[above: fresh fruit]
The Xiu Xiu video magazine I Do What I Want When I Want is fascinating in the same way Xiu Xiu is fascinating — it’s not exactly enjoyment, not exactly the “aesthetic distance” of an art installation. “Raqoon”, for example. It’s not funny that this erstwhile human-sized raccoon is wandering around public places not fitting in, though sometimes people’s reactions to it are (“Oh look, he’s shopping!”). You feel for the raccoon. Fuck, you are the raccoon.
Xiu Xiu as a sociological study in awkwardness, outsiders, and feeling generally ill-at-ease with everything.
And yet, when IMPOSE sat down with them for Issue 31, we learned that not only are these guys bright and chipper (Jamie Stewart was a pre-school teacher for crying out loud), but they are also remarkably at ease they are with each other. They're also big fans of Pandapple.
Guess one has to be pretty comfortable to be able to dance as uncomfortably as Stewart does on the I Do What I Want When I Want (the song) music video:
XIU XIU — I Do What I Want, When I Want
The recurring motifs: everyone’s dumb little brother home videos of backyard wrestling. Gross fruit. High-res shots of Xiu Xiu members, expressionlessly doing silly things. Maybe that’s what Xiu Xiu is all about, being uncomfortable with everything, including happiness. Even when Stewart’s dancing around in an extremely silly manner, it’s not the silliness of wild abandon, it’s the silliness of self-conscious silliness as silliness. It’s GENIUS, is what it is.
Once again proving that he’s as bewildered by Xiu Xiu’s popularity as the rest of us, Stewart has written 234 haiku, every single one of them for a fan. Basho and Buson got inspiration from the nature around them. Jamie gets it from fan letters. Some examples:
nature hunts you down
every city lives for you
love them like a fool
by jamie stewart
for Rich "boy" McIsaac
I can't compare but,
lol, can you share your photos?
like gingko shares thoughts
by jamie stewart
Thus ends the debate once and for all on how to pronounce “lol.” Technically these are Senryu, but let’s not split hairs.