2005 was a good year for music discovery. i found bands that’d been around for awhile and i’d missed, albums from bands i knew, and new bands. i’m pretty sure that getting my personal life somewhat straightened out let me pay attention to music. music has always been a big part of my life, but there’s a gap where i let myself get distracted with other “stuff”.
i made a list of bands and albums that i completely flipped over, when i heard/found them. i couldn’t bring myself to rank them, in any way. i’ll post about each of the bands on my list, as i have time.
this was an amazon suggestion from early in 2005. i initially disregarded it, as i’d been disappointed in the amazon suggestions i’d previewed in the past. mid-summer, i decided to take a trip to the record store and ran back through a running list of ‘music to check out’ that i’d been keeping, amazon suggestions, and soul seek’s recommendations. i listened to a couple tracks from ‘feast of wire’, their 2004 release and almost kicked myself for not buying it earlier. the name conjures images of tex/mex style country-folk. it’s not. while the music is dominated by latin rythims and vocals flip-flop between english and spanish, the most infectious tracks let you forget that the band is from tuscon, az (with members from berlin, germany, btw). needless to say, i bought ‘feast of wire’ on that trip to rasputin. i’ve since picked up the black heart single, convict pool (2004), even my sure things fall through (2001), hot rail (2001), and scraping (2002). i also found a couple bootlegs on soul seek and some band sanctioned recordings on archive.org.
favorite tracks are ‘crystal frontier’ and ‘black heart.’ crystal frontier (off ‘hot rail’), particularly performed live, is just flat amazing. the combo of electronics, horns, acoustic guitar and vox force me into involuntary head bouncing and foot tapping. black heart is reminiscent of portishead (really!) with smoking overblown organs and dark lyrics. black heart manages to use strings without manipulating the listener. also check out ‘quattro’ and ‘praskovia’ for a sense of the band’s range.
i missed seeing them at the warfield with iron and wine a few months back. i’ll definately be keeping an eye open for another local-ish show, though.
their album art is reminds me of the linoblock work on the kmfdm album covers done by a man named “brute!”
i said i wouldn’t rank or pick a favorite, but the fact that i couldn’t wait to spout about how wonderful calexico is? i think they’re very near the top, if not the.