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Despite this week's Non Stop Musix festival on August 19-20 at The Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds, featuring a slew of international attractions like The Kaiser Chiefs, Lady Gaga, Simple Plan and Luciano, the musical highlight of the week is likely to take place a few kilometers away at the Barby Club.
That's where Calexico, a six-piece, indescribably eclectic collective of indie evocation from Tuscon, Arizona will be performing on August 18 and 19. Unflinchingly combining elements of dusty, lo-fi rock, Spaghetti Western noir, mariachi, Portuguese Fado, electronic and jazz into their mix, the acclaimed band, led by guitarist Joey Burns and drummer John Covertino, have released an encyclopedia's worth of music over the last decade. But it's not just an academic exercise in exploring musical ethnicity, it's alive, and it swings like crazy.
Owing to their growing reputation in indie circles, Burns and Convertino have also nurtured countless artists like Neko Case via production and backing roles. Two years ago, they were even asked by director Todd Haynes to perform in and act as musical advisors for his Bob Dylan film I'm Not There. One of the soundtrack's highlights is undoubtedly Calexico's collaboration with Willie Nelson on "Senor (Tale of Yankee Power)"
"When Todd suggested recording with Willie Nelson, I just about dropped dead - my fantasy day came to life," said Burns from his home in Tuscon. "Looking at the last 10 years, you also have to look at these other projects as part of the Calexico whole. There's a lot to be thankful for."
The least of which is the band's arrival in Tel Aviv. Opening the shows here will be Jairo Zavala of the Spanish band Depedro, one of Burns' and Convertino's 'finds.'
"I met him a couple years ago, and we became good friends. Everyone in the band loves him and we helped him out on his record. We'll be backing him up during his set and he'll be playing during our show too," said Burns.
Expect the unexpected, and you'll find yourself enjoying what could be the local show of the summer.