(I love this picture.)
Xiu Xiu! Pronunciation guide: shoo-shoo! Although only two members are pictured above (Jamie Stewart and Caralee McElroy), Xiu Xiu is a weathered band of three from my birthplace, San Jose, California. Weathered? Yes; this band has suffered its share of heartbreak and loss. Xiu Xiu was once Jamie Stewart, Lauren Andrews, Yvonne Chen, and Cory McColloch, aided by record producer and father, Michael Stewart. Andrews left to focus on school, Chen left to focus on her restaurant, McColloch left touring, and Jamie's father left by way of suicide. And if that's not heavy enough, in March of 2003, while performing in Montana, all of their instruments were stolen. Guitars, drum machines, keyboards, gongs, even the fucking harmonica -- all gone. Despite these little hells this band has had to go through, Xiu Xiu has managed to rise up from the ashes with new albums, new collaborations, and new members.
Their latest LP, The Air Force, scares the shit out of me. Frightening, trippy music. Produced by Greg Saunier from Deerhoof, the sound is minimal and a soundtrack to a nightmare. Ambient, reverberated, and haunting, the tracks are as sharp as a blade. Still, Xiu Xiu still manages to remain thoroughly enjoyable. Scary movies, hanging out at cemetaries, visits to haunted houses, and Xiu Xiu. Creepy, but fun.
Apr. 19 Neumo's Seattle, WA
Apr. 24 Troubador Hollywood, CA with Sunset Rubdown
mp3 Save Me, Save Me (their most accessible song)
mp3 Vulture Piano
mp3 Bishop, CA
Xiu Xiu's Official site
Xiu Xiu's Myspace
99.99% of you probably won't remember, but a couple weeks ago I started a little contest with TV On The Radio's Return to Cookie Mountain as the prize. A frighteningly large majority of you did not enter. Honestly, if you enter my contests, the chances of you winning are gargantuan. Gargantuan!
With that said, congratulations to ZITA GASPARO!
Your copy of Return to Cookie Mountain will be sent to you shortly.
As for the rest of you, enter my contests. I mean, it's free. All you have to do is send us an e-mail. You don't even have to write me anything except your address. Goddamn. Judging from my last two contests, if you enter, you'll win. So. Enter.