Back in sophomore year of high school, when I had a portable CD player and not a Zune, there were three records in constant rotation on my unwieldy, skip-prone listening device: Fugazi's The Argument, Mission of Burma's Vs., and Xiu Xiu's Knife Play. Fugazi hasn't done ANYTHING since The Argument, Mission of Burma are back together but they're not QUITE as great as they were before (though they're still pretty good) -- but Xiu Xiu are still alive and kicking, as evidenced by their exquisitely damaged new album, Dear God, I Hate Myself.
I remember hearing a rumor from a friend around the release of 2003's A Promise that bandleader/creative force Jamie Stewart planned to break up the project after four albums, in order to mirror the Smiths' own discography. Obviously, I fell for a well-made joke; but the fact that Dear God is the band's seventh album of tortured melodrama and jagged goth-noise is cause for celebration regardless. Check out the NSFW (yessssssssss) video for "Gray Death" above.