Third time’s the charm

Calexico rock band returns to Israel for two concerts.

By
November 11, 2015 17:05
3 minute read.
Calexico

Calexico. (photo credit: PR)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

When Joey Burns gets on a roll, he can sound like he’s on a soapbox gearing up for a presidential run on a ticket with Bernie Sanders. The front man of respected eclectic Arizona rockers Calexico, Burns is in the middle of describing the cultural differences between the American, European and Israeli mindset that he’s been exposed to on his frequent tours with his band. At some point, the earnest, idealist quality that pervades so much of Calexico’s music rises to the forefront.

“Just today, I was reading a study that cited a researcher from Israel talking about the health benefits of drinking wine in moderation, and when I go to places like Paris or Tel Aviv, I see people doing just that,” said Burns recently during a phone call from his home in Tucson.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“But in the US, there’s no such thing as moderation,” he says. “The portions of food on the plates are huge – they can feed a family of four. And a glass of wine is like a third of a bottle. I just want a small glass and a small plate.

And that’s what I love about the Mediterranean – it’s something so simple. But over here in the US, there’s this sense of entitlement to the American dream that has become so distorted and bloated.”

Calexico’s version of the American dream is mirror opposite of distorted and bloated. For more than 15 years, multi-instrumentalist Burns and drummer John Convertino have led a sprawling musical adventure that has used its rustic desert base to springboard into everything from lo-fi rock and Springsteenian Americana to spaghetti western noir, mariachi and Portuguese fado.

That mix has won them legions of fans in the indie world, and Israel has been no exception.

Following two triumphant appearances here in recent years, Calexico is returning on the heels of their most recent album, Edge of the Sun, for two shows: at the Gesher Theater in Jaffa on November 16 and, after its quick sellout, a second evening on the 17th at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


For Burns, the third visit to Israel promises to be the sweetest.

“Isn’t it awesome that we’re coming back to Israel so much?” says an enthusiastic Burns, expounding on what he liked about the country.

“For me, the food stood out – it was so fresh – and just getting to know the people there who were down to earth, open-minded and shared similar views. The last time, our local promoter Eran [Arielli] took us to hang out with a local artist, and we had a home-cooked meal.

We also went to a very eclectic café where they were spinning vinyl. We met a lot of musicians, and there was talk about collaborations. The more we return, the more those ideas become part of us. And hopefully, we’ll one day follow through,” he says.

“We’ll be in Israel for two days, which gives us that extra time for a quality experience that can lead to bigger impressions and more inspiration. And then there are the concerts, which are the reason why we’re coming,” he explains.

Burns admits that he was receiving regular updates about the security situation in Israel in the midst of the recent upswing in terror but explains that in stressful periods like that, it’s even more vital for musicians to play a role.

“Of course, safety is a concern – I have to be concerned because I’m a dad. At the same time, I want to go even more because of what’s going on – just to be able to sing a song like [emotional ballad] ‘Hush’ and help us to let people open up,” he says.

“One of our new songs, ‘Bullets and Rocks,’ somehow resonates with what’s going on [in Israel], even though it’s written about what’s going on here on the border between the US and Mexico. We have our own examples of tragedy and violence, and we’re involved in several conflicts around the globe. And that’s part of why we want to come to Israel – to talk to the people and to see and encourage other artists who are perhaps doing something to better the situation,” he asserts.

If Bernie Sanders hasn’t found a running mate by the time Calexico’s current European tour is over, he could do a lot worse than approaching Joey Burns.

Calexico will perform on November 16 at the Gesher Theater in Jaffa and on November 17 at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

House destroyed by rocket in Beer Sheva.
October 17, 2018
Gaza crossings closed after rocket hits Beersheba

By YVETTE J. DEANE, ANNA AHRONHEIM