This year's CMJ Marathon needed more wind in its sails, given the disappointing absence of marquee headliners and surprising showcase mash-ups. But the lack of boldface names was a boon for the xx, the inexhaustible young shoegaze/new wave band from London, who pounded the pavement with no less than five shows in three days, including a gig of elephantine volume in the frosty Soho Apple store. The quartet showed an impressive work ethic to match their meticulous pop; single "Crystallized" is a sinuous, intuitive duet, and the rest of their recently released, self-titled debut fares similarly. Now, less than a month later, the recent unknowns have sold out Bowery Ballroom—these days, time moves at the speed of goth. With Jon Hopkins.
Wed., Nov. 11, 8 p.m., 2009