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XIU XIU

Xiu Xiu

Unclouded Sky - 10th Anniversary Edition

    During the summer of 2013, Xiu Xiu frontman Jamie Stewart and producer Shahzad Ismaily traveled to Sigur Rós’s personal studio in Iceland. Having access to the space for only one day, Stewart worked on setting down his interpretations of American and Caribbean spirituals using a 1953 Silvertone guitar given to him by his father (producer Michael Stewart), the man who introduced him to religious thought and folk music. The resulting album, Unclouded Sky, explores themes of death and faith over the course of nine songs originally composed between 1850 and 1920, which are interspersed with field recordings Stewart made in the jungle of Guyana.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. (Demerara)
    2. Blood Of The Lamb
    3. (Berbice)
    4. I’ll Fly Away
    5. (Kaieteur)
    6. Lonesome Valley
    7. (Essequibo)
    8. Wreck On The Highway
    9. (Rupununi)
    10. Church In The Wildwood
    11. (Cuyuni)
    12. Unclouded Sky
    13. (Kanuku)
    14. All Fo’ You
    15. (Guiana)
    16. Let The Lower Lights Be Burning
    17. (Pomeroon)
    18. Just As I Am

    Xiu Xiu

    La Foret - 2024 Reissue

      Repressed on vinyl for the first time in 15 years - As conceptual as Xiu Xiu's fusion of post-punk, gamelan, synth pop, folk, and noise might seem, the group's music never feels overly cerebral or detached. On the contrary, it's usually brimming over with often contradictory emotions: love, hate, sex, violence, fear, and humor cling together so tightly in Jamie Stewart's songs that they can't be separated. Harsh and beautiful words and sounds remain intertwined on La Foret, which ranks among Xiu Xiu's subtlest, and scariest, albums.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Clover
      2. Muppet Face
      3. Mousey Toy
      4. Pox
      5. Baby Captain
      6. Saturn
      7. Rose Of Sharon
      8. Ale
      9. Bog People
      10. Dangerous You Shouldn't Be Here
      11. Yellow Raspberry
      12. XIU XIU - La Forêt - DRUNK COMMENTARY

      Xiu Xiu

      Ignore Grief

        Over the course of the last two decades, Xiu Xiu’s prolific output of critically acclaimed albums and collaborations has been consistent and dazzling. They have collaborated with songwriters like Mitski, Sharon Van Etten, Deerhoof, Chelsea Wolfe, Twin Shadow and others, as well as avant-garde composers like Charlemagne Palestine. They’ve released many full-length albums that have been praised in outlets such as The New Yorker, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, NME and others, and have toured the globe relentlessly, performing alongside artists such as Deerhoof, Swans, Tune-Yards, and more at places like The Guggenheim, Primavera Festival, Benicassim Festival, Pitchfork Festival and others. Xiu Xiu has spent twenty years grappling with how to process, to be empathetic towards, to disobey and to reorganize horror.

        Ignore Grief is a record of halves. Angela Seo sings on half of the record. Jamie Stewart sings on half of the record. Half of it is real. Half of it is imaginary. The real songs attempt to turn the worst life has offered to five people the band is wconnected with into some kind of desperate shape that does something, anything, other than grind and brutalize their hearts and memory within these stunningly horrendous experiences. The imaginary songs are an expansion and abstract exploration of the early rock and roll “Teen Tragedy” genre as jumping off point to decontaminate the band’s own overwhelming emotions in knowing and living with what has happened to these five people.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Xiu Xiu have admittedly, never been the easiest band to follow. While their dedication to the more off-piste sonic arenas has certainly showed what a talented and inventive bunch they are, i've not really got it before. 'Ignore Grief' has made it twig for me, with the juxtaposition of really quite tender instrumental restraint meeting hellscape industrial noise battering me into submission. It's intense, huge and brilliant.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. The Real Chaos Cha Cha Cha
        2. 666 Photos Of Nothing
        3. Esquerita, Little Richard
        4. Maybae Baeby
        5. Tarsier, Tarsier, Tarsier, Tarsier
        6. Pahrump
        7. Border Factory
        8. Dracula Parrot, Moon Moth
        9. Brothel Creeper
        10. For M. 

         'Girl with Basket of Fruit' is a rowdier, yet more stylistically splenetic offering than 2017's 'Forget', with the usual eye-catching list of collaborators this time including Eugene Robinson (Oxbow), Devin Hoff and Haitian percussionists Emmanuel Obi and Ayo Okafor. Xiu Xiu is the conduit for the uncompromising and unnervingly personal musical works of Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist Jamie Stewart, plus a roll call of collaborators both in studio and onstage.

