Pixies

Are you in college? Here, have a Pixies CD
* special introductory paragraph!
* Come On Pilgrim EP
* Surfer Rosa
* Doolittle
* Live EP
* Bossanova
* Trompe Le Monde
* Subbacultcha
* At The BBC
* Complete B-Sides Collection
* Pixies EP
* Live At Burton Cummings Theatre
* 30 May: San Francisco, CA
* 07 June: Indianapolis, IN
* loudQUIETloud: A Film About The Pixies DVD
Hailing a cab from Boston, Massachusetts, home of Aerosmith, Anal Cunt and the Atlanta Rhythm Section, the Pixies were just further proof of my old obvious hypothesis that the finest bands are those whose influences are many. I know it's obvious, but you wouldn't know it by listening to all the copycat "punk" and "alternative" bandos hoggin' up the bins these days. See, the Pixies were a pop rock band, but they sounded entirely different than every other pop rock band that came before them. Why? One can only assume that it was from a variety of musical loves that included everything from the Carpenters to Spanish mariachi to hardcore punk and then maybe across the street towards the British shoegazer mesmerizing guitar shimmer thing and ooh early '80s new wave too, probably! Yay for influences and America!

The Pixies had something unique and spectacular - a finely-tuned mix of glossy clean guitar sparkle, speedy punk energy, charming and unpredictable vocal humor, brilliant melodic know-how (which says not a darn thing, I know, but if you heard them, you'd know what I was talking about), and some crazy whim that a basic 4/4 beat is just not enough to sustain an entire record. I may not know much about mechanics (aside from that killer Megadeth song, aww fuckin' shit), but even dumb ol' I can tell that Mr. Black Francis, lead singer and songwriter of the Pixies' Combo and Band, likes to toss rhythm dancers for a shimmy - so much so, in fact, that the strange "Pixies rhythm" becomes something of a lovable old grandfather after a while - like, they just refuse to do the "16 beats, then change" thing; it's always gotta be like ten or twelve or something. I don't know; maybe I'm just fucked up on tetracycline. But who among us is not???

So, returning to the issue at hand, even though the unpredictable vocal humor was sort of tossed to the wayside at the end there, the other chief Pix traits hung around to smoke cigars until Frank Black, The Martinis, and The Breeders went their separate ways. The Pixies were one of the greatest bands of all time, which is a really odd thing for me to say considering that I hardly ever listen to their records, but it's true. For endlessly fun, fascinating, exuberant, and catchy as all frig aural sensations, do yourself a favor and buy any Pixies CD you can find. But read my reviews, first, 'cuz all their records are a little bit different from each other!!!!!


Come On Pilgrim EP - 4AD 1987.
Rating = 9

They had a beautiful sound from the start. "Caribou" begins with the lilting and lovely tones of a Ventures-type guitar slowly and studiously picking its way through a somber little melody that soon picks up into a chillbumpingly shivery little pop song, augmented by stunningly bittersweet vocal harmonization on the parts of Mr. Black Francis (who has the uncanny ability to leap back and forth between a haunting girlish soprano, if in fact that's what it is, and an ugly fat guy screech) and bassist Mrs. John Murphy, soon to be divorced and returned to what I suppose is her given name of Kim Deal.

So "Caribou" is a pop ballad, see, but it's followed by "Vamos" and "Isla De Encanta," which sound, in the words of Mr. Chris Crowson, "like a Spanish hardcore band or something!" They're speedy, bitter, noisy, and cooler than nearly any commercial on the air right now. So these two, along with the profane "Nimrod's Son," are punk rock, albeit an awfully delicate-sounding form of punk rock, more Pink Flag than Black Flag. Then elseplace, you got "The Holiday Song," one of the most radio-ready yet least-appreciated rock anthems in my world, "I've Been Tired," which, with concerns like "losing my penis to a whore with disease," is more humorous than anything else (but it's still catchy!), and "Levitate Me," which ends the record on as stunning a note as "Caribou" begins it. Personally, I despise "Ed Is Dead" as evidence of exactly how rotten this band could have turned out if Black Francis had liked Squeeze or Steely Dan just a little bit more, but what in fork of which am I aware? Fantastic debut. Short, but all that and more! Combine sparkly production with belchy American goodtime action and crud you got genius.

Reader Comments

corpsebag@hotmail.com (Michael Cory)
You're right, the Pixies definitely had something real great that made them one of my top 5 favorite bands for over a year. Frank Black continues making great and un-respected solo albums. Come On Pilgrim is great and I swear every single song is the greatest.

anon@iol.ie (Andy)
"Ed is dead" is the best song on that album!!!!!!!

Weigelda@aol.com (Dave Weigel)
One of the few EPs that stands up to the band's finished albums. 8 songs, every one a pop masterpiece! The most enjoyable 20 minutes you'll ever spend outside of bed or your parents' car. That's about it. "Levitate Me" rules!

xfoundationx@mail.geocities.com (Dean Reis)
a truly mesmorizing album, in which my only complaint is that it ends just as it starts to begin. "Caribou" and "Nimrod's son" are amazing.

Itchload@aol.com
The first time i listened to this I despised it, but now I love it and "Ed is Dead" is classic.

bougopgs@eckerd.edu (Gregory S. Bougopoulos)
Agree with you on "Ed Is Dead", but I also don't care much "Levitate Me." Still can't forget about great"The Holiday Song" and "Caribou." An 8.

insane@shlonng.freeserve.co.uk (Mark Knight)
In my opinion, the pixies influence is massively underestimated; Nirvana ripped 'em off and got all the credit. But Nirvana were still good. The best song by far on this EP is 'Levitate Me'. If wasps were the size of dogs, they would surely take over the world! So think on!

RedOZ408@aol.com
I agree with your commentary, All the songs are great. Ed is dead isn't one of my favorites,but vamos is worse , that and silver are my least favorite of all. Caribou is an excellent opener, great debut. 9 out of 10.

A totally awesome first album from one of the best and catchiest bands ever. It's opener "Caribou" is an excellent start as the album weaves into Spanish babblings, extremely catchy punk-pop and then closes with "Levitate Me", which promises of more good stuff to come.

gustavo@zip.com.au (Mark Parry)
Admittedly, it took me a few listens to gain a complete appreciation of what the Pixies were all about on this debut. Now, however, this album is nothing short of a masterpiece. Its kind of hard to explain but although each song on the album are all fairly basic pop songs, there's a rare and truly overwhelming complication hidden within each and every track that manages to stir an emmotion within yourself that no other band will ever be able to achieve. I find it confusing and really quite sad that so many people who hear the Pixies just see them as being the same as any other pop-rock band. For they are a class above any other band in the world, especially the over-rated Nirvana.

The creepy Caribou has got to be one of the greatest openers in history, and to compliment that is the perfect finish, Levitate Me. Those background chants of "HEY...........HEY............HEY" will forever reamain in the back of my head. Ed is Dead and Nimrod's Son, although both fairly morbid in lyrics, are 2 of the poppiest little numbers in rock history. Dont even get me started on Holiday Song......

8.5 out of 10.

RENTAQ@worldnet.att.net (Dana Jones)
I bought this album when it first came out because I was a 4AD freak and immediately fell in love/awe of El Pixies. This is pretty much a perfect album. Makes me happy ever time I hear it. "Caribou" is stunning. I saw the Pixies more times than I can remember and every concert was a big ole mosh pit love fest!

kltv@Prodigy.Net.mx
tengo 17 aņos, vivo en un pais donde poco se escucha este tipo de musica en t.v. o radio, llego por casualidad a mis manos hace a penas pocos meses el album "where is my mind a tribute to the pixies" y me encanto. por internet pude conocer las versiones originales de estas canciones y asi fue coo llegue a "the pixies", esta vez quede fasinada con las canciones, suenan mejor que los "covers" del tributo.

ahora tengo casi todos sus discos, que lamentable que conosco una banda increible cuando ya no existen como tal, de todas formas de haberlos conocido antes habria sido demasiado niņa como para acudir a uno de sus conciertos, "levitate me" unas de las mejores canciones que he escuchado en mi vida... gracias a la fuerza cosmica que me arrastro hasta frank... (vamos a jugar por la playa)

danzig9@hotmail.com (Daniel Lawrence)
After Trompe Le Monde, I was disappointed by this. After a few more listens, I'm proud to award it with an 8. The opening to Caribou and the whole damn song is just beautiful. The next two punkish songs are great. I like "Vamos" more than "Isla De Encanta". They seem to actually blend together. "Ed is Dead" is okay but not great. The opening guitar line is so damn catchy in "Holiday Song" as is the rest of it. "Nimrod's Son" is great and the other three are pretty good as well. It's a fun listen. After my Slayer, Danzig, Pantera, Alice in Chains, Misfits, Metallica and Corrosion of Conformity, I feel like a sissy for listening to this band. I can't help it though. They're so creative and damn catchy. They're original and have a really unique feel, although they're basically going over the same format that's been used so much. I think Rollins likes the Pixies though, so it doesn't make me feel quite as bad.

Jcjh20@aol.com
An awesome EP! "Caribou", "Levitate Me", "Ed Is Dead" (i love this one!), and "Holiday Song" are definatly classics, "Vamos" is an original and superior version of the track on Surfer Rosa, and "Ive Been Tired" is hilarious, but the rest, in my mind, are forgetable. Well, at least "Isla De Encanta" is, but maybe cuz i dont speak spanish. I agree with the 9.

apesarefriends@yahoo.com (Colin Jaffe)
Quite possibly the best debut I've ever heard. Short, but it manages to be both varied and cohesive. Ed is Dead" is maybe weaker than the rest, but it's still really good. "I've Been Tired" brings a smile to my face every time. Hearing Frank do "Holiday Song" live was great, too. Before I mention every song, I'll conclude by saying that this well deserves Mark's 9.

default@uwyo.edu
Just addin' my thoughts...

I'll admit I'm a bit biased from the start of reading MP's reviews of the Pixies. I can't help but feel that EVERYTHING the Pixies did was pure gold. I love them. In fact, I would go as far as saying they are the greatest rock n' roll band ever. Everything else was leading up to them, and everything after was... well... everthing after. There has never been a time when I didn't sing along to one of their songs and I've always had Pixies' songs in my head while walking, talking, etc.

You might think that I'm going to say everything by the Pixies deserves a 10. Well, YOU ARE CORRECT SIR! Greatest band ever. That's all. That's my two cents.

I'll add another cent while I'm at it though. If you have a chance, find a copy of the original Pixies demo tape from ~1986. This is the one that all the Come on Pilgrim tracks were taken from. It's dubbed "The Purple Tape" for some odd reason. In my opinion, the purple tape is the Pixies at their finest. Simple, catchy pop tunes; lunatic and noisy at the very same time. God... there is no other combonation.

Blah, blah, blah.... check out Sonic Youth, Beck, Joy Division (amazingly enough, not reviewed on MP's site), Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Pavement, Big Black, blah, blah, blah. Danke.

Add your thoughts?

Surfer Rosa - 4AD 1988.
Rating = 9

Pretty much a longer version of Come On Pilgrim, this is still very much EARLY Pixies, and still every bit as adorable as a puppy carrying a sock around in its mouth. Everything I just said about the EP goes double for this one, with the crackly drumhappy Albini production helping you the listener to hear every last crook and nanny that flops out of the band's collective thinkpad, right down to the charmingly quotable between-song chatter that pops up here and there (the "You FUCKING DIE!" bit, for example). There's still a wild punk energy that keeps the sissy spirits away, but not so much so that pop bliss doesn't rise from the clompity ether every once in a blue moon, as in "River Euphrates," "Where Is My Mind?" and Kim Deal's cute little "Gigantic," which might be about a big ol' peen.

Still, baby, this whole album is much more energetic and spitty than gentle and tinkly. As such, there are certain factions of music fans who feel that this is the band's pinnacle, and they hopped in a miner's cart down Boring Canyon shortly hereafter. If you're a rocker, then, maybe you SHOULD start here. I wouldn't call it their defining moment, though. I mean, there are lots of creative guitar lines in here, but I kinda dig the way they mix in the gothy shoegazer prettyboy vibe on the next couple of records. Makes 'em seem a little less sweaty. If this record had a few more pieces as gorgeous as "River Euphrates," maybe I'd be swayed, but right now, I'm a solid tree! It's a phenomenal little record, though, and don't you forget it! By far their most exuberant full-length.

Reader Comments

corpsebag@hotmail.com (Michael Cory)
Killer....great...rad...awesome.

Weigelda@aol.com (Dave Weigel)
This is a truly great album, but I hate how critics say it's the Pixies' only good record. It simply ain't! The trilogy of "Gigantic", "River Euphrates" and "Where is My Mind" is definitely the highlight here, but I really like "Bone Machine" and "Oh My Golly" are pretty damn skippy too. The only problem is that the last 6 songs sound unfinished. Not to say I don't dig 'em. 9/10

mcdowall@arcos.org (Scott McDowall)
you can now get both of these releases (come on pilgrim & surfer rosa) on one CD. I know you like that mark.

gruber@freenet.tlh.fl.us (Chris Gruber)
Listen to Nevermind, listen to Siamese Dream, listen to Superunknown, listen to Ten, listen to all that and then some and then listen to SR and tell me which beats the living poopy out of which.

defaultuser@domain.com
I'm ecstatic to finally find a Pixies page and just want to say that all of their albums are masterpieces with Surfer Rosa the reigning champ! To-ny!!!!

xfoundationx@mail.geocities.com (Dean Reis)
my favorite album by the pixies. truly exciting from the first punch of the kick drum (ironic ehh!) in "bone machine". "River eurphrates" is one of the most beautlful pop songs ever made.

hijinks@utarlg.uta.edu (Thomas Rickert)
Simply the best album by the ole Pixies. Kurt Cobain loved the drum sound on this record, and so do I. It's one of those landmark sounds, a real benchmark, a mark. The wildass guitar playing on stuff like Bone Machine and the vocal wierdnesses that abound, like on "I got a broken face.. uh-huh, hu-uh..." -- I mean, just what is that anyway? and does Francis' mother know? -- just slay us mortals. Many like the slightly less frantic and wierd stuff that came later, but I would say that true believers, if and when they believe, believe here. Just pure avant-pop bliss.

Itchload@aol.com
I love this album, but am I the only hardcore Pixies fan who likes Gigantic and Where is My Mind, but doesn't love them. My favorites are Bone Machine, Something Against You, Broken Face, and Oh My Golly! 10/10

bougopgs@eckerd.edu (Gregory S. Bougopoulos)
Certainly, this is the 10. Throughout the whole album, the band keeps excitement up, which is mighty hard to. "Broken Face" and "Vamos," among nearly every other songf are classics, while those that fall short of that are still great.

tabari@sasaki.com (Kevin Tabari)
This album blew me away in a way that few albums ever have. Listening to it was like going to another planet--things were somehow familiar, but at the same time completely alien. For all the talk of space and aliens in the subsequent albums by the Pixies, this one conveys those concepts much more compellingly without literally articulating them. I only wish I was hearing it for the first time again.

jltichenor@earthlink.net (James L. Tichenor)
One of my favorite albums!!!!! Judging by all the responses i think everyone agrees that this album kicks ASS! Its pop, its punk, its anger, its fear, its bliss. It just rocks my world! Im surprised no one has commented that Black Francis' use of singing insanely, then pleasantly, and then screaming his heart out on one song after another had a profound influence on Qirt Kobane!!! And here's a vocab word describing Joe's guitar playing: "squalling!" and lets not forget those wierd wonderful quirky harmonies!!!

Ignace.Mathei@student.kuleuven.ac.be
Pixies = gods Pixies = gods

Paulst@wfs.co.uk (Paul Stewardson)
Astonishingly good album. "Gigantic" and "Where Is My Mind" are lovely but the real killer is "Bone Machine". Guitar and drums merging and creating the most unholy racket I have ever head on a "pop" song. And jaw-droppingly brilliant lyrics! "Our love is rice and beans and horses lard" Wow!

2980pacjanxz2@ping.be (Pacquee)
It was the first band that had made a record that I liked at the first time I listen to it and it's still my favorite together with achtung baby from U2, Nirvana's Nevermind and dEUS's Worst case Scenario+Ideal Crash

louis.pacquee@ping.be
Rember: Losing my penis to a whore with a disease
excuse me please
I said: losing me live to a whore with a disease
...
I'm a humble guy with healty desires
don't give me no shit 'cause
I've been tired....

ps: sorry for any mistakes

errado@ruralsp.com.br
Massive.

It came from another universe, as opposed to the other albums, which are GOING to another universe.

Plus, the killer guitar on Vamos.

If you dislike this, shoot yourself in the head and lick the mess. No tongue left? Hard luck. It's not easy when you've got a broken face, but now maybe you'll get it.

InMyEyes82@aol.com (Zach English)
The pinnacle of a great band. I once read a Steve Albini quote deriding this album as "blandly entertaining college rock" (funny, Steve, that's what I would call Shellac), but this stuff is so warped and twisted that the fact that it survives as pop music at all is a wonder in itself. Neither as important as alternative types like to claim they are, nor as melodically gifted as Pavement, the Pixies were still the catchiest, funniest, scariest indie rock band of the late eighties/early 90s. It is a TRUE shame that so few know who they are today; these are incredible songs. "Gigantic" and "Broken Face" alone nearly make up for what a hideous solo career Frank Black has had. 10/10

PS-Mad props to Doolittle, too. Don't bother with Bossanova, though.

misterkite@mindspring.com (Adam Bruneau)
Wow...what a band. The combined talents of bassist Kim Deal, lead guitarist Joey Santiago, drummer David Lovering, and crazyguitarmonkeysinger Black Francis are really mindblowing. Whenever I get tired of listening to The Flaming Lips' Clouds Taste Metallic, Fugazi's Red Medicine, The Creation's Red-With Purple Flashes, etc., I can just pop in this release and suddenly I'm lost in a world where banchees scream out nonsense about lovely Spanish whores and Japanese fast food. And your bone's got a little machine because I've got a broken face (hold my bones, break my body as well). With yer feet in the air and yer head on the ground, take this disc and spin it. I guarantee you will have a mental collapse!

kltv@Prodigy.Net.mx
surfer rosa = work of art,
one of the most exquisite pleasure = surfer rosa in playing

RebelJukebox@aol.com
Fine, fine record, but I do believe that this isn't as amazing as everyone says it is. I dunno. I just think most of side two is pretty throwaway. Everything up to "Tony's Theme" is classic, though. Perhaps if this was another EP, I'd believe that it's the juggernaut everyone says it is.

Oh, and "Break My Body" is the best song ever.

Jcjh20@aol.com
The classic. Personally i think its a tiny bit inferior to Doolittle and Bossanova but its still excellent shit though. "Tony's Theme" (just seems too goofy for my tastes, but i guess kinda catchy) and "Oh My Golly" are the only songs that really fail to do much for me compared to this other classic stuff, and well, i guess "Im Amazed" is passable too, because the intro is pretty damn funny. "Brick Is Red" seems to be underrated by everyone here though. Its just as classic as the other songs on the first side if you ask me. Anyway a definate 9 for this classic.

Muggwort@aol.com
Surfer Rosa is a great raw/melodic piece of indie rock. I really like it but I'm scared to listen to muck of it because I'm scared it's either going to make me suicidal or a murderer because it is so violent.

8/10

Kimdealwithit@aol.com
Any Pixies album is a good one, so in your face all you losers that don't see their beauty. That should be enough to drive anyone to suicide. Anyvez, but if you do, you should have a fun time getting off to them, and having a ball listening to great melodies and great concoctions of rock and roll. [The good kind of rock and roll]

apesarefriends@yahoo.com (Colin Jaffe)
Sounds to me like an extension of the first EP, and maybe they didn't have enough strong material yet for a full-length. The last few songs are definitely weaker than the first ten or so. Amazing production, though, Steve. Really brings out the Pixies' rhythm section and wierd energy, which helps a lot. This one doesn't get spun as often as Dootlittle or Trompe Le Monde. Still, as Mark seems to believe, it pretty much deserves a 9 because it's a Pixies record.

ddickson@rice.edu (David Dickson)
Okay, people, I've sufficiently calmed down. When I said that I hate the Pixies, what I really meant was that. . . I hate the Pixies. With reservations.

Surfer Rosa is the perfect example. Amid all the cackling and screeching and weird guitar noises and whacka-whack-whack-SPLAT-hello-I'm-the-potheaded-college-nerd-from-hell mentality pervading the record from start to very abrupt finish are moments of quiet beauty that almost make you forgive the group for being such potheaded college nerds from hell. Unusually for an album that I despise so much, I'm going to dissect it, track by track. Here it is, the best album of 1988 (sarcasm):

"Bone Machine". The bass and drum intro DOES remind me a little bit of "In Bloom". Just a little. Other than that, it's jarring, slightly memorable, weird, and ultimately barely listenable. This opening track, unfortunately, epitomizes everything I hate about the group. The opening guitar line takes pains to be as blaring and off-key as possible, and Black's spoken lyrics, though nonsensical, kitschy, and so-dumb-they're-slightly-catchy, are delivered in such an annoyingly nasal, geeky way that I'm just not impressed. Especially considering the fact that Deal is very noticeably off key when she joins in on the chorus.

"Break My Body". This is a decent song. The lyrics are just as meaningless as ever, but the focus now is on the group's strength: their relentless, rhythmic instrumental pound. When they actually get into a real GROOVE, they really groove. And the vocals are buried in that nicely. The "somebody's gonna get hurt" part towards the end is an annoying reversion towards nerddom, though.

"Something Against You". Another good groove. The vocals can't even be heard this time. Too short, though.

"Broken Face". Coming right after the ultra-fast "Something Against You", it sounds terribly redundant. The vocal harmonies are cool on this one, though. It's also too damn short--what, just 80 seconds long? Jeez, people, where's your attention spans?

"Gigantic"--YES. NOW we see why these guys were such a touchstone for alt-rock guitar bands. The chord progression on this song practically defines the musical term "alternative", and the repetitive final minute is extremely awesome. Usually Kim Deal's "One time, at band camp"-like personality grates on me, but this time I find her vocals and lyrics, frankly, pretty darn cute. "Gigantic. Big big BIG love." Heeeeee. The song's only disadvantage is it's very poor placement in the song order.

"River Euphrates". This is okay, though it's pretty much filler in the shadow of the songs on either side of it. The calm "lie-lie-lie" harmonies in the bridge are nice, and I actually don't mind Black's ridiculous screaming on the chorus. A little abrasive, but not bad.

"Where is My Mind". Best song the Pixies ever recorded. Of course, it's also arguably their most recognizable song, 'cause alt-rock radio STILL plays it all the frickin' time. I don't need to explain myself any further on this one. I mean, just listen to that lead guitar! No wonder the Pumpkins and Weezer copied the group on that count so much. Unfortunately, this is where the album just stops being fun, for next we have. . .

"Cactus". Okay, now we're just getting boring. Nice rhythmic groove, but they just don't DO anything with it. Who cares if the lyrics reference pop culture up the wazoo? I want MUSIC dangit.

"Tony's Theme". Uh-oh. Now they've gone and done it. This is where I just stop listening to the record, 'cause let's face it, people: The Jackass cast could've come up with this piece of crap in between underwear bungee jumps at MTV's Spring Break festival in Cancun. Good God, this just might be the most annoying shit I've ever heard. Note to the ex-Pixies at large: Kitsch is only funny if you play it WELL. It is only revolutionary if you at least make an ATTEMPT to sing on key. And it only WORKS if you SING IT WITH A STRAIGHT FACE!!! See the B-52's--they know how to do this shit right. Goddammit, don't EVER record something like that again. You DUNCES!

"Oh My Golly". Cackling Spanish. No melody. Whacka-whacka-whack-splat. Funny. Ha ha ha. Stupid.

"Vamos". More cackling Spanish. No real melody. No real chord progression, either. But but BUT--it's over four minutes long, and I actually, surprise surprise, like it when the Pixies try and stretch out a bit. The only really good part, though, is the cool lead guitar tricks throughout--Black's stupid screaming gets real old real fast.

"I'm Amazed". This song is half okay. But Kim Deal has to be all college nerdish on us in the background vocals. She was wet. She was WET, man. Huh huh. (At least, that's what I think she said. You can never tell with that Steve Albini production.) Also way too short. Damn you college nerds from hell, try LENGTHENING some of these songs!

"Brick is Red". Intelligently arranged song for once. Still boring, though. And instruments take up half the song. And it's only two minutes long. And that's the end. Splat. Goddammit, you guys suck. Making me anticipate all that hype for nothing. Nice "masterpiece", dickweeds.

So. . . that's my take on it. Doolittle is slightly better; at least six of the songs on there are at least decent. Not to mention longer. Here, they're just too obsessed with kitsch and weirdness and shortness. Which is why I can't fathom why fans treat it as such a holy work of art. Let's face it, people, if some group wears its tributes on its sleeve so garishly, they're not for the ages. The Pixies just don't seem all that CLASSIC to me. They're not especially tuneful, they're not funny, they can't play all THAT well, they certainly can't sing (more accurately, they don't try to. I get the feeling they really could if they weren't deliberately trying to sound so unrelentingly crack-headed), and they don't make good LPs. The song order sounds like Black just tossed the titles into a jar and drew them out at random. Fellas, listen: Being "unpretentious" can only take you so far. Every band aspiring to true greatness needs at least SOME pretention once in a while.

So take the Sonic Youth. Now THEY are a band. And it's quite obvious, from the mind of the average indie listener, that they had far more impact on the grunge scene than the Mischievous Little Elves could ever hope to have. To put it in the aural vernacular, most famous alt-rock bands, along with SY, are crash-slam-crash-boom. The Pixies are whack-bash-BLAAAAAAAAAH-SPORK. Get the difference?

