General Admission Standing Room Only
This is a record of halves.
Angela Seo sings on half of the record. Jamie Stewart sings on half of the record.
Half of the songs are experimental industrial. Half of the songs are experimental modern classical. Half of it is real. Half of it is imaginary.
The real songs attempt to turn the worst life has offered to five people the band is connected with into some kind of desperate shape that does something, anything, other than grind and brutalize their hearts and memory within these stunningly horrendous experiences.
The imaginary songs are an expansion and abstract exploration of the early rock and roll “Teen Tragedy” genre as jumping off point to decontaminate the band’s own overwhelming emotions in knowing and living with what has happened to these five people.
What none of this record does and despite the oft repeated assertion, what Xiu Xiu has never done, is attempt to superficially shock the listener. Instead, Xiu Xiu has spent twenty years grappling with how to process, to be empathetic towards, to disobey and to reorganize horror; there is no other word for it other than horror.
The motivation for writing Ignore Grief to be about a child who was sold into prostitution by his mother, a junior high student who was kidnapped and murdered, incessantly choosing alcohol and cocaine over one’s family, becoming lost in the bleakest, darkest aspects of cultish spirituality and committing suicide as means to escape and protest a life of violent sex work is because the members of Xiu Xiu themselves are deeply shocked.
Old friend and new member David Kendrick (Sparks, Devo, Gleaming Spires) joins Angela Seo and Jamie Stewart through whatever this may be and whatever it may mean and why ever it may have occurred. The point of aesthetic examination is to see if there is any way to come out the other side or if there is even any reason. In either case there may not be but to simply turn away would be yet a further act of destruction.
Though they started in the mid-2000s as a folky, very intimate outlet for the songs of Daniel Greene of long-running indie pop group the Butterflies of Love, Mountain Movers evolved over the years into a guitar-heavy mix of psychedelic exploration and melodic indie rock, especially once guitarist Kryssi Battalene joined the band in the early 2010s. They released a series of singles that featured her fiery guitar work and Greene's searching melodies, taking their ragged sound to new realms with 2015's powerful album Death Magic. After pairing with Trouble in Mind records, the band went even deeper into distortion and drifting jams on albums like 2021's World What World.
Mountain Movers formed in New Haven, Connecticut by singer, songwriter, and guitarist Daniel Greene. Previously, Greene and longtime collaborator Jeff Greene (no relation) had found success, particularly in the U.K., with their indie pop band the Butterflies of Love, who released several albums for the London-based Fortuna POP! label. By the mid-2000s, Greene had amassed a lengthy catalog of solo songs and enlisted a rotating cast of New Haven musicians to record We've Walked in Hell and There Is Life After Death, an introspective yet spirited collection that melded streamlined indie rock and elements of soul and alt-country. Released in 2006 on regional label Safety Meeting Records, it would serve as Mountain Movers' debut and was followed up a year later by the slightly heavier Let's Open Up the Chest. More disparate and psychedelic influences crept into Greene's sound with 2009's The Day Calls Out for You and 2010's home-recorded Apple Mountain. After that release, the band solidified into a steady lineup featuring bassist Rick Omonte, drummer Ross Menze, and lead guitarist Kryssi Battalene, who was also in the bands Colorguard, Medication, and Headroom. With a newly heavy guitar sound, the group began a series of experimental small releases including a number of cassettes, 7" singles, and a lathe-cut record. Following 2015's sprawling Death Magic LP, Mountain Movers signed with Chicago indie Trouble in Mind Records and began recording their eponymous sixth album, which was more improvised and experimental in nature. It was released in early 2017, after which the band toured and continued to expand their sound into looser and freer reaches, finding the midway point between the rootsy guitar-driven rock of Crazy Horse-aided Neil Young and far noisier acts like La Rallizes Denudes. In 2018, they toured with Howlin' Rain, released an August EP titled New Jam, and in October issued their seventh album, Pink Skies. It would be three years before Mountain Movers returned in 2021 with eighth album World What World. This collection of songs was cut from a similarly noisy sonic cloth as the albums leading up to it, but leaned more into subtle dynamics as the lyrics took on a somewhat introspective and world-weary tone. ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi