RARE CALEXICO LIVE COMPILATION AND OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS FROM RX

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It’s fitting that this major retrospective release from the band isn’t a greatest hits, but a collection of tour-only LPs, available on vinyl for the first time and summarized on a 16-track CD. Calexico have been releasing these limited-edition LPs on their own Our Soil Our Strength label since 1999, using them as clearinghouses for outtakes, one-offs, live cuts, and mostly studio experiments with various techniques, instruments, and musical genres. Packed together as Road Atlas 1998-2011, they form a compelling history of Burns and Convertino’s partnership as they broke free of Giant Sand and Friends of Dean Martinez and gradually discovered what all they could do on their own. The vinyl set is almost a real-time account of a band feeling its way forward, and the fact that they never intended for these LPs to be “real” Calexico releases means they didn’t have to worry about adhering to any particular approach or dynamic. Calexico could be a slippery entity, reassessing the possibilities with every note. In that regard, these LPs are essential to the band’s identity.Pitchfork

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