Pixies Rocking Ass.

2:56 pm, September 7, 2004

So, the Pixies are comprised of four members, but really all you need to know about is the top two.

Kim Deal: singer, songwriter, bass.
Frank Black: singer, songwriter, guitar (not his real name)

What you have here are two strong personalities and two of the most influential members of the Alternative Rock scene of the late 80s. The band formed around '86, came out with their most critically acclaimed album Surfer Rosa in '88 and ended up broken around '92 after three more albums. The Pixies truly laid the groundwork for the form of music people like to call Grunge. If you can't imagine their sound, think early Smashing Pumpkins (I'm talking Gish and Siamese Dream, musically, not vocally) combined with Sonic Youth. Now, that's two completely different spectrums here. The Smashing Pumpkins are quite structured and, like the Pixies, are dominated by a lead singer who likes to control most aspects of the albums. This would be where Frank Black comes in. After their first official album, Kim Deal found less and less input allowed on the following records. However, her presence wasn't completely absent. When you think of Sonic Youth, you think of screeching guitars, loose song structure, and duelling vocals both male and female. Thus, I think my analogy is apropos.

Essentially, The Pixies broke up because Frank Black wouldn't let Kim Deal into the mix. Which leads me to the theme of the following entry.

I was febrezing my beard this morning, thinking about what I've just witnessed. Now, I saw the Pixies play at Bumbershoot last night and it got me to thinking like it always does. This is a band clearly on a "Reunion Tour" which is something . . . mmm, I don't want to say I don't respect. But, really, why else do bands tour, except to promote a new album. Well, the Pixies haven't released an album of all new material since 1991 (with their 2002 self-titled release being a collection of rejected demos from their debut EP, 'Come On Pilgrim'). So, figuring a normal tour of a little known or even well known band consists of them promoting their new album, the Reunion Tour can only really be a Kiss-Like conglomeration of Greatest Hits and Band Favorites thrown together to tell the audience that they're still somehow relevant.

Now, this in no way says that I didn't like what I heard last night. Even though I froze my nips off, I was thoroughly entertained and felt it was worth the price of admission. I just find that reunion tours, by ANY band, just smacks of desperation and, if I can borrow a thought touted by the Sklar Bros, has the feel of being "Brought to you by: 'VH1's Where Are They Now'."

Kiss has made a career out of this. All they do is tour and sell themselves in every possible form conceivable including, I kid you not, Kiss Dildos. Really, most of you only know one Kiss song and I'm not much better, only knowing of TWO. Yet, somehow every year they manage to have one of the best selling tours EVERY DAMN TIME THEY GO OUT!

I hold the Pixies to a higher standard. They may be our little underground cult sensation, but when they start drawing comparisons to the ultimate sell outs of Kiss, there's something amiss in the air.

Since they've reformed, they've made one song that I know of. "Bam Thwok". Not much of a hit, though it's catchy as hell. Yet, they didn't even play THAT last night. Which brings me to my final beard-febrezing thought: I need to aquire more Pixies albums so I know just what in the hell I listened to last night!

Current Mood: I remain calm
Current Music: The Roots - ? vs. Rahzel