Calexico Ballad Of Cable Hogue(City Slang)
Ballad Of Cable Hogue[I](City Slang)[/I]
As opening lyrical salvos go, you just don’t get much better than this. “I live out yonder where the snakes and scorpions run…”, [a]Calexico[/a]’s deeply Southern Joey Burns drawls, setting up a narrative framework for what follows: a call-and-response ballad with a French lady named Marianne Dissard, which recalls the duets of Serge Gainsbourg and Lee Hazlewood as well as Nick Cave‘s sinister ‘Where The Wild Roses Grow’. They tell a tale of gun-slinging and doomed love among the tumbleweeds, to the tune of a spaghetti-western mariachi band. It’s a small departure for [a]Calexico[/a], whose wonderfully shadowy 1998 ‘The Black Light’ LP was largely instrumental, but this expansion is as discomforting as it is affecting. It’s gothic folk. It’s a cinematic vista of a dusty country road with a serial killer lurking at the end. And it is, in its own weird, tortillas-and-roadkill kind of way, genius.