Its not often that you get a completely unknown band as an opener and they turn out to be good. Well, this night was different…
Twin Sister (MySpace)- A band from that New York that I never heard of before, but they were quite good. With female vocals that remind me slightly of Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval and their own take on atmospheric/spacey pop/rock, they turned out a very good performance. Most of the songs were fairly calm and subdued, but there were quite a few noisy numbers.
Tune-Yards (MySpace)- Another band with a female vocalist, who sounded and looked like she was possessed. With tons of samples, heavy reliance percussion and constant screams and rants, they certainly sounded like nothing else that I can think of.
Its certainly not easy to get inside of Jamie Stewart’s mind and understand where he’s coming from when he creates Xiu Xiu’s music. There’s plenty of deliberately off-key and noisy moments in Xiu Xiu’s music (not to mention that gloom and doom that could make Joy Division and Smiths sound positively happy by comparison).
But beneath all that exterior, there’s also some good ol’ songwriting and, dare I say it, certain sincerity to their music. On that night they demonstrated both sides – the one that’s overwhelmingly/terrifyingly serious and a bit more of them being playful and random.
All in all, however, I got to give it to Tune-Yards as they were probably the best of all three bands tonight. All three of them were great in their own way, but it was T-Y’s brand of percussive/vocal madness that made them a highlight of that show.