Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Story of Yoga: Warrior Poses

Virabhadrasana is the Sanskrit name for the set of three Warrior poses. Named for the Hindu warrior hero Virabhadra, these poses are meant to increase strength in the legs as well as confidence and mental fortitude.

Warrior I How-to:

1. Stand with your feet hip distance apart and your arms at your sides
2. Take several deep, relaxing breaths to center yourself
3. Spread your legs out to the sides as far as they can go without becoming shaky in your balance
4. Rotate your right foot 90 degrees to the right, and your left foot about 45 degrees to the right
5. Turn your hips, pelvis, and upper body to the right, so the top half of your body is pointed in the same direction as the toes of your right foot
6. On the inhale, raise your arms up above your head as you bend the right knee to form a 90 degree angle over your heel
7. Breathe! Repeat with the left foot in front.

Tips: You can rotate your back foot forward a bit if it helps you find your balance in this stance. Your back foot should be completely flat on the floor, and you should feel your weight fairly equally distributed between the outsides of both of your feet. Don't let your bent knee extend out over your ankle; widen your stance if that is an issue.

Warrior II how-to:

1. Beginning from Warrior I, lower your arms and stretch them out over your legs, parallel to the ground

2. Stretch the arms away from the the space between the shoulder blades, keeping your torso long and your gaze soft out over the front hand

Warrior III How-to:

1. Starting from Warrior I, place your hands on your hips

2. Shift all of your weight onto your front foot as you straighten your front leg

3. Hinge from the waist and begin to drop the torso forward

4. As you drop forward, raise the back leg until both your torso and back leg are parallel with the ground. If you can't keep your balance, a modified pose like the one shown above may be used.

On top of yoga being fun, relaxing, and making you feel absolutely awesome, there is a long and deep history of its use as well as a dense mythology behind the poses themselves. Now that you know how to do the warrior poses, consider their fabled meaning:

In Hindu mythology, the princess Sati fell in love with and married Shiva, the "destroyer" lord of death, destruction, and also new life. Sati's father, the powerful King Daksha, upholder of rules and regulations, did not approve of his daughter's union with this strange dreadlocked yogi hermit who was known for strange behaviors like taking drugs and visiting cremation grounds.

Shortly after their marriage, King Daksha threw a huge yagna (ritual sacrifice) and invited literally everybody in the world, except for Sati and Shiva. Upon hearing this, Sati suggested that she and Shiva attend anyway, and he declined, not wanting to further incite her father's bad feelings toward him.

Sati decided to attend the yagna alone, and when she arrived, she and her father immediately got into an argument about her husband. Her father mocked Shiva and taunted Sati, much to the amusement of all of the other party goers. Humiliated by this public argument, Sati seethed silently as King Dashka continued to insult her husband and her decision-making in choosing him as a mate.

As her indignation grew, she became determined to cut all ties to this supposed "family" that would treat her so cruelly. When finally she spoke, she told her father that since he had given her her physical body, she no longer wanted to be associated with it. She then walked past her father and sat in a meditative pose on the ground. Closing her eyes, Sati fell into a mystic trance, where she increased her inner fire through yogic exercises until her body burst into flames.

When Shiva heard of Sati's death, he was devastated, ripping out his hair and beating it into the ground. Out of this hair, he then fashioned a fierce warrior who he named Virabhadra. "Vira" means hero, while "Bhadra" means friend. He ordered Virabhadra to go to the yagna and destroy Daksha and all the guests assembled.

With swords in both hands, Virabhadra arrived at the party by thrusting his way up through the earth from deep underground; this is where the Warrior I pose comes from.

As he established his arrival for all to see, he set his sights on his opponent, Dashka, which is symbolized with the Warrior II pose. Moving with swiftness and precision, he took his sword and cut off the head of the cruel Dashka (Warrior III).

Shiva arrived at Daksha's palace to see that Virabhadra had carried out his vengeful wishes. He absorbed Virabhadra back into his own form, and his anger was replaced with sorrow for the loss of his wife.

Looking at the bloody work of his warrior, his sorrow turned into compassion, and he brought Daksha back to life. Overwhelmed by this generous gesture, the now reanimated Daksha bowed in awe and humility to Shiva, which the other guests emulated to honor Shiva for his compassion.

