Tuesday, April 08, 2008

XIU XIU AT CSF

XIU XIU CSF 4-7-07

Xiu Xiu, whose album Women as Lovers I just reviewed in Terrell's Tune-Up, played a crazy intense set Monday night at the College of Santa Fe. (check some photos HERE.)

They were far more powerful in person than their album. Singer Jamie Stewart performs like a man possessed. Sometimes his eyes roll back as he submerges in song. It's like he's sobbing and shouting into the abyss -- and the abyss roars back.
DRUMMER CHES SMITH: LOST IN A PLACE THAT TIME FORGOT
I was most impressed with drummer Ches Smith, who pounds away like a madman.

Keyboardist Caralee McElroy is pretty amazing herself, nonchalantly moving around from instrument to instrument -- synths, harmonium, melodica, flute, a tiny glockenspiel, whistles. And occasionally she'll pound on the drums. I'm not sure how she remembers all her parts.

Rounding out the band is bassist Devin Hoff. He stays in the background, but his playing is solid.

At one point after a song, Stewart seemed to stumble. He said "Oh shit!" and sat down for a moment. Caralee brought him a glass of water. After a couple of sips he got back up and continued on without further problems.

One thing that's obvious, Xiu Xiu is a band that gives it their all.

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