Our favorite first reaction to the music of The xx came from an obviously hopeless romantic we stood with at a South by Southwest show who deadpanned, "I don't know, I think I like my x's with o's."
But that's tangential to the big news of the day -- the black-dressed three-piece is selling the X-emblazoned lightboxes that have adorned their stage show. The band is parting ways with the props via an eBay auction that started this morning (and ends Oct. 1), with the proceeds going to Amnesty International.
It's a rather nice end to the first chapter for Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith, whose whirlwind year was capped this month when they won the coveted Mercury Prize. The band did recently surprise the U.K. press by disclosing they didn't have a plan to record a follow-up album (thanks to their £20,000 prize, though, it ostensibly would not in a basement, like their debut).
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Formulating that plan, one supposes, can wait. First, the trio will take one more victory lap around the U.S., starting tonight in southern California, where they won admirers last spring with their Coachella set and built on that with back-to-back concerts earlier this summer at the Music Box and the Wiltern.
Elsewhere: Power-pop veteran Tommy Keene, who earlier this year released the very good career summation You Hear Me: A Retrospective 1983-2009, plays Spaceland tonight, performing his 1986 majorr-label debut Songs From the Film. ... The Airborne Toxic Event winds up the U.S. leg of its acoustic tour with the Calder Quartet with a show at the Ford Amphitheatre. ... Singer-songwriter James McMurtry visits the Mint. ... And Jimmy Tamborello's Dntel emerges to play Low End Theory at the Airliner.
Also: Michael Franti & Spearhead at Club Nokia; Lakes and Cloud Cult at the Roxy; Bleu and Mike Viola at the Hotel Cafe; Cinderella Motel and Future Ghost at the Silverlake Lounge; Riverboat Gamblers at Alex's Bar in Long Beach; the Do at the Bootleg Theater; Dead Man's Army and Hillbilly Herald at the Viper Room; What Laura Says at the Echo; Boyz Skule & the Precious Medals at Molly Malone's; Modern Time Machines and the Meeting Places at 3 Clubs; at Neo at Echo Curio.