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DeBased
- FB Fan -

USA
118 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2004 :  22:42:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Last update: April 9, 2004 at 6:09 PM
La La Love you: Pixies ruled golden era of alt-rock
Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune
April 11, 2004POP11




"I was trying to write the ultimate pop song. I was basically trying to rip off the Pixies."

-- Kurt Cobain on "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Rolling Stone interview, 1994

Thanks to Nirvana's "Nevermind," the first Lollapalooza and other bastions of the so-called alternative-rock movement, 1991 will go down as Generation X's most pivotal year in music. Those of us who know better, though, point to 1989 instead.

It was the final year of the cheesiest, most manufactured decade in pop music (the current 10-year span not yet being eligible). Rock was between hair bands and the impending grunge boom. There were no trends or marquee bands to speak of, so the music industry was open to anything that sounded promising. Even groups like Sonic Youth, Happy Mondays and the Replacements -- all brilliant but hopelessly unmarketable -- were getting major-label record deals.

The PixiesThe best rock albums of 1989 demonstrate just how wide-open things were, and how forgotten that magical pre-grunge heyday is now. The Stone Roses' self-titled debut. Nine Inch Nails' "Pretty Hate Machine." Bob Mould's "Workbook." World Party's "Goodbye Jumbo." Mudhoney's "Superfuzz Bigmuff." Camper Van Beethoven's "Key Lime Pie." Neil Young's "Freedom."

The best, though, was and is the Pixies' "Doolittle." A scorching, exhilarating, frightening album that opens with a song about slicing up eyeballs (oh-ho-ho-ho), "Doolittle" stood for nothing, really. And that meant everything. It was simple, loud, catchy, bombastic rock 'n' roll from a scruffy-looking Boston band.

In songs like "Monkey Gone to Heaven" and "Tame," we heard soft breaths and mumbled lyrics give way to wicked, gut-wrenching screams. This was the trademark work of the quartet's nefarious frontman Black Francis (who later became Frank Black, otherwise known as Charles Thompson).

Francis was a time bomb certain to blow, and his ticking was perfectly in tune with Joey Santiago's style-less guitar playing. Santiago could pluck out the tender, twangy riff of "Here Comes Your Man" and then crank out the bleeding drone of "Dead" without batting an eye. Actually, he rarely looked up so you could see his eyes. As for the other two members, effortlessly cool bassist Kim Deal -- who was about to form her own band, the Breeders -- always seemed to be in laid-back mode, somewhat unimpressed by Frankie's outbursts. Drummer David Lovering was higher-strung and constantly pounding out his every frustration.

Those soft-loud, happy-mad transitions were the cornerstone of the Pixies, and later Nirvana, and later Weezer, and later a lot of bands that didn't matter. At the end of "Doolittle," as Francis urges us to, "Gouge away, stay all day," it's like coming to the end of a roller-coaster ride. The album whirs by in a rapid blur, but the adrenaline rush it leaves you is proof it's worth riding again.

"Doolittle" wasn't the Pixies' first great disc. "Surfer Rosa" got them a minor buzz one year earlier. There were two albums after it, too, which actually featured their best songs: "Planet of Sound," "U Mass" and "Velouria," in particular. ("Velouria," by the way, was just recorded by locally reared jazz trio the Bad Plus, which also reinvented "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on its last CD. Coincidence?)

But "Doolittle" was the Pixies' best album start to finish. It has been 15 years since its release, and 11 years since Black Francis sent a fax to the other three members announcing the band's breakup.

It's a good year for the Pixies to reunite. They're doing so for the very first time ever on stage Tuesday at the Fine Line in Minneapolis. The band will rehearse here a few days before their tour kickoff, which will culminate with a May 1 performance at the prestigious Coachella Music Festival in California. Coachella is the perfect place for the band, where none-of-the-above acts such as Radiohead (this year) and the White Stripes (last year) are in their element.

Today, underground rock music is in a similarly fragmented, flustered and thus creative state as in 1989. The emo craze is over. The whole garage-band thing didn't really take off, and neither did electroclash or the latest wave of Brit-pop. There are a lot of great bands, but there's no overall marketing trend taking hold in rock 'n' roll -- no musical catch term for Time magazine to herald. Thank God. I'm ready for another "Doolittle."

IF YOU GO

The Pixies

When: 8 p.m. Tue. Where: Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 1st Av. N., Mpls. 612-338-8100.

Tickets: Sold out.

Second show: Nov. 11, Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St. Paul. On sale April 17.

Live CD: A CD version of the concert will be available 15 minutes or so after the show ends. Log onto http://www.disclive.comfor info.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


the method...of stop tap spin, no talkin'...

porkbone1
= Cult of Ray =

USA
390 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2004 :  10:43:11  Show Profile  Visit porkbone1's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You beat me to it. Hey it's funny how suddenly the Pixies are getting press. Two big articles in Minneapolis in one week... six months ago nobody knew who the hell they were.

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The Champ
= Cult of Ray =

Canada
736 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2004 :  14:20:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ya i also was thinking along the same lines as this article...like seriously think about it, what bands are any good this year??? i can't think of ANY..and if u say Nickle back or eminem or whatever i will lose it...but u wont im sure. Ya the pixies picked the perfect time to reform, their really isnt any distractions from un original bands who sell alot of albums...just very minor distractions from un original bands who suck now and still sell alot but not as many albums.
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gk128
- FB Fan -

USA
129 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2004 :  05:47:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If the Pixies finally take off we'll all kick tons of ass for knowing them first... or not.

Be nice to see good music in the limelight again though. Even if it is over 10 years old.



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porkbone1
= Cult of Ray =

USA
390 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2004 :  18:29:32  Show Profile  Visit porkbone1's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The first time around, the Pixies never got really popular but they did spark a huge change in the trend of popular music. Like the article said, we are in a similarly shitty situation as far as popular music goes. If the Pixies don't get popular this time around, that's fine -- but maybe they will knock some sense into the world of rock music. It would be nice to hear some decent music on the radio.

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speedy_m
= Frankofile =

Canada
3581 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2004 :  18:44:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No question the Pixies rule Champ, but there are lots of great bands out there.
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bumblebeeboy2
> Teenager of the Year <

United Kingdom
2638 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2004 :  04:30:16  Show Profile  Click to see bumblebeeboy2's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Champ

Ya i also was thinking along the same lines as this article...like seriously think about it, what bands are any good this year??? i can't think of ANY..and if u say Nickle back or eminem or whatever i will lose it...but u wont im sure. Ya the pixies picked the perfect time to reform, their really isnt any distractions from un original bands who sell alot of albums...just very minor distractions from un original bands who suck now and still sell alot but not as many albums.



i struggle to find new music, i really do, and i hope it's not because i'm getting old! lol! but there's stuff out there, it's just a bit harder to find in my opinion... loving brendan benson, modest mouse and erm, well, oh electric six... erm, none of them so much new, or this year... hmm...



The Shrine of the Sea Monkey!
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