Last month's "Algiers" may be Calexico's first record with Los Angeles-based Anti- Records, but for this Arizona outfit the deal represents something of a homecoming. Joey Burns and John Convertino originally met in L.A. when both were playing as members of Giant Sand, the long-running alt-country group led by singer-songwriter Howe Gelb.
The two moved to Tucson in the early 1990s and began making appropriately windswept desert-rock records as Calexico (the name comes from the Imperial County border town that sits near Interstate 8).
For "Algiers" -- which follows some very handsome work they did backing Amos Lee on his 2011 album, "Mission Bell" -- Burns and Convertino set out yet again, traveling to New Orleans to craft an album suffused with that city's humid groove. (Listen to the typically atmospheric title track below.)
On Wednesday night, the group returns to L.A. for a show at the Fonda Theatre. No word on whether the band plans to play the strangely winsome rendition of Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" it recently worked up for those wiseacres at the Onion. But we -- like you -- can dare to dream.