Tuesday, November 01, 2005

From El Guero Canelo to Stubb's BBQ

I'm pretty sure we were the oldest people at the Iron & Wine/Calexico show at Stubb's. Actually there were 4 people who looked older than us who seemed to be new at the concert thing and were directed to the VIP area. I think they were parents and maybe grandparents of the opener... so we still count, esp. since we were front and center. It was a really nice crowd of mostly teens and twenties, which I like to see very much because this is good music for the soul and I like to see kids getting hooked on the good stuff. These are hard-core music-lovers and they are listening.

We were close enough to where I could easily ask Joey Burns "when are we going to get a whole Calexico show in Austin?", and he said they'd love to but this touring with other acts is working out pretty well too. Fair enough, I suppose. They will get better known this way. They've just done a record with Iron & Wine, which I wasn't that familiar with, in fact... I wasn't that familiar with Iron & Wine at all except for that one track on the Garden State soundtrack.

Calexico played a really tasty one-hour set, which was awesome. Some new stuff I didn't know and some signature pieces. Charlie Sexton joined in. Then they played either full or partial band with I&W for the rest of the night.

Iron & Wine was called psychedelic in one of the papers here. I can see that. I remember how lots of the music in the 60s was played very, very slow... folk, blues, and what they would now call "ambient"... sometimes with some rhythm, sometimes without any, like a heartbeat slowed by deep-breathing, meditating, time to concentrate deeply on every note, every breath, so that it all seems to go in super-slo-mo. You can practically see the color tracers. It's been a long time, but that's not an experience that's forgotten. that is the way Sam Beam presents each tone, like the petals of a flower or a leaf falling from a tree. What's the hurry?

With that said, I will say that overall it was too slow and mellow for my tastes, or maybe my mood, although I really liked the pieces that used percussion (More cowbell !!!!). Calexico was a nice synergistic addition, and I'm really glad I got to see this show but I would prefer just to hear them for a couple of hours... heating it up with horns and percussion, and that sweet pedal steel and the biggest hot desert twang you ever heard. I am hooked on that.

No pictures because I don't even bother trying to take a camera into Stubb's (Amphitheatre), but I've already got a lot of Calexico pictures here.

(EDIT-Post title explanation: El Guero Canelo is a Mexican hot dog place in Tuscon, and Guero Canelo is a Calexico song.)

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