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Argentina-born Fernando Viciconte came of age musically in L.A. fronting the hard rock band Monkey Paw (and adopting the moniker Xavier). He moved to Portland, OR, in 1994 and released Season in Hell, a downbeat collection of country rock, in 1996. His sophomore effort, Widows, saw a harder-edged approach that at times recalled his Southern California days. The Spanish language album Pacoima (1998) represented an abrupt shift as Fernando explored his So Cal barrio roots, swinging from border rock to Tex-Mex to Mexican R&B. Sure enough, he changed gears yet again for Old Man Motel (1999), indulging in a powerful collection of relatively straight-ahead rock. 2001 found Fernando leaving Cravedog for Domingo Records and releasing Dreams of the Sun and Sky, a startlingly gorgeous collection of gauzy, narcotic tracks with Latin and country-folk accents. ~ Erik Hage