Tag Archives: Calexico

ON 12/12/12 HERE IS MY TOP 12 OF 2012


This is the first time I’m publishing a top list of my favorite albums of the year and I’m pretty stoked. Even though I’m passionate for music, for many years I adopted a vey comfy position in which there was someone doing the hard work of pre-listening and filtering new stuff on my behalf, thus only what  he enjoyed reached me. Yeah, I became lazy and detached from current musical updates at that time.

But here I am, posting my top 12 of this weird year, which has been excellent in terms of music, and disastrous in general. I must admit I’m proud for behaving as the good girl I really am, doing my musical homework and paying attention to new album releases.

Of course it’s impossible to cover all of them, especially when I take my time in analyzing the albums, going on them with the intensity required. And it’s a classic that, right after choosing my favorite albums, I discover a new one that blows my mind, but cannot be added to the list. Guess this is the greatness of music, you can enjoy it any time, no matter how much late you are. it will always be there.

Let’s get started, otherwise it will be the 13th and this top 12 won’t make sense anymore.

Most of the albums have been the album of the week at some point this year, or due to the expectations I had, commented as soon as they were available, as an exceptional event, and theres’s one in particular which had to be mentioned apart, because it doesn’t fit into what I usually consume.

I’m very pleased with the variety of styles and sounds in the list, once again confirming it doesn’t matter I’m growing old and relaxing, I can enjoy metal sounds same as folkie one, and I find that quite enriching for both mind, soul and ears.


Thus in no particular order I will refer to my top 12 of 2012. There we go!


What can I say at this point I haven’t told already? On week 12 I was telling you about my crush on Brad Smith’s project, and one month ago I was telling you my experience enjoying their half acoustic show, and how adorable Blind Melon’s bass player was.

I foresaw this album was being here, because not many albums make my heart pound in such way as Death & Joy does.



One of the greatest surprise of the year which started when I was assigned the review of this album. On a random Sunday afternoon, in hangover conditions, I receive a wake of punches right in my face in the shape of songs performed by this band. Raw, powerful and overwhelming.




Several friends are devoted fans of this unknown band here in Spain, and I had been told about the charisma of the leader of the band, Ben Nichols. Songs about work, women, broken hearts and booze, and a catchy opening song, On My Way Downtown, which makes you feel the urge of having a beer at a bar.



blues funeral billboard

 Wow! I ADORE this album. Straight to the top 5. Lanegan has gone beyond himself with this album.  I got obsessed about this album for 2 weeks or more, and I still listen to it compulsively. One of these albums that the more you listen the more you love them and discover tiny new elements with each listening. So fuckin’ great!



Finally the genius went solo, after delivering outstanding stuff with his different projects, and released this magnificent album I’ve been enjoying so much. It was the final proof to show the world he’s far from the hype and possesses a great deal of talent. Perfection would be mentioned here if the show he offered with the female band would have been more passionate rather than so “cool” looking.



Allow me not to extend much in explanations and check my previous post. Solid, powerful, rockin’, this is the exact dose of music you need for headbanging to the max. Very glad this album has been praised by both critics and people, and proud my “guys” have reached so far. BRAVO




This is one of the exceptions as it hasn’t been included YET in the albums of the week. One of the reasons is because I was encouraged to listen to this album after purchasing Loteria on the record store day and recovering Metallic I.O.U. The truth is that the most New Yorker band in L.A, real street bad asses led by Bryan Small, have again delivered an intense album full of booze, drugs, filth and broken hearts, and Homesick Blues is damn awesome.


I know, this is close to be a dealbreaker, and coulf be named as the guilty pleasure of the year too. I made public I had surrendered to the hype, and I’m still hooked to Born To Die, something which scares me somehow, because I don’t think what Lana del Rey might offer us, can keep the same level.



 I wrote about this album when the band, days before the worldwide release, allowed the fans to listen to the album online. I literally devoured it and felt in love right away. The guys from New Brunswick are about to jump into the mainstream thanks to this wonderful album, which shows a noticeable evolution and improvement, and personally speaking, I love they are capable of gathering new and older generations at venues for attending the shows. They bring youth to the adults, and transmit old school values to the youngsters. Their story telling is sublime.



Thanks to a friend who invited me to attend the show they offered in Barcelona one month ago I discovered a wonderful band which, wrongly following my name instincts, I had completely ignored. After 30 seconds of the opening song, I knew that, what I was about to discover was different and classy. Amazing album and excellent live performance.



Americana was a bunch of revisited covers after all, it was compulsory uncle Neil and his pals ended jamming eventually, because this is what Psychedelic Pill is about, a reunion of good old friends grabbing their instruments and recovering the spirit of Harvest playing in the barn. Two words must be pronounced which will sum up the concept of the album: RAMADA INN. Greatness!



a different kind of truth

You just wouldn’t believe what just happened here. I’ve just changed my last album at the very last minute, finally choosing hard rock over power pop, and leaving Redd Kross out of the list.

