TMT likes bands that try to make a positive impact, if not to your ears, then to your surroundings. Calexico are a prime example. Soon, they'll embark on a short tour presented in association with Music for America, a non-profit organization that engages young people to get involved with politics through music communities, informing concert-goers about human rights issues on the border and registering voters.
The first stop is a hometown gig in Tucson, AZ, at the Rialto Theatre, which marks the continuation of Calexico's yearly benefit concert bash. Calexico will be donating a portion of the proceeds to KXCI-FM, a local community-sponsored radio station, and to Humane Borders, an organization that, according to a press release, "offers humanitarian assistance to those in need through more than 70 emergency water stations on and near the U.S.- Mexican border, ultimately trying to quell the hundreds of deaths every year in the Arizona desert due to dehydration." A representative from Humane Borders will make appearances at all of Calexico's headlining Southwestern shows to answer questions and/or provide insight into HB's cause.
Vocalist Joey Burns explains, "The issue is a complex one, and now with President Bush signing the bill that would build a massive wall between the two countries, the problems will undoubtedly become more severe and horrifying." I guess we haven't learned a thing from the Berlin wall.
Calexico's latest release, Garden Ruin, is lyrically more politically conscious than their previous albums. Burns recently stated, "In the past, there were songs that brought up social political issues like 'Service and Repair', 'Sanchez', 'Sunken Waltz' and 'Across The Wire,' but never has an album been so concentrated on these themes as this album. I would say we are confronting these times of political extremism on songs like 'All Systems Red' and 'Deep Down'."
"I think we are trying to do what we can in the music and lyrics to help people relate to the sense of frustration that's so prevalent," drummer John Convertino agrees. "I don't think we have ever had such 'political' thoughts going through our brains in the process of making a record as we have had with this one. There are monsters lurking all over it, even in the pretty bits."
Special online pre-sale for the Southwest shows may be bought here. Each ticket purchased here comes with a free MP3 download of an unreleased acoustic version of "Deep Down." So, if you're into that acoustic shit, bring toilet paper. The band is also hosting a contest to win free tickets, a copy of World Drifts In (Live at the Barbican) DVD, and a vintage Calexico tour poster without having to sell your soul. All you have to do is promote their shows and be as charming as humanly possible. For more information on the contest click here. No not there, here!
It feels good to hear about bands making an effort to change political injustices. Kick out the jams, Calexico: