Xiu Xiu surprise no one by teaming with (r) for split 7-inch of ZZ Top covers

Xiu Xiu surprise no one by teaming with (r) for split 7-inch of ZZ Top covers
Photo: Angela Seo

Creative partnerships are a lot like beards of a comically absurd length: they need diligent maintenance. This is why, in what will no doubt go down in history as their single most predictable career move, Xiu Xiu have teamed up with (r) for a split 7-inch of ZZ Top covers. How utterly characteristic of them!

Xiu Xiu, doing the obvious, have covered “Sharp Dressed Man,” while (r) picked up the slack with “Gimme All Your Lovin.” In trying to explain why he would make such a conventional and easily foreseeable move, Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart revealed the origins of the project:

It took me a long time to come around to ZZ Top. When I was a kid I thought they were a joke band and their beards and campy sexuality freaked me out. Later on Xiu Xiu tours we would and still do always listen to the Black Flag tour diary “Get In The Van,” wherein Henry Rollins mentions playing ZZ Top to all the punks in England, telling them it was the new exploited record and watching them cry.

This was funny and I thought hmmm…

We were asked by the AV Club cover’s series to play a song from a list they had chosen. Everything on the list was a bunch of 90s RnB that I was never into or lame-o indie rock EXCEPT for “Sharp Dressed Man”…

Walking down the streets of Torino on tour and talking with dear friend and long time collaborator Fabrizio Palumbo of (r) and his husband Paul Beauchamp. I mentioned we were covering the song. They said very matter of factly, ‘Xiu Xiu as ZZ Top and (r) as ZZ Bottom. Let’s do a split 7 inch.’

And people say the creative process is hard?!

If you’re still interested in this long-prophesied split record, it’s out December 8 via Polyvinyl and available for pre-order here. Also be sure to check out the original A.V. Club video of Xiu Xiu’s cover, which sounds exactly like you expect it to, alongside (r)’s far less egregiously unsurprising cover below. Try harder next time, Xiu Xiu!!

Xiu Xiu / (r) split 7-inch tracklisting:

A: Xiu Xiu – “Sharp Dressed Man”
B: (r) – “Gimme All Your Lovin”

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