Read the Bastard!
Swans / Xiu Xiu
Venue, Vancouver BC September 6
By Alan Ranta
Jamie Stewart is a weird guy. Representing Xiu Xiu solo this evening, Stewart writhed on his stool as he manipulated the assorted synthetic and organic instruments in his reach. He has a theatrical delivery, expelling his mostly incomprehensible lyrics from his tortured soul, yet, when he finished, he didn't say a word to the crowd. He just wiped the sweat from his brow and started unplugging his gear, leaving you with quite the uncomfortable feeling in your gut.
Swans picked up where Stewart left off. They walked onstage solemnly and positioned themselves in front of their drummer and a mountain of Orange amplifiers, with the Gibson Lucille and vocals of Michael Gira flanked by electric and bass guitar on one side and lap steel and percussion on the other. …