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Azita Youssefi (born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1971) is an experimental musician and artist based in Chicago. She is usually associated with the Chicago no wave scene, which included bands like the Flying Luttenbachers, U.S. Maple and Bobby Conn.

Background

Born in the U.S. to Iranian parents, Azita spent part of her childhood in Iran and was attending grade school in Tehran when the Iranian revolution began in late 1978. Her family moved back to the United States soon after, settling in Bethesda, Maryland. Growing up, she attended an all-girls school, Holton-Arms, and studied classical piano. As a teen, she would attend punk rock shows in Washington D.C. In 1989, Azita moved to Chicago to study at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Musical career

Scissor Girls:

Disillusioned with the visual arts as a medium for expression, she turned to performance art and sound. In 1991, she formed the spastic noise-rock group The Scissor Girls with Sue Anne Zollinger on guitar (later replaced by Kelly Kuvo), Heather Melowic on drums, and herself on vocals and bass. Their live performances were highly theatrical and the members often dressed in homemade costumes ranging from Catholic schoolgirl uniforms to clothes made of Bubble Wrap and duct tape. After two albums and a singles compilation, the Scissor Girls broke up in late 1996.

Miss High Heel:

In late 1995, Azita played synthesizer for a short-lived Weasel Walter/Jim O'Rourke project Miss High-Heel. Their self-titled CD was released on B-Sides Records (now NoSides Records) in 1998.

Bride of No-No:

Azita formed the Bride of No-No, another project known for extreme theatrics, in 1999. Band members, which included drummer Shannon Morrow and guitarists J. Graf and M.V. Carbon (also of Metalux), disguised themselves onstage in what has been described as mummy-like burkhas. After two albums the band eventually dissolved in 2002.

Solo:

Azita recorded her first solo work, Music for Scattered Brains, to be used as a part of her college thesis project.Music for Scattered Brains was originally released on vinyl in 1995. While being in Bride of No-No, Azita returned to playing her childhood instrument, the piano, and started writing and recording material which would eventually be released under her own name. Enantiodromia was released in 2003 on Drag City, and Life on the Fly followed in 2004. Descriptions of this release varied, from comparisons with Steely Dan to comparisons with "a bad Rod Stewart album from the early 80's", the switch from atonal noise rock surprised many listeners who were more familiar with her earlier work.

Azita's next album, "How Will You?", is out on February 17, 2009.