Well, that's all I have to say for now. I hope you all can understand my point of view. And yes, in response to one e-mailer's comment, "No. 13 Baby" is actually a good song. The Pixies just aren't a good BAND, in my opinion. Too bad--they were hyped to the edge of panic.

okeydoke0@yahoo.com (Barrett Barnard)
this is the greatest album from the underground in the late 80s.daydream nation comes a close 2nd.also youre living all over me.but anyway.the "hits" are "bone machine, "gigantic", and "where is my mind?".but the rest of the album is just as good as these never couldve been hits.well at least in 1988.my personal favs are "something against you","river euphrates", "broken face",and "brick is red".but thats because im a fag.no not really.i just loves da cock.no not really.people comaplin about the end being undeveloped but thats what makes it such a great listen.theyre like the ramones with really good ideas.example:"vamos".everything is catchy and features orgasmicly good guitar stank from joey santiago.black francis is a very good tunesmith,mrs.john murphy(ne' kim deal)wrote "gigantic" and is a very good melodic bassisist.david lovering drums.i mean rules my ass with his slappy happy snare mastery.amen.

deadguy1213@yahoo.com (Eric D.)
I got into the Pixies rather late, first hearing "Where Is My Mind" at the end of Fight Club (in retrospect, "Monkey Gone to Heaven" would have been a good song to use there). This the first Pixies album i checked out and i gotta say it's cool stuff. And it also has Gignatic.... i prefer Doolittle a little more but they're both 9/10.

kingdom@rapidial.co.uk
YOU KNOW I can sort of understand how that Dickson bloke writing long rants above feels. Don't get me wrong I love the Pixies, but feel the same way that he describes about a stupid macho band known to many as 'Chilis'. It can be that mindless hero worship of bands like Chilis gets unbearable to the point where you take it out on the band (who certainly aren't that good anyway). Perhaps the same is the case with these Pixies over on your American turf. Not many have heard of them here.

However, David Dickson, you certainly seem to be looking for reasons to get at the Pixies. Nirvana are not a Pixies rip-off. That is merely what elitist Pixies fans love to say, or elitist fans of any underground alternative band for that matter. The Pixies till made great music though!

Doolittle is an awesomely consistently great album right through (I rate it 10) and you can't take it too seriously. It's a great time. I will acknowledge that building the Dome was stupid though (I didn't cook it up).

Surfer Rosa is also great (I give it 9) and it also can't be taken too seriously (even more the case here). More incredibly unique but brilliant tunes found on this album.

Tony's Theme is great but I agree that it is probably an acquired taste. I honestly love it!

Yeah, Black can't sing. YOU DISMISS THE PIXIES BECAUSE THEIR SINGER CAN't SING! Most great bands have singers that can't sing. What music do you like: SY and Smashing Pumpkins. Call me an idiot but they both have singers that can't sing too, you fool! (nothing personal)

Deal is one of the best back-up vocalists ever. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN SHE CAN't SING?!

Yeah, if fans are saying you are a Nazi if you don't like them that is a bit thick of them. They should understand that music is art and not fashion (in which case I should quit writing this email, but I've come so far).

Their humour is good actually (perhaps you don't find humour humouress).

So concludes my counter rant against David Dickson. Oh and by the way I hope that's not your real address you left because that's dangerous you realise. Didn't mean to offend. BYE BYE!

eric.neuser@umusic.com
Wow, I thought everyone on the Pixies page was gonna be fair-minded, democratic, college-educated adults in geeky horn rims and not bickering all the time and saying shit like "All Pixies freakin' rules - every song - EVERY ONE!! So SCREW ya!". That's why I came over here from the Misfits page. I wanted to digest my cheap grocery store maki roll in peace and not subject this digestive tightrope act to such negative malfeasance. So now I'm gonna complain and cry like a baby too. Sure this is an exceptional album by an exceptional band with exceptional tracks like "Break My Body", "Broken Face", "River Euphrates", and "Cactus". And I'm sure everyone has real fond memories of high school art class when they listen to it. And yeah, the chick on the front has a great rack. Fer sure. Some folks even insist it's the Pixies at their finest. But I wanna complain so I'm gonna disagree. It's got beauty and violence and pop and art and a whole lot of emotionally evasive craftiness and other hi-jinks, but I don't think all this great stuff is as well integrated as on the follow up. Surely I'll spill on and on about Doolittle in a bit though so let's drop it for now. But what about that Albini fellow? Incredible when matched with the right project. I wish I could beam him back to 1981 and have him stab Mutt Lange and operate the controls on For Those About To Rock (We Salute You). I wouldn't even care if he married Shania and produced Pyromania. But I don't think the mega-live sound he's so adept at really goes the distance here in such a musically compact and sonically dense environment. And I don't know why everyone goes apeshit for "Gigantic". Check out the "Gigantic"/"River Euphrates" double a-side single for alternate versions. And I'm not sure about the CD version, but the vinyl version of Death To The Pixies has some incredibly interesting and telling (and very spooky) solo demo versions of "I'm Amazed" and "Broken Face" played and moaned by Frank on an acoustic. If anyone has more of this stuff I'd be very happy to hear about it.

ddickson@rice.edu
All right, kingdom, I will admit, Francis and Deal's singing isn't all THAT bad. At least relatively speaking. I mean, have you heard Pavement's lead singer? Yech.

And by the way, I've finally figured something out--on Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, whenever they sing badly, they do so on purpose. When they try to sing well, they're excellent. I just heard Bossanova, and it's a knockout. The Pixies are no longer my least favorite band. Chicago is.

Yes, it's true. I no longer hate the Pixies. I just moderately dislike them. Or just their critics. When albums like Surfer Rosa and Doolittle are praised as the greatest rock albums of the '80's, and albums like Bossanova are considered a "letdown," you know there's a few screws loose in society.

Thanks for not ripping my head off, by the way. You could have easily done so. I know I would have.

Heh heh, and no, that's not my real address. I just made that up. I do live in Houston, though.

goldheart5@hotmail.com
This is one of those albums that has a feeling, an overall vibe that almost trancends the music itself.

Not really sure what i'm getting at. Maybe kind of like an early stones records, you know they just have a certain feeling. something that couldn't have been planned.

Anyway, this is Pixies defining moment. A continuation of the Come On Pilgram EP, but with better songs, before they slipped into the slightly slicker, but still great pop songs of Doolittle. Surfer Rosa is rock n' roll and punk, but messed up and amazing and possibly, timeless. And really they don't sound much like anything else that came before them. well a little bit like some Birthday Party songs. Release The Bat...

Add your thoughts?

Doolittle - 4AD 1989.
Rating = 9

This is the Pixies' defining moment - everything's here and it all meshes like a mushmash. Maturer than Surfer, but still dope, def, and wack (check out Black's frantic screaming delivery in opening track "Debaser" for one such example). Glistening cover art paints a picture of 4AD stoicisity (?), but the music inside still cooks. "Here Comes Your Man" is their hokiest (and greatest) single ever, "Monkey Gone To Heaven" and "I Bleed" are gorgeous, as are the last couple of minutes of "No. 13 Baby" (which totally blow me away - wow. What a gripping and stirring little bit of musicology.). For sweaty, sultry Tom Waits action, spin "Hey." For Spanish punk cacophony, whirl "Crackity Jones" or "Mr. Grieves." For crazyass guitar action, try "Dead," whose chorus appears to be one of the guys stomping on his distortion pedal over and over again while holding his guitar in various angles against the amp (it's probably something simpler than that, but that's what it sounds like, dammit!).

See, it's all here, pretty much. This is the record that got me into the Pixies, and probably where you should begin your collection. It's not my personal favorite, though; at this point, I feel the record could use a wee bit less chain-jerkin' and a tad more substantial melodicism along the lines of "Monkey Gone To Heaven". I betcha that most Pixies fans like this one the best, but who am I? DRI?

Reader Comments

jdg145@psu.edu (gerbs)
This whole album is one big head scratcher--and I don't mean the impenetrable lyrics. It's an everything album--easy to listen to, widely diverse, extremely influential, sweet, harsh, and most head scratchingly--it did virtually nothing commercially. Granted, it's an alternative album, but how it didn't cross over is beyond my wildest dreams. Cause it's got enough pop to drop-kick the music industry in the ass, and bury the drab 80's scene for good. Here's an experiment for those of you saying one or all of the following things to yourself:

"Who are the Pixies?"

"If they were so influential, who did they influence?"

"I think I'll kill netscape, and go listen to Dave Matthews..."

Pick up any CD made from 1991 on that's considered malternative or alternative, and listen for the bouncy bass line, the roaring guitars, and the dynamic song structure that pops, and when you're done listening to the one or two songs on that album that are bearable, listen to the entire Doolittle album twice or thrice--It sounds like the pixies took a bit from each band of today, and made a sweeping masterpiece...then look at the date on the back--1989. That, my friends, is a true piece of influential music. Forget influential, if you couldn't give a crap who did what first musically (and prefer to hear rip-off bands like Bush, Oasis, Seven Mary 3, Live), you will still be amazed by the range and catchiness of this album.

Oh, and go to the used CD store of your choice--you'll see a ton of copies of Trompe Le Monde and a big fat ZERO copies of Doolittle--cause nobody who buys it, sells it. It's as simple as that.

Mark sounds as though he is a pixies rookie, (at least, his review was pretty recent) and he will see how time ages the albums at different speeds--Doolittle is a must have, Trompe Le Monde is merely the icing on the fish eye cake--which reminds me of one thing I can't STAND...the album cover/artwork. This newfangled mangled eyes and shoes and pelvic bone photographs on the albums remind me of an exhibit I saw at the Cincy musuem of art--it was too pretentious and "cool" for me I guess. But I can handle the mutilation lyrics and pics here and there, it's worth it to hear the screaming bliss of "Debaser", the teary "Here Comes your man", the shining "La La Love you", the speedy fun of "Mr. Grieves", and pogo-ing "Gouge Away", "Wave of Mutilation", and other online-thesaurus-of-adjectives-is-not-connecting great blazers. Buy it, or face hearing about them for the first time on some stupid Rolling Stone RNR show 30 years from now that will FINALLY credit them as pioneers of whole 90's scene. Le Monde doesn't have enough of one thing that I love 'bout the pixies: kim deal. Yes, this should be your first (but not last) pixies purchase, you narrowminded metalhead you.

corpsebag@hotmail.com (Michael Cory)
Come on fellas you simply can't write better songs than "There Goes My Gun", "Here Comes Your Man" and "La La Love You."

anon@iol.ie (Andy)
Hey speaking of the imagery in doolittle, gerbs.. Read "the love song of J Alfred Prufrock" then listen to doolittle... ("hey" especially) and u'll see where he was taking some inspiration. still a fine album. but surfer rosa was better. and hasn't aged a bit.

Weigelda@aol.com (Dave Weigel)
10/10. This is their best record. What's it got? The punky fun of Surfer Rosa, the lovely pop of Come on Pilgrim, and a whole lotta other neat stuff they hadn't done yet. Oh yeah, the guitar and bass work is amazing, and the singer is fascinating. Whatever.

There's not much more to say about this one. I think Mark and the first response covered it pretty well. I recommend this album to every MTV watcher who doesn't know what other music is out there, simply because EVERYTHING on MTV is based off this (except for the unspeakably shitty techno and the no-talent rappers who rip off songs from the 70s and 80s). The only song I dislike is "Silver"--everything else is a should-be classic. Buy it today!

gruber@freenet.tlh.fl.us (Chris Gruber)
THE GREATEST SINGLE ALBUM RECORDED IN THE 1980's !!! From "Debaser" to the end, it is pure pop, pure rock, pure heaven. Okay so, I'm gushing...but hey, no one can truly argue with me.

crevier@microtec.net
Eh there Prindle, I bought this record on your advice as well as that of some Net friends and I must say it is FABULOUS!!! It's catchy, it's funny and hell of a lot more creative than anything on the radio (especially considering that most bands nowadays are doing a really bad job at ripping off Frank Black and Co... )

Not only that but it's got the greatest Beatles rip-off ever, "Here Comes Your Man" ... err, while we're on the subject, does anyone know what the lyrics mean??

pixies@ucsd.edu (Marc Booth)
This is the album that first introduced me to the band that would become my passion. "Hey" is definitely one of the best Pixies songs (and romance songs) ever. This album bridged the mass market ("Here Comes Your Man") with the "real" Pixies fans (harsher cuts like "Tame", "There Goes My Gun", "Crackity Jones"). Bottom line: this album kicks ass.

xfoundationx@mail.geocities.com (Dean Reis)
how come every pixies album kicks so much ass? i just got this one and i think that "no. 13 baby", "la la love you", and "mr. grieves" are my favorite pixies songs ever.

ZLPR55F@prodigy.com
HEY! I have a stupid little story about doolittle that really isn't very interesting or funny! So gather round and take this in,You fucking pieces of scum!!!