We practice Virabhadrasana not to honor the practice of violence, but to fight our own ignorance and ego. The warrior that we emulate is the spiritual warrior or higher self (Shiva), who battles the prideful ego (Daksha) for the sake of the heart (Sati). Although the ego is forgiven for being selfish, the battle rages on until we reach enlightenment.

So the story goes.

What yoga pose would you like to see us explore next?

Mexicali Products featured on this page (in order of appearance) are batik yoga flags, Thai fisherman pants,and the Mexicali Peace T!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Eco Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

photo via Kanu Hawii
Deck the halls with balls of paper may as well be the refrain cheerfully trumpeted by carollers as they melodically instruct us on the key points of successful Holiday decoration and gift giving. Not to be a Grinch, here--indeed, part of the thrill of receiving holiday gifts is tearing their wrappings with abandon in a treasure hunt that involves only one obstacle! However, it's this practice that creates a dramatic increase in garbage going to landfills at this time of year. In fact, a Stanford University study found that Americans throw away about 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year's than any other time of year, making about 1 million extra tons of trash each week!

Fortunately, there are many ways to retain the fun spirit of unravelling your gifts while reducing your contribution to the Holiday trash heap!

Newspaper is an easy and classic way to wrap presents, but is often seen as the cheapskate's way out. No longer! Get creative and dye it with food coloring, or paint on it with watercolor or tempera paints. Cutting out pictures from magazines, comics, or old greeting cards and gluing them on are another way to make a newspaper-wrapped box look a little more special. Use glitter to make it extra festive, or just draw on it with markers, crayons, or colored pencils! You can also use stamps to make plain paper prettier; one rubber stamp is all you need, or make your own stamp out of a raw potato (this is a great project for kids)!

You can also reuse brown paper bags in a similar way. Just cut along the glued seams and it gives you a big piece of paper to work with. This solid brown wrapping has a nice rustic look that is complimented by a simple, earthy ribbon like cotton or hemp twine.

These are awesome ways to recycle things you already have rather than getting something new only to throw it immediately away (plus, it saves you money). Of course, our very favorite way to give (and receive) gifts is to wrap it in something that is useful and will continue to be used. Put the present that you would have put in one of those glossy gift bags in a reusable shopping bag instead! They come in all kinds of cool colors and styles (we love these ones from envirosax and baggu; they fold up really small and are perfect for throwing in your purse or your pocket when not in use) and will help prevent excess trash far beyond the holidays! Other useful things that make great wrapping are pretty tea towels or cool fashion scarves. Use fun shoelaces as ribbon, or try this awesome (and easy) tutorial for cool personalized pipe cleaner gift tags.

If more traditional wrappings are just irrefutably your style, gift bags and tissue paper can be a more environmentally friendly option than wrapping paper. Simply save the bags and tissue and reuse them next year! Use festive fabric or a square scarf to try a Japanese technique of wrapping called furoshiki (video tutorial here). There are so many options beyond traditional wrapping paper! Let's do what we can to reduce our dependence on disposibility this holiday season, and say Happy Holidays to not just our friends and family, but to our planet as well!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hippie Holiday Gift Guide

Here come the holidays! And in the midst of snowy weather and spending time with family and friends under the glow of twinkling lights, it's time to get down with the holiday shopping! Unique and affordable are the top two criteria we consider when shopping for our loved ones; we want to give something as meaningful and individual as they are without breaking the bank! Here are some of our very favorite Mexicali Blues gift ideas:

Fleece Lined Convertible Mittens
These fleece lined convertible gloves-or glittens as we like to call them-are seriously the best winter warmers ever! Made of wool and lined with fleece, they keep you warm and dry in even the most perilous of precipitation. At only $14, these are a practical gift that is big on style! Be sure to check out our website for many colors of striped convertible mittens, rasta convertible mittens, and patterned convertible mittens, all of which have matching fleece lined wool hats.

