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HARP Exclusive: Alejandro Escovedo Talks New Album


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http://harpmagazine.com/news/detail.cfm?article=12339

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Randy Harward

Inside Tracks: Alejandro Escovedo

ALBUM TITLE: Real Animal (Back Porch)

RELEASE DATE: Spring 2008

PRODUCED BY: Tony Visconti

NEW SONG TITLES: “Slow Down,” “Real Animal,” “Sensitive Boys”

Real Animal doesn’t exactly describe Alejandro Escovedo, who despite his punk pedigree is far from feral—the picture of mellow. So why is it the title of his seventh album, a journey through the singer-songwriter’s “musical life?”

“‘Real Animal,’” explains Escovedo, “is a song I wrote about Iggy Pop because he’s always been real important, very inspirational for me.” Escovedo also writes of when he lived at New York’s storied Chelsea Hotel—1978, at just the time when Sid Vicious’ girlfriend Nancy Spungen was murdered (“Chelsea Hotel ’78”). And in “Nuns Song” and “Sensitive Boys,” Escovedo sings of his past bands (The Nuns, True Believers) and pals the Replacements, Hüsker Dü and Green on Red, whose Chuck Prophet co-writes and plays on the album.

When Escovedo decided to write about “all the bands I’ve been in, characters I’ve known, [and] some of the places I’ve lived in and things that have happened,” Prophet was an easy choice. Each flew to the other’s hometown—Austin and San Francisco, respectively—when their schedules would allow. “[it was] hard to coordinate, but we always got really great stuff and it was a hell of a lot of fun to be around each other.” To produce, Escovedo tapped Tony Visconti, shepherd of Escovedo favorites like T. Rex’s Electric Warrior and David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs, Scary Monsters and Heroes. Escovedo calls them both a “perfect match” for the project.

Real Animal was recorded at St. Claire Recording Company in Lexington, Kentucky—with Escovedo’s touring band and Prophet. Escovedo says it lives up to its name in that “the band played everything, so it has a very live feeling.” At the same time, and rather appropriately, it reflects the mien of its creator. “[it] sounds very rocking and relaxed.”

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More with Alejandro here in this Creative Loafing article where he discusses his new album, the demise of No Depression magazine and how he felt about George Bush, Jr. having his tune Castanets on his iPod.

Alejandro Escovedo: Back to living again

Musical journeyman dodges death to continue his quest

By James Kelly

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NO TWO WAYS ABOUT IT: Alejandro Escovedo has come full circle.

Bloodshot Records

The last five years have been excruciating and enlightening for Austin, Texas-based artist Alejandro Escovedo. As his health deteriorated due to previously diagnosed hepatitis C, he collapsed backstage in 2003 after a performance and spent close to a year in treatment for advanced cirrhosis and other vascular problems. A working musician with no health insurance who depended on steady gigs to make a living, Escovedo saw his life falling apart around him.

You can read the rest of the article here.

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Might have to check this guy out...

The descriptions of his music and his influences sound interesting.

I need to expand my Alejandro collection myself but he definitely goes back a long way in the history of alt.country. I love Whiskeytown's cover of The Rain Won't Help You When It's Over from his True Believers days that was first available on a Whiskeytown EP and is now included on the Deluxe edition of Strangers Almanac.

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  • 2 months later...

Escovedo Ready To Rock On 'Real Animal'

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Alejandro Escovedo

Gary Graff, Detroit

On his upcoming album, "Real Animal," veteran singer/songwriter Alejandro Escovedo got to do something he hasn't done since his days in Rank & File and the True Believers.

"I finally got to make a rock'n'roll record; I don't feel I've done that as a solo artist," Escovedo, who's been putting out albums on his own since 1992 -- save for the 1997 rock side trip in Buick Mackane -- tells Billboard.com. "I've always claimed that I was borne of rock'n'roll and that I was essentially a rocker, but I think that I've never really just made a rock album."

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Escovedo Ready To Rock On 'Real Animal'

escovedo_alejandro_02l.gif

Alejandro Escovedo

"I finally got to make a rock'n'roll record; I don't feel I've done that as a solo artist," Escovedo, who's been putting out albums on his own since 1992 -- save for the 1997 rock side trip in Buick Mackane -- tells Billboard.com.

That's the name of a T-Rex song off of The Slider. If the article mentioned it, sorry, I hadn't read it. I sure thought that was cool though.

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That's the name of a T-Rex song off of The Slider. If the article mentioned it, sorry, I hadn't read it. I sure thought that was cool though.

Yes, it is. As is the record itself:

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This one's pretty cool too:

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  • 1 month later...

From RollingStone.com

Alejandro Escovedo Lights Up Venerable Austin Club

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Alejandro Escovedo’s Thursday CD-release show at the venerable Continental Club in Austin was as much about celebrating the 57-year-old Hep-C survivor’s career-defining album Real Animal as it was about honoring the Continental, a 51-year-old venue that just this week gained designation as a historical landmark.

Shortly after midnight on the first of back-to-back nights, Escovedo, ever dapper in a pinstripe suit, began his set for the 193-capacity crowd with “Put You Down.” It was a slow-building, curious opener for the six-piece considering it wasn’t from the scorching new album, but it nonetheless set the tone for the forthcoming dynamic interplay between the three-headed guitar section and strings duo comprising cello and violin.

Soon enough, Escovedo showcased what the people came for: deafening new tracks like “Real As An Animal” (which he noted was homage to Iggy Pop) and “People (We’re Only Gonna Live So Long),” its lyric “We still got time/But never quite as much as we think” ostensibly a nod to both his late-blooming career and the club he first started playing nearly three decades ago.

Set List

Put You Down

Always A Friend

Everybody Loves Me

Sister Lost Soul

Chelsea Hotel ‘78

Swallows of San Juan

Rosalie

Sensitive Boys

People (We’re Only Gonna Live So Long)

Chip ‘n’ Tony

I Was Drunk

Real As An Animal

Castanets

Encore

Smoke

All the Young Dudes

Beast of Burden

[Photo: Todd V. Wolfson]

Michael Hoinski

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