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Xiu Xiu with Jakob Battick

Thursday, October 17 2024
doors at 7:30pm
$20 advance
$25 day of show
$2 off for SPACE members

“I did not join a rock and roll band to play rock and roll!”
– Blixa Bargeld, on quitting The Bad Seeds

“My name is Blixa Bargeld. And I’m here for my COMPUTER!”
– Also Blixa Bargeld, when picking up said computer from a computer store in Berlin where Xiu Xiu now resides

There’s a dance, and on occasion a place to go dancing, where we while away the inevitable in the distinct hopes that we can better embrace what’s left of clocks that only run one way. You see, time is the issue and the issue is all about doing a dance that measures out life, and chance, and smooths the groove into something that can comfortably be swallowed.

Like 13″ Frank Beltrame Italian Stiletto with Bison Horn Grips?

Precisely like 13″ Frank Beltrame Italian Stiletto with Bison Horn Grips. Which, on the face of it is the newest record from Xiu Xiu, but only on the face of it. Underneath that face, the sinews and struggles of a need that seeks to name itself over every record, and every song on every record, ever written by Xiu Xiu of course, but also anyone who ever sought to make a record that’s worth a good goddamned. And this record is precisely that.

That is: a good goddamned. Nine songs of it, in fact. Nine songs to seal the deal for those who will still listen to all nine songs, in order, because an album is a message that can’t be read piecemeal. Mixed by John Congleton with a band-directed dictum that he should feel free to both “go crazy” and if there was ever any doubt as to what that meant please, by all means “choose iconoclasm.”

Which, if your ears are not liars, he has very specifically done. Even if it was not that heavy of a lift to do so since Xiu Xiu has made doing so their raison d’etre for the better part of forever. Formally formalized here under Xiu Xiu’s sense that “the destruction of an original aesthetic notion as a motivation was new for us.”

Were it also a marching order for anyone committing to actualizing a musical experience of some significance, it seems we’d all be a lot better off. Or at least feeling a lot better off. Which in the end is the only measurement that matters in the face of lives of weighty import. Or even lightweight frivolity. It’s there and everywhere in-between.

And while it sounds like in a volitional sense something easy to do, doing so song after song on record after record doesn’t always clarify or make things easy. Something driven home on their song “Veneficium,” a word with Latin roots connected to poisoning potions.

“Being lost, literally lost, emotionally lost, lost in a smashed psychological dimension beyond your control, being overwhelmed by the weight of one’s insignificance in the face

of time, space and death and pointlessly railing against what does not notice let along care about you”

This record though, it must be said, sounds (and feels) like it does care about you. A sense that might mask the randomness of our place in space or more completely, sets it off as the true face of all of our public endeavors.

Beyond that? Songs like “Common Loon,” “Arp Omni,” and “T.D.F.T.W.” tip the scales toward a dangerous kind of listening experience. One that both takes a lot, but gives more, in almost equal measure.

Something set off by Xiu Xiu when they say, as they do, that if they want us to feel anything for this record, it would be “unafraid.”

Damned straight. We’ve had our fill of that shit lately, and if Xiu Xiu’s move to Berlin is any indication – “we wanted to stay ahead of disaster this time” – it is no less important of a thing than anything else we measure life and death with.

So, 13″ Frank Beltrame Italian Stiletto with Bison Horn Grips?

Yes, 13″ Frank Beltrame Italian Stiletto with Bison Horn Grips. While regret is for children and old people, rest assured that if you’re not one, you’ll be the other. And out of the long laundry list of things on your regret list, you will most definitely not find 13″ Frank Beltrame Italian Stiletto with Bison Horn Grips. It’s a mitzvah. For what we should be well pleased.

You are alive. And, oh yeah, long live Xiu Xiu.

–Eugene S. Robinson, East Palo Alto, California

A spell to slow down time, a drawing back of the veil between worlds, the way that a song also contains multitudes. On October 6th, Maine-bred, Philadelphia-based songwriter Jakob Battick will be releasing Slow Motion Summer, their fourth and most radical album to date, via the Czech label Stoned to Death and Jakob’s own Lilien Hexen imprint. It’s a suite of songs written specifically to be slowed and ghosted to tape and back again via successive generations of manipulation and alchemy. This performance will be part of a string of shows along the East coast in celebration of the album’s release. These are occult hymns to the almighty moon, spun in the silk of spiders’ webs and cast upwards at the stars, anointed in blood from the goat’s hooves.