Ok, this happened about 5 days ago. I was in a used music store and I came across This album with a monkey on it.My first thought was "this is fuckin' gay do0z! lets go get the urge,hey!" then I saw "The pixies" written on it.oddly enough,I had just borrowed surfer rosa/come on pilgram 1 week before and I rather enjoyed it(especially That keen song "river europhrates(?)"). So I purchased it, I get back home and I play the first song.."hey this doesn't sound like the pixies, this sounds like light rock" well, I played all the songs and it was then clear to me that it wasn't the pixies.It had that song that goes "And I miss you,like the desserts miss the rain,By everything but the girl" It says everything on the CD to indicate that it is the pixies, someone burned over it with a computer. After venting and murdering my entire class room with a shotgun, I take it back to the store to see If I can get my money back. When I walk in, its playing that BenFoldsFive song, "song for the dialectically challanged" The one that goes "give me my money back you bitch!!" I get to the counter I and I ask for my money back.Well now I have $ 6. 95 of credit at Wood.Bros. I went out and got Doolittle after that and it got the skills to pay the bills. goodguy!!

hijinks@utarlg.uta.edu (Thomas Rickert)
Funny thing about Doolittle: the slow version of Wave of Mutilation on the Pump up the Volume soundtrack is better than the fast version on Doolittle. Go figure.

Itchload@aol.com
Doolittle is unbeleivable and there was an amazing stretch of about a month where I listened to the record in it's entirety every day. I love Gouge Away, and it pains me that no one ever mentions it except Curt Cobain, who admitted Smells like Teen Spirit was a ripoff of it.

bougopgs@eckerd.edu (Gregory S. Bougopoulos)
Definitely a cleaner and more clearer production, but this is just not as fun as the last album. Still, a 9, though, since even the weaker songs (very few) still are better than anything by Silverchair, or something.

Ignace.Mathei@student.kuleuven.ac.be
Pixies = gods

100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000/10

Paulst@wfs.co.uk (Paul Stewardson)
You just can't top Frank's songwriting on this one. "Wave Of Mutilation", "Tame", "Here Comes Your Man", "Gouge Away" and "Dead" are all spunking gorgeous. "Debaser" kick several tonnes of shit out of "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

bhogg@cyberlink.bc.ca (Robert Hogg)
I first heard a couple songs from this album on a friend's mix tape a few years back. Those two songs (Debaser and I Bleed) were enough...I was hooked for life. Almost everything on this album is perfect and even after years of continually listening to it, it still hasn't gotten old. Debaser has got to be the greatest song ever written. Here's a little tip for all you fans out there...pop Doolittle in your CD player and listen to the drums on Debaser. I'm absolutely amazed, and wish David Lovering would get the credit he deserves. Either way they play it, Wave Of Mutilation sounds awesome. I Bleed has got to be the most underrated Pixies song. If I had to pick out a weak point, I'd say that Silver and There Goes My Gun never grabbed me as much as the others, but it's still the best album ever released. And the pictures in the album top it all off. My personal favourites are the crab with the partial shoe sole, and the glove and chain links.

RedOZ408@aol.com
Doolittle is my favorite PiXieS album. I't shows how the band evolved from the awesome Surfer Rosa. Every song is a masterpiece except Silver(what was that?). Here Comes Your Man & Monkey have gotten played out for me but the rest of this record sounds as awesome as the first few times I listened to it.

mmright@pacbell.net (Judah Nielsen)
When Frank Black plays live (with the catholics) he plays a real slow, soulful version of Wave of mutilation. It's incredible and whenever I'm in the mood for playin' me guitar, I start off real slow like with "Cease to resist / Giving my goodbye..."

misterkite@mindspring.com (Adam Bruneau)
In an effort to further my musical vision, I decided to check out this fabled album from the pre-Nirvana musical underground and BOY, I'm glad I did! This album pops, rocks, and weaves in and out of songs in a glorious start-stop pattern and a giant title wave of amazingly sung nonsense! (One can almost see the ghosts of The Flaming Lips, here...!) Aw man, the songs here are just awesome - with the frustrating scream of "Tame" and the poppy surfadelia of "Wave of Mutilation" being among my faves. Tho, everything else rocks as well, especially the genius simplicity of "Here Comes Your Man" and "La La Love You". What? Did the 1962 Beatles just suddenly start writing Eighties pop songs???

malester@cpuinc.net (Lester)
what's the deal with everyone hating "Silver"? it's a great song!!! not as good as "I Bleed" or "Monkey Gone to Heaven", but it's still better than "D=RxT"!

frh74@tea.net (Ray Holloway)
>what's the deal with everyone hating "Silver"?

What's the deal? What's the Deal? the Deal? get it? the Deal? Kim Deal wrote it, so...

Anyhoo, you're right, Lester. It's a great song.

That is all.

laancons@euronet.nl (Klaas Laan)
It was about three years ago when I accidently saw the video of "DEBASER" on Mtv..... I immediately fell in love with it! I still have special feelings for this super-song, although I own the complete Pixies discography! Other favourites :

- Hey (..been trying to meet you, frank blaack!...) This song really makes me shiver
- Where is my mind - just lovely
- I don't remember it's title, but it goes like this : Breaheak my body, hold my bones... IT IS GREAT!!!

Well, there are actually too many great songs to mention, but these three are one of my favourites... And the whole "come on pilgrim" album is an almost orgasmic experience!!!

By the way, it is weird that nirvana is more famous than the pixies; thy were influenced by them! So I consider Nirvana as a Pixies-wannabe-band...

matt.hit@virginnet.co.uk (Matthew Bray)
Genisu, I could not really add anythig here that is been said already from the rousing opener of Debaser to the rousing ending of Gouge Away, Doolittle is a master-piece. The centre-piece of genisu is Monkey Gone To Heaven, but other classic I feel are also tame, wave...., Hey, No.13 baby....oh the list is endless. Only one let down on the album si the dreadful Silver, apologies to anyone who likes that song. Apart from that this is just about the best album ever, the only albums I consider to be in the same class are Wannadies: Bagsy me and Be A Girl, who name the Pixies as an influence and Sleeper: Smart, who also named Pixies as an influence, and that was there most Pixies like record !!

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
Only "Silver" fails to be brilliant and defy your expectation of what a rock song should be. The best tracks here ("Debaser", "There Goes My Gun", "Hey", "Tame") are the simplest. Honestly though, I could rave about each one. Great album, completely different from any other before or since.

SI.NAT@cwctv.net
The final word on "Silver":

Yes, it IS a pants tune. But this is deliberate. It just makes "Gouge Away" sound even better. "Gouge" is quite simply the best song ever written. Biblical, 'scuse the pun.

Jcjh20@aol.com
Even though i said below Bossanova was my favorite album, id still give this one the 10. I think this is the best place to start with the Pixies, and i think its slowly becoming my new favorite Pixies album. Classics like "Tame", "Debaser", "Wave Of Mutilation", "Gouge Away" really make it a must have for anyone. Ohh, and "Silver" is an Ace tune as well, dont see why it is underrated by people.

drakem@mediaone.net
tell me is it just me or do the vocals on "hey" sound a hell of lot like mick jagger via exile on mainstreet? nevertheless this is a pretty good album but i still prefer surfer which i think has one of the most excellent closers, "brick is red".

Kimdealwithit@aol.com
My fave Pixies cd. It's awful to pick a fave, cuz it changes with moods, but I can't let this one go, maybe because I am biased, since it was my first Pixies album. Mr. Grieves is great, as is every single song out on that disc. Too bad they don't make any more music, and no, Bush does not make up for it, nor Nirvana. Not in the least bit.

apesarefriends@yahoo.com (Colin Jaffe)
My personal favorite Pixies record, partly because it's the first one I got. Definitely their most cohesive album. Parts of it might be weaker than Trompe Le Monde, but it doesn't annoy me like parts of that record do. I don't know, I always go back and forth between giving the ten to this and the more varied Trompe. You decide. I can't.

rafa321@msn.com (Raphael Barrios)
This is my favorite Pixies album, and I'll tell you why. It's got sinister stories about slicing up eyeballs, spooning eyes, walking with crustaceans, tornadoes, acid rain, and shooting accidents and there's this visceral beauty about it all too, you can't help but see and experience what Black Francis was singing, err, screaming about. For all of you that say Surfer Rosa is their best album, you should try to give Doolittle another serious listen, it makes Surfer Rosa sound like a jam session because of it's lack of cohesiveness at times.The Pixies played great on all their records but IMHO, they're at they're prime on this one and every song feels more complete in structure and playing than on previous records, it's like they we're on a mission with this album to really put their stamp of sound on alternative music.

I used to listen to this album everyday for a while, from Debaser to Gouge, it definitely puts you in their brave new world what with Santiago's signature, feedbacky, staccato playing; Deal's steady supply of rhythmic basslines and breathy vocal harmony; Lovering holding the beat beautifully, steadily playing with the occasional break beat (although, there's too much reverb put on the drums and the whole album at times, but I digress, I mean it was the 80's); and Black Francis' ability to sing and scream effectively about fun, silly, and scary stuff is a complete joy to listen to and it's educational as well; they influenced what modern, alternative, indie rock became in the '90's and beyond with all their albums but with this one especially. Long live Doolittle!

PS "The Sweater Song" by Weezer should've been called "I Bleed (with different lyrics)" Just thought I should mention it since the millions of kids that flocked behind Weezer didn't realize it...kids, do your homework next time so that the next mediocre pixies ripoff band will just burn out faster, okay?

ddickson@rice.edu (David Dickson)
I'd just like to get this off my chest, and in so doing incur the wrath, hatred, and death threats of every freak on this indie-rock planet called Earth: I really, REALLY f%*&in' hate the Pixies.

No, seriously, really, REALLY REALLY HATE THEM. I've never, even after over two dozen listens, been able to stand their material or aesthetic in any way. Never have, and probably never will. For the following reasons:

1.) Every nut in College Nerdville says that Nirvana is nothing but a "Pixies rip-off". SINCE WHEN?? What have you been smoking? In what way, shape, or form do Kurt Cobain and Black (har! Love that name, BLACK) Francis resemble one another, in look, sound, style, lyric, or pitch? Could you imagine Kurt Novoselic singing about a superhero named Tony??

2.) Doolittle disappointed the bejesus out of me. A good amount of decent tunes surrounded by a greater amount of dissonant, on-crack humor that utterly fails to amuse. Especially those "Tame," "Dead," and "Crackity Jones" weirdos. One of the most overrated albums in the universe, bar none. Kiss my ass, England. Sending this album into the top ten was one of the biggest mistakes your nation ever made. The only worse one was building the Millenium Dome. :)

3.) Surfer Rosa: The LP that conclusively proves that critics are aliens. Q magazine actually dubbed this "Album of the Year" in 1988. Asking why that happened is like asking Cheney who was on his Energy Task Force--it's something no one will ever know. Abrasive vignettes, off-key singing by BLACK, Deal acting like a band nerd during a showing of The Cabbage Patch Kids, the whole band whacking away as if they just discovered their instruments in their dorm room for the first time, cackling Spanish being substituted for actual lyrics, and "Brick is Red" as the last song. "BRICK IS RED", for the love of Christ. The Best LP of 1988. Huh. Right. Must've been a shitty year.

4.) "Tony's Theme." Good GOD, what an annoying song.

5.) Black can't sing. He's not being "unique", people, he just can't sing. Sorry.

6.) Deal sings about as well as Moe Tucker.

7.) They're one of the the most influential bands of the late '80's, and therefore everyone HAS to like them. Even if they suck walrus balls, you MUST be a fan. Especially if you're in college. If you don't, you're a shit-throwing, corporate loving, globalist pig who likes to eat his own feces. And you're probably a Nazi, too.

8.) They are not, never have been, and never will be, ever, FUNNY.

I've said all I need to say, people, except for this: "Where is My Mind", "River Euphrates", "Gigantic", "Debaser", "Here Comes Your Man", and "Hey" are all damn fine songs. Would that all their material sounded like that.

My address is 10 Sunset Blvd, Houston TX, 77005. If you want to send me a letter bomb, do me the courtesy of not including nails and fragmentation material in the explosive package so that I can have an open-casket funeral. Other than that, I don't care--I'm fairly suicidal right now. That's the main reason that I expressed my opinion on this site today.

altrockreview@hotmail.com (Nick Collings)
Without doubt, one of the best albums of the '80s. "Gouge Away", "Wave of Mutilation", "Debaser" and "Here Comes Your Man" are the stand-out tracks, yet some some reason I don't like "Silver" that much and "La La Love you" gets old quickly. And of course the majestic "Monkey Gone To Heaven" cannot be forgotten - the lyrics "...and the DEVIL is SIX!!!" cannot be beaten (by anyone!). Music to slice up eyeballs to.

ddickson@rice.edu
I'd just like everyone to know that I vehemently disavow the first two paragraphs of the comment I wrote above. I don't hate the Pixies. I just hate Surfer Rosa and Doolittle. Bossanova--ohhhhh yeah, now THAT'S a good album. Why do critics think it's their "worst"? Why???

dhovey@eliasarts.com
Dear ddickson@rice.edu I'm not surprised, you should be suicidal. You live in TEXAS and suffer from bad musical taste. Maybe you should get in your IROC, put on Achey Brachey Heart and dance the George Doublyuk Bush.

DenBlake29@aol.com
love your new updated site. love the doolittle lp. think the surfer rosa lp is popular because you are supposed to like it. turned everyone at work on to doolittle. loved by all. agree with that review that says you will never see doolittle in the used bin because nobody will part with it. what more endorsement can you ask for? one of my favorites.

