Listen: Xiu Xiu – “Don’t Smoke in Bed (Nina Simone Cover)” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, October 2nd, 2023  

Listen: Xiu Xiu – “Don’t Smoke in Bed (Nina Simone Cover)”

Nina Out December 2 Via Graveface

Sep 20, 2013 Nina Simone Bookmark and Share

So, if you asked us what artists we thought Xiu Xiu would cover, chances are Nina Simone wouldn’t have been high on the list. But Jamie Stewart and the gang does the jazz legend proud with their take on “Don’t Smoke in Bed.” This track, and more like it, will be released via Graveface as part of a Nina Simone covers album on December 2. Stewart sings every track, accompanied by jazz musicians Tim Berne, Tony Malaby, Mary Halvorson, and Andrea Perkins.

And, as it turns out, Xiu Xiu’s love for Simone isn’t all that left of center. Says Stewart via press release:

The idea came being back stage in Austin TX, opening for Swans and feeling like I did not play well. Michael Gira and I had the night before talked about our mutual love for Nina Simone and how her intensity and crazy political truthfulness always pushed us to try harder. After watching the Swans that night and knowing the difficult ups and downs of their history and now their epic and beautiful persistence, they made me want to try harder as well. Nina Simone’s singing is way over my head and while I was back stage feeling like I blew it that night, hearing the Swans be amazing and thinking of Nina made me want to not give up. The idea came from wanting to honor her, challenge myself to be better than I think I can be and to say thank you to music. Ches Smith is the only person I know who could understand this in his heart and also handle the technical side of fearlessly reorienting such wonderful music.


1. Don’t Smoke in Bed

2. Don’t Explain

3. Wild Is the Wind

4. Where Can I Go Without You

5. See Line Woman

6. Just Say I Love Him

7. Four Women

8. Pirate Jenny

9. You’d Be So Nice

10. The Other Woman

11. Flo Me La




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September 20th 2013

Kinda reminds me of Tom Waits.