CALEXICO & AUGIE MARCH
Calexico are no stranger to negotiating borders. For the better part of two decades, eight albums and countless trips around the globe, Joey Burns and John Convertino have crossed musical barriers with their band, embracing a multitude of diverse styles, variety in instrumentation and well-cultivated signature sounds. Under fences they dig and over mountains they climb, sometimes into untrodden terrain, sometimes towards a familiar landscape … and sometimes simply walking that fine line to soak up sustenance from all sides.
These are men from the desert, yes, but there has always been so much more to Arizona’s Calexico than just heritage and heat.
Now, with Edge of the Sun, Burns and Convertino find themselves straddling that celestial division of light and dark, taking inspiration from a trip to a place surprisingly unexplored by the band before, and with the benefit of many friends and comrades to guide the way.
“The Edge of the Sun could be coming from the direction of darkness seeking light or riding the line between both,” says Burns. “Which side of this edge are you on? Traversing along the edge of the sun, that to me feels closest to what this album is and what the band have been, and where we are with this international make-up of musicians.”
“Madrid, Nashville, Tucson, El Paso, Berlin: it’s an eclectic mix. All in all, this album is about pushing through the blue to brighter days. Calexico have always had that element of hope, going back and forth between a positive outlook and embracing desperate or dark themes that I think we all share.”
Augie March started in and around Collingwood, Melbourne in late 1995. Three members were originally from Shepparton in central Victoria – Adam Donovan and Dave Williams grew up sharing a back fence, while Glenn Richards lived on the edge of that town. Edmondo Ammendola was studying music with Adam and Dave in Collingwood and was quickly recruited into their fledgling band.
Their very first gig was at a friend’s art exhibition at a gallery. Before long, they recorded some of Glenn’s original songs, started playing in pubs and attracted the rapt attention of fans and music industry types.
Over the following 13 years or so – after picking up Kiernan Box along the way – their unique, much-loved music took them on an eventful journey across the planet from Darwin to Brixton to Greenville and back, with a fair share of triumph and tragedy along the way.
Their music is impossible to categorise; they have traditional elements at times but are wildly avant-garde at others. Augie March are that rarest of bands that have both critical and commercial success – at times their songs have been on almost every radio format in the country, with gold and platinum albums to their credit – yet they remain perennial outsiders.
Augie March 7:45-8:45pm