Mexican Baja Hoodie

Bridging the distance between surfer cool and hippie casual, these warm and versatile Mexican hoodies make great gifts for the laid-back guy (or gal) in your life. Available in different color combinations (including one of our favorites, the rasta hoodie) and super-affordable ($18!), this is a gift that will rock the socks off of the lucky recipient!

Tibetan Prayer Flags

Our traditional Tibetan prayer flags are a groovy way to add a peaceful vibe to a hippie home or office. They can be hung indoors for a pop of bright color, or outside where breezes will help them to fray and carry good karmic wishes and prayers out into the world. Our mini prayer flags also make an awesome decoration for a hippie Christmas tree! If traditional prayer flags aren't your style, Mexicali Blues has batik yoga flags and chakra flags, which make excellent gifts for the yoga enthusiast. Check out our earlier blog entry about the meaning of prayer flags so you can share the history of them when you share them as a gift!

Thai Fisherman Pants

Thai fisherman pants are our favorite pants for meditation, yoga, and lounging. Their wrap style makes them an excellent fit for almost everyone, and they are some of the most unique yoga pants around! Available in a wide variety of colors and only $20 each, these are the hippie pants that are sure to please everyone on your gift list!

Hand knit mukluks are the holiday gift that everyone loves to get, especially those of us living in Maine where it is freezing cold this time of year! These toasty bohemian slippers are like sweaters for your feet, with a lined bottom of the foot to keep you from sliding all over the place. There is nothing like coming inside after a long snowy day and relaxing in the warmth and comfort of these awesome mukluks , available exclusively at Mexicali Blues!

Mexicali is proud to carry cool and unique items that have been responsibly imported from all over the world. With a wide variety of affordable fashion scarves, handcrafted sterling silver jewelry, Grateful Dead t shirts, and so much more (including our very own Steal Your State merchandise--combining our love of the Grateful Dead with our love of Maine!), Mexicali is an awesome place to find unique and exotic gifts that you won't find anywhere else!

Check out our comprehensive Mexicali gift guide for more hippie gifts, zen gifts, hippie stocking stuffers, and more! We also have four new & really cool different styles of Mexicali Blues gift cards, so you can personalize the present of a Mexicali shopping spree!

From all of us at Mexicali, we wish you the happiest of holidays and a peaceful new year!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Peaceful Home Hippie Style Guide

Your home is your haven, and you probably spend most of your days at work; creating serene and positive environments in these spaces has the potential to influence your whole outlook on life! Clutter can be overwhelming, so the first step in creating a peaceful home or office is reducing it. Get organized by getting rid of what you don't use or need, and use shelves or wall hooks to put your stuff in its proper place.

Use colors that you love to decorate your room. The color of light coming through a paper globe lantern or block print curtain panels can change the overarching hue, and thus the mood, of the whole space! There is an interesting psychology behind the way colors can influence our moods: Blue represents peace, tranquility, calm, and harmony. Find it at Mexicali in our blue vine indian tapestry or batik yoga flags.

Green represents nature, good luck, and renewal. Add a little green to your space with a jade buddha or unique hanging mobile

Red is associated with love, desire, speed, and strength. It is energetic rather than relaxing, but red accents in a room can be quite pleasing. Try a cheerful tie dye tapestry or rasta flag on your wall.

Purple represents spirituality, mystery, transformation, and enlightenment. It is wonderful color to incorporate into your space; try a lavender batik tapestry with a purple paper star lantern.

Yellow represents joy, happiness, and imagination. Add a pop of yellow to your home or office with the yellow batik mandala tapestry or a yellow submarine Beatles poster.

Decorate with items that make you feel peaceful, like tibetan prayer flags or a zen wall hanging that reminds you of a quality that is important to you, like peace, courage, love, or happiness.

Add natural elements like a wooden buddha, a fountain, or a plant to keep you grounded. Perhaps hang a soothing bamboo wind chime in a window for peaceful sounds.

Candles and incense are a great way to add ambiance to any room. Put a lavender-scented candle in a buddha candle holder, or burn some nag champa incense in a handpainted incense burner for a calming olfactory experience.

