Xylouris White, Emmett Kelly (Cairo Gang)
On a superficial level, this collaboration between George Xylouris, a lauded lute player from Greece, and superb Australian post-punk drummer Jim White of the Dirty Three could be described as a cultural collision. But they work outside of their respective comfort zones, transcending geographical boundaries to the point where its tricky to know where theyre coming from.
Xylouris is the descendant of Greek music royalty. His uncle is Nikos Xylouris, a national icon whose nickname is archangel of Crete because his songs are hugely influential and beloved, and his dad is Antonis Xylouris, a.k.a. Psarandonis, a singer and lyra player who is well-regarded for pushing traditional folk music in new directions. George spent much of his childhood playing the lute and joining his father on his recordings and in concert; by using the lute as a lead instrument, George, too, challenges musical expectations.
Whites background, on the other hand, is decidedly post-punk; he co-founded the Dirty Three with Warren Ellis and Mick Turner in the early-90s and went on to collaborate with Will Oldham, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, and many more. Hes a magnificent, multi-faceted, and sensitive drummer with the perfect mix of ferocity and finesse.
In Xylouris White, the lute/drums configuration makes maps irrelevant, at various points recalling Indian, Eastern European, African, Middle Eastern, Western, and Mediterranean modes. There is jazz and punk here along with dashes of bluegrass, klezmer, and folk and yet its all conveyed seamlessly. At some points, Xylouris approach to the lute recalls prepared guitar or fingerstyle practitioners like Glenn Jones, himself a friend, follower, and collaborator of John Fahey. The searching and surprise of such exploration shines through in Suburb, a virtuoso performance, the lute bouncing back and forth between harmonic patterns and sturdy strumming, simultaneously meshing with found and traditional percussion accents." PITCHFORK
Emmett Kelly exists in many shapes and musical forms. His immense talent and abilities have brought him into the studio to add licks to some of the last decades most interesting indie albums. One of his main collaborators is Will Oldham, otherwise known as Bonnie Prince Billy the great Americana balladeer with a Satyrs cheeks and an Irish lumberjacks facial hair. Some highlights from their collaboration, which has resulted in multiple full-length albums and singles, include a track created for a homage soundtrack album for the 1971 surf film Morning of the Earth and Billys 2006 album, The Letting Go, which was recorded in Reykjavik, Iceland by Bjork producer Valgeir Sigurðsson. However, Kelley has also been steadily putting out records under his own moniker, The Cairo Gang, which is a band he started back in high school and that still continues to take form and propulsion with each album that is released. The latest Cairo release, Goes Missing, seems much more full than previous records and much more well rounded, but Kelleys voice is right there to punch you straight in the heart with brass knuckles and the lyrics are more biting than ever. It is truly one of this years best albums and it makes you want to listen to Cairos entire discography over and over again. Autre
Hemlock Tavern (View)
1131 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
|Minimum Age: 21|
|Kid Friendly: No|