If civilization endures, Roots and Crowns will have at least a few 24th-century musicologists tearing their hair out — in a good way, of course. Califone's seventh album finds mastermind Tim Rutili (ex-Red Red Meat) and company blithely marrying fractured funkadelia, twisted pan-global folk and Grateful Dead-like instrumental interplay in a slow-burning blaze of laptop-assisted glory that salutes apparently disparate traditions even as it consumes them. Gliding on a carpet of vaguely Middle Eastern percussion, opener "Pink and Sour" charms our inner cobra with pulsating drones and slide guitar that overlay Natchez and Mumbai like projector transparencies. "Black Metal Valentine" nudges its glitches into the realm of artficial life, myriad guitar-sourced scrapes gamboling the night away in a gentle digital vortex. And while Rutili's consistently wistful vocals often add an ironic gloss to his neo-Dada lyrics, they elevate the Psychic TV cover "Orchids" so effectively that Genesis P-Orridge would probably give all his piercings just to match it.
By J. Edward Keyes on 03.26.14 in Features
There's a factual answer to the question "Who is Grandma Sparrow?" and that answer is "Joe Westerlund of Califone and Megafaun." But that answer won't mean much once you get an earful of the beautiful, delirious "The Far...
By Hilary Saunders on 09.02.13 in Reviews
Over the course of its 15-year career, Califone has existed in many forms. Fronted by multi-instrumentalist Tim Rutili, members of the experimental Chicago group fluctuate album by album and Stitches is no different. How...
By Richard Gehr on 01.03.15 in Features
The couple talks about their playful new album 'Savage Imagination.'
By Richard Gehr on 10.14.14 in Reviews
The first two installments from Heat Leisure, the ongoing trance-rock collaboration involving Pontiak's three Carney brothers, Guardian Alien percussionist Greg Fox and Beach House guitarist Steve Strohmeier, were filmed...