If you want to create a peaceful vibe in your bedroom, be sure to keep it cozy with a unique and soft hippie duvet or bohemian bedspread for your bed. Hang a buddha tapestry on the wall or a wooden namaste sign over the door, and you will be saying ohm as you drift off to sleep!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Ultimate Guide to Hippie Style for Women

Hippie style is all about creative expression of your individuality, connection to nature and music, and comfort! A flowing skirt or a maxi dress is an integral part of the hippie wardrobe; long skirts are perfect for dancing wherever you go! A batik sarong is a versatile and colorful necessity in any hippie woman's closet; wear it as a skirt, dress, or use it as a curtain or picnic blanket!

Tie dye pants, thai fisherman pants, or yoga pants are a great option when you will be climbing trees, hiking, or it is just too cold for a skirt! Pair them with a loose, hippie top, like a tie dye t shirt or kurta tunic. A buddha t shirt, bob marly t shirt, or grateful dead t shirt is another comfortable and awesome way to top off a cute hippie outfit.

Adding layers to your ensemble, like a cozy alpaca sweater or fashion scarf, can make an outfit even more gypsy chic, while keeping you warm as well! A wool hat, pair of fleece lined mittens, or mukluks in natural materials are not at all out of place in a stylish hippie outfit.

Adding earthy elements to your wardrobe (like an embroidered leather belt or wooden shell necklace) is key, because one of the most important tenets of hippie style is that natural is beautiful! Try a turquoise pendant or pair of shiva eye earrings to bring a touch of grounded glamour to a casual outfit.

A funky hobo bag or sling bag is the perfect way to carry all your supplies for a fun hippie day (maybe a footbag, pair of retro sunglasses, or a handmade notebook for writing down poetic thoughts and observations). A cross-body bag with a long strap is a necessary accessory for attending a concert or festival; try one made of hemp for an eco-friendly option.

Finally, no hippie outfit is complete without flowers and/or peace signs! Try peace sign earrings, a peace sign tie dye, or even a peace sign ring. A flower necklace, floral skirt, or calico dress is all you need to show the world that you are a flower child at heart.

The Ultimate Guide to Boho Style

Wear at least one bold bohemian accessory. Bohemian style is artistic and interesting; it may be relaxed and casual but it is still creative. Maybe you will carry a boho bag, or wear a sun hat or tie dye dress; just make sure not to overdo it with too much crazy color. Pair it with something natural, like an embroidered leather belt or wooden earrings to keep your look down-to-earth.

Bohemian style clothing should be loose and flowing, or at least have some flowy element to the outfit. A ruffled skirt or a long dress adds a sense of movement to your outfit that keeps with your nomadic gypsy attitude. Layers are an integral part of the boho style that is particularly welcome in cooler weather; don't be afraid to wear leggings under your dress, and scarves are a must! Wear one or put several together to mix up your look.

Accessorize! Jewelry is a must for creating a boho outfit: layered chunky bangle bracelets and gemstone earrings add to your unconventional earthy appeal. Hammered metal bracelets are another great look, as well as bold wooden chokers or leather necklaces.

Most important to the rules of boho style is that there are no set rules! The whole point of bohemian dressing is to show off your own unconventional and free-spirited ways, so get out there and do it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tie Dye Methods and Techniques

blue spiral tie dye tee

Tie Dye is super cool because there are no rules; the creative options are pretty much limitless, provided you can get your hands on all the crazy colors you're imagining. For the uninitiated, tie dye is a way of creating patterns by folding, stitching, crumpling, or otherwise preparing the fabric to inhibit the flowing of dye into the folds of the fabric. One can plan their colors and the end result to some extent, but part of the fun of tie dyeing is the surprise of unfolding/twisting/stitching your garment to see what you've got! While there are always small surprises along the tie dye journey, you can have some idea of what you're creating depending on the method that you use. So, let's explore a few of those, shall we? Onward!


photo by Saritha Rao Rayachoti

Bandhni, also called bandhani or bandhej, is an Indian method of tie dye that has been around for centuries. From the Hindu word bandhan which means "to tie up", this method involves tying many small points with thread before dip-dyeing. This creates a unique and detailed dotted pattern that is often used to create ethnic or nature-inspired designs. Frequently, bandhni pieces in India are sold with the knots intact to prove that it is an authentic bandhni piece and not a screen print.


