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Xiu Xiu (pronounced “shoe shoe”) are a rather strange band/group/ensemble from Oakland, CA. They play the sort of depressive music that fans of Radiohead are usually fond of, and are quirky enough to appeal to fans of other genres (the IDM crowd are also common fans). Like Marmite, you’ll either love them or hate them. Those who love them are pleased by their self-mocking, expressive lyrics, their keyboards and their unexpected spoken word interludes. Those who hate them tend to think that they’re just a teensy bit pretentious, angsty and insincere. They are named aftr the cult film, Xiu Xiu : The Sent Down Girl.

The band are a hard working bunch; they’ve toured four times in 2002, and are expected to tour three times in 2003. Their debut album, Knife Play was released in 2002, and already by early 2003 four albums have been released. The group consists of Jamie Stewart (lead), Sam Mickens, Jherek Bischoff, Cory McCulloch, Yvonne Chen and Lauren Andrews (Dr. Troll), though not always all at the same time.

Give them a try. If you want to listen to music which sounds perfectly sane before falling apart with lines like “This is the worst vacation ever! I am going to cut open your forehead with a roofing shingle!”, then grab Knife Play or A Promise. Otherwise, stick with something a little less… broken.

Knife Play (February 19th, 2002)
Chapel of the Chimes (September 3rd, 2002)
A Promise (February 18th, 2003)
Fag Patrol (Summer 2003)

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