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New adventures fuel Calexico between albums

@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

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Calexico principals Joey Burns and John Convertino like to make music -- a lot of it, as much as possible. But the Arizona duo wasn't too bothered by the four-year gap between last year's critically acclaimed album "Algiers" and its predecessor, "Carried to Dust."

"I think it's just the nature of things," says frontman Burns, who co-founded Calexico with Convertino during 1990 in Tucson. Particularly important, he says, was finding the band a new label home (Anti-) after its deal with Chicago's Quarterstick/Touch and Go ended. "We wanted to make sure we had a proper home, and we didn't rush into finding another label. We knew we wanted to go with Anti-, but at the same time we wanted to make sure the deal was right."

Also, Burns notes, Calexico had other endeavors pulling on the band, including the soundtrack for the 2011 film "The Guard."

"That, and I had a family for the first time, so the focus shifted for us for a little while," Burns says. "We needed a break."

And now, he adds, quality -- both of the music and of the experience of making it -- has become a paramount concern for Calexico.

"Sure, especially now as we go into the next chapters of life -- becoming a father or getting into your 40s," Burns explains. "It's different now. It's another era.

"And when you go in to make a record, you want to get that same excitement you got when you first started making music. We don't want to repeat ourselves. If we're going to take time away from those other important things in our lives, it really has to be worthwhile, you know? That's more important than ever."

Calexico, Joe Pug and American Mars perform Tuesday, June 4, at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $23 day of show. Call 313-833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.majesticdetroit.com

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