despite playing at what is one of the worst venues in town, being sick, and on a school night i dragged myself to backspace to see jamie stewart (lead guy of xiu xiu). the openers were locals that i have heard good things about, all proven wrong. dragging an ox through water was the better of the two. he’s got the tortured fractured experimental songwriter thing down, it just came off too precious, i get the feeling he doesn’t need the money. i hope that made sense to anyone but me. nurses came next, from what i’ve heard they were the next animal collective. while those comparisons aren’t wrong, they sound like all my most hated aspects of the last two animal collectives albums. jam bands and modest mouse influences condensed then diluted with something bland (think plain tofu or unsalted soup). i fear they may become huge.
jamie stewart can never fail though, he is just one of those performers that feels every emotion of each song every time it’s performed. using only a guitar, a stylophone, some bird whistles, and a variety of pedals he played songs from all over the xiu xiu songbook. i am horrible at xiu xiu song titles so i couldn’t even guess at the set list. an amazing show well worth the misery beforehand.