Shibori is the name of a whole family of traditional Japanese resist techniques. It can involve binding parts of cloth with stitching, pleating, wrapping around a pole, or using shapes (often of wood, acrylic, or plexiglass) to keep the dye from permeating a certain part of the fabric. Shibori has and continues to be used to create intricate patterns for kimonos that are as unique as snowflakes.


mudmee dye bell yoga pants

Mudmee is a method of tie dyeing from Thailand. It has a particular set of shapes and colors that are traditionally used, and there are usually multiple small motifs across one piece with very fine details in each. One thing that makes mudmee tie dye particularly unique is that it is never done on white fabric; the background is always colored, usually black. This makes for a look that is similar enough to modern multi-colored tie dye to still be groovy, but it is definitely special.

Modern Multi-Colored Tie Dye

The modern technique of tie dye involves applying different colors of dye directly to cotton. The fabric is often twisted or wrapped with string or rubber bands to create patterns and parts of the fabric that resist the dye. The bright, colorful patterns create an iconic look that lets other hippies know where you are!

Check out our awesome selection of tie dye shirts, mudmee pants, tie dye tapestries, and tie dye dresses at!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Music Monday: Hanging Out with Young Jerry!

It's no secret that all of us at Mexicali love the Grateful Dead and their unimitable frontman, Jerry Garcia. Today we want to share with you a bunch of cool videos of Jerry from back in the day!

Here Jerry talks about the hippie culture of the 60's at the Playboy Mansion, and joins the rest of the band to play "Mountains of the Moon":

Here's a rare clip of him jamming with friends at Woodstock in 1969:

In an interview, he describes what making music feels like for him:

Awesome clip of singing/jamming with Rick Danko, Janis Joplin, and more from the awesome documentary Festival Express :

Another clip from Festival Express; the Dead performing "Don't Ease Me In":

Some final words of wisdom from the man:

We miss you, Jerry!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Brief History of Tie Dye

When we think of tie dye and where it might have originated, the first image that often comes to mind is the freewheeling hippie lifestyle of the 1960's. Today, many of us who wear tie dye feel some connection with that peace-loving hippie spirit! You might be surprised to learn that the history of tie dye actually began long before those free-loving, music-grooving Woodstock-era days; the earliest mentions of tie dye in historical records were in ancient Japan and China.

In China they were using tie-dye from 618 to 906 C.E., during the T'ang dynasty. In Japan they used tie dye during the Nara period of 552 to 794 C.E. Their early methods of tie dye involved extracting the natural dyes from flowers, berries, roots and leaves by boiling them in hot water, dipping sections of cloth in the different colors made, and letting them steep.

Around the 15th century, a style of tie dye known as Tsujigahana (translated as "flowers at crossing") became fashionable. This process used intricate stitching to delineate the the sections of the fabric to be dyed separate colors, rather than the traditional dip-dying, which often allowed the colors to run together. This method also involved painting designs on the fabric with sumi ink, which would then darken more than the surrounding fabric when it was dyed.

Tie dye gained popularity in the United States during the Great Depression, when it was considered an economical way to add new color to old materials. Pamphlets were handed out describing how to tie dye and use old cotton, flour, coffee, and sugar sacks to create new clothing and home decorations.

Woodstock, 1969. Photo via flickr user hlthom4

Tie dye was embraced during the Vietnam War era when young people craved peace and freedom from the uptight generations that preceded them (particularly parents and authority figures). Tie dye was a form of artistic expression and protest for the free-spirited hippie generation; it was an easy and inexpensive way to express individuality while brightening up the world with unique and happy colors!

At Mexicali Blues, we see tie dye as an awesome way to express yourself with cool colors and patterns that will always stand out in a crowd! Here are a few of our favorites:

classic rainbow spiral tie dye

peace sign tie dye

butterfly batwing mudmee top

tie dye starburst tapestry

Check out our sweet collection of tie dye and mudmee tie dye on our website, and join us next week as we explore all the different types of tie dye!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Music Monday: Broken Bells

Broken Bells is the musical duo of Brian Burton (better known as Danger Mouse) and The Shins frontman James Mercer. They describe their music as "melodic, yet experimental" with Mercer's distinctively earnest and melancholy voice given buoyancy by Danger Mouse's catchy beats and sparkling arrangements. Broken Bells has just one self-titled album that just came out on March 9, 2010, and it is definitely worth your time to give these songs a listen!

