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Hot Rail

Calexico Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 19.20 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Hot Rail + The Black Light (Vinyl) + Feast of wire
Price For All Three: CDN$ 75.48

These items are shipped from and sold by different sellers.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

1. El Picador
2. Ballad Of Cable Nogue
3. Ritual Road Map
4. Fade
5. Untitled III
6. Sonic Wind
7. Muleta
8. Mid-Town
9. Service And Repair
10. Untitled II
11. Drenched
12. 16 Track Scratch
13. Tres Avisos
14. Hot Rail

Product Description


John Convertino and Joey Burns spend a good portion of their time playing with their friend Howe Gelb in the once prolific Giant Sand. But as contractual obligations--or, perhaps, contractual constraints--forced the band to lay off from time to time, it gave the backing boys plenty of time to pursue their own interests as Calexico. Much like Giant Sand, Calexico play a loose game, as likely to pursue Tom Waitsesque instrumentals (lots of shiny metallic percussion everywhere) as an abstract, countrified songwriting muse. The addition of horns and violin for the opening instrumental, "El Picador," and the distorted Spanish guitar of "Muleta" suggest that they've spent time well below Calexico's border. Twangy guitar riffs abound, and when pressed into tunes they highlight the duo's capacity for understated songwriting ("Ballad of Cable Hogue," "Service and Repair") that not so surprisingly sounds much like Giant Sand themselves. --Rob O'Connor

