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The xx Take On United Palace Theatre


Saturday 10.2
NYC
The xx @ the United Palace Theatre
4140 Broadway. 8 p.m. $25-$34. 866-858-0008.
with Warpaint and Zola Jesus

When The xx accepted the UK’s 2010 Mercury Prize—the UK equivalent of a best album Grammy—they were understandably mum. Part of the reason was the band—a trio of 21-year-olds who met in school—had just won one of the biggest accolades in the world of music. “It hasn’t sunk in yet,” singer-guitarist Oliver Sim confessed. But another part of the reason is, when their Mercury Prize awards arrive in the mail, they will probably reside not in a glass display but on a shelf, holding up a row of books. The xx aren’t complacent or snobby, just comfortable, and that’s quite evident. Their sound uses sparse, plucked guitar notes with cavernous echo and beats provided by a drum machine with a mix of R&B and electronic elements. Their lyrics tackle themes of relationships and sex, with Sim and vocalist Romy Madley Croft trading lines, but are sung without any four-track studio effects or pitch-adjusting wizardry—just bare, like naked bodies. Sim recently told NME his group doesn’t even have plans to make another album. Their website is a .info domain. Heck, their name sounds like they put in placeholders while coming up with something, but never got around to it. It’s an attitude that’s extremely uncommon when your debut album is on nearly every top 10 list, but it means we’ll probably be hearing much more from The xx—when they’re good and ready.

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