File Xiu Xiu under “Uneasy Listening.” The brainchild of Jamie Stewart, Xiu Xiu was founded in 2002, making experimental art rock that ranges from the exquisite to the excruciating, often in the same song, sometimes in the same bar. It’s music that’s transformative – you can’t listen to Xiu Xiu and step away unchanged. There’s something irresistible, almost ineluctable about Xiu Xiu’s music. It’s a force of nature, of personality. It will stop you in your tracks and knock you to your knees.
Xiu Xiu makes arty, sophisticated rock music that still embodies the DIY aesthetic. Becky has a hand-made felt figure from a long-ago Missoula Xiu Xiu show, and on a recent slate of gigs opening for noise rock legends Swans, Jamie appeared alone onstage, a one-man band at it’s rawest, sounding a gong with a slingshot from his seat, surrounded by gear. While Jamie is the only constant in Xiu Xiu’s decade-long journey, he’s shared the stage and studio with a number of collaborators, most recently Angela Seo.
Always, Xiu Xiu’s latest release, is a transcendent rock experience, as raw and tender as Jamie’s early work, but somehow more accessible, maybe a little more welcoming. It’s still beautiful and terrible, but there’s something there that invites the listener in a little more than earlier releases, something that suggests that pain and terror and ecstasy can be shared, if only for a moment.
Over the last decade, Jamie has become one of the most important and vital voices of the rock avant garde. We’re honored to feature him, and we hope, after you’ve read his Questionnaire, you’ll seek out his music. Be brave – nothing worthwhile is without risk.
1. What is your hometown?
Los angeles. I just moved back last week after having been gone for 14 years.
2. With what fictional character do you most identify?
3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.
Anna Nicole smith
4. What work of art speaks to your soul?
The capuchin bird
5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?
The wine of youth, columbine, Kokoro, and woman in the dunes
6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?
Man machine, computer world, radioactivity and trans Europe express by kraftwerk. I can not get enough.
7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?
I cry at movies all the time. I probably cried during the last james bond movie.
8. Cat person or dog person?
Cat. I actually actively dislike dogs. One just bit my mother, so I like them even less.
9. What is more important, truth or kindness?
10. How do you define sin?
Being a dog person
11. How do you define virtue?
Rescuing a cat from a dog.
12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?
It is a cube of dark wood. In it is carved, Go Ahead and Dig up My Body, although I could not fuck you properly in life, perhaps, I can please you now. 1978-2013
Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?
Lucy Liu and Selma Hayek