Friday, April 9, 2010

the xx

Ahh man, first off: don't use Blogger. It's the slow one of the blogging bunch, the final pick.  I was deep into a story about the xx, a band I love dearly because they make sweet love to my ears on a regular basis, and Blogger shut it down on me. I lost everything. 

So, I'm rewriting the bastard. Here we go.

Kevin, a good friend I road tripped the coast of California with, got me into the XX when we worked together in Chicago.  After putting them on heavy rotation for a few writing sessions, I fell in love.

I fell in love because the xx is an intimate trip.  It's gentle, subdued, but loaded with style.  This works perfectly for me because when I write, the background music has to be raw and sedated. Think ambient electronics or chilled out live recordings.  (

Sigur Ros live at the Icelandic Opera House is my default, they have such a peaceful sound ( followed closely by Radiohead's live recordings.

Here, listen to the live piano version of "Like Spinning Plates by" Radiohead. Listen close and you can hear Tom Bjork hypnotize thousands using only his vocals, 88 keys, and a few englishmen.

Back to the xx.  I'm hot for this band for two reasons: percussion and vocals.
The percussion feels as smooth as water babbling over skeletal remains of fallen climbers in a mountain stream in the Austrian Alps.

The vocals feel naked. intimate. exposed.

Vocalists Tomy Madley Croft and Oliver sim make a lifetime of intimacy be felt with every shared note they sing, hum, and speak.  The tension between the magnetism of their voices and the meticulous percussion is gratifying. On every note.

It's a beautiful relationship they let us be part of. Intimate like when Bon Iver went deep into the Northern woods of Wisconsin to find his soul, then came back with this:  (

At the end of the day, I say the xx is a talented group of emo hipsters who are talented enough to be emo hipsters for a living. Gifted bastards.


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