Thursday, December 11, 2008

never judge a man by his band


We went to Housing Works Bookstore yesterday to hear Xiu Xiu (pronounced "shoe shoe"), an experimental pop band from California that Mads knew about. It was only a part of the band performing, namely Jamie Stewart, who had the most tentative and timid demeanor and voice on stage. But lo and behold, every once in a while he would do something to tear you out of your lull, say, by blowing a whistle into the microphone or by screaming his lungs out.

I don't know much about experimental music and performance, but I'm guessing it was supposed to have some sort of verfremdungs effect on the audience. Not sure I liked it much. I was much more taken aback by his lyrics which were bordering on creepy (in an interesting way though), and I think that the combination of his cautious voice and the violent subject matter of his songs was enough for me.

I don't know if the stuff he played yesterday was indicative of the entire band though.

The performer playing the opening set mentioned how this Jamie Stewart, whom she had never met before that very evening, had taken her by surprise, exactly because he was so soft-spoken in person.

"I guess you should never judge a man by his band", she said.

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