Calexico's two main men, John Convertino and Joey Burns, the rhythm section for obscure but respected indie act Giant Sand, take flamenco and mariachi and push it through an alt-rock sieve, without losing the Mexicali flavor. "Even My Sure Things Fall Through" is an EP with eight unreleased or re-mixed songs and three CD-ROM videos (two that are dusty and tumbleweedy, one that's evocative and disjointed). A bit of a trancy groove appears in "Untitled III" and some Low-style groggy rock in "Chanel No. 5."
The best stuff is the horn-punctured border-town bravado, and the highlight of this sun-bleached-adobe group is "Crystal Frontier (Widescreen Version)," inspired by Mexican author/ statesman Carlos Fuentes. Calexico clearly has paid attention to The Latin Playboys, an experimental side project by some Los Lobos guys, as well as noirish spaghetti westerns. "Even My Sure Things" works well as a heads-up intro to this Tucson band or as a flourishy complement to their vivid, scene-painting CDs like last year's Hot Rail.