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Califone Dreamin'

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Califone Dreamin'

Photo courtsey of Dead Oceans Records

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It feels like forever since acclaimed folk-experimentalists Califone -- one of my favorite bands -- last played San Diego, but that streak is about to end.

The last time Califone played here, they opened for Iron and Wine at 4th & B; it's been even longer since they played a headlining show in San Diego. But that's not to say they haven't been busy: since their 4th & B gig, Califone released their sixth studio LP and went to Sundance with a companion film starring Angela Bettis. They also toured the world (just not San Diego) with the album and film, providing a live soundtrack with each screening.

Truth is, for the band's fans, when it rains, it pours. Known for their Tom Waits-ian arrangements, meticulous studio layering, and across-the-board creativity, Califone often takes long breaks between albums. It's always worth the wait, though, and their latest -- All My Friends Are Funeral Singers -- is one of the band's best yet: Funeral Singers is a pop-influenced, fuzzy, grungy, folk rock gem. For a sample of the album, check out this MP3 of the title track.

Califone is slated to tour the West Coast through early August, beginning with Pickathon in Oregon and culminating here in San Diego on Aug. 15. This trip marks a temporary personnel change for the band, however. With three of its four core members on the road as part of Iron & Wine's backing band, Califone singer/mastermind Tim Rutili has enlisted the help of Beirut engineer Griffin Rodriguez and longtime collaborator Tim Hurley. During this tour, the trio will play songs by Califone, its precursor Red Red Meat, and Hurley's acclaimed other band, Sin Ropas.

San Diego's Little White Teeth will open for Califone on Aug. 15; get your tickets here.

T. Loper is a writer and photographer for the San Diego music blog Owl and Bear.

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