MidPointer: Deerhoof, Xiu Xiu Blur Lines

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Two of the more recognizable names on next month's MidPoint Music Festival roster (to Indie fans, at least) are Deerhoof (pictured) and Xiu Xiu. The groups have more than a festival in Cincinnati in common. Both were founded in California. Both are currently on the same label, Polyvinyl Records. And both are boundlessly creative, two of the more popular acts making music that slants in an Avant Garde direction today. It makes sense that the bands' paths would cross at some point and it does frequently when both acts are on the road at the same time (MidPoint is far from the first fest both acts have ended up on). And given that shared sense of limitless imagination, it shouldn't be a surprise that members have joined forces creatively in the past, as well. The latest example — the second installment in Deerhoof's collaborative 7-inch series finds the two entities blurring the lines between them on the two-track Almost Xiu Xiu, Almost Deerhoof. —-

The 7-inch split-single series is big on that sort of combination of artists. Each release features guest singers providing original lyrics and vocals to Deerhoof instrumental tracks, with a twist on the concept on the flip side. For the Xiu Xiu collabo, founder/vocalist Jamie Stewart adds his voice (and some extra instrumental quirks) to the Deerhoof track "Almost Everyone, Almost Always," from the band's latest full-length, Deerhoof Vs. Evil. The other track finds Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier turning the tables and augmenting a track from Xiu Xiu's seventh full-length album, Dear God, I Hate Myself, released early last year (and produced by Saunier).

The other releases in the series so far have been similar match-ups with the crafty, artsy MC Busdriver and Art Pop duo WOOM. The latest in the series joins Deerhoof with The Racoonists, a trio featuring Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and his sons, Sam and Spencer. Tweedy provides vocals for the A-side, Deerhoof's "Behold a Marvel in the Darkness," a song inspired by Wilco. Tweedy didn't play by the rules, though; instead of new words and melodies, he simply sticks to the original blueprint, sung for Deerhoof by Satomi Matsuzaki. The B-side features the first Racoonists' song to be made available to the public, "Own It."

Click here for Deerhoof's site at Polyvinyl, where you can preview, download or order any of the 7-inches (or one of the recent Deerhoof album reissues from the label). The Racoonists one is not yet available (it's due next month), but the site is taking pre-orders.

At MidPoint 2011, Xiu Xiu performs on the ArtWorks stage (part of the female-focussed "Biore Strip") Sept. 23 at 11 p.m., while Deerhoof plays the same stage at the nearby Know Theatre at 11:45 p.m. Which means some cross-pollination is at least possible. Hmmm — maybe a reprise of a song or two from the groups' joint live performance of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures last year?

Click here for everything you need to know about MidPoint, including ways to buy your three-day passes. Tomorrow's MidPoint Indie Summer concert on Fountain Square is the last chance to by your MPMF passes at a $10 discount.

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