Carried to Dust CD
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It's probable that many still think of Tucson, Arizona's Calexico as an indie-rock band dabbling in the fields of country and mariachi music, but so skilfully played and richly textured is Carried to Dust, the sixth album from Joey Burns and John Convertino's long-running collective, that it feels churlish to think of them as anything less than the real deal. Uniting players including Iron and Wine's Sam Beam, Tortoise's Doug McCombs, Spanish singer-guitarist Amparo Sanchez and Iowa songwriter Pieta Brown, Carried to Dust forsakes the rockier, somewhat conventional tones of previous album Garden Ruin, harking back instead to 2003's career high watermark Feast of Wire. While diverse in genre, crucially it doesn't feel so, Calexico lassoing myriad styles and making them their own. So whether drifting the plains in true mariachi style (“Insparacion"), playing serene, lap-steel country (“Hole in Your Hand (Bend in the Road)"), or whipping up a political storm on “Victor Jara's Hand"--tribute to an activist unjustly killed by the Chilean state police in the '70s––Carried to Dust feels both adventurous and comfortable on whatever turf it chooses to walk. ––Louis Pattison
Top Customer Reviews
Some might get the idea that the "Mexican" influence means Calexico's music sounds like a failed Taco Bell ad campaign, colorful tacos and sombreros mandatory. They'd be dead wrong. It's more like the self-assured, world-wise output of Chile's storied and excellent Inti-Illimani---based upon certain elements, but ever steering the ship into uncharted waters---or the alternative soundtrack to Tarantino's awful Kill Bill movies (no offense to Morricone intended).
Perhaps the defining Calexican moment was singing and dancing along with their "Sunken Waltz" (from 2003's near-flawless Feast of Wire), a modern folk-pop fairytale about a maverick who builds a machine to sink California into the Pacific Ocean. Carried to Dust's opening cut, "Victor Jara's Hands," crackles with the same experimental folk energy. Expert Latin horns and drumwork infuse it with an elusive mystique uncommon to folk Americana. Elsewhere, slower cuts like "Falling From Sleeves" or the closing "Contention City" deliver more pastoral vibes.
The album is a "return to non-form" of sorts, as ...Read more ›
The sound quality of this recording is exellent, thanks to CALEXICO producers, and the recording / mixing engineers.
CALEXICO draws music style influences from a variety of genres : Traditional American Folk Music, Jazz, West coast sound, Rock, American "TEX-MEX".
I never thought that I'd hear a band that I enjoy, a band equals THE GRATEFUL DEAD, and THE ROLLING STONES, but CALEXICO IS THAT VERY SPECIAL BAND.
"Carried To Dust" (15 tracks; 45 min.) brings a mesmerizing mix of indie-folk-electric-country-Latin sounds, and even these descriptions don't do full justice to the band. The album consists of a slew of short (in the 3-4 min. range) songs (with 2 short instrumentals) that make their point, and then the band moves on. It all results in a dreamy state of affairs that I just can't put down. There are of course no 'hits' on here, but plenty of highlights: the opener "Victor Jara's Hands" sets the table; "Man Made Lake" ends in a searing electric guitar solo; "Inspiracion" is a Spanish-song little ditty with great Mexican horns; "House of Valparaiso" features Iron & Wine's Sam Beam on vocals; and so on. There are really no weak tracks on here, period.
In all this is a great album that deserves all the critical acclaim it has gotten. I can only hope to see these guys live at some point, what a show that I suspect it would be. Hopefully they'll be either at Coachella or Bonnaroo, both of which I'll be attending this year. Meanwhile, "Carried To Dust" is highly recommended!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love the mariachi flair with this album. I love singing in Spanish so I appreciate the Spanish lyrics the band throws into their songs. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Catharine Barlow
...although the recent Algeirs is also very good.
Calexico is the kind of band where the arrangements and production are at their peak. Read more
I'd heard several Calexico tunes on the superb Radioparadise.com internet radio station, and REALLY liked what I heard. As a result, I bought 'Carried to Dust'. Read morePublished on January 8, 2013 by Shonkers
If you are checking this out you probably know who & what Calexico is. If you don't check this out [...] This along with "Feast of Wire" are my favorite albums they have created. Read morePublished on March 21, 2011 by Maxton Cook
From the fertile cross-cultural soil of the American Southwest, John Convertino and Joey Burns have grown this smart, understated symphony, possibly their best album yet. Read morePublished on August 16, 2010 by Kevin L. Nenstiel
I made the mistake of judging Calexico on their Garden Ruin album which to me was dull and except for a few tunes like Roka, Lucky Dime and Nom de Plume, completely forgettable. Read morePublished on August 13, 2010 by The Hometown Zero
This CD is a beautiful, moving, and sometimes haunting compilation of music. I highly recommend it and have purchased several copies to share as gifts.Published on February 25, 2010 by Retail Therapy
Calexico returns with their strongest effort since "The Black Light." Joey Burns and John Convertino have recruited the same players from that album and the new record is a... Read morePublished on July 9, 2009 by Greg Kinne