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly diverse and sonically pleasing. June 2 2003
Format:Audio CD
While many reviewers will give comparisons of surf-music and Morricone influences, Burns and Convertino show greater depth and artistic push than was apparent when in Friends of Dean Martinez. I'm a fan of both and the divergence of style and musicianship is apparent on both bands' later works. The flavoring of the music and its divergent styles reminds me of both Sir Douglas Quintet and that of Los Lobos. Calexico has matured with each record pushing their sound further and defining a distinct sound that no longer relies on a "genre" but pushes instead the boundaries of border music and what it is. FODM have relied more heavily on the electronic influences creating a modern urban soundtrack. Calexico digs deeper and finds the dust on the small towns and back roads. Its like the difference between Santa Fe and Taos, NM. They have similar roots but the modern influences have been absorbed diffently creating unique interpretations of the Southwest and its parched landscapes. Calexico delivers on all fronts and as Burns and Convertino become more comfortable with their songwriting things can only get better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to make Fusion work for you. Sept. 25 2000
Format:Audio CD
More than just a side project of Gian Sand's (and Friends of Dean Martinez's) John Convertino and Joey Burns, Calexico is one of the most original bands to emerge of the American alternative scene in a long time. Mixing indie-rock sensibility with the traditional sounds of Southern USA and Mexico, Calexico's dark and moody sound incorporates mariachi (#1, 7), french chanson (#2), jazz (#3!), spaghetti western soundtrack music, post-rock (#14), American folk and old time western into an unique style perfectly fitting to their name. This album is not as multi-layered as their previous 'Black Light'; more of your basic bass-drums-guitar, but still features vibes, organ, accordion, cello, harmonica and mariachi horns. They came to visit Bloomington a couple of years ago, and they rocked! In CD, they are even better, so play this over and over. Tracks 1, 7, 8, 12, 13 and 14 are instrumental.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A silent nation, hooked on medication Oct. 31 2000
By Dan C
Format:Audio CD
This album really takes effect after a few listenings. And once you can distinguish it from The Black Light,it's charm will grow and grow on you, although it is a little more mellowed out than the previous. The tune "Service & Repair" is a legend.It is a majestic track, it really is. A lyrical masterpiece. Then you can have "Tres Avisos"- a force 10 gale of instrumental galore, throwing you across the room. And how about Ballard of Cable Hogue - "I live out yonder" and all that.Smashing stuff. I recently saw this band at the Shepherds Bush ,Empire Theatre,London - with a bit of help from real live Mexicans who wore hats and blew on trumpets ..........& they were great. I like this band a lot. Its not to everyones taste I can just accept, but it is real stuff, and they care too which means a lot. Bye Dan
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Musical Rattlesnakes Oct. 11 2000
Format:Audio CD
I've been a longtime fan of the various Giant Sand side projects like Friends of Dean Martinez and Calexico, and this latest release by the latter is a testament as to why. This music is slow, fluid and warm. The Tex-Mex surf guitars, and sweeping melodies are here on 'Hot Rail' in force. From the Mariachi-meets-Surf sounds of the opening 'El Picador', through the slow burners like 'Fade' and 'Muleta', to the indie-rock leanings of 'Sonic Wind' and 'Service and Repair'...this may be the best Calexico disc yet.
I dig these guys, and hope they keep unleashing these musical rattlesnakes our way for years to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This CD rocks. It opens up with a sweeping, cinematic trumpet that dumps you in the Sonoran Desert where it's 110 degrees and you're thirsty as hell, wearing a long-sleeved shirt and about to go hit the nearest hacienda for some watermelon cooler and tequila. Yeah, it's that vivid. Hot Rail continually pokes and prods the boundaries of indie-rock/alt-country, pulling in a healthy dose of mexican balladry, old-time GitAlong country and even French rap/spoken word to create what could be the perfect soundtrack for a Steven Soderbergh movie yet to be made. Listen to this Cd and see what movie plays in YOUR head!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars El Mariachi Feb. 3 2004
Format:Audio CD
For those who like Ennio Morricone and western spaghettis, Calexico may be an interesting band worth checking out. Their southern sound is cool, stylish and moody enough to deserve a listen. However, "Hot Rail" isn`t a great record, as it is too long, repetitive and not very diverse. There are some good songs to be found here, like "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" or "Service and Repair", but the album is mostly a collection of instrumental soundscapes and part of them are filler material. As mildly pleasant background music it`s alright, though it doesn`t have much more to offer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diverse and Distinct Dec 19 2000
Format:Audio CD
There are no replacements for solid musicianship, songwriting skill and cross-cultural insight. Calexico (named after a town on the US/Mexican border) possess all three and have honed their craft to provide songs that fuse the drive of Rock with the earthiness of Country with the brazen festivity of the Mexican mariachi band. At its best, this album is a showpiece of manic yet wilful mood shifts, boldly juxtaposing episodes of wide-eyed exhuberance with moments of subdued introspection. Very few albums manage to achieve such contrasts with the consummate ease and grace of "Hot Rail".
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Listening
I have had this CD for over a year, my daughter sent it for Christmas. At first I did think it a little gimmicky. I have listened several times and have changed my opinion. Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you serious?
Don't listen to "the music fan from Australia". To correct a few mistakes: Calexico is the name of a border town in southern California, not a twist on some geographical psyche. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2002
2.0 out of 5 stars Style over substance, and gimmicky.
While the overall tone is kinda cool, the songs and songwriting are mediocre at best. This band obviously relies on visual descriptions scenes depicted in spaghetti western films... Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Calexico unveil the statue of desert rock...
... and I bow to their superior talent and knowledge of the music they create. Joey Burns and John Convertino after their debut- the excellent "Black Light" album -... Read more
Published on April 16 2001 by Lambros Fatsis
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't think of a pithy title
Don't get thrown by the Los Lobos reference below. Los Lobos are freakin cheeseballs, and shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as Calexico. Read more
Published on April 9 2001 by Charles Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars genuine heart of sadness
As for longing without grasping, and intensity without aggitation, this music weaves through the desert of the sea and catches a glimpse of something singular and ancient, working... Read more
Published on March 27 2001 by J Kevin Doyle
3.0 out of 5 stars Los Lobos Lite
Fusing traditional Mexican music with elements of American rock and country, Hot Rail is a good album. Not a great album. But a good one. Read more
Published on March 16 2001 by Joseph L. Keohane
4.0 out of 5 stars The Hot Rock
Calexico's mariachi-flavored instrumentals and rootsy romps contain a distinctly cinematic quality: Close your eyes, and watch the tumbleweed dance across the bleak desert terrain. Read more
Published on Dec 22 2000 by Andrew Miller
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