Carried to Dust

Carried to Dust

by CalexicoCalexico


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From its beautiful, spray-painted stencil artwork (courtesy of longtime Calexico cover artist Victor Gastelum) to the sounds within it, Carried to Dust recalls previous Calexico high points like The Black Light and, especially, Feast of Wire. Considering that Joey Burns and John Convertino reunited with many of the Feast of Wire players for these songs, the similarities shouldn't come as a surprise -- nor should Calexico's skill at revisiting older territory and finding new outcroppings in it. "Victor Jara's Hands," a tribute to the Chilean poet/musician/political activist who was murdered in 1973, begins Carried to Dust in quintessential Calexico fashion with intricate rhythms from Convertino and swells of mariachi horns, but the guest vocals by Jairo Zavala of the Spanish band Depedro add an extra, eloquent depth. "El Gatillo (Trigger Revisited)" returns to the rhythms and melody of The Black Light's "Trigger," but transforms them into a tense spaghetti western theme. The thoughtful, whispery pop Calexico dove into on Garden Ruin also gets its due here; unlike that album, which was so gentle that its charms took awhile to unfold, Carried to Dust's quiet moments are often just as vivid as the flamboyant ones. "House of Valparaiso," which features Iron & Wine's Sam Beam, "Writer's Minor Holiday"'s twangy pop, and "Slowness"'s sweetly ambling country duet sound even brighter next to "Inspiracion"'s en Espanol lovelorn drama or "Two Silver Trees'" gorgeously shadowy fusion of Latin and Asian elements -- Calexico is one of a handful of groups that would think of combining Chinese guizeng, Venezuelan cuatro, and omnichord on one song and make all those sounds work together in a completely natural way. Carried to Dust also has subtler moments of innovation, such as "Bend to the Road," which expands on Calexico's southwestern jazz leanings, and "Contention City," a collaboration with Tortoise's Doug McCombs that spins toy piano and electronics into a haunting finale. Carried to Dust isn't just one of Calexico's most expansive albums, it's also their most balanced, channeling their experience and potential into a subtly dramatic, chiaroscuro tour de force.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/09/2008
Label: Quarter Stick
UPC: 0036172010820
catalogNumber: 20108
Rank: 37837

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Calexico   Primary Artist
Mickey Raphael   Bass Harmonica
Bo Ramsey   Guitar,Guitar (12 String Electric)
John Convertino   Banjo,Drums,Marimbas,Tambourine,Shaker,cowbell,Guiro
Douglas McCombs   Electric Guitar,Guest Appearance
Craig Schumacher   Lap Steel Guitar
Paul Niehaus   Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar,Soloist,Guitar (Baritone)
Nick Luca   Electric Guitar,Hammond Organ,Vibes
Pieta Brown   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Amparo Sánchez   Vocals
Sam Beam   Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Jacob Valenzuela   Trumpet,Vocals,Muted Trumpet,Vibes
Martin Wenk   Trumpet,Accordion,Glockenspiel,French Horn,Background Vocals,Human Whistle,Vibes,Omnichord
Volker Zander   Bass,Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Michael Fan   Violin

Technical Credits

Joey Burns   Composer
John Burns   Composer
John Convertino   Composer,Producer
Craig Schumacher   Producer
Victor Gastelum   Artwork
Chris Schultz   Engineer,drum machine
Nick Luca   Engineer
Jacob Valenzuela   Composer
Jairo Zavala   Composer

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