Saturday, March 6, 2010

SXSW preview - Califone

Photo: John Adams

I almost titled this post “The Importance of Califone”, but decided that since the band is playing SXSW I would lump them in with our preview series. Categorizing Califone is something that few people attempt, so I’ll jump right to the point. This band crafts blues-folk music that stands alone in a world of Sam Beam rip-offs and Bon Iver-esque cabin albums. Tim Rutili’s unique voice and the band’s use of every instrument under the sun makes each album an enjoyable adventure. Formed from the ashes of Red Red Meat, Califone has consistently produced stunning albums that gain them more recognition and praise from the media and their peers.

All My Friends Are Funeral Singers, the band's first album for Dead Oceans, is their most accessible album to date. The songs still include various blips, clicks and found noises but as a whole the album makes for a casual listen. Perhaps that’s because Rutili made the album to accompany a film of the same name that he wrote and directed. The film will be screened two times at SXSW as a part of the film portion of the festival. Califone will perform live with the showings to create an interactive soundtrack; which will be an interesting experience no matter your interest in the movie. The band has experimented with live improvised sound tracking for silent films in the past, but this is truly an ambitious project since Rutili is responsible for both pieces of art.

You’ve heard members of Califone collaborating with Iron & Wine, Ugly Cassanova and the upcoming Sage Francis album; but it’s time to give the band your attention and money. Buy all of their records, check out the film and attend one or all of their SXSW performances. I can almost guarantee that no two shows will be alike.

Mon., 3/15 - Alamo Lamar, 9:30 PM (with film)
Wed., 3/17 – Brooklyn Vegan Showcase Club DeVille , 12 AM
Thur., 3/18 - Other Music Lawn Party French Legation Museum, 1 PM
Thur., 3/18 - Team Clermont Party Flamingo Cantina, 4:10 PM
Fri., 3/19 - Alamo Ritz, 12 PM (with film)

I've included another spectacular video from Yours Truly below:

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