5

Calexico and My Bloody Valentine at Terraneo Festival

Calexico and My Bloody Valentine at Terraneo Festival
Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
Calexico and My Bloody Valentine
Šibenik
Terraneo Festival
August 8, 2013

Situated in Sibenik, Croatia, the Terraneo festival has almost everything: it is located on the bank of the Adriatic Sea (so crowds of people take their refreshments on the nearby beaches); it is happening in an abandoned industrial complex that has been turned into a festival setting; it has enthusiastic crowds; and it has began to make a name for itself far beyond the borders of Croatia. Though far from the size and grandiosity of the Exit Festival in Novi Sad, against which many festivals in the region are measured, it functions much in the same manner, as both are treasure troves for fans seeking music from different, unrelated genres. Summer festivals these days are much like giant supermarkets where, after a careful selection of artists from different genres and sounds, there is something for everyone in the offering. For this third issue of the festival, it had diverse artists on its bill such as electronic rompers The Prodigy, Wu Tang Clan, Gang of Four, Dubioza Kollektiv, and a plethora of lesser-known bands from the region.

Calexico

Sprouting from a fertile musical soil that is a crossing point for various musical genres, Calexico is indeed a joyful and tasteful mixture of a Morriconesque kind, which has spawned a myriad of stylistic labels that seem to accumulate as time goes by: alt-country, desert-noir, indie-rock, even Latin/jazz fusion. There's no showmanship at a Calexico gig, just singer/guitarist Joey Burns, fellow front man and drummer John Convertino, and the rest of the band under the lights, armed with nothing but their soulful songs. They have a chiming, tuneful, yearning sound not a million miles from the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and a mariachi band.

The set list emphasized many songs from the group's new album, Algiers (City Slang Records, 2013), including "Epic," "Maybe on Monday," "Puerto," "Para" and "Sinner in the Sea"; those songs were interspersed with oldies and covers like "Across the Wire" and "Corona." One of the surprises was the inclusion of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," as part of "Not Even Stevie Nicks," and definitely a highlight in this arrangement. Sporting an ace rhythm section and a perfect balance of delicate acoustic and electric surf guitars as well as a brass orchestra, the band's real secret weapon was Burns' distinct and engaging voice, a guiding light at this fiesta that carried the songs with ease.



Although, at moments towards the end of the performance, the group was firing on all cylinders, previously it sounded a bit flat, as if the moods and dynamics were kind of repeating themselves. Still, Calexico put on a great show with a great ending. The band has a harder edge live than on record, and with such strong musicians and excellent songs, it provided a pleasant and sometimes enthralling evening.

My Bloody Valentine

With My Bloody Valentine the festival vibe was tilting toward insanity. Really, nothing in the world can prepare for a My Bloody Valentine performance, as few in attendance could have predicted such energy and noise. The band's reputation as a difficult, compositionally puzzling listen is not borne out of nothing, as it played with austere, loud and almost ceremonial intensity. What this band does live is not an ordinary concert; it is an extreme experience that gives a sense of having a physical interaction with the music itself.

The set was launched with a version of "I Only Said," that sounded like a punch in the belly, and "When You Sleep," from the much-lauded Loveless (Creation, 1991); things went along at a frenetic pace as the group ran through tracks such as "New You" and, from the recently published and really long-awaited M B V (Self Produced, 2013). It took 22 years for that record to come out, but the new songs never stood out in the set, and never gave any hint of disruption in the sonic continuum with Loveless.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bob James Trio with Randy Brecker at the Blue Note Live Reviews Bob James Trio with Randy Brecker at the Blue Note
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 21, 2017
Read The Songs of Scott Walker (1967-70) at Royal Albert Hall Live Reviews The Songs of Scott Walker (1967-70) at Royal Albert Hall
by John Eyles
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Bryan Ferry at the Paramount Theater Live Reviews Bryan Ferry at the Paramount Theater
by Geoff Anderson
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Newport Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Newport Jazz Festival 2017
by Timothy J. O'Keefe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read FORQ at The World Cafe Live Live Reviews FORQ at The World Cafe Live
by Mike Jacobs
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Bergamo Jazz Festival 2017" Live Reviews Bergamo Jazz Festival 2017
by Francesco Martinelli
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Penang Island Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Penang Island Jazz Festival 2016
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Davy Knowles at Higher Ground" Live Reviews Davy Knowles at Higher Ground
by Doug Collette
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "Internationales Jazz Festival Münster 2017" Live Reviews Internationales Jazz Festival Münster 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Gilad Hekselman at the Cornelia Street Café" Live Reviews Gilad Hekselman at the Cornelia Street Café
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 13, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.