- Released: August 12, 1997
- Label: Quarter Stick
Option - 11-12/97, p.88
"...a patchwork of scenes of everyday life--crafted by experts that know not to be heavy-handed--and it manages to make the everyday feel significant."
- 1.Low Expectations
- 2.Mind the Gap
- 7.Paper Route
- 9.Navy Cut
- 12.Point Vicente
- 14.Ice Cream Jeep
- 19.Stinging Nettle
Calexico includes: Joey Burns (vocals, guitar, mandolin, cello, accordion, bass); John Convertino (guitar, accordion, vibraphone, marimba, drums); Tasha Bundy (drums).
Personnel: Joey Burns (vocals, guitar, mandolin, cello, accordion); John Convertino (guitar, accordion, vibraphone, marimba, drums); Bridget Keating (violin).
Audio Mixers: Joey Burns; John Convertino.
Recording information: Tucson, AZ (11/20/1995-12/20/1995).
While Calexico's 1997 debut album, SPOKE, contains strong hints of what was to come for the group, it clearly stands as an early point in their evolution. The hazy spaghetti-Western Mexicana that would later become so prevalent pops up at a few points here, but doesn't dominate the album. Multi-instrumentalists John Convertino and Joey Burns had only recently splintered off from Giant Sand, and the Captain Beefheart-gone-indie-rock flavor of their former band can still be heard in spots. At the same time, there's a strong lo-fi alt-folk feel to a number of tracks, evoking the sort of records Will Oldham and others were making for the Drag City label at the time. Though it's not as sophisticated as Calexico's later albums, SPOKE has a distinctive personality, and remains a starting point that the band should still look back on with pride.