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Baker's Dozen

Oh Yes! Jamie Stewart Of Xiu Xiu's Favourite Music
Hannah Pezzack , April 7th, 2021 09:03

As Xiu Xiu release latest album Oh No, Jamie Stewart guides us through his 13 toppermost records – including three compilations! I only want the best ice cream, he tells Hannah Pezzack


Nick Cave – Ghosteen
In 2019, and this is somewhat melodramatic, but I had essentially had a nervous breakdown. I’d been treated badly by some people and I’m over sensitive. I don’t handle stress very well so my brain just exploded. It was around the time that I was getting back on my feet that Ghosteen came out. I also discovered Nick Cave’s question and answer blog, the Red Hand Files. I have this little bar at my house and I remember sitting there with my headphones on, reading the back entries to the blog and playing Ghosteen. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I started screaming my head off. I can’t explain it… I just couldn’t understand how people can be so shitty. The way that Nick Cave writes to strangers on that blog: so thoughtful, funny and generous, gentle and sweet. It was such a contrast to the way that I had been treated, by people I had counted as my friends. After everything he’s been through, after losing a child… It’s so much infinitely worse than anything I could possibly imagine. Yet he was able to open himself up, to share something that’s so incredibly beautiful with the world. It was a reminder to continue to be kind. It’s a really barf-y way to put it, but this record was a rebirth for me.

I don’t think that’s cringy. I feel like a lot of people had a similar response to Ghosteen. It’s funny because the Nick Cave we know now – as this saintly poet who does piano ballards – is so different from say, The Birthday Party Berlin years, when he was being absolute garbage in the most punk way possible.

Oh man, yeah. Like kicking and spitting on the crowd, right? But that the thing – he’s changed so much and yet he’s still as cool as he ever was.