Here's a sweet video for "The Ghost Inside":

Check out their debut single, "The High Road":

Check out the Broken Bells website for tour dates, pictures, and an amazing interactive music video for another great song called "October".

Monday, August 16, 2010

Music Monday: Music Movies You Should See

The nights are cooling and crab-apples are thunking to the ground; the first whispers of Fall are in the air. Now don't get scared; it's still summer! But it is good to be prepared, and since Winter in New England is what it is, it's getting to be about time to restart your Netflix subscription or at least update that queue. With that in mind, here are some of our favorite music movies you should definitely consider watching!

Stop Making Sense (Talking Heads)

Stop Making Sense is one of the best concert films we've ever seen, with striking imagery and direction and a flawlessly energetic performance by a great band. The movie was filmed over three nights on the band's 1983 "Speaking in Tongues" tour, but is edited together so well it forms a cohesive story-like structure like the best singular concert experience of your life.

A Hard Day's Night (The Beatles)

Part concert film, part mockumentary, A Hard Day's Night describes a couple of days in the lives of the group as they perform, deal with celebrity, and get into trouble. It's funnier than you would expect it to be, and the Beatles are at their charming best. If you like the band at all and haven't seen it yet, do it!

The Devil and Daniel Johnston (Daniel Johnston)

Artist, singer, and songwriter Daniel Johnston has written some of the most strikingly honest and clever lyrics we've ever heard. This documentary explores the life and creativity of a fascinating character who dances on the edge of what we would call 'sanity' and creates amazing art because of it. Never heard of him? Watch it. You won't forget.

Gimme Shelter (The Rolling Stones)

reated by the amazing documentary filmmaking team of Albert and David Maysles (also responsible for the awesome movies The Beatles: The First U.S. visit, Grey Gardens, and Salesman), this film explores Rolling stones 1969 tour, culminating in the disastrous Altamont Free Concert. With a lot of great footage of the Rolling Stones seriously rocking it, behind-the-scenes insights into what it was like putting a free festival together, and an unbiased look at the sinister events that transpired as the show went on, this is as much an important cultural film as a musical one.

The Last Waltz (The Band, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Dr. John, Muddy Waters and many more)

The Last Waltz documents The Band's performance at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom in 1976. They perfomed with a ton of awesome singers/musicians all in their prime with amazing energy and stage presence, sublimely directed Martin Scorcese. Is this the best concert film of all time, as has been stated by many? We're not saying no!

Anvil! The Story of Anvil (Anvil)

Anvil?! Who is Anvil? Exactly. All of the bands that performed at Japan's Super Rock Festival in 1984 made it big (Bon Jovi, Scorpions, Whitesnake) except for this Canadian metal band. This documentary explores what it is like now for the once-promising band to continue trying to 'make it' as they deal with middle-aged life. It is hilarious, charming, and surprisingly moving. Even if you have absolutely no interest in heavy metal music as a genre, you will still fall absolutely in love with this movie. (We did!)

We hope you enjoyed our music movie roundup, although it was by no means comprehensive. We would love to know what your favorite music movies are!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Music Monday: Arcade Fire

The Arcade Fire hails from Montreal and are fronted by married couple Win Butler and Regine Chassagne with an oft changing cast of super-talented multi-instrumentalist collaborators singing and playing piano, violin, hurdy-gurdy, French horn, and more. Their music is indie rock with an epic sweep, filled with lush instrumentals and heavily layered harmonies.

