Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Alejandro Escovedo 

The Boxing Mirror

Wednesday, Jun 7 2006
Alejandro Escovedo hasn't had it easy — his first wife committed suicide; his excellent, critically praised discs haven't set any charts afire; and he battled a recent bout of hepatitis without the support of health insurance (the latter is unfortunately the case for many sick musicians). With that in mind, one might expect his first release since 2002's By the Hand of the Father to be either brooding or vitriolic (and who'd blame him?). The Boxing Mirror finds Escovedo instead confronting assorted demons — his own and others' — passionately but free of self-absorption. His songs are mini-film noirs, populated by characters seeking a proverbial way out, mitigated by glimmers of compassion, tenacity, and hope: Have a drink on me/ I've been empty since Arizona and Hold to the light/ So no one will know/ We died a little today. Though his band numbers but nine members, it projects an orchestral depth and understated grandeur — thank John Cale, whose production (alternately stark and opulent) evokes that of his own recordings (the pounding, feverish "Sacramento & Polk" would be at home on Cale's Fear). With Escovedo's plaintive voice exultant, the harrowing Mirror is one of the finest of this songwriter's career, as well as one of the best releases of 2006.

About The Author

Mark Keresman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"