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Xiu Xiu: Show Preview 

Wednesday, May 30 2012

Jamie Stewart doesn't make things easy — not for fans of Xiu Xiu, not for his group's assorted guest personnel, and certainly not for himself. The San Jose-based musician has long frolicked in the depths of human misery, creating an alluringly fucked-up package out of restrained guitar and keyboard experiments, vocals that sound like the aftermath of self-torture, and unflinchingly raw storytelling (Sample verses: "Cremate me after you cum on my lips/ Honey boy, place my ashes in a vase beneath your workout bench"). He's simultaneously enigmatic and a wide-open book — a quite compelling juxtaposition. Xiu Xiu has always been fond of performance art shock statements (titling an album Fag Patrol; band member Angela Seo forcing herself to vomit for the video of "Dear God, I Hate Myself"), but Stewart's willingness to explore taboos and shadows often leads to some intensely real and affecting music.

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Reyan Ali

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