Carried To Dust CD (2008)

Artist: Calexico

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Calexico's Finest Album To Date

by Trillian on 9/20/2008

I'll admit I have been a huge Calexico fan for awhile, but each of their albums have had a few songs that just didn't do it for me. Not so with this album, which could alternately be titled "The Best Elements Of Calexico From Start To Finish." If you're looking for Calexico's trademark mariachi-style trumpets married to a modern techno beat, you'll find it in "Inspiracion" and the guitar-heavy "El Gatillo". "Two Silver Trees" is a superb effort that combines some seriously seductive hooks with the softer side of Joey Burns' amazing vocals. Like many people, I'm eagerly waiting for another Iron & Wine/Calexico collaboration, so I was delighted to listen to Sam Beam's guest contribution on the exquisitely gorgeous "House of Valparaiso". As a whole I think Calexico take a step or two toward the pop side of things, but let me stress that this is not a bad thing in the least. ALL of the classic elements of the band are here in spades - the creative instrumentation, thoughtful lyrics, and wonderful vocal arrangements. This makes for one heck of a fine album, and an extremely enjoyable one at that.

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Product Overview


Label Quarterstick Records/ada
SKU 208938891
UPC 036172010820
UPC 14 00036172010820
Format CD
Release Date 9/9/2008
Author Calexico
Associated Artist/Work Arcade Fire
Associated Artist/Work Iron & Wine
Associated Artist/Work Iron and Wine
Associated Artist/Work Original Soundtrack
Technical Info
CatalogID Qs108pr
Lable Name Quarterstick
Released 09/09/2008
Original Release 2008
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00036172010820
Album Notes and Credits
Calexico: Jacob Valenzuela (vocals, trumpet, vibraphone); Martin Wenk (whistling, accordion, trumpet, French horn, omnichord, vibraphone, glockenspiel, background vocals); Paul Niehaus (electric guitar, baritone guitar); Volker Zander (upright bass, electric bass); Joey Burns.
Personnel: Amparo S nchez, Pieta Brown (vocals); Bo Ramsey (guitar, electric 12-string guitar); Nick Luca (electric guitar, vibraphone); Douglas McCombs (electric guitar); Craig Schumacher (lap steel guitar); John Convertino (banjo, marimba, drums, cowbells, guiro, shaker, tambourine); Michael Fan (violin); Chris Schultz (drum machine); Sam Beam (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Chris Schultz; Craig Schumacher.
Recording information: WaveLab Studio, Tucson, AZ.
Photographer: Corey Rusk.
After 2006's GARDEN RUIN, which downplayed the last half of Calexico's portmanteau name considerably in favor of an alt-folk sound much more in line with their occasional collaborators, Iron and Wine, CARRIED TO DUST is a strong return to the classic Calexico sound. Joey Burns and John Convertino infuse their largely acoustic indie rock songs with Ennio Morricone-style spaghetti western climaxes, mariachi horns, flamenco guitars, and other evocative sounds of the American Southwest. One difference is a newfound political sensitivity, best heard on the powerful opener, "Victor Jara's Hands," in honor of the Chilean poet and political activist tortured and murdered by henchmen of his country's brutal military junta in 1973. Another highlight is "El Gatillo (Trigger Revisited)," a complete reworking of a song that first appeared on 1998's THE BLACK LIGHT. CARRIED TO DUST is available as a digital download, a standard CD, and a vinyl LP.
Professional Reviews
Spin (p.114) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Bouncing from South American political icons to snowy Russian cities, CARRIED TO DUST's songs travel a trail that seems carved out of ancient echoes."
Alternative Press (p.153) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[M]ost of DUST's tracks have a cinematic quality, from the haunting strings of the shockingly Simon And Garfunkel-esque 'The News About William' to the full-blown mariachi vibe of 'Inspiracion'..."
Magnet (p.102) - "Burns and Convertino have swapped sincere-yet-simplistic politics for mysterious, discursive travelogues and brought back the mariachi horns and twangy desert guitars."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.112) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "This time the desert noir instrumentals are back and as captivating as ever, ranging from spaghetti western to orchestral."
Blender (Magazine) (p.79) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his Arizona six-piece makes music about drifing from crumbling dance halls to off-the-grid cantinas, all richly evoked by Ennio Morricone guitars, mariachi horns and pedal steel."
Paste (magazine) (p.59) - "CARRIED TO DUST is all wide-open spaces....Journeying infuses most of the album, from 'Bend to the Road' to haunting closer 'Contention City'....This one is a beauty from start to finish."
Clash (magazine) (p.109) - "Central track 'Man Made Lake' tells the whole story -- poetic, beautiful and with that familiar Mexican sound to it."
Disc 1
1 Victor Jara's Hands
2 Two Silver Trees
3 News About William, The
4 Sarabande In Pencil Form
5 Writer's Minor Holiday
6 Man Made Lake
7 Inspiracion
8 House of Valparaiso
9 Slowness
10 Bend To the Road
11 El Gatillo (Trigger Revisited)
12 Fractured Air (Tornado Watch)
13 Falling From Sleeves
14 Red Blooms
15 Contention City
Product Attributes
Artist Calexico
Label Quarterstick
Music Format Compact Disc

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Calexico's Finest Album To Date by Trillian on Sep 20, 2008