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Playing Around: Xiren 

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First things first. It's pronounced seer-rin. With that said, you can now read on, saying the name correctly in your head.

In the incredibly slick, well-organized and beautifully printed press kit we received from this Denver-based hottie, there is no background on how Darryl Kenny came to be Xiren. And perhaps it's not really important. What is important is that since he moved to Denver from Detroit four years ago, Xiren has managed to create a niche for himself in the Denver scene. He's played with some of Denver's best: Opie Gone Bad, Judge Roughneck and Carolyn's Mother. At the same time, he has managed to cultivate his very own sound. A conscientious singer-songwriter who knows how to play a variety of instruments, Xiren's work ranges from electronic to techno to a tad Celtic and occasionally he throws in a bit of rock. Maybe it's best described as mystical electronic rock.

It's clear that Xiren's influences are many. At times, he sounds eerily like U2's Bono backed by a mellow Moby, except for when he sounds like Peter Gabriel or, every now and then, Sting -- not a shabby list of influences to have.

Xiren recently released his second CD, called Bullets and Rainbows, and is busy cruising around the state promoting it. In tow is good friend and collaborator Benjamin Jansen (keyboards) as well as local Denver musicians Josh Skelton (guitars), Zach Pietlock (drums) and Cam Cross (violin, guitars, percussion).

This is a show worth checking out, as is the new CD. It's rare that really innovative acts make their way through town without costing an arm and a leg. Here's your chance to see something refreshingly different for a mere $7. All you have to do is show up at the Acoustic Coffee Lounge and kick back. If you need to know more, call 268-9951.

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