Calexico

Republic

April 27, 2007

BY JASON SONGE


The story Thursday night was that Matt Perrine, local sousaphonist for Bonerama and Tin Men, among others, was asked Thursday to play bass for Calexico at the Republic Friday night. The Latin-tinged alternative country band's normal bass player was absent for some reason, and Perrine took on the challenge. Word was that Perrine wasn't that familiar with the music and bought their albums at Jazzfest Friday afternoon so he could listen to them at home before he went over to the show. So, what happened?Perrine did well. I didn't notice him holding up the music once.

There was a perfect amount of people at the Republic, which was 3/4's full. Just enough for a party and just enough to not be annoying.

Calexico's music is full of subtleties, so at the beginning of the show, I wasn't that into it. I couldn't distinguish the choruses from the verses. Actually, I guess I could. They just sounded the same. But, as I drank more and more and the trumpets came out, I honed in on the groove and got into the music more. This show wasn't quite as good as the One Eyed Jacks Calexico concert I saw about a year ago, but it was still fun.

Calexico could rock out, but more likely, they just teased the audience with their mastery. They were about the thin brush strokes, not the broad strokes. They were about the color, not about pushing anything on the audience or hitting them over the head with anything. Pedal steel guitar crept in and out of songs, as did the trumpets. The harmonium made an appearance twice, and the french horn even came into play for one song.

The band played longer than I expected(about 90 minutes), and I wish they would have played longer. As the night went on, the concert became more and more of a party, and the music became more and more dance-oriented. Seems like the audience was just starting to let their guard down and get on the train when the music stopped.

Question: what does Calexico's music have to do with greasers and car afficionados? Are there many car lovers in Albuquerque?


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