Her avant-garde quartet XD WEI was a fascinating experiment that combined erhu and the elements of classical Chinese music with American instruments like mandolin, guitar, bass, banjo, saxophone, and percussion. It's a gorgeous pastiche that, once you hear it, seems to make all the sense in the world.
For her latest incarnation, a new band called Madame XD, this tireless, inventive artist teams up with her husband (and frequent collaborator) Ken Hottmann long a fixture on Detroit's music scene and other musicians. The two clips I heard veered from sweet, atmospheric folkiness to bratty in-your-face rock 'n' roll. Xiao Dong makes the erhu fit right in, turning that sweetness to all kinds of crazy mischief.
Madame XD is at the Top of the Park on Sunday, June 22.
[Review published June 2008]
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