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* Dog in the Sand *

United Kingdom
2225 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2006 :  18:35:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice to see the Man praising 'Trompe'!
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Frog in the Sand
-+ Le premiere frog +-

2715 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2006 :  05:02:01  Show Profile  Visit Frog in the Sand's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Sorry velvety, I intended to post this interview but I've been quite busy lately.

Anyway, here's (more or less) the English version:

- Some fans tend to see “Fast Man Raider Man” as a link or a mix between “Dog in the Sand” and “Honeycomb”. Do you share this point of view ?


- In my eyes, there are many similarities between “Fast Man Raider Man” and “Teenager of the Year” – both albums are generous and multifaceted, both can be seen as extensions of their glorious predecessor (“Frank Black” and “Honeycomb”), and both closed a chapter in your discography. Also, strangely enough, both generally received lukewarm reviews, as far as I know. Would you like to comment on that?


- Eric Drew Feldman is very popular among your fans, not only because he’s obviously a great artist, but probably also because he plays on “Frank Black”, “Teenager” and “Dog in the Sand”, which many of us consider your most audacious and most decisive albums. Are you aware of this, and had you this in mind when you decided to record your next album with him?


- Could EDF, Billy Block and Duane Jarvis become your new “Catholics”?


- Is “Black Sand” the title of your next album?


- Did EDF take part in the writing of your next album?


- What are the two songs you recently recorded in Houston? (Sorry, I had to ask...)


- Will your next solo album include songs that you initially wrote for the Pixies?


- I promised not to ask you about the already legendary 6th Pixies album, and I’ll keep my promise... However, I really would like to know your state of mind when you’re writing or trying to write a song for the Pixies. Are you at ease, confident, curious, excited, a little anxious?...


[When writing a Pixies song] do you try to be Black Francis, just like you were trying to be Joe Strummer on "Hate Me" or “Everybody Got the Beat”? Or are you simply Frank Black, maybe a new Frank Black testing new musical ideas ?...


- Some of your recent songs show an interest in spirituality, especially hindu spirituality I believe. How deep is this interest? How and when did it start?


- I’ve always wondered what “Los Angeles” (one of my favorite songs ever, by the way) is really about. I know you answered this question 37.598 times before, but it looks like you answered differently every time…


- Is your song “Massif Centrale” based on a personal experience? Did you really spend some time in the “hills of Central France”, and if you did, when and why?


- What happened to the songs you wrote for the “Shreck 2” and “Low Budget Time Machine” soundtracks? Will we hear them someday?


- Would you be willing to write a soundtrack, and if you are, is there a particular kind of movie you’d like to write for?


- The great Kristin Hersh played an important role in the Pixies’ career. Are you still in touch with her?


- What Frank Black album would you bring on a desert island ?


- Also, what Pixies album would you take?...


- Anything to add for your innumerable French fans? A scoop maybe? (Please don’t answer “Vive la France!”)



Edited by - Frog in the Sand on 10/30/2006 05:05:51
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- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

11546 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2006 :  08:54:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Between Pixies reunion tours, Frank Black keeps his
creative juices flowing on the solo trail

Interview By Sara Farr

You know that old saying about how you can't keep a good
man down? Meet Frank Black. When he disbanded the
wildly influential Pixies, he didn't sit around and wish for a
return to the salad days of Surfer Rosa and Doolittle. He had
other plans.

He released a self-titled solo album in 1993 that explored
everything from Surf Pop to Heavy Metal. Then he released
Teenager of the Year and Cult of Ray, two records that, to
use another cliché, get better with age.

Then there was the material he recorded with his backing
band The Catholics -- albums like Pistolero, Black Letter Days
and Devil's Workshop. Like Bob Pollard, the man vomits
material at an unparalleled rate. Black toured with The
Catholics for a while, and then came the event that
longtime fans thought would never happen: a Pixies
reunion in 2004.

But instead of cashing in on the reunion phenomenon like
many of his peers from the same era, he opted (for the time being) to forgo a new Pixies
album and work on another solo album, which eventually coalesced into the brilliant Southern
Roots Rock opus, Honeycomb, released in 2005 to wide critical acclaim. (Recent news reports
suggest Pixies will indeed reconvene early next year to work on a potential new album.)

Less than a year later, he released Fast Man Raider Man, which started with four songs held
over from the Honeycomb sessions that he'd recorded with a pack of legendary Memphis
studio musicians such as Steve Cropper.

"Those four songs were left over because we were trying to make Honeycomb nice and lean,
and they didn't fit because they were the wrong mood and didn't sound the same," Black
says. "And since Fast Man Raider Man ended up being a big, over-bloated affair, there was no
problem just sticking 'em on there; there was plenty of room for everybody."

He laughs, obviously in a good mood. His kids are playing in the background, and he's just
finished up a load of laundry -- yes, Frank Black does laundry -- at his new home in Portland.
Black is relaxed, more at home in his skin than he's probably ever been.

Forget the fabled surliness. This is the new Frank Black, the one who talks about what music
meant to him when he was growing up in Harbor City, Calif., the one who can joke about his
"Rock Star" moments and the one who decided to pull an all-night recording session in the
middle of the Pixies' reunion tour just because he had some ideas for new material.

Black and an all-star cast of musicians -- including Cropper, Reggie Young, Spooner Oldham,
P.F. Sloan, Carole Kaye, Levon Helm from the Band, Tom Petersson from Cheap Trick and
Buddy Miller, to name just a few -- rolled through 27 tracks on the two-disc Fast Man Raider
. The songs range from the eccentric "Kiss My Ring" to the Irish drinking song "Dirty Old
Town," a duet with Marty Brown, to the darker and more introspective "Raiderman," one of
Black's favorite songs on the album. As usual, there's plenty of room for interpretation with
Black's lyrics.

"A lot of journalists are like, 'Your songs are really bizarre,' " Black says. "That's sort of their
starting point. But I don't think they're that bizarre and I feel like this kind of bland narrative in
a lot of songs today has become kind of a superpower in the world of songwriting.

"When I first started picking up records by The Beatles or Bob Dylan and listening to them, I
was like, 'What are they singing about?' " Black continues. "It was just a big cryptic mystery,
unless it was a song like 'I Want to Hold Your Hand.' I didn't know who Quinn the Eskimo was
or what 'A Day in the Life' was all about. It was all mysterious, and so, to me, that is the
appropriate shape of a Rock lyric. It's something that's dreamy, cryptic, strange, surreal,
whatever. It's sad when people are like, 'I don't get that.' It's like, 'What have you been
listening to?' "

Nowadays, he says, there are precious few musicians creating any mystery. He says Beck is
one, and maybe some Hip Hop musicians, but on the whole, he feels a bit disconnected with
what's going on in the world of commercial music.

"It's not that I'm against really simple narrative songs," he says. "I just feel like a lot of people
have the wrong idea about what it is to be an artist. I think they feel they have to prove how
serious and heartfelt they are and how they have all these issues with the world. They're just
not having enough fun."

Fun was the point behind Honeycomb and Fast Man Raider Man, Black says. He just wanted to
get some guys together in a studio and write some good tunes. In fact, when Black went
through all of the disparate Fast Man Raider Man recording sessions -- in total, there were six
-- he spent some time laughing at the challenges he faced.

"I was surprised at how many legends I had to erase off of the record," he says, obviously
relishing the ridiculousness of his dilemma. "There was just so much playing and so many
people that a lot of times (during) mixing, we had to eliminate stuff, which is not a big deal
except for the fact that it was, like, super-legend Al Kooper. 'Yeah, take the Al Kooper organ
out' or 'Take the Steve Cropper out.' I never thought I'd hear myself saying that in a recording
session, but that's what we were doing because we had so much stuff."

After nearly 30 years in the world of Rock & Roll, Black has seen both the upside and downside
of the business. He's watched one marriage fall apart and been lucky enough to find another
woman to share his life with. He's been criticized; he's criticized others. He's done the label
dance more than once. What remains consistent is his appreciation for the opportunity that
music offers.

"It's freedom to be a Rock musician," he says. "I hate to be hokey, but that's really how I see
it. From my perspective, whether you're in a wedding band or a Reggae band, Disco band or
whatever, we're all playing songs and singing and trying to make people happy. That's how
Frank Black sees it."

FRANK BLACK performs Tuesday at the Southgate House in Newport with Reid Paley.

Photo By Julie Arkenstone

Frank Black says today's music
lacks Rock & Roll's classic sense of


By Matt Beshear
Contributing Writer

The year 1991 was a watershed for music. Among other
things, this was the year grunge exploded, the first
Lollapalooza was held, Freddie Mercury became the first
major star to die from AIDS, and, most importantly, Nirvana
released "Nevermind," arguably the most important album of
the last 30 years. This same year, a weird kid in school gave
me a copy of The Pixies "Doolittle" and told me it was WAY
better than my beloved grunge artists, and you know, he
wasn't that far off. Sadly, by the time I began my full-fledged
love of the Pixies, they had already released their swan song,
"Trompe Le Monde," and disbanded. I'd love to thank that
weird kid, but how many kids in high school do we really keep
in touch with?
Frank Black's contributions to music world over the last 17
years cannot be overstated. As the leader of the Pixies, he
was one of the chief architects of the alternative rock
revolution and influenced every artist that came after him.
Artists as diverse as Nirvana and Radiohead have never been
shy about their love of the Pixies, and with their angular
guitars, howling vocals and odd time signatures, you still hear
the influence in newer artists like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
and Wolf Parade. When asked about the success of "Smells
Like Teen Spirit," Kurt Cobain would casually admit that it
was just an unabashed rip-off of the Pixies. Now, more than
likely, every artist influences at least one other artist in their
lifetime, but when you're the main influence on greats like
Radiohead and Nirvana, you might as well just admit you're
the shit.
After the Pixies split in 1993, Frank released his self-titled
solo album the same year, and followed it up with the instant
'90's classic, "Teenager of the Year," in 1994. Since then, he's
released a disc almost every year and has toured the world
many times over. One of the albums Frank had become
enamored with over the years was Bob Dylan's masterwork
"Blonde on Blonde" and after some coaxing from his
producer, he made the trek to Nashville to record last year's
"Honeycomb" and his excellent 2006 release, "Fast Man
Raider Man." While his newer material bears very little
resemblance to his work with the Pixies, the great songwriter
from within has finally broken free. Gone are the yelping
vocals and science fiction inspired lyrics, replaced by darker,
more earnest lyrics and smooth, almost Leonard Cohen styled
vocals. While not as groundbreaking as "Doolittle" and
"Surfer Rosa," or as hooky as "Teenager of the Year," these
may actually be the most artistically accomplished records of
his career.
Frank Black will be rocking The Venue next Saturday,
November 4. I had a chance to catch up with Frank last week
and he was a surprisingly amiable and candid for someone who
had just awakened.

HPR: Thanks for taking the time. Are you on the
road right now?

FB: Yeah, I just woke up on the bus, trying to figure out
where I am.
HPR: Your tour itinerary says you're in Baltimore?
FB: Oh, yeah, crabs. I can get me one of those crabs t-shirts
that says "I was in Baltimore."
HPR: How did the show go last night in Charlotte?
FB: The show was a good one. North Carolina has a nice
vibe there. It's sort of the South and sort of the East. Where
are you calling from?
HPR: Fargo, North Dakota.
FB: Fargo, oh yeah, Fargo. We played in Moorhead before.
I like Fargo, there's no sidewalks, and like Quonset huts
everywhere. I felt like I was in Alaska.
HPR: You're on the road constantly and playing
almost every day, so what do you do on the bus to keep
from going mad? I know at times you bring your
family along.

FB: The family is at home now. Basically, I just play a show
every night and try to get a full night's sleep when you can.
It's not that bad being on the road. From an employment
point of view it's a good job. When you're touring with a big
enough apparatus you don't have to do too much. You sleep,
wake up, go look for espresso, go for a walk, make your way
to the club and play.
HPR: The musicians on the new album are enough to
make anyone drool. How did you hook up with great
musicians like Al Kooper, Carol Kaye and Levon

FB: I didn't have that much to do with it. I worked with a
producer (John Tiven) that I knew that would contact a lot of
heavy dudes. So he basically rounded them all up. Some played
on the last album and we got some of them back and more for
this one.
HPR: While it's not really a new thing, the mellower
sound employed on your solos albums may surprise
some fans.

FB: Yeah, a lot of fans won't get it, but I can't really be
worried about that. I have fairly thick skin by this point. You
know that's showbiz, what am I going to do? Sit around and
piss and moan because the Pixies are more popular? It's
always going to be like that and I'm going to have to get into
a different business if I can't deal with that fact.
HPR: Have you ever had anyone at a Pixies show
request a Frank Black solo song?

FB: (Laughs) I don't know, people shout all kinds of stuff
and I can't really hear anything. I just hear "Aarrgh."
HPR: What do you think of the crumbling state of
the records industry? You've been doing things on
your own terms for quite a while now.

FB: They have their own business challenges, I suppose.
Independent artists, like myself, refuse to deal with A&R,
which means we have to associate ourselves with smaller
labels. The fact of the matter is, we make music that is on the
arty side, so we're not going to sell as many records anyway,
so why get involved with a larger label that isn't going to get
it, give you a hard time, and end up dropping you and wasting
a lot of your time? The good news is that you associate with
smaller labels, that don't have a problem giving you artistic
freedom, and you get to release as many records as you want,
that sound like whatever you want. It's very rewarding. The
record industry has charged people way too much money for
the price of a compact disc for way too long and it's payback
HPR: You've used the bible as a source of lyrical
inspiration in the past, does religion play a big part in
your life?

FB: Any kind of religious subject matter is good for rock
songs. I dabble with a lot of that information, not just
Christian, but Hindi or whatever.
HPR: What's going on for the rest of the year and into 2007?
FB: Touring and more recording. I'm also getting back
together with the Pixies for a bit and just more typical rock
stuff. Thanks again, man, I really appreciate you doing the
preview and I'm looking forward to Fargo. Now, is the club
going to be in Moorhead, Minnesota, or is it going to be in
HPR: The show is actually in Fargo.
FB: Good, finally. I really wanted to play there last time.
Well, it will be my first offical Fargo date.

WHO: Frank Black
WHEN: Saturday,
November 4, 7:00 Door,
7:30 p.m. Show
WHERE: The Venue @
COST: $16 Advance; $20
Door (All Ages)

Edited by - Carl on 10/30/2006 09:33:55
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= Black Noise Maker =

11552 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2006 :  09:29:55  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Both good reads, thanks guys and nice work on that Blackolero exclusive, Yanni!

"Now you're officially my woman. Kudos. I can't say I don't envy you."
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- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

11546 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2006 :  09:52:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 | Cincinnati.Com » CiN Weekly » Music » Frank Black

Frank Black
Pixies frontman's solo tour makes a Halloween stop at
Southgate House


Hot off the heels of his reunion with the Pixies, modern rock trailblazer Frank Black brings his fall tour
to Newport with a Halloween show at the Southgate House. Black talked to us about his latest
album, his new band, and his perspective on the Pixies' success.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the new tour and your new band?

It's a simple lineup, three other guys: a drummer named Billy Block, guitar player named Duane
Jarvis, both of which played with me on (new album) Fast Man Raider Man, and my old colleague Eric
Drew Feldman on bass guitar.

We're playing a few songs from the new
record, lots of songs from previous Frank
Black records, and we're playing some new

Q. Let's talk about the new record. Fast
Man Raider Man
seems like a natural
progression from last year's Honeycomb.
What were you trying to accomplish with
the album?

The same thing that I try to accompwith
every record, and that's to give people their
money's worth, I suppose. To make a good
record - that's the only vision that I've ever
been able to have.

Q. Your most recent albums have been quite a departure from your Pixies output and your earlier
solo stuff. Has your direction as an artist been a conscious decision, or is the music that you are
making now simply a reflection of your current state of mind?

I suppose it's conscious. When you first start out, it's all about being edgy and breaking the rules
and trying to get noticed. I think at some point that starts to feel silly. I feel pretentious trying to do that
now. So, you start to embrace clichés and formulaics, and that becomes the challenge.

How can I sing something that's a little blues-rocky and get away with it? That becomes a way to be
subversive. How can I make a record with a bunch of Nashville guys and still write something or
perform in a way that makes sense in a context, and at the same time be true to myself?

Q. You're a pretty prolific recording artist. Within the last couple of years alone, you've toured with
the Pixies, you've released a handful of solo albums and now you're launching another tour. How
do you do it all?

I just like making records. I probably get more satisfaction out of just being able to make records
and go on tour, even if it's in little nightclubs, than I do with being "OK, so how do I get to the next
step?" I've been in a band that was poised to be "arriving" at the next step. Everyone was like, "You're
opening up for U2, oh my god! You guys are going to just go through the stratosphere." And, you
know what? Nothing happened (laughs). Everyone got so concerned about getting us to the "next
level" that they didn't actually notice that this material isn't exactly Top 40 material.

Q. At the same time, though, when the Pixies reunion was announced, everyone was talking
about it. It was a huge deal to a lot of people.

Yeah, definitely. The catalog has remained in print and there are definitely more Pixies fans out
there in the world (today) than there were in 1990. We went out, we played much bigger venues than
we used to and that's great. I still think the Pixies are an arty, indie-rock kind of band. To a certain
extent, the numbers, no matter how big they get, will always reflect that.

It's a Velvet Underground kind of a thing. People always talk about how no one bought that many
Velvet Underground records, but they inspired thousands of people to start bands, which was true.
And that's the kind of legacy, I suppose, that the Pixies enjoys. We started a band, we had mild
success with it, and the reputation of the band has remained intact and people still buy the records.
And I've listened to the records in recent years, and I think they do sound somewhat timeless.

Q. You're playing the Southgate House on Oct. 31. Do you have anything special planned for this
Halloween show?

I could be playing on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve and I won't mention the "you know what." I
can't go there. I can never reference it in the middle of my show, because that would sort of be like
Halloween was upstaging me. And maybe, in fact, that's the truth, but I just can't acknowledge it. My
ego is too big. I'm bigger than Halloween. Forget Halloween, Frank Black is here (laughs).

Frank Black likes touring and making good records. Which might
explain his upcoming show and that new album


Frank Black with special guest Reid Paley

WHEN: 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

WHERE: Southgate House Ballroom, 24 E. Third St.,

PRICE: $20, $15 in advance

PARKING: On-street parking, pay lots

CONTACT: 859-431-2201, www.southgatehouse.com or


In the 1990s Frank Black and his fellow Pixies laid the
groundwork for the alternative-rock revolution. What is
Frank into nowadays?



GUILTY PLEASURE: Double espresso

Frank Black likes touring and making good records. Which might
explain his upcoming show and that new album

www.cleveland.com/music/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/friday/1161950297145140.xml&coll=2&thispage=1" target="_blank">www.cleveland.com/music/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/friday/1161950297145140.xml&coll=2&thispage=1" target="_blank">http://www.cleveland.com/music/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/friday/1161950297145140.xml&coll=2&thispage=1

MUSIC PREVIEWFrank BlackWhen: 8 p.m. Monday. Where: House of Blues,
East Fourth Street and Euclid Avenue, Cleveland. Opener: Reid Paley.
Tickets: $20 advance, $22 day of show at the box office and Ticketmaster
outlets, or charge by phone, 216-241-5555 (Cleveland) or 330-945-9400
Frank Black moving his boxesinto House of
Blues Monday

Friday, October 27, 2006

John Soeder
Plain Dealer Pop Music Critic

Frank Black makes no apologies for the unwieldiness of his new solo opus,
"Fast Man Raider Man," a two-CD buffet of deep-fried Americana with an alt-
rock twist.

"I realize I could've edited it down," the singer-guitarist said by phone from a
tour stop in Orlando, Fla. "But I'm from a certain aesthetic that just says every
once in awhile, Awww, screw it -- make a really long album!'

"Good enough for the Clash, good enough for me, you know?

"I'm the friggin' artiste. It's my right to be as full of myself as I want to be. In a
way, it's almost my duty."

The cavalcade of musicians who lend a hand on "Fast Man Raider Man"
includes Jack Kidney of Akron, best known in these parts for his work with 15
60 75 (The Numbers Band). Black and Kidney met when they both took part
in a 2003 production of "Mirror Man, " an opera by Pere Ubu's David Thomas,
in Los Angeles.

"I love the way he plays saxophone," Black said of Kidney. "His note selection
is like, Whoa -- he's going there!'

"It don't sound like no David Sanborn -- nothing against David Sanborn."

Kidney's sax embellishes several tunes on Black's latest album, including
the stomper "Johnny Barleycorn." Kidney also plays bluesy harmonica on
"You Can't Crucify Yourself" and a handful of other songs.

He recorded with Black in Nashville over three days last fall.

"It was unbelievable," Kidney said in a separate interview. "Charles [Black's
real name is Charles Thompson] would be writing songs in his hotel room
the night before, then come in with an intro, verse structure, solo structure
and outro. They notated the songs using this Nashville number system. It
was like hieroglyphics.

"They would rehearse, roll tape and do two or three takes, then it was on to
the next one. I was grasping at straws, dude."

He'll jam with Black again Monday night at House of Blues.

"Fast Man Raider Man" also features contributions from the likes of drummer
Levon Helm of the Band, former Bob Dylan sidekick Al Kooper on organ and
vets of Motown and Muscle Shoals studio bands -- in other words, not
necessarily the sort of cats you might expect to find backing erstwhile Pixies
frontman Black.

Do they speak the same language?

"Sure we do," said Black, 41. "Yeah, they know about soul music and R&B or
whatever, and I know about punk-rock and indie-rock. To quote Iggy Pop, it's
all just disco.

"Or to quote David Thomas -- if I may, as long as I'm speaking to The Plain
Dealer -- I believe he said rock 'n' roll is all about moving black boxes from
one side of town to the other side of town. That is totally it.

"Musicians can be quite childlike. We do like to lift boxes, put 'em in the back
of a car or van, drive to some place and take the boxes out.

"Forget the art. There's a lot of satisfaction on that level alone. Those are the
kinds of things that really unite musicians."

A new documentary, "loudQUIETloud," follows the Pixies on their 2004
reunion tour. (The film screens Friday, Nov. 3, at the Cleveland Institute of Art
Cinematheque and arrives in stores Tuesday, Nov. 7, on DVD.)

The group, which ruled college radio in the late 1980s and early 1990s, has
been contemplating a comeback album.

"One band member is a bit reticent about it, but I can't say who she is," Black
said, referring (wink, wink) to bass player Kim Deal.

"I'm hoping she'll participate," Black said. "There isn't tension between us. It's
all good. But we have to become a band again. There's a big difference
between playing some reunion shows and jamming on some new riffs. It's a
whole other thing."

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

jsoeder@plaind.com, 216-999-4562

Edited by - Carl on 10/30/2006 11:18:31
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= Cult of Ray =

777 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2006 :  14:32:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Ziggy

Nice to see the Man praising 'Trompe'!

I read many times Frank saying the fans didn't like it, so I guess along with Devil Workshop he considers it as his most underrated work.
But it's not true! People love Trompe Le Monde. It is just that at that time 4AD had very big ambitions for the pixies, like being at the level of Depeche Mode, so they spend much money and eventually it was considered as a commercial faillure.
But replacing it in the context, it is a total success.
Didn't Bob Mould said he felt really jealous listening to it.
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- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

11546 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2006 :  04:01:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Posted on Thu, Nov. 02, 2006

Frank Black's hard, fast rule: 'there
ain't no cement in this world'

Pop Music Critic

A common complaint among
those who've followed Frank
Black's bumpy 13-year solo
career is that, for all of the
groundbreaking work he did
with his first band, the Pixies,
his own work has slowly
become something
approaching normal.

"Well, yeah, when you start
out, it's all about breaking the
cliches and being edgy," he
said during a phone
interview last week. "When
you get better at it, you start to
fool around with those
cliches and embrace them a
little bit.

"(Early on), you want to impress everybody and be all dangerous, but that becomes
less of a challenge. You want to see if you can get away with sounding really straight,
really middle of the road. This might sound like a nice little country-rock song. But then
you get into the lyrics or structure, and it's not such a nice little country-rock song."

Then, the man born Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV sputters out what might as
well be the perfect summation of his entire career to date:

"Whatever rule or standard I might try to apply — well, there ain't no cement in this

Born in Boston 41 years ago, Black began writing the songs that would become Pixies
classics in high school.

After his sophomore year of college, Black formed a band that could realize his cracked
musical and lyrical visions that encompassed surfing, sci-fi and surrealism in
somewhat equal doses.

After a run of acclaimed albums, Black disbanded the Pixies in 1993, alerting the
media first, then informing his bandmates via fax. Black was expected to carry on the
group's burgeoning fame, but instead, fellow Pixie Kim Deal scored big with her band
the Breeders.

Black's solo career continued in fits and starts, with four different labels releasing
albums of varying quality before the Pixies' reunion was announced in 2003.

Following a debut gig in April 2004 at the Fine Line, the Pixies went on to tour the world
and cash in on a decade's worth of buzz. Kurt Cobain, among others, famously claimed
the foursome as a vital influence. (Monday night, the Fine Line hosts a screening of the
tour documentary "loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies," which Black himself has

From that very first reunion gig, rumors of a new Pixies album began circulating. And
over the past two years, Black has confirmed, denied and/or waffled when it came time
to discuss hitting the studio again.

These days, it's no different. Black told London's New Musical Express last week that
rehearsals for a new Pixies record would start in January. But he gave us a different

"So, are the Pixies going to record a new album? You'd think we were the fricking
Beatles! I keep telling people I don't know. Maybe. People think I'm being manipulative,
or I'm hiding information. No, I'm not. I just don't f——— know. It's basically up to her."

"Her," of course, refers to Kim Deal. And it was creative tensions between Deal and
Black that splintered the Pixies the first time around.

But after taking a deep breath and laughing — "I've only had a triple decaf espresso this
morning" — Black continued.

"I did talk to (guitarist) Joey Santiago today. I'm putting his brother on the guest list in
Boston. And I have talked to Kim. But it was more of a, 'Hey, how's it going? How's the
Breeders record coming along?' (Drummer) David Lovering kind of disappears into the
world of magic. He's off making doves come out of his sleeve or whatever."

What is sure — beyond Black's current tour in support of his 27-track release "Fast Man
Raider Man" — is that he has another solo project in the pipeline.

"It's a live record," he said. "A combination live and studio record and DVD. I'm calling it
the 'Frank Black Christmas' package. It's my gift to the world at the beautiful holiday

He can't confirm, though, that it'll actually come out before the end of the year: "Who
knows? I hope so."

Black has also dropped a few pounds. Early last week, he sat for a new photo shoot,
the results of which have yet to be released.

"I was sick of my fat pictures," he said with a laugh. "I did a couple of fasts. And it was
also lots of psychological pressure, i.e. nagging from my wife. I was getting into Orson
Welles territory."

Press Black any further, though, and you're looking for trouble.

"I have no artistic vision," he said. "I don't have a lot of plans. I just record, that's it. I
invite some people along and book a studio. There's no artistic vision. That's how it
works for me.

"There's your sneak peek at my world."

Pop Music Critic Ross Raihala can be reached at rraihala@ pioneerpress.com or 651-
228-5553. Read more about the local music scene on his blog, "The Ross Who Knew
Too Much," at blogs.twin cities.com/ross. Who: Frank Black, with Reid Paley

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Mpls.

Tickets: $20 in advance, $22 at the door

Call: 651-989-5151

Frank Black


Thu, November 2, 2006

Black nixes reports of a
new Pixies album


Hate to disappoint you, but it sounds like the latest rumours concerning a much-
anticipated new Pixies album have -- again -- been greatly exaggerated.

Despite what you may have heard from New Music Express, Rolling Stone, or
countless other music blogs, a chat with frontman Frank Black quickly lays to rest
the latest falsehood. Well, for now, at least.

"It's all bulls--t," says Black (aka Black Francis, aka Charles Thompson IV), from a
tour stop in Montreal en route to a local appearance Sunday night at Pantages
Playhouse. "It's just NME running with some scrap that is much less than that, of

The conversation went something like this, he says:

" 'What's the plan, Frank? When's the new album coming? What's the plan?' ...
'Well, we're getting together to do a little jamming, maybe in January -- that's it, no
plans.' ... 'Ohhh, they're going to make a new record!'

"I mean, I made it very
clear that that was not
what I was saying, but I
can only -- ah, whatever."

You can forgive Black for
sounding weary
whenever the topic of the
Pixies comes up. For a
decade after the hugely
influential art-rock quartet
broke up, he was
pestered about a
reunion, typically while
trying to promote his own
solo catalogue, and
usually after making it clear a reunion just wasn't in the cards.

Then The Pixies did reunite, for a well-received (and fairly lucrative) tour, and now
the question on everyone's lips is: "When will a new record come out?"

Ourselves, we're content to chat with Black about his new double-disc Fast Man
Raider Man, but not before asking how he feels when critics and fans insist on
comparing his solo stuff with The Pixies.

"Everything is so dumbed down," he says. "People want to sell magazines or
newspapers or records, and so do I. And the only thing that makes me notable or
worth mention or more marketable is to say, 'Hey we talked to this guy about his
record. Oh yeah, and he's the guy who used to be in this band The Pixies.' "

Oddly enough, it's Black who brings the band up next, this time after being asked
how he went about directing the many session players -- among them Steve
Cropper, Spooner Oldham, Al Kooper and Levon Helm -- on Fast Man Raider Man
in Nashville.

"You let 'em do their own thing to a certain extent," he says. "Unfortunately, as I tell
many people, I don't really have any artistic vision. I may have an idea about how
the tempo's going to be, but I'm pretty open about how things are going to turn
out ... I don't want to think about it too much. I want magic to happen, and in my
experience, magic is this unexpected, accidental, didn't-see-it-coming kind of
thing. You can't plan for it. I don't know what the most popular Pixies song is,
maybe Where is My Mind or Monkey Gone to Heaven. You can't really plan for
those kind of things ... You don't really hear the awesomeness of it until you hear
the playback."

There was a bit of a blueprint with Fast Man Raider Man, he admits -- namely, to try
and record an entire album in one evening after a Pixies gig, swapping musicians
as the night (and subsequent day) wore on. The tracks that resulted, however, left
him with an embarrassment of riches, as well as tough decisions to make.

Producer John Tive "was inviting everyone from Paul McCartney to Nick Lowe to
participate, so we had all these people -- sometimes we had three drummers in
the room, and one of them is Levon Helm and one of them is Simon Kirke. You're
just like, 'Everybody play!' " he laughs. "When we went to mix some of this stuff, I'd
literally be sitting there going, 'Let's erase the Al Kooper part, get rid of the Steve
Cropper part, there's already too much guitar.' I was being really brutal about all
these legends that were playing, but you couldn't have it all be on there, because it
was too much ... I just never thought I'd be saying, 'Nix the Al Kooper!' "

Tickets to Black's show are $30 at Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.ca or 780-

"Unfortunately, as I tell many people, I don't really have any artistic vision. I may
have an idea about how the tempo's going to be, but I'm pretty open."



Sunday @ Pantages Playhouse. With Kentucky Prophet.

The above interview can also be read here:


Edited by - Carl on 11/02/2006 08:26:33
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Posted - 11/02/2006 :  20:05:09  Show Profile  Visit IceCream's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Carl


[font=Verdana]Between Pixies reunion tours, Frank Black keeps his
creative juices flowing on the solo trail

Interview By Sara Farr

You know that old saying about how you can't keep a good
man down? Meet Frank Black. When he disbanded the
wildly influential Pixies, he didn't sit around and wish for a
return to the salad days of Surfer Rosa and Doolittle. He had
other plans.

He released a self-titled solo album in 1993 that explored
everything from Surf Pop to Heavy Metal. Then he released
Teenager of the Year and Cult of Ray, two records that, to
use another cliché, get better with age.

Then there was the material he recorded with his backing
band The Catholics -- albums like Pistolero, Black Letter Days
and Devil's Workshop. Like Bob Pollard, the man vomits
material at an unparalleled rate.
Black toured with The
Catholics for a while, and then came the event that
longtime fans thought would never happen: a Pixies
reunion in 2004.

But instead of cashing in on the reunion phenomenon like
many of his peers from the same era, he opted (for the time being) to forgo a new Pixies
album and work on another solo album, which eventually coalesced into the brilliant Southern
Roots Rock opus, Honeycomb, released in 2005 to wide critical acclaim. (Recent news reports
suggest Pixies will indeed reconvene early next year to work on a potential new album.)

Ridiculous nonsense. Bob Pollard has released over 1,600 songs since his first EP in 1986. Frank has released less than 400 songs.

EDIT: Bob Pollard is the Telemann of pop music.

Edited by - IceCream on 01/04/2007 20:17:21
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Posted - 11/09/2006 :  03:57:51  Show Profile  Visit fbc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I dedicate this next piece to Carl, Link man extraordinaire. Beat ya!


Five Facts from Frank Black
The Ex-Pixies Frontman Spills a Few Beans


LAST WEEK I SPOKE to none other than Charles Thompson, AKA Black Francis, AKA Frank Black, AKA the man to wrote "Caribou," about touring, Cat Power, record bootleggers, the future of the Pixies, and his new album, Fast Man Raider Man (which is actually very, very good, with a sort of Leon Redbone/Alex Chilton vibe). Here are a few things I learned.

(1) Black lives "down near Eugene." When I asked him what brought him down there, he flatly stated, "a woman."

(2) He's only going to play three of four songs from his new album on this tour, because, as he puts it, "I'm kind of in this space where I just play what I want to play. [The record's] going to sell what it's going to sell. It doesn't matter if I plug it or not. So I work for the brand name. I work for the career, I work for the circuit. I work for the lifestyle. I work for the troubadour aspect of all of this."

(3) He's never heard a Cat Power record, which seems odd.

(4) Bootlegging and downloading? Frank doesn't care: "Burn baby burn. Go for it. It doesn't bother me. All that kind of stuff is going to help me more than it hurts me. When you're a small fry like myself, anything that's going on, even bootlegging, adds to your brand name and spreads the word about your scene."

(5) On the talk of a new Pixies album: "There's always talk. It's cheap talk. Who knows what's going to happen. Maybe it's interesting to me for the wrong reasons. We enjoy touring at the level that we're currently touring at. But we can't keep doing this as a reunion band. It's going to turn county fair in the next year or two if we continue to do that. So the only way to keep the train rolling is to do more new stuff. And not all the band is convinced—hell, I'm not even convinced that's what we should do. But that's the one thing that's going to keep the touring opportunities available to us."
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- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

11546 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2006 :  06:27:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thumbs up, Soren!

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> Teenager of the Year <

2973 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2006 :  07:14:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by fbc

I dedicate this next piece to Carl, Link man extraordinaire. Beat ya!
Doesn't it feel great to scoop Carl on an article? He's always so on top of things -- I get a rush when I beat him! Thanks, Carl, for all your work. Someday I'm gonna start a thread to thank all the people who make this forum so great -- Carl for the articles, fbc for all the bootlegs, Denis for the Survivor games (and mr.biscuitdoughhead for the other Survivor games), Brian and Dean, etc.

I could not find my honeycomb.
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Posted - 11/09/2006 :  08:52:22  Show Profile  Visit fbc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
and your goodself, of course. you have a bee! more people will talk to you now

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> Teenager of the Year <

2973 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2006 :  09:20:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for noticing my bee, fbc. I used to feel so inadequate when I'd wander into the general chat area with no bees and people like floop and homerspetmonkey and kathryn have about 85 bees each. I mean, these people have CREDENTIALS. Not lives, of course, but real credentials.

I could not find my honeycomb.
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- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

11546 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2006 :  09:23:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Thu, November 9, 2006

'It's all about me, man'
Forget about the band, says Frank Black


Frank Black, a.k.a. Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV, is a special man and
he'll tell you so.

Known as Black Francis with the Pixies, the cult-rock band he co-founded in 1986,
Black will be playing his solo material with a new band tonight at the Edmonton
Events Centre in West Edmonton Mall.

But forget about the band, Black says, "It's all about me, man. It's all about me -
ME! I'm special."

Black's been making music for the last 20 years and during that time, the battle of
the artist versus the ego versus the man has morphed into one complex creature.

An incredible talent, Black is recognized for his musical fluency and technical
capacity, demonstrated on this year's double-disc release Fast Man Raider Man.
Recently remarried with two new kids, Black says, "Having a family and having big
changes in my life affects me, but I don't know how much it's affected my art."

While last year's raw, yet
simply beautiful
Honeycomb features a
duet with recent ex-wife
Jean, Black sticks to his
professional guns
insisting his job is, "To
promote the selling of my
records or really, to
promote my brand name.''

Black has been and still
is heralded as an
underground icon and
understands his is, "a
very cultish niche." It has
embraced his work with
the Pixies, as well as his
former band the
Catholics, which were
officially defunct at the end of their last, "bad luck tour," a few years ago.

In 2004, 11 years after their last performance together, the Pixies regrouped and,
according to Black, it was all about, "Moonnney! Mmooney, mooney, money!" he

With groans and woes, Black offers a less-than-certain outlook on his future plans
to record a demo with the Pixies in January.

"I don't really have a lot of high hopes," says Black. "It won't be there until it's done
or there's even a single song recorded, you know. It's just so far from that."

Volunteering the information while talking about his various projects of the
moment, including an upcoming Christ Mass album, Black's distress over extreme
headlines seems to play an intrinsic part in the ego.

"I'm glad I'm not actually famous like Madonna or something. It must be a real pain
in the ass," he says.

But when specific bands, albums, gossip or other professional topics are
dropped, Black exposes a calm within his complex character, which is surely the
source of his most magical sonic moments.

"I'm just a guy. I play guitar. I play in bands. I've got my ups. I've got my downs. I've
got my magical moments. I've got my moments of existential ennui," says Black.
"But it's all the same tour, it's all the same."

Edited by - Carl on 11/09/2006 09:33:49
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* Dog in the Sand *

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2225 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2006 :  17:09:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's rather cringeworthy to see someone taking FB's comments at face value, such as the "money" comment and their interpretation of the Pixies thing.
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- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

11546 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2006 :  13:38:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote



BRYAN BIRTLES / bryan@vueweekly.com

It was with no small amount of excitement that I
answered my cellphone to hear a voice breaking
through the static asking, “Bryan? This is Frank Black.
Were you expecting my call?”

Notoriously tough to interview, I had indeed been expecting Black’s call, but not without
some trepidation. Curmudgeonly leader of the Pixies and an accomplished solo
performer in his own right, Black isn’t like many of the other artists who hit the road to
promote an album.

Most times artists at least fake affability, so that journalists will write complimentary
things about them. In some ways the straight-shooting Black is a welcome respite from
this world where one hand seems to wash the other. Mostly, though, it’s just nerve

Black’s reputation may be well deserved, but it may also just be a misunderstanding.
While Black may come off as flip when answering questions about his future, including
his wildly different answers to various journalists’ questions about a rumoured new
Pixies album, it may just be because even he doesn’t know what he is going to do next.

“I don’t have a five-year plan,” he explains. “To me it sounds horrible; it doesn’t sound
very romantic.”

At this point, Black says he’s content to be doing exactly what he’s doing, touring in
support of his new double-disc Fast Man Raider Man. And though things have changed
quite a bit since the drug- and alcohol-fuelled early tours of the Pixies, Black explains
that in some ways it’s better.

“We’re all a bunch of middle-aged guys with cellphones and laptops, wheelin’ and
dealin’,” he says of conditions on the tour bus. “[Touring now] is easier because I
understand it more and I’m not being distracted by incredibly strong marijuana.”

Black also hates to talk about himself in flowery artistic terms, preferring to think of
himself as a songwriter with a strong work ethic, instead of a divinely inspired artist.
He credits his innovations to a lack of knowledge and his lyrical gymnastics to

“What rhymes with coffee?” he asks out loud to explain how he comes up with his
lyrics. “I’m not saying you can’t write about a particular topic, but sometimes it’s just
about rhyming the word coffee.”

On the subject of his innovative contributions to alternative rock, Black is
characteristically modest.

“When you don’t have a lot of music theory in your head, you break the rules because
you don’t know them,” he says. “As an untrained musician you can go where trained
musicians can’t go.”

Ultimately, Frank Black’s approach is and always has been experimental. “I’m just
bouncing around in the fog,” he says. “It can work to interesting effect, but it can also
be a total mess.” V

Thu, Nov 9 (8 pm)
Frank Black
Edmonton Events Centre, $30


Music Previews

Frank Black is still searching for perfect rock ’n’ roll moments

By Shawn Conner
Publish Date: 9-Nov-2006

Frank Black is giving yours truly a lesson on the popular
press. Specifically, the full-time solo artist (and part-
time Pixies frontman) gets on the Internet during our
interview and finds an article I’ve mentioned—a piece in
British music mag New Musical Express saying plans for
a new Pixies album are definitely afoot.

The truth, says Black after reading the story—complete
with his own purported quotes—aloud, is that such an
event may or may not happen. “I actually never said
we’re going to work on a new album,” he says, reached
at a Regina tour stop. “In this situation, he [the writer]
extracted what would most serve his purposes. This is
something I learned from going to therapy. Everybody
has their own agenda. Even myself.”

Rumours are understandable—the Pixies’ wildly
successful reunion tour two years ago showed the
pioneering alt-rock act is more popular than ever. But
the band’s chemistry has always been combustible. And besides, naysayers to the contrary, Black’s solo output is
more than enough to compensate.

Fast Man Raider Man is Black’s 12th post-Pixies release. Black has never sounded more singer-songwriter–ish than
on this disc; Van Morrison and even craggy-voiced Leonard Cohen often come to mind on the album’s more
country- and soul-inflected tunes.

Yet a trademark sense of menace occasionally leavened with humour, as on the satirical “Kiss My Ring” and “It’s
Just Not Your Moment”, makes it unmistakably a Frank Black record. And though the disc may be more restrained
than his harder-edged efforts with the Catholics, the Eugene, Oregon–based musician is still searching for those
perfect rock ’n’ roll moments. These, he believes, are more likely to be captured in the first or second take than the
20th. Hence 11 or 12 songs, he’s been quoted as saying, of Fast Man Raider Man were recorded as first takes, with
no overdubbing.

“There’s something to be said for being really prepared,” says Black. “But there’s something about the magic that is
achieved quickly that makes you want to keep doing it. You do fail sometimes when you work fast; the magic
doesn’t always happen. It’s more of a gamble. But if you ring the bell it’s a bigger ring.”

And that’s why the question of a new Pixies record is beside the point. Black once famously said, in the early days
of his first band, that he was “just trying to write some cool rock songs”. Asked about his motivation today, he
doesn’t hesitate: “To write some cool rock songs.” With Fast Man Raider Man, the well doesn’t seem as though it’s
going to run dry anytime soon.

Frank Black plays the Commodore Ballroom on Sunday (November 12).

Edited by - Carl on 11/10/2006 14:01:14
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Posted - 11/11/2006 :  07:37:41  Show Profile  Visit fbc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Some light Saturday reading.

Black magic music

Friday, November 10, 2006

In the mid-1980s, a young Bostonian named Charles Michael Kitteridge Thompson IV began to call himself Black Francis, and with a rock band called the Pixies, he became one of the most influential artists of the alternative-rock revolution then brewing. In 1993, Black Francis became Frank Black, and as a solo artist he has continued to make challenging music, garnering further critical acclaim and maintaining an avid, if more commercially modest, following.

These days, the psuedonym remains the same. The music, though, has matured from the sharp-angled collisions of menace and whimsy that characterized the Pixies, and has taken on what once would have seemed unlikely hints of honky-tonk and soul. And the life -- while still partly the itinerant existence of a hard-touring musician -- now has settled into Oregonian domesticity.

An engaging, even playful conversationalist, Black spoke by phone recently from a hotel room in Regina, Saskatchewan, the sounds of Chet Baker's trumpet and running bath water mixing in the background. The following exchange has been edited for space.

I understand you've lived in Oregon for a few years now. How did you wind up in Eugene?

My brother was going to school there, just outside of Portland, 10 years ago or so, and married a woman from the area. So he lives there. Then my mom and stepdad moved there several years ago. But the main thing was, I met a chick in Eugene and I tracked her down later on the Internet. I didn't even know her last name, but I tracked her down and sent her an email. She was a little freaked out by that and didn't answer at first. But after about a week, she wrote back. Now she is the mother of my children.

Initially, word was a few years ago that you'd moved to Portland. Was that true?

I did live in Portland when I was courting her. I didn't want to just move across the street from her immediately; that would've been a bit much. So I got a really nice loft down in the Pearl. And I'd hang out there, listening to Chet Baker or some classical music, looking down from the sixth floor, staying up all night, going out for coffee the next morning about 11.

I have a song called "My Life Is in Storage," which isn't about that space, but, that said, my groovy loft really was a storage space. That was where I really learned to be alone. I really enjoyed it. That was a really cool place. I like Portland. We may have our dreams about where we'd love to live -- "Yes, we'll live in Paris someday!" At the very least, every time we go to Portland, we drive around and look at real estate. So we could end up there.

Larry Crane of Jackpot! Studios told me that you dropped by one day to borrow some recording gear. He greeted you with "Hey Charles," and chatted for a bit. But afterward the musicians in the studio that day, despite being huge Pixies fans, didn't know who you were. Do you have more anonymity here, and do you enjoy it?

Probably to a greater degree in Portland, and I don't know if that's due to the fact that it's Portland or that I'm 42 and my fans just might not recognize me anymore.

I have a favorite record store in Portland -- what's the one on that long strip, on the east side? Burnside, that's it. Music Millennium. So I go in there and I'm looking for something -- I don't remember what it was, but it wasn't indie-rock, probably a doo-wop record or something. And the young lady waiting on me was about 19 and had a Pixies T-shirt on. This particular one, there's a nude picture of me on the T-shirt. And she has no idea I'm that guy.

The Pixies never had a real strong image, so that's part of it. And they see you when you when you're older and fatter and you fit the image they have of you.

But on the other hand, I do get recognized from time to time, and that's nice to. And it's really eye-opening for the kids. They're used to me saying, "Stop doing that!" or whatever. And suddenly there are strangers crowding around wanting autographs. So I kind of get the best of both worlds.

The band for your current tour has a couple of Nashville guys -- drummer Billy Block and guitarist Duane Jarvis, who's an Oregon native -- who have a rootsier sound than we might associate with you. What went in to picking this particular group of players.

Their ability to be nice guys, first off. Number two is their availability. And number three is their ability to put up with me. We'll worry about the music when we're making music. What a guy plays like is what a guy plays like, and a long time ago I learned not to box him in. Like with Duane, he's such a nice guy that you learn not to do a session with another guitarist, cause he would just defer so much to the other guy. And I want to hear Duane. He's got a real Duane Eddy thing going on, which I like, but I discovered that while we were on tour. I didn't say, "Get that Duane Eddy guy." And then I start to notice other things about his playing I really like.

I have enough experience to know that you can play with just about anybody. They might be a great player, they might be a horrible player, but if they're on the same page with you -- "Let's make great rock right now!" -- and as long as they understand how they can fit in, it's going to be fine.

Have you had time to get to know much of the music scene here in the Northwest?

I've done so much touring the past three years that when I get home I'm in a different mode that doesn't involve going to nightclubs. I go to a show once in a while. Like, I went to see Mose Allison. I'll ask, "Can I go to this? You'll have to stay home and take care of the kids, but can I go anyway?" And so sometimes she'll give me a pass. But mostly I'm too involved in being a daddy to just be hanging out.

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- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

11546 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2006 :  10:34:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good find, S!


Interview: Featured Artist - Frank Black

Written by Connie Phillips
Published November 09, 2006
Part of
Featured Artist

This month's featured artist was born
Charles Thompson IV, but has assumed
a stage name for most of his career in
music. As a member of the Pixies, an
alternative rock band whose music was
heavily influenced by the punk and
surfer genres, he was known as Black
Francis. When the group dissolved after
nine years, five studio albums, and
twelve singles, one persona gave way
to another and Black Francis became
Frank Black.

Before his October 30 show at the
House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio, the
singer/song-writer known as Frank
Black sat down with me on his tour bus
to discuss his music, life on the road,
and the possibility of getting some new music from the Pixies.

The lyrics of some of your songs are sort of odd, and some might say
controversial, Incest? Biblical violence? Los Angeles? Where do the ideas come

Well… I don't know. My main challenge, I guess, is to figure out what rhymes with
cinnamon. You know what I'm saying? Or any word - pick a word. That's the level I'm
working and the songs come out the way they come out. Some of them are real
friendly sounding and some of them are real scary sounding.

At the end of the day, it's entertainment and it's about rhyming words with other
words, playing word games, being cryptic, and sometimes not being cryptic.
Sometimes it's disguising what you really want to sing about. Sometimes it's just real
spontaneous without a lot of rhyme or reason to it. It's like that famous poem by
Lewis Carroll, of Alice in Wonderland, ("Jabberwocky") "Twas brillig, and the slithy
toves" and something or other. You know what I'm talking about? There's a lot of that
going on in my music and I think in most people's music.

Fast Man Raider Man was recorded over several sessions with a wide cast of
players, was it hard to stay on track so the finished product has the cohesive
sound it does or did you not worry about that?

I didn't worry too much about that. I let the producers worry about it. I just wrote
songs and showed up for my sessions. Usually I would book the sessions, too. I would
say, 'Hey, I want to record in a couple of months. You want to set something up for
me?' I would invite some musicians to come and play with me and I wouldn't worry
about cohesiveness.

So you don't worry about the over-all tone of the album?

No, not really. I just do it and hope for the best.
Sometimes cohesive can be great. Sometimes very
uncohesive can be okay too, if it's balanced.

It's just a big soup is all it is. And how is this
particular soup going to taste this time around. Or
another simple analogy would be making a painting.
Sometimes you throw lots and lots of paint up on the
canvas and you can't get enough paint up there. Give
me more paint, I need more paint. I need more
canvas. I need more. Sometimes you're like one of
those modern art painters rolling around on the
canvas, and other times it's just a little line here and
a little line there and you say, 'Hey, it's done.'

I don't try to plan things too much. I just try to do the best I can. I think the most
important thing is that you enjoy what you're doing and not get too caught up in the
music business or 'What are people going to think?' Will it be successful or will it be

You can't worry about that anyway.

Right, you have no control.

The song "Los Angeles" was it Zach Galifianakis or VH1 who called and asked to
use your song for Late World With Zach?

Well… actually… they didn't ask.

They didn't?

Actually, I'm not supposed to talk about that.

We don't have to --

We worked out an arrangement to satisfy everybody. It's just one of those things
where sometimes people will just use some of your music and you don't find out about
it until after the fact and then you have to go back and say, 'We have to make some
kind of arrangement here, because the songwriter hasn't been taken care of.'

I don't have anything negative to say about it. I'm satisfied with our understanding
over the mis-usage of the track. But I didn't have anything to do with the song being
used. I didn't even find out about it until the show had come and gone.

(We took a break so he could take a phone call from his wife, which was the perfect
lead-in for my next question.)

I read you brought your family out on the road with you recenetly. How did that
work out? Obviously they're still not out here with you.

No. I have four kids and toddler boy was not into it. He didn't like it, and was kind of
stressed out. We were always changing, going to different towns, different hotel
room, and we couldn't really explain it to him.

I couldn't say, "The road is really bumpy right now, you have to sit down," 'cause he's
not really talking yet. With the big kids I could say, "Hey, play your Nintendo for a little
bit." Or "Sit down till we get out of town. The road is really bumpy."

So he was constantly bumping his head and everything. He'd be running down the isle
here or if we weren't looking, suddenly he'd be pressing all the buttons and all the
lights would go out. He was just a lot to keep track of. Anyway, they stay at home

You talked about the difficulties, but did it make it easier in anyway to have
them out here with you?

Oh yeah, I didn't miss my kids. My wife and I had no free time whatsoever, even
though we had a nanny with us. We didn't have any time to see each other. And little
baby didn't mind as long as she had her momma. She was pretty happy.

I think when the two babies are a bit older it will be okay to try again. I really did like
being with them. I didn't have to worry about them. I didn't have to worry that my
wife was far away. It was nice to give up all the domestic stuff... you know the stuff
you do at home like taking out the trash. It was like this was our little world right here
(motioning to the bus).

You were away from the normal grind, so it's sort of a vacation, even though
you're working.

I would do it again, but I think we just have to
let toddler boy get a little bigger. Of course,
when toddler boy is a little older, the girl will be
a toddler.

So you'll have to wait just a bit longer. Who
has had the biggest influence on your life,
musically or generally?

The biggest ones I always like to say are The
Beatles and Bob Dylan because those are the
first rock-n-roll records I listened to a lot when
I was a kid. Certainly I listened to a lot of other things along the way. I like to mention
Leon Russell. I like to also mention Donovan. Basically so many things influence you;
it's hard to say it's this thing or that thing. Those are the ones I would say when I
was real young.

They are the ones that steered you toward music?

No, I was already steered toward music. I was into music at a pretty young age. I
think I was attracted to drums and things like that when I was real little, and that's
what got me going.

What would be the oddest song someone might be surprised to find on your
iPod/MP3 Player?

(long contemplative pause) Burl Ives, I have a lot of Burl Ives on there but not the
Santa Clause stuff - the ol' folk stuff. I think some people might not expect that from

I think you're right.

He's great! He's a really great singer, a really great personality. I encourage people to
check out Burl Ives.

Definitely. Have you ever been surprised by the way an audience receives a
song? Like you had a really good feeling about it, but when you presented it
live, the crowd reaction was luke-warm?

Not surprised, I guess, because I've experienced a mediocre reaction lots of times, or
an enthusiastic reaction lots of times. It's just the way things go.

Well, once I hadn't played a Pixies song in some years, and I had built up such tension
about it, and made a big deal. Then when I did it, it was like no big deal at all. You
know? People liked it, but it was no big deal. So I'd built it all up into something it
really wasn't.

Which leads me to the inevitable question, I'm sure you're getting sick of being
asked about it, but we're all wondering. Is they're going to be new Pixies CD?

I don't know. I just got off the phone a little while ago, boy; I just don't know. One of
the band members is a little renitent, I can't say who she is. But we're tying to coax

Frank Black is Blogcritics' featured artist for November. In the coming weeks we will be
looking at his most recent album, Fast Man Raider Man as well as a just-released
documentary about the Pixies, loudQUIETloud. Thank you to managing editor, Joan
, for suggesting the question about dark lyrics and the use of "LosAngeles" on

Edited by - Carl on 11/11/2006 10:37:23
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-= Modulator =-

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Posted - 11/11/2006 :  10:50:49  Show Profile  Visit fbc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think this is our OCD ;)
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Posted - 11/12/2006 :  14:12:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah, it's like if Howard Hughes was a Frank fan!


Friday, November 10, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

Night Watch

Frank Black on the prospect of the Pixies
recording again

Charles Thompson — you may know him
as Frank Black — was on a tour bus the
other day, passing "cornfields and stuff"
as he rolled toward Chicago.
Thompson/Black is the founder of the
Pixies, that legendary rock band that has
nailed an addendum on its brilliant, short-
lived (so we thought) career.

Long after most fans had given up hope
of any kind of reunion, the Pixies stunned
the music world with a brief tour in 2004.
That tour quickly sold out, and led to
more touring over the next two years —
and a DVD documentary for ardent fans
to analyze.

On the "loudQUIETloud" documentary, when asked if the Pixies — Thompson,
Kim Deal, Joey Santiago and David Lovering — will record again, he gives a
teasing answer: "I'm ready to go whenever they want to book a session."

That was about two years ago. Where's his mind these days?

Thompson still insists he's game: "If they're all on board — and when I say
'they,' I'm referring to 'she.' "

He's talking about Deal, here. "I think she's afraid of making a bad record. It's
a valid fear. I'm not questioning her reticence at all. I'm not as concerned. I
have a more flippant attitude, a less reverential attitude. She takes on the kind
of gang mentality, 'This [band] is my gang, these are my friends — we're a
gang and we're doing our thing.'

"I think she isn't feeling it anymore. I still sort of feel it. I'm enjoying the
camaraderie now as opposed to before. I'm more, 'Hey come on, let's go make
another record — what's the worst that can happen?' But she's more, 'We
don't hang out anymore ... We're in different universes.'

"She doesn't want it to be fake — maybe I'm more of a whore, I don't know,"
he adds with a baritone laugh. "Joey and David are just letting us figure it out."

The Pixies' influence on alt- and indie-rock from the late '80s onward is difficult
to approximate, and perhaps even more difficult to overestimate.

The Seattle scene in particular owes a huge debt to that Boston-born band:
Kurt Cobain used to boast that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was a rip-off of the
Pixies loud-quiet-loud (hence, the documentary title) formula, and a few years
later Isaac Brock's Modest Mouse borrowed guitar lines and a Pixies-esque
world view.

As Ben Gibbard once
said: "I don't think you
can be someone from
our generation or later
and not be influenced
by the Pixies."

While the Pixies may
be the great American
rock band, these days,
Thompson is an odd
rock star, looking more
like late-career Brando
than late-career Jagger.
And his solo career is
veering hard away from
"rock," with a sound
that is far more country/Americana than alt-rock.

Indeed, he recorded his new double-album "Fast Man Raider Man" in
Nashville. "I try not to do too many things consciously. It's a natural — go
work in Nashville with those kind of players, lo and behold, your rootsy
creative door opens."

Asked about the ambitiousness of a double-disc, which adds to an already
sizable body of post-Pixies recordings, Thompson answered with a glimpse
into his inner wrestlings:

"I'm a restless guy. To play armchair psychologist, maybe I'm on some
emotional level so desperate to escape the shadow of my past, it's probably
hard for me to relax and let time go by. 'Oh yeah, I'm still not as good as the
Pixies? Well take another record!' I'm willing to give that theory part of the
credit ... But from a strictly business point of view, I don't feel like I'm
poised ... "

But before Thompson can finish his thought — something to the effect of he
doesn't feel he can make it financially as a solo artist perhaps? — he
interrupted himself:

"Someone must have tried to break into the bus and steal our gear, there's a
big crashed window."

Symbolic, perhaps. On recent Pixies tours, he has played huge venues and
festivals (including Bumbershoot and Sasquatch), with the luxuries of a five-
star tour. As a solo artist, he is playing the relatively humble Showbox at 9
p.m. Monday ($20 advance at TicketsWest, $23 day of show and at the door).

The main difference between a Frank Black tour and a Pixies tour?

"You want to talk romance or numbers?"

Romance, of course.

"I would say, it was nice to go back to those old songs and have it still kind of
the same — I didn't realize what kind of a head space I got into when I sang
the old songs, especially playing with those guys, Kim and Joey and David. It
was kind of a revelation to know I had a band with that kind of thing ...
something that would move me into a certain kind of voice or character.

"Having said that, while it's been a pleasure doing that stuff, it doesn't really
move forward, does it? No new songs, no new record. We're not really a band.
... We're reliving our last tour. It isn't really a forward thing. It's kind of a time-
capsule thing.

"It's like, I used to be in this band, here we are ... 12 years after the fact. The
satisfaction is wonderful, especially in terms of the money. Artistically, I get a
lot more satisfaction playing solo shows ... playing new songs, having a
repertoire of new voices, trying different things."

Tom Scanlon: tscanlon@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company


Charles Thompson, aka Frank Black, digs
his past with the seminal Pixies but wants
to keep moving forward.


Charles Thompson, aka Frank Black, digs
his past with the seminal Pixies but wants
to keep moving forward.

© 2006 The Seattle Times Company


A Pixies' progression

Friday, November 10, 2006
ALAN SCULLEY for The Columbian

The common perception of Frank Black's
two most recent CDs-- 2005's
"Honeycomb" and the newly released
double-disc set "Fast Man Raider Man"--
is that they represent a stark departure
from his previous music.

It's true that compared to the angular
and edgy rock that first became Black's
signature when he fronted the Pixies
during the 1980s, the two latest CDs are
a departure. "Honeycomb," in particular,
was more laid-back and country-flecked
than any other album Black had made.

But to Black, any change in his sound
has been more gradual than some might
realize and has been a function of a
natural artistic progression rather than some sudden shift in style.

In fact, he sees a thread that reaches all the way back to his records with the
Pixies, the highly influential modern rock band that first brought Black (then known
as Black Francis) fame.

"Not only on one level is there sort of a natural progression, a thing you can kind
of follow, I think, but also (there's) just the sort of hodgepodge variety kind of
thing going on (in) even a lot of Pixies records," Black said in a recent phone
interview. "I sort of take my cue from the Beatles. The first records I listened to
were Beatles records, and especially those later Beatles records, one minute
they're screaming and rocking out and the next minute it's all dreamy and

Black's points are well taken. Although his most recent solo band, the Catholics,
was considered primarily a stripped-back, guitar-based band with a punkish
attitude, one can hear the seeds for "Honeycomb" and "Fast Man Raider Man" --
especially on the final two Catholics records, "Black Letter Days" and "Show Me
Your Tears."

Both CDs mixed in an increasing number of songs with strong country and soul

"When you're young and you're starting out, of course you make your mark and
you're trying your darnedest not to sound middle-of-the-road and to be edgy or
breaking some rules," he said. "It's an instinctual thing. You're 20 years old. You're
leaving high school and you're entering the world of the so-called subculture.

"But as you become better at what you do, or more confident at what you do,
then it's not so important to break rules," Black said. "The aspiration or ambition is
more like I want to be like Roy Orbison. I want to be like Johnny Cash. I want to
be like James Brown. Not that those artists could be classified as middle-of-the-
road, but those artists I just mentioned work with, I don't know, universal
subjects, shall we say, universal songs. They fool around with that. They're not
what you'd describe as avant-garde artists. But they're really great and they're
really inspiring."

In some very tangible ways, both "Honeycomb" and "Fast Man Raider Man" find
Black putting his songs in more of a conventional setting.

"Honeycomb," for instance, featured plenty of acoustic guitar, pedal steel, bass
and drums -- an instrumental format that's about as conventional and familiar as it

"Fast Man Raider Man" is a more rocking and diverse companion to "Honeycomb."
The songs range from the melodic and stately pop of "Fast Man," to the New
Orleans-ish shuffle of "Wanderlust," the country-soul of "The Real El Ray," to the
urgent rock of "Kiss My Ring."

The new lineup

Black is now touring with a band that includes two musicians who played on "Fast
Man Raider Man," guitarist Duane Jarvis and drummer Billy Block. Longtime cohort
Eric Drew Feldman will play bass. Black said his live set could include material from
any of his solo albums as well as Pixies tunes, as long as they make for a good

"Any songs that I've written, of course, or for that matter any song that someone
else has written is up for grabs," he said. "You're doing a show. You need songs.
That's why I don't even like using a set list sometimes, or I'll do it in alphabetical
order or something."

There have also been reports that a writing session for a new Pixies CD may be in
the works. Black reunited with his Pixies bandmates -- guitarist Joey Santiago,
bassist Kim Deal and drummer David Lovering -- for feverishly anticipated tours in
2004 and 2005.

As for making new Pixies music, Black isn't making any predictions -- or denying
that it's being discussed.

"I don't know what's going to happen," he said of the rumored writing session.
"Some days it's on, sometimes it's off. It's just going to take us awhile to figure it
out. We've got a lot of psychology going on in this little dysfunctional band. It
takes awhile to make decisions. It took us 12 years to decide to get back
together. So we're not going to decide to make a record overnight."

If you go

What: Frank Black, headlining a concert.

When: 8 p.m. Nov. 14.

Where: Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St., Portland.

Cost: $18 through Ticketmaster, 360-573-7700.

Information: Call 503-284-8686 or visit www.wonderballroom.com.

Edited by - Carl on 11/13/2006 05:22:18
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= Cult of Ray =

888 Posts

Posted - 11/14/2006 :  10:12:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't remember seeing this around here. There are pictures. Check it out.

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- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

11546 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2006 :  08:38:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great find, kfs!


Interview: Once and Future Pixies Frontman Frank Black
Monday, November 13, 2006

For the past 20 years, Frank Black has set a place for himself in rock Valhalla
thanks to his beloved work with the Pixies and with a solo career that
continues to defy predictability. Now, after a glamorous Pixies reuinion tour,
Black is touring in support of his latest album Fastman Raiderman. Black is
playing the Fillmore this Wednesday, Nov. 15.

Daily Californian: After spending most of your career with the Pixies or the
Catholics, was the decision to start a new band a conscious attempt to move
out of a comfort zone or did it happen naturally?

Frank Black: All these things happen naturally. One door opens, another door
closes. You call people. They call you. It’s all very dull. It’s very logistical. The
organizing of art is like shipping and receiving.

DC: One of the most common (and annoying) critical remarks toward double
albums is that they could usually be cut down to one disc. I’d like to think most
artists have a reason for making a longer album. Why did Fastman
Raiderman take this shape, and when did you know it would happen?

FB: It was a traditional length album. I recorded a few more songs, one of
them in particular, “In the Time of My Ruin,” that I really liked. When that got put
on, it opened the door and all the rest of them came in the room. Then it was
like, “ah, screw it, let’s put them all on.”

DC: Was that why you did more sessions in Los Angeles?

FB: Well, you multitask. You’ve got a reason to go to L.A. to sing on a TV show,
so you’re like, “Well, I’m going to be in California for a few days, haven’t used
the studio in a long time. Oh, and the producer is in town doing a session.”
Like I said, it doesn’t always come from some ... “Ah! I have this artistic vision!”
It’s more like, “I’m going to L.A., lets record some songs.” It’s great when you
can go to different places, but it’s four walls and a ceiling—a bunch of tape
recorders, a big warehouse with recording equipment in them, you know? It’s
a space to do some work.

DC: So are you generally less enthusiastic about recording as opposed to playing live?

FB: No, I think I probably prefer the recording part, actually. I mean I like both. It’s 51 percent to 49 percent—I like it that much

DC: So is your method of quick two-track recording simply an aesthetic choice then?

FB: Yeah, you know. Do it old school—do it live.

DC: Thom Yorke said in an interview with SPIN that he lost sleep over Radiohead going onstage after the Pixies at Coachella
2004, comparing it to going onstage after the Beatles. P.F. Sloan told the LA Times that recording with you was the greatest day
of his life since 1965. How comfortable are you with this kind of legacy, and does it ever feel like an albatross?

FB: No, I’ll take all the publicity I can get, thank you very much. I’m not quite as big as Elvis yet, so it’s great when people say
nice things about you. Thank you Thom Yorke, thank you Phil Sloan.

DC: During the last couple of years you’ve been balancing between the Pixies and your solo career and there’s been a really
interesting dynamic there. On one hand you’re supporting new songs that I’m assuming are more immediate to you, but you’re
also playing Pixies songs, some of which you wrote as early as your teenage years. Is it hard to go into both of these

FB: No, you know. Songs are silly. There’s no harm in playing them. It kind of keeps you humble if you have some songs that
don’t seem like your favorite thing in the world anymore. I don’t know that I worry about it so much.

DC: I saw you on “Vinyl Justice” where some British men dressed as police officers enter your home and raid your record
collection. For Iggy Pop albums, do you prefer Lust for Life or The Idiot?

FB: Lust for Life.

DC: Oh, ok. I’m more of an Idiot fan.

FB: I know someone and we have the same debate. Again, it’s a 51 percent to 49 percent kind of thing.
Send comments to Sean at arts@dailycal.org.



VIOLET: I know you too well, I know how picky you are about questions. I
am under a lot of pressure here!

FRANK: Don¹t worry about it, Honey. I¹ll walk you through it. Plus, it¹s
only for mail order...plus, its the holiday season. This should just be
about us having fun.

VIOLET: Okay then...how do you think the record turned out? Do you have a
favorite track?

Frank: I think the record turned out great! I¹ve resisted all of this
laptop technology for so long now, but I have to admit, it really made
things convenient for us out there on the road. recording in the hotel
rooms was especially a treat. I really enjoyed recording ³Radio Lizards².
Its about the strangest recording I¹ve ever done.--just voices. Lots and
lots of voices.. Singing about the haunting road of the troubadour...
fellow troubadour Mark Mulcahy really helped out on this one. He sings like
a beautiful woman.

Violet: Having seen many of your acoustic shows this summer, I feel that
this record really captures the essence of the live acoustic Frank Black
experience. What do you get out of hearing the live tracks now?

Frank: Well gee, Violet, I'd have to say, I really get a kick out of
finally getting to hear what some of the audience members are yelling at me,
because I find it very hard to focus on these comments during a show.
people are funny.

Violet: ...and you can be quite funny, too, when you¹re up there, just you
and your guitar. Were you a stand up comedian in a past life?

Frank: Well, comedians are troubadours, too. Remember that one time when
we saw Eddie Izzard having coffee in Portland?

Violet: Yes! except that I wasn't there. You called and rubbed in in my

Frank: Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot.

Violet: Let¹s talk about the title. for a moment, Frank.

Frank: My father always encouraged me to one day put out a Christmas album.
which I always found a bit strange, since he was a self-declared pagan.
but, I guess by 'Christmas' he meant winter. And it always sort of bothered
me that that extra 's' got dropped off of Christmas.

Violet: Merry Christmass, then, Frank.

Frank: And a Happy Green Man to you, Darling

Edited by - Carl on 12/09/2006 07:02:02
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That was certainly interesting.
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- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

11546 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2006 :  17:53:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Black's songs can take on a myriad of meanings

By Sara Farr Thursday, December 14 2006, 12:28 AM

As a youngster growing up in the late 1960s and
early 1970s, Frank Black, ne Charles Thompson,
learned about the art of lyrical storytelling through
the music of Bob Dylan and The Beatles.

"When I first started picking up records by The
Beatles or Bob Dylan and listening to them, I was
like, 'What are they singing about?'" said Black."It
was just a big cryptic mystery, unless it was a song
like 'I Want to Hold Your Hand.' I didn't know who
Quinn the Eskimo was or what 'A Day in the Life'
was all about."

When Black relocated to Massachusetts as a young
adult and formed The Pixies

- a band widely regarded as the progenitors of indie
rock - with bassist/co-vocalist Kim Deal, drummer
Dave Lovering and guitarist Joey Santiago, he felt the natural shape of lyrics should be
loose and open to interpretation. They should be based on short bursts of narrative
rather than confessional, with nothing left to the imagination.

But Black took it one step further by approaching his music the same way, creating a
jagged, sometimes dissonant, hybrid of rock, surf and punk and condensing it into
songs that were sometimes no more than two minutes long. ("Surfer Rosa," one of
The Pixies' most well-known albums, featured several songs less than 1 minute, 45
seconds long, in fact.)

"A lot of journalists tell me my songs are really bizarre," Black said. "That's sort of their
starting point. But I don't think they're that bizarre and I feel like the bland narrative
in a lot of songs today has become kind of a superpower in the world of songwriting."

Nowadays, he said, there are few musicians creating mystery, with the exception of
Beck and some hip-hop stars. On the whole, he said, he feels a bit disconnected with
what's going on in the world of commercial music.

"I feel like a lot of people have the wrong idea about what it is to be an artist," he
said. "I think they feel they have to prove how serious and heartfelt they are and
how they have all these issues. They're just not having enough fun."

Black can afford to be critical of his peers, having survived a tempestuous breakup of
The Pixies in 1992 only to launch a critically and commercially successful solo career, as
well as a project known as The Catholics.

Black's first solo effort, a self-titled record released in 1993, revealed an artist obsessed
with breaking genre boundaries, mixing everything from surf to heavy metal

His next records, "Teenager of the Year" (4AD/Elektra, 1994) and "Cult of
Ray" (American, 1996), sound stronger now than when they were first released,
while his albums with The Catholics - "Pistolero" (What Are Records?, 1999), "Black
Letter Days" and "Devil's Workshop" (both on spinART, 2002) - show him to be
infected with a Bob Pollard-like tendency to release material at an astonishing rate.

Black toured with The Catholics, which essentially was the backing band on "Cult," for
quite a few years. But in 2004, on the heels of recording his brilliant Southern roots-
rock solo album "Honeycomb (Back Porch, 2005), came the event that longtime fans
thought would never happen: a Pixies reunion tour.

But instead of cashing in on the reunion phenomenon like many of his peers from the
same era, he opted to forgo a new Pixies album - his quote was something to the
effect of, "It just doesn't interest me" - and instead work on another solo album of

This eventually coalesced into the two-disc "Fast Man Raider Man" (Back Porch, 2006),
a follow-up album that started when four songs were held over from
"Honeycomb" sessions he'd recorded with a pack of legendary Memphis studio
musicians and guest stars such as Steve Cropper.

"Those four songs were left over because we were trying to make 'Honeycomb' nice
and lean, and they didn't fit because they were the wrong mood and didn't sound
the same," Black said.

"And since 'Fast Man Raider Man' ended up being a big, overbloated affair, there was
no problem just sticking 'em on there; there was plenty of room for everybody."

Under the watchful eye of producer John Tiven, Black and an all-star cast of musicians
- including Cropper, Reggie Young, Spooner Oldham, P.F. Sloan, Carole Kaye, Levon
Helm, Tom Petersson from Cheap Trick and Buddy Miller, to name just some - easily
roll through the 27 songs on "Fast Man Raider Man."

The songs range from the eccentric "Kiss My Ring" to the Irish drinking song "Dirty Old
Town" (a duet with Marty Brown) to the darker and more introspective "Raiderman,"
one of Black's favorite songs on the album.

Fun was the point behind "Honeycomb" and "Fast Man Raider Man," Black said. He
wanted to get some guys together in a studio and write some good tunes, he said. It
wasn't about proving some big point.

In fact, when Black went through all of the disparate "Fast Man Raider Man" recording
sessions - in total, there were six, spanning from the original "Honeycomb" session in
April 2004 to a January 2006 session in Los Angeles - he spent some time laughing at
the challenges he faced.

"I was surprised at how many legends I had to erase off of the record," he said,
obviously relishing the ridiculousness of his dilemma. "There was just so much playing
and so many people that a lot of times (during) mixing, we had to eliminate stuff,
which is not a big deal except for the fact that it was like super legend Al Kooper.
'Yeah, take the Al Kooper organ out,' or, 'Take the Steve Cropper out.' I never
thought I'd hear myself saying that in a recording session, but that's what we were
doing because we had so much stuff."

Like Dylan's rootsy "Time Out of Mind" album, "Fast Man Raider Man" simmers with a
relaxed energy, the kind created by friends playing outside on a cool summer night,
concerned only with the songs and not with any external pressure to come up with a

As a result, the music seeps inside one's consciousness, growing and nesting, getting
richer with each listen. After nearly 30 years in the world of rock 'n' roll, Black has
seen both the upside and downside of the business. He's watched one marriage fall
apart and been lucky enough to find another woman to share his life with. He's been
criticized; he's criticized others. He's done the label dance more than once.

What remains consistent is his appreciation for the opportunity that music offers.

"It's freedom to be a rock musician," he said. "I hate to be hokey, but that's really
how I see it. From my perspective, whether you're in a wedding band or a reggae
band, disco band or whatever, we're all playing songs and singing and trying to make
people happy."



Frank Black says he feels a bit disconnected from the world of commercial music. CNS
Photo.Read the story

Edited by - Carl on 12/14/2006 17:56:49
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Daisy Girl
~ Abstract Brain ~

5305 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2006 :  17:15:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Found a cool little article quoting Frank...


"FRANK BLACK, Pixies: Scenario - present day. Gathered in a Paris recording studio after some weeks of rehearsing are Iggy Pop with all the original Doors, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore, to create a record, it doesn't even have to be called the Doors, but in the spirit of the Doors. In the producer's chair is Ian Astbury, and the "executive producer" of the project is there, too ... ME! I can settle disputes, make Salade Lyonnaise, run for wine, etc. Opening warm-up number ... a rave-up version of "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" End scene..."

The article was from 12/25/06 and looks like it appeared in the Columbus (GA) Ledger-Enquirer.

Edited by - Daisy Girl on 12/31/2006 17:16:02
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- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

11546 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2007 :  11:16:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good find, Daisy-Frank dreams of producing The Doors with Ian Astbury? Hmmm....

Merry Christmas!
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= Cult of Ray =

905 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2007 :  12:07:03  Show Profile  Visit matto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
is an iggy-frank collaboration only a matter of time?

sminki pinki
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Daisy Girl
~ Abstract Brain ~

5305 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2007 :  12:25:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Carl. Although I am hoping Frank's next recording gig is with the Pixies, I hope he gets his wish. I think that it would be cool to have the "new Doors" fronted by Iggy.
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- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

11546 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2007 :  15:19:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Frank Black Wants to Hear the Roar for the Pixies

By Jim Lundstrom

February 12, 2007

While Frank Black has a larger discography as a solo artist than that
of the Pixies, he knows the music he made fronting the seminal punk-pop band until
calling it quits in 1993 will always be his calling card.

Black understands he will forever be dogged by the band that he founded with guitarist
Joey Santiago while both were attending the U of Massachusetts in 1986, a band some
say paved the way for Nirvana and others that waved the flannel alternative flag in the
early '90s.

Knowing that, Black says if you really want to hear a Pixies song as an encore when he
plays shows, you better clap as if you want it.

"If people still are wanting more, and especially if, gosh, they really want to hear one of
those Pixies numbers, I'll be backstage and I'll be listening," Black said by telephone
from his home in Eugene, Ore. "So I'll do my thing, then I am going to go backstage
and wait, and if there is demand..."

Black is touring on the heels of his great new double CD, "Fastman Raider Man" (Back
Porch Records), in a quartet that includes Nashville Americana music impresario Billy
Block on drums, Eric Drew Feldman on bass and keys (his credits run from being
bassist in Capt. Beefheart's Magic Band from 1976 until the Captain gave up the
musical ghost in the early '80s, to keyboardist in Pere Ubu, P.J. Harvey's bass player,
keyboardist with the Pixies on the 1991 release "Trompe le Monde" and obviously an
invaluable player in various Black projects), and Duane Jarvis on guitar (DiVinyls,
Lucinda Williams, Giant Sand, Dwight Yoakum, etc.).

The sprawling, 27-song "Fastman Raider Man" has received good reviews, but Black
has looked on from the sidelines as the record company that released it this summer,
Back Porch Records of Milwaukee, underwent a reshuffle at the hands of parent
company EMI. The Milwaukee office was closed and the label was moved to New York
(along with other label imprints such as Narada, Peter Gabriel's Real World Records
and Higher Octave).

"Classic showbiz," Black said. "I'm pretty aloof to those kinds of developments. It's happened so many times in my life - the guy
that was your contact quit or he got dropped or the label folded. Whatever. No big deal. Showbiz as usual."

Black said most of "Fastman Raider Man" was recorded during the 2004 Pixies reunion tour, with a rotating cast of characters
that includes legendary session men such as Steve Cropper, Spooner Oldham and Jim Keltner, Levon Helm of The Band, Tom
Petersson of Cheap Trick, and two of his three current band members.

More than one listener has remarked that the new record has several songs that sound reminiscent of Van Morrison circa the
early 1970s. Black, too, has heard those comments.

"I certainly am a fan," Black said of Morrison. "I don't know all of his records. He's got a lot of them. The stuff I know best is the
early stuff with Them. I don't know his career obsessively, although I actually did read a book about him recently, but I don't sit
around and listen to Van Morrison records all day."

Still, Black said he understands how people might hear a connection

"I noticed that in recent times I've been able to, I don't know how to
describe it, I've obtained a little bit of vocal flexibility or vocal phrasing that is
reminiscent of him, and also, probably, it's just from years and years of being exposed
to him and other singers, too, and so one day you're doing a song or you're writing a
song and maybe it's got a thing going for it that's rootsy or Stonesy or Van Morrisony.
It's got some je ne sais quoix, and you just do it. It's not planned."

Black (who went by Black Francis in the Pixies, but whose real name is Charles
Thompson) credits the great singer/songwriter Stan Ridgway for helping him to
achieve his current vocal stylings when Ridgway served as co-producer, multi-
instrumentalist and photographer (he took the cover photo) on Black's cathartic 2003
release "Show Me Your Tears."

