Autumn Falls @ DNA - Brussels (be)
DOKBox - Gent (be) + White Hinterland
Trix - Antwerpen (be) + Still Corners
Vooruit - Gent (be)
Botanique - Brussels (be)
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, most recently Angela Seo. Streaming forth a ceaseless gush of releases, side projects, art offerings and extensive international touring since 2002, Xiu Xiu has acted as a stark and brutally frank document of Jamie’s personal life, mapped to music that has veered from damaged avant-pop, artfully orchestrated rock, squalls of black-hearted noise and most bases around and between, and ever served with a bruising honesty and intensity that has ripped out the hearts of a legion of obsessive listeners.
Xiu Xiu’s latest album, Angel Guts: Red Classroom, is a departure again, a purposeful stride into the void. A treatise on the violent and Santa Muerte-ruled neighbuorhood MacArthur Park in Los Angeles where the band lives and records, the music is a spitting, bubbling broth of drum machines, electronics and piercing lyricism delivered in Stewart’s singular cowering croon. Brewed up in tribute to Einstürzende Neubauten, Suicide, Nico and the experimental side of Kraftwerk, at times here Xiu Xiu sound like a noxious ghost alliance between recent Scott Walker and some crepuscular oddity on Blackest Ever Black. Live, it will be played as a three-piece, a darkened and exploding battery of true analog synth and masterfully played, fuzz-treated percussion, with Stewart and Seo joined by New York-based ‘retro-future drummer’ Shayna Dunkelman.
Never a group willing not to work, Xiu Xiu has collaborated live or in the studio with Grouper, Michael Gira, Deerhoof, Carla Bozulich, Nitzer Ebb, Larsen, Little Annie, Oxbow (see this year’s unflinching Sal Mineo collaboration with Eugene Robinson), Lawrence English, Zola Jesus, Devendra Banhart and Baby Dee, and with visual artists including Monika Gryzmala, David Horvitz and Dahn Vo.
The word Xiu Xiu is said to mean “cute”, a poisonous flower, a child’s word for pee pee and the name of a film portraying a young woman’s death during the Cultural Revolution.