They released a sweet self-titled EP in 2003, but it wasn't until 2004 that the released the absolutely amazing Funeral, a solid and moving album that was lyrically and tonally influenced by the deaths that year of several of the band members' relatives. This album managed to be both somber and uplifting, and was extremely well-received, both critically and commercially. Here is the official video for the first song off of that abum, "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)":

In 2007, the band released Neon Bible which was also universally praised and definitely awesome. Here is the first single off that album, called "Intervention":

Here is an amazing acoustic performance of the song "Neon Bible", played in an elevator, using a ripping magazine for (surprisingly effective) percussion. This is one of our favorite performance videos ever:

They recently released their newest album, The Suburbs, and once again, we think they have created an awesome piece of art! Give a listen to the titular song here:

The Arcade Fire is currently on tour, and just played a couple of days ago (August 5) in Madison Square Garden, a show that was to be directed by Terry Gilliam. They streamed it live on Youtube and you can see the whole thing here. We really like the claymation/puppet promo video they made for the event:

Sweet! We love the Arcade Fire and hope you do too. Check out their website here for all kinds of fun things to hear and see!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Music Monday: Ghostland Observatory

Many of us who were at the first Nateva festival this past 4th of July had our minds melted a little bit by the electrifying performance of this musical duo. A combination of electronica and straight up rock with some soul thrown in for good measure, the super-danceable music of Ghostland Observatory is well suited to live performance. Thomas Ross Turner always wears a cape when he plays synthesizer, keys, drums, and sings backup. Aaron Kyle Behrens sings, yowls, and plays guitar. We think he sounds like a mix of Jack White, Freddy Mercury, and Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand. The experience is heightened by the crazy light show light saber war that accompanies their concerts. Here they are playing at Coachella:

Based in Austin, TX, they have gathered a loyal following there, and though they play all the time, the shows always sell out really quickly. They made two albums, toured around the country, and despite being poised to become the next big thing in indie music and get some kind of crazy record deal, they have continued to put out their own records under their own label, Trashy Moped Records.

Listen to their song "Sad Sad City" with a cool fan-created typographical video below:

Here's a sweet mini-documentary about the band:

Check out their website here for tour dates, music, and more sweet Ghostland stuff!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Music Monday: Roots & Reggae by the Bay

One of our favorite local organizations, the Damariscotta River Association, along with sponsorship from us and other local businesses, is putting on the annual Roots and Reggae by the Bay fest this coming Saturday, July 31. It is to be a most rocking time; it's outside, family friendly, affordable (proceeds go to a great cause, preserving and protecting local land and animal habitats), and there will be four awesome bands to get you boogieing!

photo via this blog

The Jason Spooner Trio is a groovy acoustic bluesy folk-rock ensemble, with great lyrics that have won Mr. Spooner many awards. This group is a local favorite and are sure to take us on a wonderfully mellow sonic ride. When we were looking for a video to share, we found the band covering Radiohead's "Subterranian Homesick Alien", and for that, Jason Spooner Trio, we give you many enthusiastic thumbs up!

Here they are playing their own "Spaceship":

photo via maine common sense

The Jerks of Grass seamlessly meld traditional bluegrass stylings with progressive roots music to play fun and high-energy tunes sure to get you hopping and bopping and dancing around! Check out this video of them performing; the sound is great but the visual footage is kind of fuzzy.

Stream is known as"Maine's premier reggae band", playing reggae with elements of dancehall, zouk, and soca sounds. Chances are if you have been to any reggae fests in Maine you have seen these guys, and know they put on a great show that is super fun for dancing!

The New Rangers are an acoustic offshoot of the Round Pond Rangers. They are a rockin' band who we hope will grace us with some of their sweet Dead covers and Irish fight songs!

If all that music isn't enough to tempt you to join us at this fun fest, there will also be fresh local oysters, Caribbean food and spirits, as well as local and international crafts.

You can purchase tickets at Damariscotta River Association (only location for credit card sales, 207-563-1393), Maine Coast Book Shop & CafĂ© (Damariscotta), Mexicali Blues (Newcastle and Freeport), Sherman’s Books & Stationery (Boothbay), Treats (Wiscasset), Wild Rufus Records (Belfast), and Bull Moose Music (Brunswick & all locations)

We hope to see you there!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Music Monday: LCD Soundsystem

The music of LCD Soundsystem could be catagorized as something like dance-punk-electronic-pop-indie-rocktastic. Led by the clever and often self-effacing James Murphy, this is music with a dance-demanding beat and lyrics that will make you laugh and think once you settle down. Murphy began the group in 2002 with the witty, wordy eight-minute single "Losing My Edge."He describes this tune as "an athem" to growing older and realizing that musical styles change with generations. Check out the song (and watch Murphy get slapped in the face for eight minutes) below:

LCD Soundsytem released a self-titled double album in 2005, to much critical acclaim. The first song, "Daft Punk is Playing at My House" quickly gained popularity, particularly in the UK. The album and the song were both nominated for Grammy awards that year. Try to listen to this song without moving at all; it's hard!