This is a surprise, even to me, but this is how I feel at 22:52h. It took me ages to listen to this album, in fact I got it less than a month ago, no matter that many friends insisting I’d love it, I felt lazy thinking it wouldn’t be worth it. The insistence of Felix and my soul bro, together with Xavi aka the deal hunter, made me push the button and start moving my ass right away. If there’s a song which drives me crazy, reminding me of wild 1984, VH personal favorite, no doubt is Bullethead. The return of Van Halen with David Lee Roth is one of the greatest #dealmakers of the decade.

Once this list has been done, I have to mention those albums which are following very close and deserve my love, respect and credit. Here they are:

– Redd Kross – Researching the Sun

– Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Magic Door

– Pulled Apart By Horses – Tough Love

– The Avett Brothers – Carpenter

What a year friends! Rough and harsh in many aspects, thanks to the amazing releases I’ve been gifted with, I’ve managed to approach the end better than expected. At the end of the day, same thought comes to mind, and I sigh in relief glad to be aware that music, not only has saved my life, but also has given me the one I’m currently living, and I feel grateful and merry.

Keep on rockin’ dears!


Few weeks ago, Arturo, one of my gig partners in crime I knew thanks to a music forum I regularly visit, told me had a spare ticket for the live show Calexico was offering in November. He had purchased the ticket right after they were available, however he received another ticket for as a birthday present. Instead of putting it for sale and acquainted with my musical tastes, he thought it was a good idea to invite me to the show, a very promising one, convinced I’d likely enjoyed it.

To be honest I had never listened to any single chord of this band till Arturo confirmed the ticket was mine unless I was horrified by their music. Facing such offer I felt immediately pushed to listen to Calexico, and the opening record to start with them was Algiers, their last album, released in September.

It took me half a song to realize Calexico was thousands of miles far from what I expected. I don’t know, I misjudged for their name and thought they were kind of Oi! Reggae ska , or something like that. Guess I mistook them for a band named Dr Calypso. I know…sometimes I think I live in a different planet.

Well, as I was telling, when I started hearing Epic, a super suggestive and atmospheric song, I knew Calexico was something classy and special. In fact, the first word I have in mind when trying to define the band’s style is elegance, and then I’d add their music is a combinations of different sounds, moving from Americana-folkie  to Mexican-border mariachi stuff. Guess my definition is not very helpful to define their style, so you should listen songs such as Puerto or No Te Vayas to undertand what I mean. Brass arrangements and the mighty percussions, adorned with shakers, maracas, in a very old school fashion. Beautiful!

Algiers moves through intense and  relaxing stages, more emotional, as Para or Fortune Teller, more easy going as Algiers or Splitter.  Vocals are carefully taken care of, showing beautiful melodies, supported by work on every single detail. Drums, bass, guitars, trumpets, accordions, lap steels… the amount of instruments used to achieve sound perfection is overwhelming. The work behind this album has been a very dedicated one, no doubt.

Considering some parts are under a strong Latin influence, which I’m not very acquainted with, and usually not interested in, the general impression is that Algiers is probably one of the best albums released this year. PERIOD.

I was so impressed Algiers became the album of the week, as in preparation of what was to come on Sunday.

After Saturday off, meaning free of any scheduled show, I spent writing, baking cookies and chilling out, having rested from this intense week, I was in the mood for enjoying some music for my senses. You know, a show you’re delighted by the music, and admiring the performance on stage, the way the musicians were displayed, they changed instruments, from the point of view of a person who is barely acquainted with the band. I just knew Algiers was fantastic, however I wasn’t too much sure of what was going to happen.

We were 5 of the rock troop eventually, Elena and I were the rookies, while the other three guys were every enthusiastic for seeing this band.

We had been told Apolo theatre was sold out the night The Gaslight Anthem played, however, the audience outnumbered, and the venue was packed. Probably more tickets were on sale, because it was the kind of show bookers know people are not to jump, stage dive, nor get crazy. I thing average age was 40, with people in their 50s and some proud dads with their older children.

The show was very interesting. Epic, the opening song of Algiers, was also chosen for a perfect start. The set list included some tracks of their new album, such as Para, Splitter or Puerto, and there were several in which the Spanish singer Amparo (Amparanoia), who I can’t stand much, was accompanying with some relevant moments. Her voice is powerful and matches perfectly all this Latin sound Calexico is trying to provide their songs with, however as an artist on stage, I loathed her. I know I’m tough. She made a good job, but in my opinion, seeking for extra attention, very noticeable and forced.

 One of the nice suprises they give me was they covered Love’s song Alone Again Or. Been ages since I don’t listen to Forever Changes, and brought me back tons of memories from my teenage days.

With encores, the progression and consequently extension of certain songs, the show lasted almost 2 hours, with all the audience, me included, enthusiastic.

Attending this Calexico show made me think of me becoming more and more open minded, and digesting certain sounds in a very positive manner, something I wouldn’t have thought of 5 years ago. Thus, guess I’m growing up, not only in age and size, but also musically speaking, and have to say I’m proud of it. On the other hand, finishing this last crazy week attending such show made me really happy.

Damn, it was a great week, and I’ve managed to survive.

** Thanks a lot, Arturo. I Owe U