You might have read about the Telefon Tel Aviv show tonight in My, What a Busy Week!, but here's some info about the opener, the Race: It's the project of Chicago songwriter Craig Klein (pictured above with cuddly cat dog?), aided by Alfredo Nogueira and co-produced by TTA's Josh Eustis. Klein wrote an evocative essay about the making of the Race's new album Exiles. Here's an excerpt:

Exhausted late one night, we tried to find a motel room near Odessa, Texas, and pulled into the only motel we'd seen for hours. Without so much as looking up from her tabloid, the prickly clerk at the front desk said, "Everyone's looking for a room tonight, son. We got all kinds of men: Oil Men, Machinery Men, Construction Men, Company Men and Sorry Suckers like you. There ain't no vacancies. You won't find anyplace short of El Paso."

Damn if that clerk wasn't telling the truth. Hours later and a hundred miles from anywhere, we wound up flat on our backs pulled over and delirious on the westbound side of Highway 10. The annual Perseid meteor showers were on, and we laid there in awe, staring at the stars and listening to Ravi Shankar on the van's stereo at full blast. Under that widescreen sky, the idea for Exiles came about — it'd be a kind of Judeo-gothic-electric-western, melting the acid westerns and road films of the 60s and 70s with some cracked vision of Old Testament-style fire and brimstone.

And indeed, the end result is—for lack of any better term—electro-stripper spaghetti-western Old Testament music. Or, as some might deem it, "pop." Take a listen.


The Race - "Ride the High Country"

Telefon Tel Aviv & The Race tonight at Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, $10