Calexico – Feast of Wire (2003)
I grew up in Burlington, Ontario, right next door to the city of Oakville.
The street that divides the two cities? Burloak Drive.
My mind was blown a few years back when my wonderful wife (who notably had not grown up in either city and had not been driving past the street for decades) pointed out that:
Burloak = Burlington + Oakville.
So partially out of embarrassment from not being able to observe the obvious, my radar has (somewhat) improved when it comes to spotting compound words.
Not meaning to boast, but whereas I was unable to piece together Burloak on my own, I’m pleased to report it only took me one listen through Feast of Wire before solving the Calexico puzzle:
Calexico = California + Mexico
Incidentally, speaking of city borders, I’ve since learned Calexico is the name of the California town that borders with Mexico.
Its sister city south of the border? The equally aptly named Mexicali.
Feast of Wire is also well named as it is a delicious combination of sounds and scenes.
On the first listen or so, I heard the California vibe of groups like The Eagles (especially on Quattro (World Drifts In)) mixed with some really nice latin-flavoured instrumentation (e.g. the trumpet work on Close Behind).
On repeated listens, the appropriateness of the album name held up but I felt the group name was starting to sound like a misnomer.
Instead of hearing California, I heard the state of Arizona. More specifically one of my favourite bands from high school, The Refreshments.
Earlier today, when I visited wikipedia to copy an image of Feast of Wire for this post, I was delighted to read Calexico (the band) hails from Arizona.
Then why the name Calexico? Perhaps Calexico was catchier than Arizonico, or Mexizona?
Actually Mexizona’s not bad – I may have to start a band!
When I think of music scenes in the U.S., Seattle, California, and Nashville quickly come to mind. As it turns out, Arizona has quietly produced an impressive collection of artists: Alice Cooper (the band), The Refreshments, Gin Blossoms, Meat Puppets, and Jimmy Eat World among others.
If the rest of the catalogue is as good as this one, Calexico is probably worthy of mid-billing in the above group.