minor key doesn't make it deep. Read more
Published on June 22, 2012 by Mealy Potatoes
1.0 out of 5 stars No remastering and hardly Deluxe...
I've been a fan of Calexico since their "Spoke" album release in 1997 and can confidently suggest you keep your original version of "Feast of Wire" and steer clear of this (not so)... Read more
Published on December 17, 2010 by Lynn Zimmer
4.0 out of 5 stars Filling buffet
As good a balance of familiar and fresh found, from one of the only relevant Tex-Mex sounds around.
Published on September 17, 2009 by IRate
5.0 out of 5 stars Super collection of newer songs.
Listening to this comes as easy as a soft afternoon in the shade of maple tree. Each listen reveals more and does not tire. Recommended.
Published on November 4, 2008 by samuel clemmons
5.0 out of 5 stars Calexico plays true
I can talk about this song or that, or how Calexico has a distinctive and beautiful sound, and all that. Here's how I know this album is good. Read more
Published on November 13, 2007 by Boris Glebov
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing Effort From an EXCELLENT Band
I'd heard of Calexico, but had never purchased an album. Then I saw them play at the Republic in New Orleans the night before they were to play the annual Jazz Fest. Read more
Published on May 8, 2007 by K. Garber
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Topic From this Discussion
Calexico Cd Feast of Wire
they recorded a version of it with lyrics, but that didn't make the album; it showed up on a compilation cd somewhere though... don't quite remember where. search around on the net for "Close Behind (Vocal Mix)" and you might find it.
Aug 17, 2011 by Anthony J. Perna |  See all 2 posts
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