The new album was produced with Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier and ranges from almost pretty ballads to abrasive, noisy dirges; the arrangements expertly collide electronic beats and tones with acoustic instruments. Among the contributors are bassist (and former Chicagoan) Devin Hoff, drummer Ches Smith, singer Carla Bozulich, and Deerhoof guitarist John Dieterich. Stewart's lyrics remain brutal psychodramas, sometimes so unrelenting that you feel like the only possible response is to laugh and break the tension: "Smear the queen / They bashed his teeth in with an elbow cast / Held his throat 'til he passed out / Count the men inside your mouth." Below you can watch the video for "Honey-Suckle," which doesn't get any grosser than a bloody apple and some violent tooth brushing. Xiu Xiu—for this tour just Stewart and Seo—perform at Lincoln Hall on Thursday night.
Xiu Xiu, "Honey-Suckle"
photo: Jeremy Lange
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Wendy & Bonnie, Genesis (Sundazed)
Various artists, Bongo Flava: Swahili Rap From Tanzania (Out Here)
John Lewis, The John Lewis Piano (Atlantic)
Harry Taussig, Fate Is Only Once (Tompkins Square)