Friday, September 12, 2008

not quite not even Stevie Nicks

Ahh finally I can get back to the important blogwerk. The new Calexico album is gracious, exploratory and just mock en Español enough to make it deliriously good. The last album Garden Ruin is gorgeous and I loved it with each listen, but I felt it was too restrained, and restraint is Calexico's strong point - it is easy for musicians of their caliber to get all mariachi on some shit and pull some magic out of shtick (see their accompanyment on the EP they did with iron and Wine) but Carried in Dust has the same epic post-pop (if I may) splendor that Feast of Wire maintained. It's not quite "Not even Stevie Nicks..." but really, what is?

I know nothing about Maquilodora or their EP The Gulf except that Rhapsody suggested it and I love it/them. It's as if they took a lazy song and pulled it gently apart like one would do with meat on the smoker, peeking in to see if it's done and taking a taste regardless, because everything is best when it is smoldering and open. I have a super-secret music-writing project going that is going to usurp the vast majority of my listening for the next month, and the music is tight and insular and insidious, so this sounds perfect in contrast. If you like The Dirty Three, and you do even if you don't know you do yet, you'll like this.

I spent a whole day not long ago listening to Okkervil River, trying figure out if I like them or not and am still not sure. I think I want them to be Califone (for no real reason) and Califone has a hard time being Califone it seems, so it's really an unfair request on my part. It doesn't help that I have squeally adoration for the OR extract Shearwater, because it is neither here nor there. And now halfway through The Stand-Ins, I am thinking, they are neither The Flaming Lips, the Pernice Brothers, nor are they Wilco. They are a little Old 97's, maybe even better ones than the Old 97's are now, but none of those are fair or even useful comments, so I'll stop.

Oh wait, there is a little early Elvis Costello it isn't quite either...

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