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(Soundbite of song, "Crystal Frontier")

CALEXICO (Music Group): (Singing) Marco's shadow falls on the door to the seven lost cities of gold.

GUY RAZ, host:

This song is called "Crystal Frontier." It's by the band Calexico. And in 2008, Gabrielle Giffords chose this song as the wake-up call for the astronauts on the Space Shuttle Discovery. Her husband, Mark Kelly, was the shuttle commander on that flight.

And Gabrielle Giffords picked this song because she happens to be a huge fan of Calexico and also a friend of the lead singer, Joey Burns, who's with me now from Tucson.

Joey, thanks for being with us at such a difficult time.

Mr. JOEY BURNS (Musician): You're welcome. Thanks for calling.

RAZ: We are all, of course, pulling for her, Joey. We've been hearing so much about Gabrielle Giffords, the kind of person she was. How did you first react when you found out that this member of Congress was a big fan of your band?

Mr. BURNS: I was a little surprised, I've got to be honest. But as soon as I got to meet her, I could see why. I mean, she's very active in the community. She's always going to shows. She's just that kind of person, you know, that is very passionate.

RAZ: And you've gotten to know her over the years since you first met her in 2006, I understand.

Mr. BURNS: That's right.

RAZ: And what is she like?

Mr. BURNS: She's incredibly down to Earth, especially for one who's in such an important position. I mean, I'm just always kind of impressed on how she's able to focus on each and every individual that she's talking with. She's never distracted. She's always right there.

RAZ: I understand you went to a few vigils last night for Gabby Giffords. Can you tell me about them?

Mr. BURNS: My wife and I, we walked to several of these more somber events, and one was at the historic Rialto Theater downtown. The theater canceled its prior event and just kind of opened the door to the people. It's kind of like the downtown version of our kind of nondenominational church. It just kind of is home to everyone.

And so, a lot of musicians came up, performed. Some people got up and spoke. People lit candles. It was a very touching and moving occasion.

RAZ: I know this must be such a painful time for you, and as I say, we are all pulling for her. Joey Burns is the lead singer of the band Calexico, and he joined me from member station KUAZ in Tucson.

Joey, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

Mr. BURNS: You're welcome, Guy. Thanks so much.

(Soundbite of song, "Crystal Frontier")

RAZ: And for Sunday, that's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. You can hear the best of this program on a new podcast, Weekends on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Subscribe or listen at npr.org/weekendatc. We're back on the radio next weekend. Until then, thanks for listening, and have a great week.

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