What makes the band so compelling and relevant and seemingly ill-understood is that they take the plunge into being ridiculous, outrageous, and over-the-top labeling them "confessional" is selling them seriously short. Lyrics and music put the listener close to soiled underwear and civilian corpses, atrocities that take place in the family den or in Fallujah.
Talking openly and achingly about things painfully hidden acknowledges the manipulation and artifice of pop music and, in doing so, puts more faith in its power. Xiu Xiu inspires testimonials because their music creates a place for collective grief. As a result, their music's catharsis is a personal and political one. And though not every listener has a need for it, in doing what it does naturally, the band takes indie rock snake oil and turns it into chocolate.
With tUnE-YaRdS and Noveller
Sat/20, 10 p.m., $12
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th St., SF