It took me a while to give Xiu Xiu a chance, but on the bus to boston once I put on 'fabulous muscles' and it is amazing. It was raw, unfinished, really experimental at parts, I never knew what was coming next, a really nice entire album listen. Once you go where xiu xiu goes, you want to stay there. So now I'm hooked and I want to hear everything. There's a bunch of split 7 inches they've been putting out with paper chase and devendra, so I'm curious to hear Dead Science...
The craziest part, looking around on the label site, Deathbomb, was their cassette subscription club. For $40 you will hear noise from : Thurston Moore (member of sonic youth), Books on Tape, Big Digits, Captain Ahab, Hustler White, Grey Skull, Nightwounds, Chaki, My Little Red Toe, Tussle, Monster Dudes, Megaweapon (member of 7 year rabbit cycle / kit), Weirdo/Begeirdo, Dreamhouse, Gang Wizard, Spooky Bomb Squad, JT's Friends Forever, Unmono, Aa, Adam Gnade, Skull Skull (members of Liars / Young People), Bill Picket, Irene Moon, Haunted Castle.
Makes me wish I still had a tape player.
Under normal circumstances a split between Xiu Xiu and Dead Science would be something to celebrate and get excited about, but really this particular short play is all about the guest spots – kinda like Nate Dogg. First we have Shooby Taylor aka The Human Horn who aids Dead Science in what turns out to be an amazing blissfully lopsided aural injection. Shooby does a bizarre sort of scat act over some atmospheric keyboard swells, really unlike anything you’ve heard a sane person do before. Then it’s like he gets locked in a dungeon by a glam rock dude who’s obsessed with toadstools and back magic, but luckily Shooby is able to break free by singing loud and proud, like a street corner opera baritone. And good prevails. Interestingly this piece sounds almost elegiac when one takes into consideration Shooby’s recent death.
As odd and potentially disconcerting as the Shooby Taylor / Dead Science collaboration is, weirder yet is the collaboration between former NFL safety Eugene Robinson and the skinny and overtly dramatic Jamie Stewart. How did this collaboration occur? Who knows, but here it seems like it was destiny. Robinson, who is currently best know by Carolina Panther fans as the color commentator on the Panthers Radio Network. There he performs with a voice like a bell; the man was made for radio. Strangely, on this recording we find his vocal chords crushed and corroded. The man sounds like an Appalachian hillbilly with no teeth. Not that that’s a bad thing. It seems to work well with Xiu Xiu’s nervous electronics. But its hard to get the image of the 300 pound Robinson strong arming the defense with the Packers out of one’s head. It seems to clash with the broken warble on the record.
And there you have it two sides of a split 7” that’s really too weird for anybody.