The Spell Versus Is Under: Xiaolongbao

In the ’90s, most indie rockers were white males who cultivated a cool, detached image. New York-based Versus stood out from its contemporaries for many reasons. Its lineup included two (and sometimes three) Filipino-American brothers, it had a female bassist/singer, and the band gleefully professed its love for sports, meat and classic rock. After several albums and lineup changes continuing through 2001, the group went on a recording hiatus, only occasionally performing live. However, a reinvigorated Versus returned two years ago, and the band has just released On The Ones And Threes (Merge), its first full-length in a decade. Now consisting of singer/guitarist Richard Baluyut, drummer Edward Baluyut, bassist/singer Fontaine Toups, plus live violinist/keyboardist Margaret White, Versus picks up where it left off sonically: hypnotic melodies, male/female vocals and the occasional heavy guitar squall. The band members will be guest editing all week. Read our Q&A with them.

Fontaine: Xiaolongbao are Chinese soupy buns. My favorite is filled with pork and crab meat. The best part of the bun is the soup inside. Apparently, meat gelatin is wrapped inside the skin with the meat, the buns are steamed, and the gelatin melts, creating the soup. Sorry, veggies: These things are awesome. It takes a while to figure out how to eat ’em, too. But with patience, even you can get the technique down.

Video after the jump.