[Daily article] August 14: Xx (album)

xx is the debut album by English indie pop band the xx, released by
Young Turks, an imprint of XL Recordings, on 14 August 2009. Audio
engineer Rodaidh McDonald and the xx strove for an intimate,
unembellished sound. The band’s Jamie Smith produced xx on his laptop,
mixing in electronic beats. Strongly influenced by R&B; acts, the album
also drew comparisons to alternative rock, electronica, and post-punk
sounds. The melancholic songs on xx featured minimalist arrangements.
Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim sang most of these as low-key duets,
and wrote emotional lyrics about love, intimacy, loss, and desire. The
album received widespread acclaim from critics, many naming it one of
the year’s best records. It became a sleeper hit in Britain and the
United States. Although none of its singles became hits, xx benefited
from the licensing of its songs on television and the band’s 2010
Mercury Prize win for the album. In 2013, xx was ranked number 237 on
NME magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


The Spanish Villasur expedition, intended to check French
influence on the Great Plains of North America, ended in failure as it
was ambushed by a Pawnee and Otoe force.


A recording of English composer Arthur Sullivan’s The Lost
Chord, one of the first recordings of music ever made, was played during
a press conference introducing Thomas Edison’s phonograph in London.


Gustave Whitehead allegedly made a successful powered flight of
his Number 21 aircraft in Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.; if true, this
predates the Wright brothers by two years.


The film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is still in
limited release today, making it the longest-running theatrical release
in film history, premiered in Los Angeles.


Four coordinated suicide bomb attacks detonated in the Iraqi
towns of Qahtaniya and Jazeera, killing an estimated 796 people and
wounding 1,562 others.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. The common name for the monetary currencies used in modern India,
Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, the Seychelles, or Sri Lanka, often
abbreviated ₨.
2. (historical) A silver coin circulating in India between the 16th and
20th centuries, weighing one tola (formerly 170–180 troy grains;
from 1833, 180 troy grains).

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Art is the great and universal refreshment. For Art is never
dogmatic; holds no brief for itself; you may take it, or you may leave
–John Galsworthy

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