"We were doing some stuff for that record that was a little more folky in song style or
structure, so there was a lot of repetition of melody," he said. "(Stan) was like,
'Charles, why don't you sing that line in the fourth verse a little different than the
previous verse. We all know what the model is, what the prescribed melody is. Let's
break out of it a bit.' He said that's sort of an old folky trick. It's just what you do to
keep things interesting. You just drop a note here, add a note there. So I think that
kind of made me aware of that. So now I think when I'm doing something that's
repetitious, you don't try to totally destroy it because that's what's good about the
song, it's repetitive thing, but you try to play around with it a little bit. I think that's part
of the schooling, you know?"

It has to be asked. Will we hear more the Pixies?

"We're supposed to play some gigs in Australia sometime in the next six months,"
Black said. "We don't have any firm plans for anything else. It'd be nice if we could get
it together to make a record, but that has yet to be worked out. Little bit of hesitancy, I
suppose, or a lot of hesitancy."

Why the hesitancy?

"Lots of reasons," he said. "Some people don't want to make a bad record. They don't want to mess with the gospel. I think that's
part of it. Part of it's not real yet. It's got to be a vital kind of creative friendship going on when you're in a band. If it's just a
reunion tour where you're getting together for old times' sake and playing the old songs, that's a different scenario than getting
into a rehearsal space and trying to create something new. Different kind of headspace. Some people in the band don't want to
force it. They want it to be friendly like, for all the right reasons."

Black said he doesn't believe in making a campaign of a new recording, so expect to hear a mixture of songs from "Fastman
Raider Man" along with songs from his solo projects and recordings with The Catholics.

"I've experienced enough times of having anew record out, thinking, OK, I'll play a bunch of songs from my new album, and then
getting no reaction just because people are not familiar with it and don't respond the same way," he said. "Sometimes you don't
feel like playing new songs, so you resurrect others. It's a nice position to be in, to have 10 or 20 albums to choose songs from.

"I think the one thing we're going to be avoiding is Pixie numbers," he continued. "I've done a lot of that recently, most notably
with the Pixies themselves. So I think I may avoid that. Yeah, it's my calling card, but, you know, I've done enough crowd-pleasing
of late with that particular part of the repertoire."

But, he adds, if you really, really want to hear a Pixies tune, "They'll really have to demand that encore or second encore," he

Remember, he'll be listening.

Frank Black's
sprawling 27-song
CD rocks, rolls and
does everything in

Frank Black's sprawling 27-song CD rocks, rolls and does everything in between.

Credit: Back Porch Records

Copyright: Back Porch Records

Edited by - Carl on 02/17/2007 15:28:35
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- FB Fan -

127 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2007 :  12:26:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
anyone seen this strange little interview and dance number
hope it hasnt been posted yet
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= Cult of Ray =

565 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2007 :  13:57:43  Show Profile  Visit theonecontender's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That's good. I like that. Kind of funny seeing the kids dancing to Bullet..
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-= Modulator =-

United Kingdom
4903 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2007 :  13:30:54  Show Profile  Visit fbc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Did we miss this one first time around, Carl? (summer o6)


In an effort to save you, dear reader, some time, money, embarrassment and a trip to Portland, we got Frank to share some of his favorite earthly pleasures. Because really, how well can you know someone if you don’t know how they take their mineral water?

KITCHEN ITEM: Brawny Paper Towels
The “brawny” looking feller on the package looks like my cousin Mark Thompson. Google him, he’s got a great voice.
wheels: Ford Town Cars circa late ’80s to early ’90s
They’re so fat and fast. I’d like to have 10 of them and just run them into the ground.

TOILETRY: XS Aftershave by Paco Rabanne
I went from wearing no aftershave to this stuff many years ago. It is hard to find in the U.S. now for some reason. I can be seen stocking up on the gel douche when at Heathrow.

BEVERAGE (PART ONE): Gerolsteiner Bottled Water
My brothers and I are all addicted to some kind of carbonation and this popular German water is full of fizz. I prefer it cold, un-iced, but chilled from cool weather as opposed to refrigeration, or “chambre,” as some would say.

A bitter cola brewed in Georgia, but mostly a New England favorite. You can get it in Oregon where I live, but somehow they’ve tamed it a bit. It always tastes best right out of my grandmother’s refrigerator on old Cape Cod.

FOOTWEAR: New Balance running shoes
Mostly I just walk in them, but I’ve been wearing these for over 20 years. I don’t go much for the fancy models; I prefer the simple gray ones.

OUTERWEAR: Brooks Brothers button-down shirts
You can take the boy out of New England, but I always seem to have 10 of these hanging around, mostly blue and white, but an occasional pink one puts me in a grand mood. Tails out. Comfy.

UNDERWEAR: Calvin Klein boxer briefs
Black is good, gray is great. Truth be told, I don’t actually wear undergarments unless I’m not wearing anything else. So my boxer briefs are great for cleaning the garage, cooking, composing, sipping mineral waters; I can’t answer the door in them (unless it’s family) because it is an undergarment after all, but I will take the trash out in the wee hours in them. You now see why I wear my Brooks Brothers tails out.

HAND WASH: Sofitel hotel soap
Now I have had many a cake soap, and most any old cake will do, but the kind provided in Sofitel hotels worldwide always causes me to smell and reflect before I even moisten it.

NEWS SOURCE: BBC News online
My main source of information about the outside world. I suppose some news junkie out there is screaming at me for not realizing that they aren’t as “pure” a news source as some obscure extremist website. But hey, I just want to know who’s shooting missiles at who; besides, there is no pure information.

PLASTIC PRODUCT: Ziploc plastic bags
I like this technology and I love this brand the best. They even have huge ones now, big enough for a winter coat.

SPORT: Sumo wrestling
One of the few sports I like to watch. Apparently it’s a lot more complicated than I’ll ever understand, but it’s got soul.

THING WITH A PLUG: Electric hair clippers
They seem to be available everywhere I go. If I forget to pack one, I buy another; I give myself a haircut to the scalp and I feel great.

FILM: Terry Gilliam’s Brazil
Love that song, the actors, the humor, the darkness, the love interest; when Ian Holm pretends to break his hand and says, “Oh, Sam!” that just kills me.

TV SHOW: The Twilight Zone
They don’t call it the “Golden Age of Television” for nothing. It is a cultural treasure, this show. Writers, real actors, a host/creator with a soul, a killer theme song by an avant-garde French composer...it goes on and on.
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> Teenager of the Year <

2973 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2007 :  15:18:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's indeed significant to learn that FB doesn't wear underwear on stage. Good find, fbc.

Please pardon me, for these my wrongs.

Edited by - coastline on 07/14/2007 15:19:36
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-= Modulator =-

United Kingdom
4903 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2007 :  01:52:15  Show Profile  Visit fbc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
i knew you'd like that bit.

sumo wrestling is alright. kabaddi does it for me.
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- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

11546 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2007 :  03:33:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Soren, I know I use term 'great find' a bit much, but that is a real gem! Now playing a Tele isn't enough-New Balance shoes and Brooks Brothers shirts are essential items for the discerning Frank fan! ;)

Actually, I only saw Brazil a while ago, it is a pretty unique movie! I'm just gonna grab a can of Moxie Cola from the fridge!!

NOTE: Gonna start pasting up even small 'pre-gig chat' interviews in this thread (rather than in threads in the live section) seeing as they are interviews after all, no matter how small, and it's handier to have them in all together in a single interviews thread!!

The Register-Guard.

This Black Francis sounds familiar

The Register-Guard

Published: Friday, October 5, 2007

Charles Thompson looks like someone who might be in front of
you in line at a local coffeehouse. In fact, for the last four years
he might have been - and you didn't notice.

Thompson looked similarly ordinary 10 years ago singing
"Fashion" with David Bowie for the glam rock pioneer's 50th
birthday celebration at New York's Madison Square Garden.

But close your eyes and listen to Thompson, better known as
Pixies' frontman Black Francis, and you'll hear the signature
style that Kurt Cobain often was quoted as saying was his
biggest vocal influence.

When Pitchforkmedia.com, a respected source for indie music
news, announced the Pixies reunion, its writers were beside
themselves with glee. They declared rock 'n' roll saved.

"Short of the Velvet Underground, there's no band more beloved, more
important, more cited as an influence in indie rock than the Pixies,"
they wrote.

In the 14 or so years between the
breakup of the Pixies and his mail-
order solo release, "Christmass,"
Thompson had performed and
recorded as Frank Black. During the
Pixies international reunion tour
starting in 2004, he continued to
publish as Frank Black, but fans
could call him whatever they

Now Black Francis is back. Maybe
it's a media manipulation. Or maybe
some revisiting spirit of his former
self, the one who turned away from a
successful band on the brink of
superstardom, still has something to
say to the world.

Old sound draws new attention

For the past four years, Thompson
has lived in Eugene with his wife,
Violet Clark, and four children.
Thompson is getting some attention
from the music press for returning to
a more Pixies-like sound on his latest
solo project, "Bluefinger," a concept
album inspired by iconic Dutch
musician and painter Herman Brood.

"I can't give the world my old band again. That is gone, that is lost," he said, tuning a guitar
before a late-September rehearsal at Eugene's Sprout City Studios. "That band is not a vital,
creative band anymore. The band is dead.

"I can't give you the Pixies, but you can have Black Francis. I am doing my best to be that

Thompson's show today at the WOW Hall is part of the Sprout City 10-year anniversary
concert series. The show features two other bands that have worked at the local studio:
Ahimsa Theory and 20 Minute Loop.

The date falls in the midst of a 14-concert tour that features the artists who recorded on
"Bluefinger," including Clark on vocals, Dan Schmid (Cherry Poppin' Daddies, the Visible
Men) on bass and Jason Carter on drums.

Around the time of the reunion tour, rumors circulated that the four original Pixies might
once again record together. But while the tour sold out shows all over the world, including the
McDonald Theatre, no new songs emerged from it.

"Bluefinger," Thompson said, came after his new manager wanted to release a best-of
compilation with a new, unreleased bonus track. The result, "Frank Black 93-03," came out in
June, but it didn't generate as much interest as his Sept. 11 release, "Bluefinger."

Thompson had pressured his manager for more studio time so he could include four bonus
tracks. But he came back with a full album worth of material, the fruit of a two-week obsession
with artist Brood (pronounced "Broat").

Black Francis penned 10 songs that relate to stories of the Dutch star's life. He included one
Brood cover: "You Can't Break a Heart and Have It."

"Threshold Apprehension" became the bonus track on the
best-of album, perhaps for its radio potential, but the album is
rich with other tuneful tracks. Plus, that Pixies-day howl
reappears here after an absence from much of the Frank Black
material that he did with his other band, the Catholics.

The most biographical Brood song, "Angels Come to Comfort
You," also captures some Pixies flavor. That's thanks in part to
Clark's haunting backing "ooooos," which would rival Kim
Deal's harmonies in the Pixies classic, "Where Is My Mind."

Brood was an outspoken drug addict who threw himself from
the roof of the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel, the site of Yoko Ono
and John Lennon's weeklong honeymoon bed-in for peace in

"I think he kind of was, in a humorous way, reclaiming the place for the
Dutch," Thompson said in obvious admiration for this very rock 'n' roll
way of leaving the world stage. The suicide was in July 2001, when
Brood was 54 years old and doctors told him he only had months to

Before this project Brood was just
someone Thompson was curious
about, someone he meant to Google
one day.

"I think we all have these lists in the
back of our minds," he said. "And
sometimes you get really involved
with the subject."

But a whole album? What about
Brood was so fascinating?

"He's handsome and he's
charismatic," Thompson said. "He's
also an artist very beloved in his
native country. He's an underdog
and an unapologetic alcoholic and
drug addict and all-around hedon-

This summer, after "Bluefinger" had
long since been completed,
Thompson was in Europe with his
family. He got a personal tour of
Brood's studio and saw it exactly as
he had left it when he died, complete
with hypodermic needles, drugs,
pornography and clothing.

It was, he said, "spooky."

One foot in two worlds

Thompson now leads a sort of dual existence. He has two children with Clark, whom he met in
Eugene when she had two children from a previous relationship. Yet he still tours the world as
a musician.

Rather than disrupt the kids' world, Thompson moved here. He said he's up early making
pancakes, loves to buy groceries at specialty shops in Eugene and overall finds Eugene a
comfortable fit for him.

Eugene is "not that far off the beaten path." And he said he likes the fresh air and to "still feel
like I'm part of West Coast culture."

He's working on a project with his wife called "Grand Duchy." She's the only female voice on

When he met a couple of journalists for a photo shoot and interview, he wore all black. When
asked if that's his signature style now, he said no.

"Just the past nine months or so," he said, noting Clark was complaining that when they first
started dating he was "edgier."

Their 9-year-old son, Julian Clark, did all the artwork for the album. Thompson is helping him
set up an online gallery.

Although critics often have said Thompson, under all his pen names, writes cryptic lyrics,
Thompson doesn't think he's a difficult person to figure out.

His music, he realizes, is a different matter.

"All the records I've made are fairly a hodgepodge and all over the map," he
said. "Usually, people don't have the time to get into the
nuances and subtlety (of the music) for a small fry like me."

In connection with the Pixies reunion, Eugene's "small fry"
appeared on "Late Night With David Letterman." Many critics
believe the band he started made the grunge explosion in the
1990s possible.

Thompson laughed at that idea, but said being a little hard to
pin down can work to an artists' advantage.

"There's an upside to confusion," he said.

For one thing, it means people are wondering about you. If no
one were listening to his music, he said he didn't think he would make it.

"My ego would not be satisfied to
just make music in a vacuum," he

As a solo artist, Thompson hasn't
reached the kind of stardom he had
as the Pixies frontman. But there are
several Internet fan sites dedicated
exclusively to his solo work.

Changing his stage name back to
Black Francis feeds into this

"It was just something I decided to
do. I don't analyze such things," he

"It was a symbolic act. I didn't know
what the outcome was going to
produce. At the very least it was to
manipulate people like yourself. ... I
do think there was some type of

"I just make songs. The suggestion is
already there. I don't sit there and
try to make it sound more like the

Though management wasn't initially thrilled to back a solo project so close to "Frank Black 93-
03," "Bluefinger" has proven to be a good idea.

"I felt vindicated because really that's what's gotten me noticed again," Thompson said.

You can call Serena Markstrom at 338-2371 or e-mail her at smarkstrom@guardnet.com.

Sprout City Studios 10-year anniversary party
With: Black Francis, Ahimsa Theory, 20 Minute Loop
What: Indie rock
When: 9 p.m. today
Where: WOW Hall, 291 W. Eighth Ave.
Tickets: $12 at the door
On the Web: Hear music clips visit links to related sites at www.registerguard .com/ticketfiles

Click to expand:

www.registerguard.com/news/2007/10/05/includes/bigpicture.php?picUrl=tk_blackcover4_1005.jpg&creditA=Thomas Boyd &creditB= The Register-Guard&cutline=Black Francis latest CD, Bluefinger, was inspired by the life and death of Dutch musician and painter Herman Brood.&storydate=Friday, October 5, 2007" target="_blank">
Black Francis' latest CD,
"Bluefinger," was inspired
by the life and death of
Dutch musician and painter
Herman Brood.

The Register-Guard

www.straight.com/article-111572/spirit-of-dutch-debaucher-inspired-black-francis" target="_blank">Straight.com.

Music Previews
www.straight.com/article-111572/spirit-of-dutch-debaucher-inspired-black-francis" target="_blank">Spirit of Dutch debaucher
inspired Black Francis

www.straight.com/issue/2075/section/88" target="_blank">Music Previews By Shawn Conner
Publish Date: September 27, 2007

The relative merits of Charles Michael
Kittridge Thompson IV's output with the
Pixies versus his solo career have long been
a source of debate among alt-rock fans. With
the reunion of his seminal band a few years
back, the minor controversy was stirred
further, and his decision to readopt his
former nom de plume for his latest release
isn't going to quell message-board

But more interesting than his decision to
release Bluefinger under the name Black Francis rather than his usual solo moniker, Frank
Black is the inspiration behind the disc. Herman Brood was a pioneering Dutch rocker and
painter who, after years of ravaging himself with hard drugs, committed suicide at the age of
54. In the press release for the album Thompson admits to having been "gripped by the spirit"
of Brood while recording a bonus track for a Frank Black best-of disc, titled 93-03. The result is
a disc that is, directly and indirectly, related to Brood.

"I'd heard about him but never really listened to him," says Thompson, calling from his
manager's Portland, Oregon, office. "I discovered a performance of his on YouTube, and it was

What he unearthed while researching the European musician's life motivated him to write and
record a new batch of tunes. The most obvious Brood-indebted song may be "Angels Come to
Comfort You", which features Violet Clark (Mrs. Black Francis) on backup vocals and pays
sombre tribute to the musician: "I saw the statue of Herman Brood," sings Thompson. "It had
a lump down in its throat." "You Can't Break a Heart and Have It", meanwhile, is a scorching
cover of a Brood thrasher.

Other homages, though, are less obvious. "Threshold Apprehension", a manic meltdown that
most closely approximates the Pixies' sound, includes the line "Grand Marnier and a pocketful
of speed", which was the doomed Dutchman's cocktail of choice later in life. The grungy title
track, written from Brood's perspective, is full of striking imagery ("the pepperbox bell blowing
my brains") as he tells of coming from the Dutch city of Zwolle, whose inhabitants are
nicknamed blauwvingers ("bluefingers") for reasons too medieval to get into here.

For Thompson, the inspiration came at an opportune time. He had agreed to the best-of
collection against his better judgment ("I'm not retired I had no emotional stake in it, it was
just a bunch of old songs") and wasn't sure what to do next.

"I really didn't have any plan at all," says the singer. "I was like, 'Here I am, the Pixies reunion
is over, they're not going to make a record, I'm 41. What am I going to do?'" Now that
Bluefinger is out, Thompson is typically nonchalant about where it fits into his career.

"It seems to be getting a lot of good reviews. Is it going to change my life? No. It will maintain
it. It's not going to tear up the charts." He's a small fish, he says, and he's fine with that. "I
can always get a gig and put out a record. That's the goal of a musician. What more do I

Black Francis plays Richard's on Richards Wednesday and next Thursday (October 3 and 4).

www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/music/la-wk-pop11oct11,1,355619.story?coll=la-entnews-music&ctrack=1&cset=true" target="_blank">Los Angeles Times.

Black Francis' Dutch tribute

Michael Halsband

Black Francis conceived "Bluefinger" as a tribute to the man who metaphorically brought him back:
beloved Dutch rocker and painter Herman Brood.

The former Pixies member finds inspiration in late rocker Herman Brood.

By Natalie Nichols, Special to The Times
October 11, 2007

WHAT'S in a name? The freedom from a previous incarnation, and maybe a touch of
nostalgia, at least for singer-songwriter Charles Michael Kittredge Thompson IV, a.k.a.
Frank Black. In 2004, his iconic indie-rock band the Pixies reunited. And last month
he released a new album, "Bluefinger," under his recently re-adopted Pixies nom de
rock, Black Francis.

So, what should we call him now?

"I always liked what David Bowie's called me: Francis," the guitarist says with a
chuckle, speaking by phone from Vancouver, Canada, the second stop on a two-week
tour ending at Safari Sam's next week.

The regenerated Black Francis conceived "Bluefinger" as a tribute to the man who
metaphorically brought him back: beloved Dutch rocker and painter Herman Brood
(pronounced "Broat"). Notorious partly for being upfront about indulging his appetites
for drugs and sex, the late pianist's sole claim to U.S. fame is the Top 40-skimming
1979 single "Saturday Night," by Herman Brood and His Wild Romance. (Last year,
popular Dutch trance DJ Armin van Buuren remixed the tune.)

"I kind of fell in love with him, with the whole tragic element," says Francis, 42.
"Bluefinger" features 10 originals, all rather impressionistically concerned with Brood,
and a cover of the Dutchman's delightful "You Can't Break a Heart and Have It." Brood
struggled, but never managed, to get clean and, at 54, committed suicide upon
learning he had only months to live. In July 2001, he leaped off the Amsterdam Hilton,
a dramatic exit pondered in Francis' "Angels Come to Comfort You."

Resurrecting Black Francis, however, also indicates he can't keep the Pixies alive. He
notes without rancor that co-founder and bassist Kim Deal isn't interested. "While I
may have tried to convince her otherwise, maybe she's got a point," says Francis,
whose recent sets have included Pixies tunes. "She doesn't need a new [Pixies]
record, so maybe there doesn't need to be one."

"Bluefinger" has a ragged excitement akin to such venerated Pixies albums as
"Doolittle," and it's personal yet not confessional, by turns comic and poignant. The
nakedly lustful "Your Mouth Into Mine" and playfully deviant "Tight Black Rubber"
display an unabashed sexuality that reflects Brood but is also an element of Francis'
work. However, the occasional speed and junk references are all derived from Brood.

Francis isn't endorsing drug use, and neither did the Dutchman, at least for other
people. "A lot of his songs are cautionary tales: explicit, but not pro-drugs," Francis
says. This contradiction made Brood more compelling. "He's like, 'Yeah, this sucks . .
. and I love it.' " He laughs.

Obsessing over the libertine was perhaps a way to indulge debauchery without risk for
this working family man, traveling the West Coast with wife Violet Clark (a band
member alongside bassist Dan Schmid and drummer Jason Carter) in the clan's
minivan, with two of their four young children (and another on the way).

But also, perhaps not surprisingly for an artist who's a revered modern-rock influence
and a persistent cult figure, he was drawn to Brood's rock-outsider status.

"He was always gonna be a second-class citizen in the world of rock," Francis says.
"It doesn't matter that you love Little Richard; you're some guy from Holland."

Watching old videos on YouTube, he says, might make one conclude Brood was
"kinda cheesy." But the musician's sincerity is palpable, and "his lyrics are really
good, honest and real."

"You Can't Break a Heart" clinched it for Francis. And Brood's story transported him. "I
remember driving down the road and crying and stuff," while writing the songs. He
laughs. "It was ridiculous. I'm [usually] a little more cynical."

Stranger still, when visiting Amsterdam upon finishing "Bluefinger," Francis heard from
Brood's former manager that the artist was a Pixies fan. The proof was in Brood's
dusty studio, a stopped-time shrine straight out of Charles Dickens.

"Right there, with the paint drips everywhere, next to his old piano, is this huge stack
of tapes and CDs," he says. "And there's one of my records!" He pauses. "It was all
the spookier. Like there's someone from beyond the veil going, 'Hey, I'm not done. I
mean, I'm outta here, I'm dead.' " He laughs. " 'But I got a little job for ya . . . .' "

Black Francis
Safari Sam's, 5214 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood

When: 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday

Price: $20

Info: (323) 666-7267; www.safari-sams.com

www.venturacountystar.com/news/2007/oct/11/identity-heft/" target="_blank">VenturaCountyStar.com.

Locey: Pixies leader carries around lots of aliases, but
on Saturday in S.B. he'll be Black Francis

By www.venturacountystar.com/staff/bill-locey/" target="_blank">Bill Locey
Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hey, check it out! Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV
is coming to Santa Barbara Saturday night!

Who, you ask? Perhaps you know him by another name.
This multi-monikered artist has more aliases than a failed
felon. Over the years he's called himself Frank Black,
Black Francis, Mr. Black but probably not Chuck. If this
whole scenario was any more schizophrenic, he could
interview himself. In any case, Black Francis is coming to
SOhO in support of his latest CD, "Bluefinger.''

Now, once upon a time at UMass, the name-changing
musician and some friends started a band called the
Pixies in 1985. They had some hits until 1993 when
friction between our boy (then Black Francis) and Kim
Deal temporarily ended festivities.

Anyway, it's music and anyone who either played a chord
or sang a song will either come back or not go away, and
this wild ride is still rolling along.

The Pixies have been back since '03 but Frank
Black/Black Francis has been working steadily, too.

On the new "Bluefinger" CD, Black Francis channels the
energy of Herman Brood, a Dutch rocker who was big in
Holland and may or may not have made a bad career
move by jumping out of a hotel window in Amsterdam,
the very same hotel that John Lennon and Yoko Ono
staged their famous bed-in.

Fortunately for Black Francis, SOhO is only on the
second floor. And fortunately for fans, he still knows
some Pixies songs. Maybe he can explain all this better
than I can. Hope so.

Hey, Frank. Mr. Black. Francis. Charles. What should I
call you?

Oh, call me Joe.

Hey, Joe. Didn't you used to be a song? Anyway, how do
you suppose your new CD fits into your vast body of

Well, my take? The most striking aspect is that I did not
have a guitar player. There's no lead guitar. So that was
kind of a new one for me and I'm fairly proud of that.

Couldn't find one or didn't want one?

Well, both. I couldn't find one in the beginning and then it
was suggested that one was not needed and so I didn't
bother.Besides all that, I have a really hot woman singing
on seven of the songs.

She's cuter than you?

She's Violet Clark and, you know, it's kind of a yin and
yang kind of thing. Some people are saying a Kim Deal
kind of thing but, you know, we're just making music here.

What should people know about Herman Brood?

Herman Brood, yeah. This is a concept record, I guess.
He's Dutch. A painter. Junkie. Rock 'n' roller. Underdog.
I'd heard about him for some years but I discovered him
on YouTube. That's where this all started, this whole
situation. I just became quite enamored of some clips I
saw on YouTube. I've never written a whole record about
one guy and it just sort of happened without any
planning. It was all conceived, written and recorded all
rather quickly.

So you were grasped by the spirit of ?

That's kind of what it felt like, yeah.

So did he make a bad career move?

By jumping? I don't know if he had a choice, really. I don't
think he was long for this world, anyway. That's the
rumor. So that was just sort of a final encore. One of the
songs on the record, "Angels Come to Comfort You,''
tells the story — the beginning, the middle and the end —
in pretty plain language.

What's the difference between the Pixies, Black Francis
and Frank Black? And, also, are there separate fans for each?

Well, it's kind of a create-your-own-pizza kind of thing. Do what you will, you know?

What's been your relation to record labels?

I don't know. It's easy to demonize the record labels for all of their bad moves and overpricing
everyone on CDs for so many years and all that kind of stuff, but what is a record company? I don't
even know what a record company is. You've got an office, some phones and some people in there,
some computers. They have their work cut out for themselves as well. To be fair, they do lose
money on a lot of acts but, of course, now they're paying for all their bad moves.

Where do songs come from?

I pick up the phone, call a recording studio and book a session and then the muse, she comes.
Deadline, you know? The only way I can be creative is on a deadline.

What was your last day job?

Shipping and receiving.

This is much better.


www.venturacountystar.com/photos/2007/oct/10/20993/" target="_blank">

Courtesy photo Black Francis has an
unorthodox method for writing songs. "I pick
up the phone, call a recording studio and book
a session and then the muse, she comes," he
says. "Deadline, you know?"

Black Francis

The Pixies co-founder performs a
solo show at 8 p.m. Saturday at
SOhO, 1221 State St., Santa
Barbara. Tickets for the 21-and-
over show are $20. Call 962-7771
or visit www.sohosb.com for more

Edited by - Carl on 10/11/2007 14:34:58
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