_c3994783@wanadoo.nl
Maybe it's an american thing the pixies.. Maybe i'm not silly or hippie enough... But i'm sorry to say that i think that this band is hugely, and i mean HUGELY overrated!! And i can say this especially about this album, because i heard it the most. Can anybody tell me what the musical craft is of writing 5 proper songs and 10 laughable fillers which sound like a bunch of geeky students at an artsyfartsy drinktogether at the alfaomega club are having a guitar practise after they smoked their first ever spliff?? It sounds so utterly silly and selfindulgenty collegy cuty that it makes me barf big bowls of braaahh! This goes more or less for their other work too, they might have been a big influence on Kurt "my head hurt" Cobain or any of those other wankers from seatlle with lumberjack shirts... so f&*^*ng what??!! That whole grungething was terribly overrated too! Mixing old garagerock (ramones, punk anyone??) with some sabbath riffs and some fake suffering and anguish and the drugs and lifestyle of the REAL superstars of the sixties.... hm hm pretty original! N-O-T!!

But this review was bout the flippin' pixies with their happy unisex image and smirky self-appointed uber-intelligence and funny collegerock! Since when is listening to some kinda fat oat with sunglasses screaming something ridicolous into the microphone... do the lyrics of the pixies have any point whatsoever bytheway??!! Or is that just the superiour collegehumour that we dumb fucks aren't supposed to get, unless we pretend to play along?

Maybe somebody needs to explain this to me, but i think that 4/5 proper songs (which are okay by garagerock revival standards) on 15 songs total is a little thin for yellin' haleluja... Perhaps the pixies need a massive re-evaluation?

This album gets 3 outta 10 from me as it is.

danamanson@slingshot.co.nz
David's Dickson his ass. He's a fucken wanker. If he hates the Pixies so much, why does he even bother typing all that bullshit on this site. He's a pussy who only listens to shit that his momma tells him to. River euphrates, silver, alec eiffel and I've been waiting for you are all wicked but No.13 baby is the best song the pixies ever made. David take your dick out your ass you fucken cock smoker.

ddickson@rice.edu (David Dickson)
Dickson his ass. . . HA! HA! Hilarious. Hil-frickin'-larious. We are ALL in stitches.

Well, I must admit, danamanson, you have me nailed. I DO listen to shit just 'cause my momma tells me too. In fact, it was SHE who introduced me to early Metallica, Black Flag, Sepultura, and the collected works of Napalm Death. Bless her heart.

Amazing. Since when do they let retards become Pixies fans? Usually, I have to admit, as puffed-up as they tend to be, Pixies fans are pretty smart- -but now I find out they've changed the rules. These are terrible times we live in, I tell you. When folks like danamanson join the bandwagon, you know civilization has crumbled.

Oh, and by the way, I apologize for forgetting that this site is, in fact a Pixies fan site cleverly disguised as a record review site. Only narrow- minded Pixies fanatics are allowed, as danamanson dutifully reminded me. I'll remember his constructive criticism in the future.

In response to Mr. dhovey's touching love letter to Texas: Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Waylon Jennings, Stars of the Lid, Willie Nelson, Trail of Dead, and Pantera all hail from here, but I’ll forgive your ignorance this time. After all, you live in some place OTHER than Texas, and probably suffer from a stick up your rear end. Perhaps you should get in your Volvo (which you probably own) put on the Metal Machine Music (which I'm assuming you like) and dance the Dean Scream (whatever the hell that is).

Although, to be fair, I'll grant you that one about Doubleyuk. He DOES have terrible musical taste. He thinks solo John Fogerty is the best music ever recorded. (And he’s a terrible president.)

goldheart5@hotmail.com
Smells Like Teen Spirit is indebted to two pixies songs, I Bleed and Gigantic. The verse of SLTS is similar to I Bleed. The Hellooo Hellooo section and chorus are very similar to the "Hey paul hey Paul lets have a ball" and chorus of Gigantic.

Add your thoughts?

Live EP - 4AD/Elektra 1989.
Rating = 9

OOo, this is an exciting one. A promo-only Pixies live EP I found at my college radio station, recorded, and then forgot about for 15 years. Wow. You won't be able to keep your eyes off this one. This is gonna be the best review ever. All kinds of talk about which albums the songs were originally on. Yahoo.

Get ready to buy a new wardrobe, because you're about to lose ten pounds in sperm. And if you're a girl, I hope you know how to swim because there are no lifeguards in Lubrication Ocean. Look at that - 2 from Come On Pilgrim, 3 Surfer Rosa and 2 Doolittle. It's almost like actually owning Come On Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, but only listening to 2 or 3 songs on each one.

I'd better alert some top-tier news sources about this review. I'd hate to waste this golden opportunity to inform the entire world that this was recorded in August 1989 at Cabaret Metro in Chicago. Operator, get me the editor of Fortune, the publisher of Forbes, the CEO of the world and the president of the solar system. And have the FCC pre-empt all VHF, UHF, cable, satellite, AM, FM, CB, closed-circuit and Internet programming so I can let the nation know about how Kim Deal's background vocals sound good.

I've just received word that this review has brought an end to conflict in the Middle East. The Hamas-led Palestinian Authority has joined forces with Israel foreign minister Livni in agreement that Frank's voice sounds kinda gross in "Debaser."

President Bush just called to say he's resigning because this review made him realize how many mistakes he has made, especially the whole president thing. Cheney sucked his own dick, Foghorn Leghorn. That's what he calls it.

That's great how this review has caused so many good things. Here comes the sun!

(*Sun crashes into Earth, killing all plant and animal life*)

(*Billions of years pass, with this review slowly bringing about the evolution of a new human species*)

Space Archaeologist of the Future: "Hay, look at this, it's an old record review."

Space Anthropologist of the Future: "This part about how they play the second verse of 'Nimrod's Son' slower than usual - that could explain the entire meaning of life."

Space Archaeologist of the Future: "I was going to disagree vehemently with you until I saw the part about how it ends and Kim Deal says 'We changed the ending. We slowed it down. Did you get it?' Now I agree vehemently with you. This is a great day."

So you see, this review has had many positive effects on our Universe. The other day Jesus Christ called me and said, "Hey man, that was great how you mentioned Kim Deal's comment about how the monitor man is always popular after the first song. I wacked off all over my beard when I read that. Then I crapped in my hand and ate it." That was great that Jesus Christ did that.

This one time I started to doubt the importance of this review, but then a blimp flew by and reminded me that without it there'd be no blimps.

A bunch of aliens came down and were threatening to destroy the Earth, but then somebody showed them the part of this review where I mention I'm kinda sick of "Gigantic" so they surrendered and offered up all their alien women. They were weird-looking though so I didn't get a Renob.

It's not even so much the subject matter as the review itself. People just can't stop talking about it because it's so exciting and important. Like that one baseball guy was going to hit a pop-up to the third baseman but then he remembered this review and hit a home run. Also, fish used to blink a lot but now they don't because they don't want to miss any of this review.

The alphabet used to only have four letters, but then this review opened up a whole new world of possibilities and now there's like 28 of them. Also, nobody follows the Ten Commandments anymore because none of them say "Thou shalt not forget to read the part where Mark talks about how great 'Gouge Away' and 'The Holiday Song' are."

Actually that's not true; people still follow the Ten Commandments. But only because they're afraid if they don't, God will punish them by taking this review away and sending it to Hell. That's a ridiculous fear though because then Hell would be Heaven because this review would be there. God's no fool. Come on.

This review cures AIDS too, so don't be afraid to rub it on some AIDS person.

In conclusion, it's too bad that the Pixies will never ever ever ever ever ever reunite and we'll never ever ever ever ever get to hear another live document of them, especially one recorded at every single reunion show that they'll never ever ever ever ever ever have. Secondarily, don't worry about how all the trees are being torn down because this review makes oxygen.

Add your thoughts?

Bossanova - 4AD 1990.
Rating = 9

If one's a gatherer, one might gather that Mr. Charles Thompson (Black Francis's real name, har de har) felt the same way about DooShittle that I did, becousin this record has more substantial melodicism than a poor man might know what with which to do it. The jokes are gone, or at least abstruse to the point of being unnoticable. And the sleek pop sounds of Thommy are a wondrous substitute. Who? Aww man.

It's a great album, dammit. I think some people have trouble sitting through it, because it's mostly pretty dreamy sissyass mid-to-slow-tempo pop rock music, but if you were growing to feel that Mr. Francis was relying a bit too much on cheap laughs, then this album will make you think twice. In the words of the mortal Judas Priest, "You got another think coming!" Lots o' songs concerning mamas on here, including "Cecilia Ann," "Allison," "Velouria," "Ana," "Havalina," and "Uncle Mammy Can Suck The Dick." Lovely songs. The punk influence is completely gone, but don't miss it. I'm a huge punker with a spikey pink and blue mohawk and "CRASS" written on the back of my black leather jacket, and I don't even miss it. And if you're not going to trust my recommendation, who are you going to trust? The government? Reagan? Fuck you.

Come on now, I'm just grabbin' crank - I haven't had a mohawk in ages. Who am I - a Native American? No! Even though I'm descended from the legendary Grissom family, who were among the earliest settlers in the New World, not even I would be insensitive enough to label myself a "Native American."

A "Sioux" or "Atlanta Brave" maybe, though. Fuck PC!

Buy Macintosh!!! Nah, I'm just touching some weewee. PCs are boner. From now on, I'm not going to use the phrase "That said..." anymore. If you read any of my reviews from now on that use the phrase "That said...", rest assured that it's an OLD review, because I've moved on to newer and fresher cliches. Having said that, oh man! Now you're talking my mustache! I know it seems like I just toss out 9s left and right sometimes, but that's because I try to give credit to sonic innovators, see. And I really feel like The Pixies did a great job of creating their very own special sound. Plus, they kept it up for years! Great melodies, great vocals, and really weird words that don't seem to mean much. While I'm supposedly discussing Bossanova, please let me point out that "All Over The World" is one of the greatest songs The Pixies ever wrote. Check it out. Beautious.

Reader Comments

Weigelda@aol.com (Dave Weigel)
This is the most non-Pixies Pixies record. It's so fuckin' normal! The lyrics may be weird, but the melodies would be at home ruling the airwaves in 1994. Too bad this was 1990.

One of the reason that the Pixies were so great is that they would never repeat themselves after a triumph. Doolittle took 'em as far as they could go in that direction, so they went pop. The result was another classic album! The instrumental "Cecilia Ann" swings, "All Over the World" and "Havalina" are beautiful, and "Rock Music" is much better than any song where you can't hear anything the singer says should be. Basically, the first 9 songs are perfection, then it starts to slacken a bit before ending wonderfully. I recommend this record to any Stone Temple Pilots or Smashing Pumpkins fan in need of another "alternative" pop record. If you like good music in the first place, check it out too. 9/10

xfoundationx@mail.geocities.com (Dean Reis)
never thought this album was that great. oh well.

Itchload@aol.com
Black Francis singing pretty? What? Yes. His vocals on Havalina are almost amazingly pretty, beautiful at that. And what's with his faint moody English accent on some songs. I don't know but I love it

bougopgs@eckerd.edu (Gregory S. Bougopoulos)
"Down to the Well", "Havalina" and "stormy Weather" are among the worst Pixies songs ever, but this album still boats classics like "Velouria" "Alison" and "Dig For Fire." A score of 7.

Ignace.Mathei@student.kuleuven.ac.be
Pixies = gods

1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000/10

9402992h@student.gla.uc.uk (Dan Hackney)
Bossanova- Pants record. But why does nobody else find Dave Lovering's surname hilarious?

errado@ruralsp.com.br
Do it like me: start with this album and you'll love it forever. Cecilia Ann throws sparks, Rock Music explodes. Might be a let-down if you're already heard the first ones. For me, the massive letdown was Trompe le Monde.

misterkite@mindspring.com (Adam Bruneau)
This album may not live up to the incredibly high standards reached through Doolittle, but it sure as hell is no piece of crap! In fact, I would say this is just under Surfer Rosa in terms of quality, but only because there are a few songs near the last half that just don't do much for me. But everything else is just mindblowingly good, especially considering the poor press this one got. "Rock Music", "Dig For Fire", and "Stormy Weather" are personal favorites, but "Velouria" (with a theremin, yay!) and "Havalina" (with beautiful quasi-Hawaiian guitar) are very cool as well. It's definitely more of a surf album, but this certainly is hardly a bad thing....

RebelJukebox@aol.com
This is my favorite Pixies record. People talk shit about this one almost as much as Trompe Le Monde. I don't get it. How can you dis an album that has "Velouria" on it? Love the theremin. "Allison" is the best Plastic Bertrand song that Plastic Bertrand never played. "Rock Music" destroys everthing in it's path. I love it. "Is She Weird" is the equal of "Surfer Rosa's" "Break My Body,"

Unfortunately, this one also follows in the Pixies tradion of throwing the best songs onto side one, but oh man, what a side one.

I'd probably give this one the 10.

Jcjh20@aol.com
This is my Favorite pixies Record. There are some beautiful songs on here, "Havalina", "ana", "the happening", "Velouria"...A really great record. Dont know why people talk shit about this record it is so great, it really is surprizing. "The Happening" sounds like its about area 51 if you think about it ("They got a ranch they call/Number 51/you cant see it at all/unless your flying by"). I cant believe this album was never popular..