        TRACK LISTING

        01. Girl With Basket Of Fruit
        02. It Comes Out As A Joke
        03. Amargi Ve Moo
        04. Ice Cream Truck
        05. Pumpkin Attack On Mommy And Daddy
        06. The Wrong Thing
        07. Mary Turner, Mary Turner
        08. Scisssssssors
        09. Normal Love

        Xiu Xiu

        Forget

          The album was produced by John Congleton (Blondie, Sigur Ros), Greg Saunier of Deerhoof and Xiu Xiu's own Angela Seo.

          It features guest appearances by fabled minimalist composer Charlemagne Palestine, L.A. Banjee Ball superstar commentator Enyce Smith, Swans guitar virtuoso Kristof Hahn and legendary drag artist and personal hero of Xiu Xiu, Vaginal Davis.

          FORGET was recorded during a period of epic productivity for Xiu Xiu. While writing FORGET, they released the lauded Plays the Music of Twin Peaks, collaborated with Mitski on a song for an upcoming John Cameron Mitchell film, composed music for art installations by Danh Vo, recorded an album with Merzbow and scored an experimental reworking of the Mozart opera, The Magic Flute. All of this frantic, external activity lead to a softly damaged dreaminess and broadened intent that has not been heard before in other Xiu Xiu works.

          Standout track, “Wondering” is one of the catchiest boogie pop gems in the Xiu Xiu catalog, but like much of FORGET, it still bears an underlying tension that manifests differently in each piece. From the haunted guitar duet of "Petite", the hilariously fraught lyrics of "Get Up," the advanced industrial boxing match of "Jenny GoGo," or the experimental goth explosion of "Faith, Torn Apart", all the songs, in their own ways, build to a roiling boil of a fate in vanishing.

          The calligraphy on the cover translates literally to "we forget." It bows to the universality of everything and everyone's inevitable decline and foggy disappearance. Regarding the album title, Xiu Xiu singer Jamie Stewart said, “To forget uncontrollably embraces the duality of human frailty. It is a rebirth in blanked out renewal but it also drowns and mutilates our attempt to hold on to what is dear.” FORGET is both the palliative fade out of a traumatic's past but also the trampling pain of a beautiful one's decay.
          Xiu Xiu is Shayna Dunkelman, Angela Seo and Jamie "Butch Jenny" Stewart.


          Xiu Xiu

          There Is No Right, There Is No Wrong (The Best Of Xiu Xiu) - RSD Edition

            THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

            All tracks re-mastered on double vinyl in a handmade, individually numbered sleeve. Includes 21 track Rarities CD.

            TRACK LISTING

            SIDE A :
            Suha,
            Sad Pony Guerrilla Girl,
            Crank Heart,
            I Luv The Valley OH!,
            Muppet Face,
            Bog People.
            SIDE B :
            Boy Soprano,
            I Do What I Want, When I Want,
            No Friend Oh!,
            Dear God, I Hate Myself,
            Hi, Honey-Suckle.
            SIDE C :
            Dr. Troll,
            Sad Redux-O-Grapher,
            Ian Curtis Wishlist,
            Fabulous Muscles (Mama Black Widow Version),
            Mike.
            SIDE D :
            Rose Of Sharon (Grey Ghost Version),
            Buzz Saw,
            Puff And Bunny,
            Hyunhye's Theme,
            I Luv Abortion,
            Black Drum Machine.

            (Rarities CD) :
            10000x A Minute,
            Sad Cory-O-Grapher,
            Asleep (Acoustic),
            Don Diasco (Acoustic),
            Clowne Towne (Acoustic Live),
            Fleshettes,
            Helsabot Of Caraleebot,
            Red Croissant,
            Jack The Ripper,
            Juarez (feat. Eugene Robinson),
            Don't Cha,
            Kangaroo,
            All We Ever Wanted,
            Yo Yo Bye Bye,
            Farther On,
            Hated For Loving,
            Sammy,
            Quagga,
            Hair Hopper,
            Thylacine,
            The Girl Is Mine (Pale Molester Version)

            The impulse that drove artists such as Suicide, Einstürzende Neubauten and Scott Walker to embark on extraordinary and uncompromising journeys, refusing to flinch in the face of humanity’s ugly truths and terrible beauty, also underpins the sound and vision of Xiu Xiu, aka LAbased duo Jamie Stewart and Angela Seo.

            ‘Angel Guts: Red Classroom’ is the sound of Xiu Xiu’s descent into the deepest blackness endurable.

            TRACK LISTING

            Angel’s Guts
            Archie Fades
            Stupid In The Dark
            Lawrence Liquors
            Black Dick
            New Life Immigration
            El Naco
            Adult Friends
            The Silver Platter
            Bitter Melon
            A Knife In The Sun
            Cynthya's Unisex
            Botanica De Los Angeles
            Red Classroom

            Rarely is so much meaning conveyed in the space of six letters. And with regard to Xiu Xiu, its applications are infinite: always relevant, always provocative, always surprising, always evolving, always glittering.

