Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Air Force

Posted By on Wed, Sep 27, 2006 at 12:00 AM

"Buzz Saw," this album's opening song, has a title that befits the entire thing. In what is otherwise a soft and embraceable ballad of piano and voice, a totally left-field burp of synth squelch suddenly cuts across the song, just like a buzz saw would. This happens more often than not on The Air Force. It leaves a strange taste in your mouth, and makes clear that acoustic songsmithery and blippy-bloopy electronic music are intersecting like never before. Shit, a recent e-mail from the Kill Rock Stars/5RC mailing list expressed the labels' interest in demo tapes featuring that exact combination. What used to be two genres at entirely different ends of the record store are converging, and probably confusing those behind the counter with questions about where to file these curiosities. Jamie Stewart, Xiu Xiu's principal songwriter, instrumentalist and vocalist, definitely overdoes it a little. Songs such as "The Fox and the Rabbit" and "Hello from Eau Claire" are at the core well-crafted and melodic, almost to the point of genuine amazement. But what seems to block that amazement is the overlayering of incongruent synthesizers and electronic percussion. Still, it's quite possible that Xiu Xiu is a trailblazer in this shifty new genre, and that in a few years a record like The Air Force will hardly cause consternation. Instead, it may be considered the modern equivalent of Aerosmith busting down the wall to Run-DMC's practice space in the video for "Walk This Way."

Ben Blackwell writes about music for Metro Times . Send comments to [email protected].


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation