“We did most of Thirteen Cities in Tucson and Joey Burns and Jacob Valenzuela from Calexico played on the record,” says Reno native and Richmond Fontaine frontman Willy Vlautin. For Vlautin, whose literature and songs focus so much on a balancing of fear and respect for the desert and its cities, pairing with members of Calexico was a perfect match. “It was a lucky thing for me because I’m a big fan and I think they’re one of the coolest bands going today,” he says. As their name suggests, Calexico derives its flavor from both classic American and Mexican cultural influences, resulting in an authentic Southwestern style all their own. Calexico defies categorization, mixing folk with alt-country and indie rock in a display that simply has to be seen or heard to be understood. Calexico plays at the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater Sunday July 27, 2008, at 8 pm. Their new album, Carried to Dust, comes out in September.