9/10

matt.hit@virginnet.co.uk (Matthew Bray)
Although there are some great songs on Bossanova, I love the surf guitar opener Cecilia Ann, and then the loud blast that is Rock Music, indeed it does destroy everything in its path, and there are other great songs like The beautiful Velouria and one of the most awesome epics ever All Over the World.......however it is the most inconsistent Pixies album out there, and amongst the few classics is a host full of mediocrity Down to the Well

apesarefriends@yahoo.com (Colin Jaffe)
Probably the weakest Pixies record. The only one that I'd consider giving an 8 to, certainly. It's got these great, wierd songs mixed in with rather dull, normal ones. To take two examples, "Dig for Fire" was one of the first songs Frank wrote, and you can tell. And "Stormy Weather" was going to be a B-side before he changed his mind. Again, you can tell. Still worth getting, of course, because it's the Pixies. But it says something when most of Mark's review has nothing to do with the album. There's just not much to talk about on this one.

brian_zuelke@hotmail.com
I agree with "errado" on this one. I started out my "Pixies adventure" with this one, and it was the longest I stayed with an album since Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation. Most everybody seems to hate this album, but it's still one of my favorites, even after listening to Surfer Rosa and Doolittle (Trompe Le Monde is another story). What makes this album great is its diversity. You have "surf" music with Cecilia Ann and Ana, you have rockers such as "Rock Music", "Allison", "Hangwire", and "Dig for Fire", you have dreamy epics like "All Over the World" and "The Happening", and dreamy folkers like "Blown Away" and "Havalina". Have I missed something?... oh yeah, "Is She Weird" is beautifully bizarre and "Down to the Well" is just a plain old good song (was written before Come on Pilgrim BTW). The ONLY problem I have with the record is "Stormy Weather". That song just seems too out of place. Charles should have used in as a B-side and used one of the B-sides as a replacement. Then again, the song probably could have just been cut and the album would be better.

Anyways, Bossanova is also lyrically diverse. Love songs, lust songs, dream songs, space alien songs, noise songs, surf songs. Most of the lyrics are NOT goofy and are primarily melancholy. Now that I think of it, there really isn't a humorous moment on Bossanova. Most of the lyrics are dreamy/sexy/creepy. The Pixies were in top form on this album.

Well, anyways, Whitesnake will always rule. I think I've made my point.

ddickson@rice.edu (David Dickson)
Come to think of it, 1988 actually WAS a shitty year in popular music. Still, I can think of at least four albums off the top of my head from that year that are much better than Surfer Rosa: Soinc Youth's Daydream Nation, Queensryche's Operation Mindcrime, Ministry's Land of Rape and Honey, and Enya's Watermark.

I actually haven't heard this album yet. But I will, as soon as my friend burns it. You see, this shows how open-minded I am. I listen extensively even to bands I hate.

nikus80@hotmail.com
What about "Ana"? Have you ever got across a song you find to be gold, but noone seems to think the same? "Ana" is a really beatiful song, with a brilliant chord progression, and wacky key changes. I don't know you, but I LOVE that song. Same as Brick Is Red, one of the best songs on Surfer Rosa.

I recommend all of Pixies records, even this one. Which BTW, D. Dickinson annoys me a lot. How can you think that Smashing Pumpkins are a great band but Pixies isn't? I like the Pumpkins, although.

ddickson@rice.edu
WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING.

I mean, here I was, listening to Surfer Rosa and Doolittle and thinking that the Pixies actually SUCKED. A phrase, by the way, that you cannot EVER use in academic society and not expect to get your head ripped off. Rhetorically, of course--I've never known a Pixies fan to actually get into fights. They will merely use some phrase like "you are obviously not intelligent enough to have the right to listen to music" or some highbrow bullshit like that--you know the story.

So anyway, I got flamed brutally on Starostin's site in that manner, and in a fit of anger decided to spend $13 on Bossanova and listen to it so I could have a return shot at the fool in the Bossanova reader comments section. Whoopsy-daisy.

Bossanova isn't a masterpiece, but it's damn close to being one. My favorite part about the album is the fact that they're not trying to be whimsical, off the cuff, or delightfully weird. They're trying to make a bonafide emotional masterpiece, one where sound and mood is every bit as important as quirky vocals and weird lead guitar lines. And--get this--IT ACTUALLY DOES SOUND LIKE GRUNGE IN PARTS. Fancy that. In fact, I think this is the Pixies' first bonafide ORIGINAL album--the first two owed far too much to Captain Beefheart to be called truly innovative. "Rock Music" actually sounds kinda like Nirvana. "Velouria" actually sounds kinda like Soundgarden. The rest of the album actually sounds kinda like some freakish combination of Weezer and the Smashing Pumpkins. The only thing missing is the grunge VIBE--70% of that genre is vibe; you know, testosterone, self- laceration, depression, etc.--and the Pixies still sound like they're having far too much fun to be mistaken in any way for the kings of Lollapalooza. I still think that the Sonic Youth are the most important underground band in the formation of alternative rock. But the Pixies played a part. They played a part, dammit, and I was a fool not to listen to this album and find that out.

Don't blame me, though. Blame all the weirdos who claim this is their "weakest album". Weirdos.

In short, if there's a reason to obsess over this band, this album is it. 8.5 out of 10.

Add your thoughts?

* Trompe Le Monde - 4AD 1991. *
Rating = 10

This is my favorite Pixies record. It's definitely not their most popular, but I've never been one to let the majority decide what albums are the best, by golly! If I were to do that, well mister, I reckon I'd be listening to Patti Smith's piece of shit Horses album all fluffy day then, wouldn't I now? Eh??? You hear what I say about Patti Smith's Horses, eh??? The enjoyableness of this album for me comes from the charming weirdness of it all. Just all these two-minute songs - coming one after the other after the other, alternating between indescribably bizarre monstrosities like "Alec Eiffel" and "Distance Equals Rate Times Time," catchy predictable pop rockers of the "U-Mass" and "Palace Of The Brine" ilk, and crybaby pop heaven tuneage resembling "Motorway To Roswell," "Bird Dream Of The Olympus Mons" and the hammer-happy title track.

But why describe songs? Why lump them? This album is my favorite simply because there is not a single throwaway track. Every song is either extremely bizarre and fascinating or just catchy as a mitten. Tons of distortion and bitter ugly vibes bring this album back from the land of Sissyville where they had recorded Bossanova, and thoughtful songwriting and noisemongering (the sudden and disconcerting sound shift between the verse and chorus of "Planet Of Sound," the beautiful stereo-floating delay-captured guitar noise beep that complements the angelic piano piece at the end of "Motorway To Roswell," the incredibly strange melodic break in "Alec Eiffel," the psychotically teensy pounding to-the-point arrangement of "Distance Equals Rate Times Time") keep your head spinning and brow furrowing for more! More!

And yes, the record takes some getting used to. Ugly complex songs intermingled with painfully simple four-chorders surrounded by U2 lovelyvilles - it's all really disconcerting at first, but it's also damned interesting, if you will allow me to curse for a moment. You never know what's coming up next, and generally it's pretty great. I mean, there's even a noisy distorted punk anthem on here! And could they have picked a better Jesus and Mary Chain song to cover? I wouldn't know. I've never heard them. Okay then! Please give it a chance. I love it so much. I'm all for things that are different from other things! And this? Different from other things! Yes! Big outer space motif thing going on too, if you're into that sort of thing. "Motorway To Roswell," for example which, if you like it, might influence you to pick up OmniMedia's delightful Incident At Roswell CD-ROM from a store near you! Just in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the famous "encounter." It even has the infamous autopsy footage! Aww man.... Who needs rock and roll when you've got work???? That's my motto!!! That and, of course, "Poop!"

Reader Comments

Weigelda@aol.com (Dave Weigel)
A great album with mediocre reviews, much like anything by Yes or the movie Kingpin. I think Trompe le Monde was integral to creating my distrust of critics. Momentous!

The album itself is like a heavier Bossanova. 15 perfect pop songs strung together in an incomprehensible but interesting way. One AMAZING cover (a note on The Jesus and Mary Chain--they are probably the worst critically beloved band of all time. Their style? Slow, moody pop song, druggy vocals, and--get this--two heavily distorted guitars playing NOTHING! They just sit there and go "kihhhhhhhh", obscuring the whole song. Brilliant, eh? Critics always bitch about the Pixies' "rock" cover of "Head On", but it is really fantastic.). It's simultaneusly the Pixies' least adventurous and most weird album. I don't think it's their best, simply because songs like "The Sad Punk" don't throw me, there's not much experimenting, and too many songs are simply forgettable. But man, songs don't get catchier than "Head On", "Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons", "Letter to Memphis", "Alec Eiffel" or "Motorway to Roswell". 9/10.

markc@javanet.com (Mark Cybulski)
My favorite too, with Doolittle a close second. This album's got it all.

xfoundationx@mail.geocities.com (Dean Reis)
extremely underrated album. first five songs and last four songs are amazing while the rest of the album is very good too.

hawkins@alphalink.com.au (Alan Hawkins)
What a wonderful way to go out!!! Trompe le monde is one of the most enjoyable records I've ever heard, too bad that late 1991 was one of the worst times (commercially) for an American band to release an album, what with the completely overrated Nirvana and Pearl Jam having all their breakthrough success.

But who cares?!!! The Pixies were always the quiet achievers and remained that way to the very end!!

I agree that Black Francis lost his sense of humour towards the end, but his solo career certainly revived his offbeat character (except for his third album - which sucks!!!! what a sell-out!!!!)

Back to this record - Jeez!!! I've never heard so many manic, exhausting yet wonderfully imaginative little tunes on one album.

The climactic tension towards the end of "planet of sound" is awesome!!! and that silly chant at the end of "Alec Eiffel" is so goddamn catchy!!! "Space (I believe in)" kinda drags along though and "The Navaho know" is a bit of an anti - climax after the unforgettable epic "Motorway to Roswell." Still, I'd like to see one single rock band on the face of this earth who could pull off a record as superior as this one - thank god these guys quit while they were ahead (miles ahead!!!!!) ( 9 out of 10)

oneiros@armchair.mb.ca (98% Water, 2% Cheap Suit)
Agreed, on Trompe le Monde. Everyone else I know dumps on it every time they talk about it, but I think that all the previous releases, beautiful as they were, were simply a buildup to this one: a pure pop masterpiece. Most of the other albums have a stretch of songs that just don't quite do it, or kind of drift (and yes, I'd followed the band right from step one). Maybe it was just my reaction after the lousy Bossanova, which was brief moments of beauty padded out with tons of filler. Trompe was the pinnacle, and none of the members have shown any solo signs of even approaching that level, yet.

hijinks@utarlg.uta.edu (Thomas Rickert)
Well, I've got Surfer Rosa, which I think is their best, and I've got Doolittle, which is OK but I rarely want to play it, and that's it. So, I'm going to buy Trompe. I like the Pixies when they are inventive and bizarre best, so... and if I don't like it, believe you me, I'm going to come back here and say so loudly. Perhaps even in CAPITALS! So you have been warned. I'll bet everyone is gripping their keyboard at the utter suspense of what will happen...

hijinks@utarlg.uta.edu (Thomas Rickert)
Well, I up and did it: I bought it. It being Trompe Le Monde. And I like it; in fact, I like it better than Doolittle, but not better than Surfer Rosa. And it is a dense and complex record, and it is far from having sunk in. So thanks for the recommendation, getting me into this new Pixies sensation. And so on.

Itchload@aol.com
i admire you for giving this a great review, it definitely needs some recognition.

bougopgs@eckerd.edu (Gregory S. Bougopoulos)
I think you overrate this one by a point. "Space" and "d=r * t" are filler-like, keeping this from a better score. But "Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons" is just gorgeous and basically everything else is stunning.

malester@cpuinc.net (Glenn)
i have this theory about the pixies:

Come on Pilgrim is the Pixies as punk rock band, Surfer Rosa is Pixies as weird alternative band, Doolittle is Pixies as Pixies, Bossanova is Pixies as surf-metal band, and Trompe Le Monde is Pixies as total pop band. oh yeah, Doolittle is #1, with Surfer Rosa, and Trompe Le Monde a close 2nd and 3rd. Pixies are one of the best bands ever! (along with radiohead and beatles and smiths and husker du)

Ignace.Mathei@student.kuleuven.ac.be
Pixies = gods

10000000/10

Bert.Geelen@student.kuleuven.ac.be
Re.:Everything Ignace.Mathei (aka 1-dimensional man) wrote on this page : You're an unimaginative peaceacrap. Still, you've got a fine ass, so that's ok. Or maybe not. Always writing Pixies and yaddayaddayadda/10 is boring. Ya see, the Pixies wee utter total undefeatablke gobshitelike CRAP. That's C R A P. En ik ga't geen twee keer zegge. And I'll prove it to you using undeniable totally funded on rationalism (vive Blaise Pascal) scientific FACTS. Cause that's what this world needs DAMMIT.

1.100000000/10 can be simplified to 10000000, which, whern looked at in the vicinity of infinity (now if that phrasing doesn't have a beat and you can dance to it, you can all call me fuckhead. And please do cause it gets terribly lonely up here) can be simplified to ZERO. Ergo Pixies /= God, but Pixies = Shite = 0.

2. The Pixies were just a (albeit stupid) Iraqi (or however the fuck you stupid Americans spell that) funded terrorist funded programme designed to debilitate the American youth.(Redundacy Alert!! : Too late to claim that credit!!) It was al just a buildup in the midst of 4/4 beat pop the bring "Da Kidz" the message or, if you will, the exegis that DISTANCE EQUALS RATE TIMES TIME. After wich the band mysteriously quit. Think about it. Distance equals speed times time. (and if rate is a synonym for speed you can just go fuck yourself, I don't have my Dictionary here) When da kidz believed that the would never understand rudimentary physics, ergo america would lose it's atomic understanding. ergo Iraq would take over the world. This proves that the music was only secondary

3. Black Francis was a thick fat baby-alike. And he screamed like a girl.

And also, I'd like to point out that :

a) Godspeed you black Emperor! are the bestest band ever. FACT!
b) The pixies were better
c) uhr
d) if there are any typos here, they're all part of a complex gouvernment kicker conspiracy involving ya mama, whiteboy; and I can't type, and my dog has rabies so leave me alone, fatso.
e) is "I just shat myself" really grammatically correct English?
d) fuck off

2980pacjanxz2@ping.be (Pacquee)
Just listen to " rate equals times time

rodblanc@webtv.net (Gustavo Rodriguez)
I have to chime in: this is the best album they ever made. A swan song if there ever was one. My fave: "Motorway to Roswell". That song should be a standard.

Great mix of noise and pop sensibility. Frank Black came full circle as a writer on this one and he's never topped it.

Kbb967@aol.com
its just a joke-alternative radio- the pixies dont get nearly enough respect-i love nirvana-they are one of my five favorite bands, but as kurt cobains musical aura has approached morrison godhood, frank black seems llike a critically acclaimed speck in the rearview mirror. you can have your rem, and michael stipes pseudo-poetic lyrics and jangly guitars and drenched out string arrangements- l wll take the pixies original,eclectic dynamis and flat out kick ass tunes- tunes that live outside of time,defy age or era

whahahaho@ozemail.com.au (Mark Parry)
I can't say for sure that this album is their best, nor can I say if it's their most poppily creative (as everything Black Francis has ever written is enough to make the pope shit his nappies - actually, dont hold me to that) , but what I can say is that this album still kicks the ass of anything any other band has come out with and contains a handful of the Pixies songs ever written.

The album-titled opener is pure spacey pop bliss but the album really hits its stride with the following number Planet of Sound, which is THE best heavy pop song ever written. So good in fact, that the energy this one exerts on the listener is so fuckin intense, it makes me want to rip my own head off on every listen. Alec Eiffel is right up there as well, and has one of the most up-lifting and catchy conlusions you're ever likely to hear. I recommend smoking large amounts of marijuana, putting on a beefy set of head-phones and turning the stereo up to the max volume whilst listening to this one. It's highly unlikely you'll wake up on the same planet as it finally fades out.

U-Mass kicks butt, Space..... although gimmicky ain't no filler and is still quite cool (awesome opening), and the mean, biting riff of Subbacultcha still puts my hairs on end. The best song on the album though, and quite possible ever written in my opinion, is Motorway to Roswell. Gustavo put it right when he said "that song should be a standard". In fact, words and expanations alone could never do this song justice. I'll try anyway......... Motorway is ^#*&(^JH#^#*(&#&^()@.

In summary, Trompe Le Monde is absolutely brilliant, if you dont buy it you're fucked, etc, etc, etc.....

misterkite@mindspring.com (Adam Bruneau)
While it hasn't all sunken in yet (I bought it only two week ago...), this album seems to me to be on the same level as Bossa Nova, only slightly higher. Dropping the surf guitars and bringing in the My Bloody Valentine guitars (and vocal mixes), this album is probably as loud as they ever got, although still not quite as sharp and menacing as the early stuff. Great songs like "Alec Eiffel" and "Planet Of Sound" are typically good Pixies fare, but the classics "U Mass" and "Motorway to Roswell" are just incredibly special, even for The Pixies. Oh, and how come nobody likes "The Sad Punk"? Hardcore done Black Francis-style...."EXTINCTION!!!!"

matt.hit@virginnet.co.uk (Matthew Bray)
For me a return to form, after the slightly dissapointing Bossanova, Trompe Le Monde hits you in face like a hammer, mashes you up and spits you back out, feeling utterly fulfilled....though not the perfect record Doolittle was.....Trompe Le Monde, returned the Pixies to where they were at with Surfer Rosa, where as Surfer Rosa was raw and catchy, Trompe Le Monde is destructively powerful, yet you can still get hooked amongst the melodies that are there.......

Personal faves from this set are Alec Eiffel ( I love the way it mutates into the organ bit from its pure punk rock beginnings), U-Mass, Planet of Sound and Subbacutcha ( not the pixies best musically, but i love the lyrics and the pace to it )

It is a shame they broke up after this record, a sad, sad, sad shame, because they still had so much to offer..... Pixies geniuses forever !!

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
Not even in the same neighborhood as Doolittle in terms of either content or quality, but not without merit. "Motorway To Roswell" is a masterpiece that looks at the whole outer space thing from a fresh perspective (which is something I can't say for Frank Black's albums), and great noisy, short pop music prevails. Not a bad listen.

danzig9@hotmail.com (Daniel Lawrence)
When I first popped this CD in about 3 weeks ago, I thought it was pretty stupid. I was wrong. Since then, I've listened to it about 20 plus times and I'm just about in love with the damn thing. I love everything about it! The power and punch in "Planet of Sound" rules (that part when he goes "this ain't no fucking around!" in that angry voice kicks my ass so hard). The silly sounding melody at the end of "Alec Eiffel" is so damn catchy and makes me feel like skipping around or something along those lines. "Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons" is one of the finest ditties I've ever heard as is "Motorway to Roswell". Well, maybe not ever. Ever is a little extreme, but you get my point. "Lovely Day" rules as well. The only songs that I don't much care for are "U-mass" and "Palace of Brine", but even they're ok! I also like Black Francis's voice. He kind of has this J Mascis thing going on some of the time, but it's alright by me. 10

jcjh20@aol.com
Great album. I wouldnt give it a 10 like prindle, but it is a great album though. All the songs are nice in someway, but ill admit theres some filler ("Space", "Distance Equals Rate Equals Time"). And one other complaint i have is that, instead of making "Sad Punk" into a generic punk/rock song, they really should of just turned the whole thing into the slow part later on in the song, but ahh well. But besides that, there are some awesome songs on here ("Motorway To Roswell", and "Bird Dream Of The Olympus Mons" come to mind right away). Also sounds like they experiment with more effects and stuff too (the great new-wavey "The Najavo Know", and the flangy vox of "Planet Of Sound"). "Alec Eiffel", "Palace Of The Brine" and "Letter To Memphis" deserve a mention as well. 9/10.

smagnacca@hotmail.com (Sergio Miguel Magnacca)
its this type of review that makes me have faith in mr. prindle (even if he did not get sandinista).. trompe le monde is without a doubt the greatest pixies record ever.. if people were not such bandwagon jumping critic ass kissers and actually listened to this record i have a tough time believing this rekkid wouldn't get the credit it deserves.. i've listened to this record hundreds of times and i have thousands of records.. simply put this is one of my all time favorite records... one tip: its a great headphone record.

apesarefriends@yahoo.com (Colin Jaffe)
This one sounds more like Frank's solo stuff than a Pixies record, with great variation in style, lots of wierd keyboard stuff, and very little Kim Deal. But I like Frank's solo records, so that's okay. It's the most varied of the Pixies albums, and nearly every song is absolutely fantastic. With that variation, though, comes a problem: every listener seems to get annoyed at at least one song. It's "Space" for me. I can't stand that song... Even if the lyrics ARE funny. Still, this one gets at least a 9.

loosecannon737@hotmail.com
How come nobody has mentioned Subbacultcha? That's the absolute best song the Pixies have ever written, and along with Letter to Memphis, and a couple other good songs is the only reason I still listen to this album as often as I do.

And Doolittle is top to bottom far better than Trompe Le Monde. Every song, except Silver, on Doolittle is absolute genius and second only to Subbacultcha. Except for Wave of Mutilation which, depending on my mood, is as good as or bette than Subbacultcha.

If you've never heard the Pixies, start with Doolittle. Their other three are all great albums, but they're still all tied for a distant second place in the Pixies catalogue.

Brian
I have heard to no end that Trompe Le Monde sounds like a Frank Black solo album. Well, I think it's time Pixies fans deal with something: EVERY Pixies album is a Frank Black solo album. In all 5 albums (Purple Tape through Trompe Le Monde), Frank Black wrote all of the songs except two by Kim Deal, one by the Surftones, and one by the Jesus and Mary Chain (not counting B-sides). Workin' out da math, 93% of Pixies songs were written by Frank Black and 3% by Kim Deal. Now, I ask you: "How much did Kim Deal contribute to the Pixies?" We already know how much David Lovering and Joey Santiago contributed.

I TOTALLY agree that Kim Deal is a good songwriter and I do accept that Frank Black probably didn't want her songs on the records. However, to say that Trompe Le Monde is crappy because of an absense of Kim Deal influence is asinine. Frank Black ALWAYS dominated in the Pixies and Trompe Le Monde is no different because of it.

I understand how people feel about Trompe Le Monde. I feel the same way to some extent. However, Trompe Le Monde is as good as every single other album the Pixies put out. I find it amazing how correct it feels to have synthesizers playing a bigger part in the Pixies songs. Fans may say that using synthesizers in Pixies music is not "true to the music", but the Pixies actually matured their sound over time. How often can you say that truthfully about a band?

leticiafuentes1525 (Ricardo Torres Mascareņas, from Mexico City)
Maybe this is not the best album but is the pixiest, not only because of the great sound and distorsions in the songs, but also the personality that this album has.

Many new rock bands have taken this album as a directly influence, from nirvana to yeah, yeha, yeahs.Is an amazing band and is coming to my country I'm very excited for seeing them for first time

Moe Aboulkheir
The Pixies "10" should have come before Trompe Le Monde.

jersyboy5@hotmail.com
Trompe le mondo piece of pooh is more like it. Why oh why would would anyone think that this is the best Pixies album? Maybe, just maybe the worst one, but certainly not the best. In the beginning the Pixies were a raw, wild, untamable beast, a thing of friggin beauty, a thing that would give ol' lucifer the goosepimples. Unfortunately by this point they sound like goofy indie pop with the odd great song (ie, Alec Eifle) thrown in for good measure- and the production is utter stinkiness. A 6.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
10! 10! I'm not the biggest Pixies fan, but I agree whole-heartedly with MP on this album. This album is MEAN and UGLY! Most other Pixies albums are CUTE and CLEVER! See the difference? Don't get me wrong; I love individual tracks from their other albums ("Debaser", "Tame", "Bone Machine", "Gigantic", etc etc etc), but this album is the only one I've chosen to keep in my collection (apart from the Death to the Pixies greatest hits album). If you've avoided the Pixies because they seem too CUTE and CLEVER and GEARED TOWARDS COLLEGE INTELLECTUALS, please forget about all that and buy this album.

julien.beccalori@wanadoo.fr
Their finest and best record ever. Some songs are catchy and furious (Alec Eiffel), some pop gems (Motorway To Roswell), some punk stuff (U-MASS and Distance Equals Rate Time Times) ...

Simply beautiful. It closed real good their "first existence". Too bad the public wasn't so responsive...

luapnamttip@hotmail.com
after reading all of your positive reviews, I tried listening to this album again and it still sucks. Their first 3 albums are where it's at. They know it too. I saw them in Vancouver on the reunion tour and all they played was stuff off the first 3 records. Hah! oh and VU rules!!

bry1425@msn.com
Let it be said that Pixies(no the) are one of the greatest bands ever. Let's break it down.

Come on Pilgrim: 9/10 Great debut e.p. But wait, this was a demo! Jesus f'ing Christ.

Surfer Rosa: 9.8/10 Maybe my favorite pixies album. "River Euphrates", "Bone Machine", "Where is My Mind", "Gigantic". Just fantastic.

Doolittle: 9.8/10 Maybe my favorite Pixies album. "Debaser", "Dead", "Tame", "No. 13 Baby", "Here Comes Your Man", "Hey". Just fantastic. I could list more songs because the titles are shorter.

Bossanova: 9.5/10 The album I played the most for guests because I didn't want to scare them off with Black Francis' (Frank Black's) screaming. "Rock Music" is the most aptly titled song ever.

Trompe le Monde: 9.8/10 Maybe my favorite Pixies album. Every time I hear the intro to "Letter From Memphis" I just go "Oh My God." Plus they make a Jesus and the Mary Chain song sound happy.

In conclusion, Pixies have put out a consistent high quality of work while they existed. I cannot give one a 10 because on any given day I could say that any of 3 out of their 5 albums is a 10. They wrote great songs that make me smile, what more do you want?