            It's fitting, then, that as the band (now comprised of Jamie Stewart, Angela Seo, Bettina Escauriza, Marc Riordan, and returning member Devin Hoff) marks a decade in existence, such a powerful sentiment would serve as the title of its latest album.

            At its core, Always symbolizes the mutual camaraderie with and deep dedication to each person who has internalized Xiu Xiu’s work, tattooed its name on their skin or soul, and throughout the past ten years made the band a part of their lives.

            The origin of these intense, everlasting bonds is Stewart. His fearless lyrics have given voice to life's most untouchable and taboo subjects, while his distinctively committed but hushed vocals crystallize and medicate their unsettling impact.

            Those familiar with the band's work will take particular note of the times Stewart re-visits profoundly personal accounts from his own life -- most prominently on "Beauty Towne" (a not-so-uplifting postscript to the muddle of those depicted in "Clowne Towne" from 2004's Fabulous Muscles) and "Black Drum Machine" (which finishes the narrative of incest and molestation begun on "Black Keyboard" from 2008's Women as Lovers).

            Elsewhere, Stewart's willingness to broach any subject finds him confronting both the topical and the intimate in equally meaningful ways: "Gul Mudin" seeks to bring comfort to an Afghani teenage boy murdered for sport by American soldiers; "Joey's Song" strives to do the same for Stewart's brother in the aftermath of a family tragedy.

            "Factory Girls" chronicles the sexual objectification and desperate existence of Chinese female, migrant workers. "I Luv Abortion," featuring perhaps Stewart's most unhinged vocal ever, careens through the resolute heartache of a friend too young to be pregnant and seeks to personalize this most political issue.

            But while such writing is worthy of reverence, Always' most arresting moments lie in its sonic innovation -- transforming avant pop elements from an undertone into a bright black focal point while adding new influences such a choral music, kraut rock and animal field recordings.

            Produced by Deerhoof's Greg Saunier (who also contributes drums and vocals to the album) and mixed by John Congleton (Antony and the Johnsons, Marylin Manson, the Roots) the album is positively vibrant.

            Opening track and first single, "Hi," is an immediate invitation for listeners to make their presence known, as Stewart commands you to voice the title refrain along with him: "If you are wasting your life / Say "Hi" / If you are alone tonight / Say "Hi."

            The song's infectious, dance-worthy beat is only the first of many instances when Stewart’s unflinching lyricism is coupled with pure, singable melodies -- the kind of pairings that bring into stark relief how often life's worst moments are shouldered with a skewed, cheery grin.

            Nowhere is this contrast more apparent than on the bittersweet duet "Honeysuckle," a pleasantly uplifting cadence undercut by feelings of utter despair and hopelessness in Seo's lyrics.

            That such dazzling music can so seamlessly blend with such undeniably dark content is but one of the ways Always succeeds in accentuating the intent that is central to all Xiu Xiu creates.

            During recording, Stewart saw a Bible verse spray painted on the wall of his gym. He interpreted the verse to mean, "Horror and beauty are the same; love and hate are the same, the tireless dread of our own lives and of living can be embraced with the same fervency as what we find beautiful."

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Hi
            2. Joey's Song
            3. Beauty Towne
            4. Honey Suckle
            5. I Luv Abortion
            6. The Oldness
            7. Chimney's Afire (Mickensian Suicide)
            8. Gul Mudin
            9. Born To Suffer
            10. Factory Girl
            11. Smear The Queen
            12. Black Drum Machine

            Xiu Xiu

            Remixed And Covered

              Xiu Xiu, now a three-piece featuring Jamie Stewart, Caralee Mcelroy, and Ches Smith, crafts a sickeningly intimate art that is equally sensual and icy. A double CD set of covers and remixes. The first disc, a batch of covers, is an exercise in sisterly fan-dom and inspired innovation. Larsen's version of "Mousey Toy" is a six-minute electro-pop build with spoken computer vocals. Oxbow's cover of "Saturn" is gothic folk, backwoodsy and death-marching. Recent Xiu Xiu tour-mates Sunset Rubdown do "Apistat Commander" as a majestic pop orchestra with drums that sound like slamming doors. Marissa Nadler covers "Clowne Towne", reworking it into stately, ornate folk. Kid 606 revamps "Fabulous Muscles" as a big, warm, clustering blossom of claustrophobic dance music. Why? plays "The Wig Master" as fractured avant-pop. The final track on the covers side is Devendra Banhart's take on "Support Our Troops", showcased originally on a split 7" with Xiu Xiu. Finishing off the record with Devendra's optimist, playful croon, Stewart's chilling mini-essay on warmongering and not thinking for yourself becomes street corner doo-wop. The remix disc has remixes by; Gold Chains, Kid606, To Live And Shave In LA, Warbucks, Xiu Xiu, Grouper, Cherry Point, Son, and This Song Is A Mess But So Am I.


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