Saturday, August 16, 2008

I won't rest until I don't care

I didn't really do my homework before we went to see Xiu Xiu last night. I mean, I did go to but I mostly just dicked around looking at pictures and reading the haikus Jamie Stewart writes for people. I fucking love haiku.

So anyway, when Xiu Xiu took the stage, I was actually surprised to see that Jamie Stewart is a guitar man. It is probably because I'm ignorant or some shit but when I listen to Xiu Xiu recordings in most songs the last thing I really think about noticing is a guitar. That's just the magic of technology I guess.

Xiu Xiu is absolutely amazing to watch. There is incredible tension and energy. Noises that seem random and chaotic on record make more sense live. You can see the band's awareness of each other. You can see them anticipating sounds, watching each other, and those interactions create a kind of context for the chaos. I was especially impressed with the drummer Ches Smith, and not just because he is foxy and really tall. Homeboy is by far the sweatiest guy in the band and he just pulls beats out of nowhere.

For me, the highlight of the show was when Jamie Stewart busted out the autoharp. I couldn't restrain myself from shouting, "OH YES!" when I saw him plug it in. I'm really excited about autoharps since I found one in my garage a couple weeks ago. It was awesome to see him just fucking rock with it. He does the same kind of rockstar lunge with the autoharp that he does with his guitar. It is probably the most masculine posture it is possible to assume while playing such an instrument.

I kind of missed two of the opening acts because I was busy drinking on an empty stomach (I never said I didn't make bad decisions). There were a lot of people at the Casbah last night and it was stressing me out so obviously the best choice was to have a couple vodka tonics for dinner. There were guys on the patio giving out free packs of cigarettes that start out as normal cigs but if you squish some magic bubble inside them they turn into menthols. Didn't colonists used to give out cigarettes to indigenous peoples to gain their trust and then trick them into shit by exploiting their addiction? I think I remember something like that from some history class I slept through once.

I did catch half a set by this rad San Diego band Fantasic Magic. An acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, a bunch of weird noise and dudes singing in falsetto. What's not to love? They don't seem to have any more shows coming up but they did release and sell out a limited edition cassette tape. They also blog about the musics here. One of them really reminds me of Nicholas Cage in Raising Arizona. I think that's really important for y'all to know.

That's all I got for now. I gotta go wash my bangs so the rest of me can stay dirty.

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