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XXL

Caiutastico! CD

Ciautistico! is the debut album from XXL (Xiu Xiu Larsen), a collaboration between the Italian experimental cult band Larsen and James Stewart's mutated-pop project Xiu Xiu. Both groups consider their joint creative clash as a new band in itself more than just an occasional collaboration as it has been already proved by the succesful sold out theater performances in Italy by XXL. Edited out of long and intense jam sessions the sound of Ciautistico! is totally schizophrenic, swinging between orchestrated pop songs, almost-techno beats and minimalistic droning tracks, but framed into a common melancholic mood and fronted by the inimitable James Stewart. Ciautistico! is also the first Larsen's album out on Important after the critical and commercial success of their previous Play and before their forthcoming ep and full length ( with special appearances and contributions by Deathprod, Origami, Lustmord, Jarboe, Julia Kent ) slated for release later this year From James Stewart: There is a tiny adjunct club in Seattle called the Green Room. A friend called said Jarboe was playing and asked if I wanted to open and do a solo show. Being self destructive, I am of course, a huge Swans fan so it was on. When I got there luck descended and unbeknownst to me, Larsen, was playing on the bill as well. I had heard they were great but had not had the chance to hear them play. They immediately introduced themselves and, as daunting and intense as they look, they were incredibly friendly and warm. So I played and cut my hand and bleed everywhere and felt very Goth. Then Larsen played and melted my brain and heart and I felt like a human. We traded records and promised to stay in touch, which bands say and never do all the time. Beautifully and amazingly we both held up our promises and met again in Torino a year later during the first European Xiu Xiu tour. The show memorably sucked that night but seeing the men of Larsen afterwards made it bearable. They are like a salve, a dark, dark, dark hot salve. Fortunately, they came again to visit us and see us play in Genova, a much better, louder, more distorted, meaner show and as we got drunk we talked about doing a collaboration together it became clear that they were the real deal and we were to be forever on each other's sides. Yet, another year later and an invitation to play in Vienna made the plane trip and timing possible and we set off to make the collaboration. We had never done anything like this and had no idea what to expect aside from that we knew that Larsen worked hard in the studio. But, so do we so at least laziness would not interfere. We talked a lot about coordinating details over email but not music. We made a few shows in the Balkans and Eastern Europe on our way to reinvestigate Torino. After we were rescued by Fabrizio from the churning traffic orgy he said to Caralee and myself, "Ummm.... We haven't really written anything for this project. Have you?" "NO!!!!!!!!!! We haven't either!!!!!!!!! Everything will be OK!!!!!!!!" This was an immediate comfort to both bands I think as a philosophy for this record was already established; there wasn't one yet. We walked into the huge and gray Larsen studio and were at home. For 11 days there was a ritual. At night write a song. At 2:00 pm the next day record and sketch the mix. Go to dinner and drink too much vine. Go back and write another song. Somehow this system worked and in this fortnight we made a whole record from dust. We tried all ideas and mistakes and tried to be patient. No one was mean, no one was an ego maniac. Everyone helped eachother. Because of this the idea of CIAUTISTICO! was molded and then destroyed as a kali looking, fuck oriented cable network. Please combine the ubiquitous CIAO and increasingly ubiquitous AUTISTICO! It is a way to be and a way to avoid being. It is a militant and violent, avant, sexual peace and labor movement made to make sounds out of an inflatable giraffe and toy, but fully functional, bow and arrow. If you touch CIAUTISM you will die and it will feel like the worst of the best. If you mutter a CIAUTISTIC verse from the molded scroll of computer monk's verses you will make the loss of your father's need for speed be reborn as hot little doom finger panties. WHERE? WHEN? NOW! NEVER! WHICH! YES! LATER! There is this new model of superior non-uber failure in the record. It is the smell of... dot dot dot. We also decided that at a show we were playing together at a theatre owned by priests, we would learn some of these songs and play them interspersed between the Larsen set and the Xiu Xiu set. We borrowed an orange Fiat in the shape of a robot duck and dragged all of our equipment to the stage and during and endless sound check we all encouraged each other that our lack or preparedness would not surface. We were all very nervous. Larsen, for playing to the hometown crowd. Xiu Xiu for having played so badly the last time were in this town. XXL for having never played before, and having written the learned the whole show over the prior week. It would either be perfect or putrid. CIAUTISTIC. With the wave of a Hawaiian shirt and a comically misunderstood cue on my part it became a miracle and the effort and doubt and need for good feeling on this night came true. We all felt as if we had survived our gamble and given the best we had and it seemed like the people there got something from it. James Stewart of Xiu Xiu
item # 20973
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