XIU XIU @ MONKEYTOWN

by john cole

I had no intentions of going to this show. I didn’t even know it was happening this night.  After seeing the New York Howl at Zebulon, I walked around the block to Monkeytown in hopes of getting a spot at the Xiu Xiu show, despite both shows being sold out.  Though there weren’t any seats left (the show included dinner), they were nice enough to let us in and sit on the floor about three feet away from the mic stand. Each wall in the space had a large projection screen which showed images throughout the entire performance, sometimes seeming as though the video coincided with a song.

Artist: Xiu Xiu
Song: I Do What I Want When I Want


The audience was a bit odd. As soon as I walked in, I felt completely out of place. These kids all looked like they lived on their parents’ dime, which may or may not be true. And what’s the deal with the Harry Caray glasses people have been wearing? Does everyone want to look like they’re old and blind?  Regardless, even though my friend and I may have stuck out even more-so because we were the only ones sitting on the floor, it didn’t prevent us from having a good time.

Jamie Stewart went on at 11pm.  He sat in the middle of the audience, surrounded by effects pedals, wires, and weird electronic gadgets that he used throughout the set.  To the right of him, sat a lamp on a wooden chair.  The crowd was very quiet for most of the time as Jamie went on to play an hour-long set.  Even though it felt at times that my spine was going to snap from sitting on the floor all night, the entire show was incredible. And I know I probably won’t experience a show like this for a while, if ever.

Artist: Xiu Xiu
Song: Crank Heart


Jamie didn’t talk much during his set, but I felt like he didn’t have to. Everyone was circled around him, almost like a fancy version of a camp gathering; you know, with all the weak mixed drinks and overpriced wine.  He was in control of everything that night. Unfortunately, there was no encore, but I can’t blame the guy. He just played an hour long set at 8pm as well.  If you’re not familiar with Xiu Xiu, make sure to grab a record or two of theirs next time you see one. It’ll be something you’ve never heard before.

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