Alejandro Escovedo / Ben Sures Myer Horowitz, Edmonton AB

Alejandro Escovedo / Ben Sures Myer Horowitz, Edmonton AB
Photo: Fish Griwkowsky
I can’t speak exactly to Alejandro Escovedo’s sex appeal due to orientation disadvantages, but it’s certainly a thing to wrap lips around. The walnut-brown pinstripes and pompadour, the flirtatious local nods, even the interplay between singer and fiddle player, are all part of a classy, punk-rooted deliberation on age in style. His secret? Straightforward pop not exactly uproariously original, but played with such flourished perfection you feel you’re witnessing the untarnished meaning of music itself. Rail thin and exuberant about our women, drugs and restaurants, Escovedo’s lyrical style was live as simple as the punk he was. The swaggering "I Was Drunk” is anthemic enough to exist in tattoo form, while "Castanets” reminds us that if you love someone you’re endeared to their flaws. "This one we stopped doing for a while as it ended up on President Bush’s iPod list,” said Escovedo with knives out. "We’ve decided to do it again as he’s on his way out. I’m also sure he’s never heard it.” Opened briefly by the straightforward return of Toronto jokester Ben Sures, AE’s seven-piece had two cello players and a rhythm section that were pissing the jealous devil off somewhere. The spicy Latino told tales of cross-border yearning, how "my parents were always singing and dancing together,” and how his mom changed her name to Evita. Best of all, the band unplugged and moved forward for some stunning a cappella. Alejandro’s dance with the possibility of Hep-C termination made us watch him closer from our sold-out campus pillows. "I don’t want to live in the past but it’s a large part of who I am,” he stated matter-of-factual, ever with the eye contact. The funny thing is that you rarely see a singer so rooted in the exact present.