Xiu Xiu is an avant-garde synthpop band, the brainchild of Jamie Stewart. They were founded after the dissolution of Stewart's previous band, Ten In The Swear Jar, several of whose songs went on to become Xiu Xiu tracks. The band takes its name from a notoriously depressing Chinese art-house film, Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl
, about a young woman who becomes a prostitute to survive after her life is all but destroyed by poverty.This choice
of name is telling.
- Anti-Love Song: A large portion of Xiu Xiu's back catalogue has made great use of this trope.
- "Jennifer Lopez" is a sort of open letter to the eponymous singer, asking if she ever gets upset about the fact that her music soundtracks so many men's broken hearts and sexual frustrations in (presumably gay) bars around the world every Friday night.
- "Sad Pony Guerrilla Girl" is surely in the running for "creepiest love song ever". Best case scenario is it's about a woman having a one sided affair with a married man, and being unhappy with the arrangement, but too in love with him to break it off. The song also alludes to him beating her up, and the line "I am your little girl" may or may not be intended literally.
- Perhaps the ultimate example is "Fabulous Muscles". It's about a young gay man with a muscle fetish who unromantically fellates a closeted jock, who then freaks out and kills him. However, the song is delivered in a tone that suggests he's relatively okay with this scenario. Sample lyrics: "Cremate me after you cum on my lips, honey boy. / Place my ashes in a vase beneath your workout bench."
- Careful With That Axe: "Ian Curtis Wishlist", among many others
- Contemptible Cover: A Promise
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: "I Broke Up" gives us the delightful shouted line "THIS IS THE WORST VACATION EVER!/I AM GOING TO CUT OPEN YOUR FOREHEAD WITH A ROOFING SHINGLE!" Just an idea, but perhaps lines like that are why they broke up?
- Everything Is an Instrument: Jamie Stewart has been to known to break out a Nintendo DS or a Game Boy.
- I Am the Band: Jamie Stewart is the sole constant member of the band.
- Kissing Cousins: When Caralee Mcelroy joined the band, Jamie Stewart claimed she was his longlost cousin. Which, if true, makes some of their promotional pictures during her stint downright◊ creepy◊.
- Singer Namedrop: Jamie Stewart refers to an ambiguous "J.S." in a couple songs, particularly "Ian Curtis Wishlist" and "Secret Motel".
- The Cover Changes The Gender: Averted. Xiu Xiu have a habit of covering songs without changing any of the pronouns. Considering singer Jamie Stewart is quite camp (and has written many songs of his own sung to men, both from male and female perspectives), this is almost always the least troubling example of The Cover Changes The Meaning in their versions however.
- Their version of "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls is a particularly notable effort. Instead of playing up on the joke of covering a dodgy pop song, he sings it entirely straight and turns it into a kind of moving - and deeply disturbing - tale of a man refusing to let his bisexual lover leave his wife for him.
- They even do it to their own songs, releasing two different versions of Helsabot, one sung plaintively by regular singer Jamie Stewart and the other by (now-former) member Caralee Mcelroy, who has quite a sweet, girlish voice. Though they don't change the lyrics, considering the song deals with the antics of a violent alcoholic robot, lines like "I did something bad, I got in a fight, about drugs, kicked him in the neck" have wildly differing contexts.
- Though "Fast Car", originally by Tracy Chapman, doesn't really gender the narrator, they still manage it. The song changes from being a blue collar couple escaping for a better life elsewhere, to a young homosexual's dream of leaving for the big city.