In 2007, the band released Sound of Silver to more critical acclaim. Why? Because it is awesome! This album retained the bouncy dance feel of older songs, while making a succesful leap to straight-up rock; all the while retaining the sound that is undeniably, uniquely LCD.

Evidence that Murphy does the melodic just as well as dance-punk:

Here's a song from the same album that will make you want to move and groove:

This is Happening just came out a few months ago, and is amazing! (We think so, anyway) The music itself is filled with fun drums and weird little beeps that will not allow you to sit still, while the lyrics are honest and insightful. Here, the single "Drunk Girls" describes with wit and humor the difference between "drunk girls" and "drunk boys":

Another great tune, "Dance Yourself Clean":

You really should just listen to the whole thing.

Ok, that's all you get for free. Go buy the album! You'll like it! Check out their website here if you dig LCD Soundsystem like we do.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Music Monday: Thievery Corporation & Ween

Nobody can resist dancing at the Pier Review!
photo via pizza comedy

Good times are fast approaching, as we count down the days to the 2010 Pier Review at the Maine State Pier in Portland's Old Port. The pier is an great outdoor venue, and the two bands that will be playing, Ween on Friday July 16 and Thievery Corporation on Saturday July 17th, are poised to blow your mind with their tuneful talents.

Perhaps you are asking yourself, "How might I win some sweet free tickets to this deluge of rocking awesomeness?" Well, wonder no more, for it is easy as can be! Become a friend of Mexicali Blues on Facebook and post:

"Like Mexicali Blues and you can have a chance to win 2 tickets to Thievery Corporation 7/17 and Ween 7/16 in Portland, Maine!"

for your status update. Or, follow Mexicali_Blues on Twitter and re-tweet:

"RT @mexicali_blues to win 2 tickets to @ThieveryCorpDC 7/17 and #Ween 7/16 in #maine! #wakemeupwhenIwin! #freetickets"

Best of luck to everybody who enters! For those of you who would rather not leave your fate to chance and want to purchase your tickets, you can do so here and also feel good about your purchase, because proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Preble Street, a local social services agency. Sweet!

Now it's time to check out what all the fuss is about, so read on!

photo via this ween fansite

Ween was formed in 1984 in Pennsylvania, when Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo met in an eighth grade typing class. The pair became known respectively as Gene Ween and Dean Ween as they work together on their musical creation and adventures. Their music is often considered to rest under the genre umbrella of "alternative", although one of the things that we like about Ween the wide variety of styles they embrace and pull off.

Here is a reggae-style tune from their Friends EP:

Here's a pretty straight up alternative song called "Transdermal Celebration":

Watch this sweet video of Ween performing "Big Jilm" live:

This is a versatile band with an expansive catalog of songs (check out their long discography here) with a quirky, danceable, funny sensibility. Do be aware, these guys often curse and address adult subject matter in their tunes, so it may not be entirely appropriate for younger concert-goers. Check out their website here for more music and information.

photo via trip-hop

Thievery Corporation is a DJ duo consisting of Rob Garza, Eric Hilton, and their supporting artists. Their music style mixes elements of reggae, acid jazz, and smooth world music, creating songs that are simultaneously mellow and perfect for dancing. The two men formed the group in 1995, when they bonded over a shared love of dub, bossa nova, and jazz records.

Check out this video of the band performing their song "Warning Shots":

Not content to just make good music, the band takes a progressive political stance on various issues, opposing war and exploitative trade agreements, while supporting human rights and food programs. Those are ideals we can surely get behind!

And here's a song we can all surely dance to:

Visit the Thievery Corporation website for more good stuff, enter to win free tickets to either of the shows, and we hope to see you there!