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Subbacultcha - Bootleg 1991.
Rating = 9

It would be really hard for the Pixies to pick a lousy set list from their amazing catalog, so right there you're one step in the right direction to a pleasant experience. All else you need is spirited, on-key singing from Black Francis and really great soundboard recording and WHAMMO! A great bootleg. I can't say that anything is really added to these songs to make them any better or different than the original studio versions, but if you ARE interested in hearing what a Pixies concert sounded like, this is a great way to find out. I myself saw them live on this tour and they really did sound very good. Kim Deal looked bored out of her mind, but the music was great. Unfortunately, Pere Ubu opened up for them, destroying what could have been a perfect evening.

Say, did I ever mention that I walked out of a Leonard Cohen concert once? I did. He was old and decrepit, the music was Vegas-style faux jazz with a corny blues guitarist and the audience was full of fawning idiots who laughed and clapped at every inane piece of shit that came out of that man's mouth. I couldn't deal with it. The seats were free anyway.

He has some good albums though.

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At The BBC - 4AD 1998.
Rating = 9

Excellent. Alternative versions of 12 songs covering the range of their career (from "Levitate Me" to "There Goes My Gun" to "Is She Weird" to "Letter To Memphis"), plus Beatles and Eraserhead covers, and "Manta Ray"! If you're a Pixies fanatic, you'll love hearing these beautifully produced, slightly different versions of your favorite tunes.

What's your favorite candy? Pixies' dicks.

Can you tell the Prozac has worn off?

Reader Comments

Itchload@aol.com
I saw that this album only contained 3 Pixies B-sides, so i was hesitant about spending 15 dollars on it. But considering In Heaven from Eraserhead (great movie) and Wild Honey Pie (bizarre song covered even more bizarrely) are brilliant, i had to buy it (I have the MP3's of them). And surprisingly, I loved the album as well. A deep voiced lazy version of Monkey Gone to Heaven, early version of Down to the Well, stripped back screamy version of Is She Weird, slow version of Wave of Mutilation, punky version of THere Goes my Gun, and a shortened-intense version of Dead make it necessary. Also, they bettered the B-side Dancing the Manta Ray by making the screams more layered and less irritating and the REPENT part of Caribou blows the other one away. Critics seemed to recognize that the songs were brilliant on this CD, but unnecessary. I disagree. On an ANNOYING note, they left a bunch of BBC songs out, namely a creepy version of Tame, and an amazing version of River Euphrates. When the hell is goddamn 4AD gonna release a comprehensive Pixies B-side. They haven't even realeased the original 17 song version of Come on Pilgrim.

While I'm at it, I should note that all the anti-Jesus and Mary Chain comments appearing on this page are false, they're a great band (no relevance to anything)

johnsmith@hotmail.com
I went from loathing them to loving them. BEST BAND EVER!!! BLACK FRACIS IS GOD.

msprinthall@cwctv.net
The Pixies are definatly my most liked and most respected band. All their music is unimprovable. It makes you realize how shit all these modern 'formula' bands are.I just wish i could of been at their gigs....p.s.great site,nice one...

brilliant album. but in desperate need of more

7Pyszkas@email.msn.com
The pixies are simply the greatest band ever.Everyone of their albums has a feel to it that words cannot describe. Although they have influenced a lot of bands, not one of them can match the pixies intensity

airsces@yahoo.com
Hmmm...zzzz...I don't understand what you see in this band. This is the first Pixies album I've heard and I think I'm going to stay as far from this band as possible. I really tried to like it, but after listening to it several times, it still sounded the same...like second-rate indie noise pop. I listen to a lot of expirimental underground/indie bands, but this stuff is just boring. Give me Flaming Lips, Polvo, Pavement, or even Superchunk over this. It's not NEARLY as inaccessible as I would imagine given fans' description of how it sounds. Just sounds like pedestrian indie rock. All the ingredients are there. The nerdy singer who sings poorly or shouts everything in a purposely irritating manner, while the rest of the band plays simple chord patterns as the guitarist sporadically decides to let his guitar feedback or something when he gets bored. It's been done better by other bands, in my humble o! pinion. I agree with Albini. "Blandly entertaining college rock" indeed. Maybe I should hear their "classic" Surfer Rosa before I put them on my shitlist. The drum sound, though, is awesome! I give it a 5. Not my thing.

dhovey@eliasarts.com
Dear airsces@yahoo.com you should keep in mind that this is a Live Recording from the 1980's ! ! ! LIVE, none of the other bands you named, which are all huge Pixies fans by the way can't touch them live and they all know it. Also Steve Albini has apologized and retracted those comments saying he has never made a bigger mistake in his professional career. Calling himself a snotty young and stupid producer at the time on god knows what, Later

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Complete B-Sides Collection - 4AD 1999.
Rating = 8

Cover tunes! (Neil Young's "I've Been Waiting For You," Yardbirds' "Evil Hearted You," Eraserhead's "In Heaven") Alternate versions of Pixies classics! ("River Euphrates" with discernible lyrics, "Wave Of Mutilation" done all slow like in that amazing, revolutionary dumbass Christian Slater movie, "Letter To Memphis" played instrumentally to nobody's benefit) Wonderful non-album tracks! (bouncy c/w "Build High," spy/surf "Theme From NARC," spanish punk extravaganza "Weird At My School) Crap that never should have been recorded in the first place! (Horrid cover of horrid Neil Young song "Winterlong," ugly boring "Santo") Eight other songs! ("Lick My Patootie," "Jim Has A Patootie In His Patootie," "Addicted To Patootie") Eight missing songs that should have been on here! ("Rock My Soul," "Born In Chicago," "Boom Chick-A-Boom," et al etc cet boobs) I give it a 1!

OUT OF 1.25, THAT IS! HA HA HA! I'VE FOOLED YOU WITH MY INSCRUTABLE META-SCALE!

Reader Comments

Kimdealwithit@aol.com
This is a great cd, cuz now I can box up all my Pixies singles and put them on the shelf, except for the frickin' Debaser ones, with the live tracks that 4AD didn't care to put on there. Also, what about the Purple Tapes? 4AD desperately needs to get those out. The two videos on the cd are a plus, but yes, too bad there wasn't Rock A My Soul, I Can't Forget, Boom Chick A Boom, Born In Chicago,and the single version of Gigantic. [note to 4AD: What?! Are you high?!!!!!!] [note to David Lynch fans: Woo-hoo >=] [and a final note to all the Pixies lovers who get off on their music and wanted Kim Deal to sing more [And David Too!!!! Hm....I wonder what Joey sounds like....ponder ponder....]. I mourn at the loss of what could have been with the Pixies. Ah well, hopefully the Pixies dvd will be out soon, [yes I know, woo fucking hoo!!!!], and the new Breeders cd should be out shortly.]

[conclusion] All Pixies deserve a 10/10 from a Pixies' fan's point of view. Now I will shut up.

Jes25689@aol.com
an amazing collection. "Into the White" is a masterpiece. "theme from narc"? Genius! It's a cover of a videogame song! If only a band would get around to covering the Mega Man or Ecco: the Dolphin themes. "wave of mutilation-U.K. surf" is quite pretty[and that Christian Slater movie it's in-"Pump up the Volume" has a great soundtrack and is a beautiful flick in my opinion.]

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Pixies EP - 4AD 2002.
Rating = 8

I know that a lot of you people are from a younger generation - a generation Raised on Radio, you might say, except that you probably watched MTV too, at least back when they played videos every once in a while. Everyone has their thing -- right now, my thing is being obsessed with the song "Dead Man's Curve" by Jan & Dean. That and headaches. I'm going through a really bad headache period. It happens once every, oh let's say 4 months or so. Where I have headaches nearly every single waking moment for a couple of weeks, no matter how many cyanide capsules I ingest. But I want to talk about "Dead Man's Curve" by Jan & Dean.

I've loved the song since I was a little kid, but recently it has been dominating my thoughts to a possibly unhealthy degree. If you don't know the song, try to download an MP3 somewhere because it's an amazing song. It's a disaster song -- and even without any violent imagery in the lyrics at all, it plants an unbelievably strong visual in my mind anyway -- to the point where I keep almost crying when I think about the psychological hell that the narrator is trapped in at the end of the song. Let's go through it.

First of all, I've been doing some reading up on the song so assuming that the Internet doesn't lie, the "Dead Man's Curve" that they sang about is a downhill stretch of road somewhere in Los Angeles where it's hard to keep your car under control and then you reach the bottom and there's this horrible sudden curve that you either have to take perfectly or you'll slam into a bunch of trees on the right or oncoming traffic on the left. The landmarks mentioned in the song aren't actually on the route to the real-life Dead Man's Curve (they wanted to use landmarks that people across the whole country could recognize), but it's only about four miles away. So that's your background. Now I want to go through the song with you, and then discuss its aftermath.

The song begins with a TV-scary horn line that repeats twice before resolving itself into a normal happy-sounding car/beach number. The vocal melody comes in and it is a HUMDINGER. FanTASTIC vocal melody, possibly written by Brian Wilson:

I was cruising in my Stingray late one night
When an XKE pulled up on the right
He rolled down the window of his shiny new Jag
And challenged me then and there to a drag.
I said, "You're on buddy, my wheels' runnin' fine
We'll start off the line down at Sunset and Vine
But I'll go you one better if you got the nerve
Let's race all the way ---- to Dead Man's Curve."

So what's happening here. Well, Jan Berry owned a Stingray in real life. And Brian Wilson's car-song-cowriter Roger Christian drove a Jaguar XKE. So those are the cars they used in the song. Both Jan and Roger were also drag racing nuts, and used to race all the time, with their usual starting line being - YOU GOT IT! - the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine... uhh.. whatever Vine is. Vine Street or what have you. Now to the chorus, which is sung by several people:

Dead Man's Curve is no place to play
Dead Man's Curve - you'd best keep away
Dead Man's Curve - I can hear 'em say
WON'T COME BACK FROM DEAD MAN'S CURVE!

That last line is sung in a TV-scary melody, btw. So we're back into verse 2 now and there are only 3 verses so things happen in this one.

The street was deserted late Friday night
We were buggin' each other while we sat at the light
We both popped the clutch when the light turned green
You shoulda heard the whine from my screaming machine
I flew past LaBrea, Schwab and Crescent Heights
And all the Jag could see were my six taillights
He passed me at Doheny and I started to swerve
I pulled her out and there we were -- at Dead Man's Curve.

Okay, so what's happening here? Well, Jan is hauling ass. Unfortunately, it is pitch black out - no lights around - and the guy in the XKE can't see a THING aside from Jan's taillights. So he has no idea (hell, even JAN has no idea) that they have already reached Dead Man's Curve. He passes at the exact wrong time ---- the next thing you hear after these lyrics is the chorus starting up and abruptly coming to a premature stop as car screeching and crash noises take over the mix. Then there is a harp flourish followed by four stunning, dramatic piano chords as Jan recites, in a tone of voice that is far too realistic for my personal well-being, the final verse of the song:

Well, the last thing I remember Doc, I started to swerve
And then I saw the Jag slide into the Curve
I know I'll never forget that horrible sight
I guess I found out for myself that everyone was right
WON'T COME BACK FROM DEAD MAN'S CUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURVE!

Then the chorus comes back and repeats, along with car skidding noises, until the song fades out.

The end actually confuses me. What I THINK happens is that the other car slams into a car coming from the other direction. It's also possible that the other car misses the curve and slams into JAN'S car. What makes me think that this scenario might be the correct one is the way Jan doesn't REMEMBER what else happened. Plus he's talking to a doctor. But then again, he's so mentally fucked up at the end, it might be a psychiatrist he's speaking to.

So why does the song grab me the way it does? Definitely a big part of it is the music and production -- it is an AMAZING production for 1964, far surpassing anything the Beatles and George Martin would do for another few years. And the vocal melodies for every part of the song are just genius. If it WAS Brian Wilson who wrote it, well, there's another example of his genius for you.

But it's not just the music. It's what HAPPENS in the song. The narrator -- JAN, we'll call him -- is COMPLETELY responsible for this person's death. He doesn't even KNOW this person - and he has to live with this guilt for the rest of his life. "Why did I have to dare him to race me to Dead Man's Curve?" "Why did I keep going when I KNEW he couldn't see anything but my taillights?" "Why wasn't it ME that was killed?" Listen to the way Jan's voice quivers and misses a beat when he says "And then I saw the Jag slide into the Curve." To me, it's heart-wrenching.

But another part of the song's mystique is what REALLY happened in REALLY REAL life. Two years later, Mr. Jan Berry smashed his car at an extraordinarily high speed into a truck. One would have to assume he was drag racing. He survived the crash but only barely. He fell into a coma, and by the time he came out, he was brain damaged and half of his body was paralyzed. His musical career was finished.

It would have been even spookier had the accident occurred in the Dead Man's Curve he sang about. But I think it's certainly spooky enough that, according to sources, it DID happen only a few miles away. And, as that awesome snopes.com site pointed out to me earlier (that site KICKS ASS - go there now and often), the most disturbing thing of ALL is this: Roger Christian didn't intend for "Dead Man's Curve" to be a disaster. The race originally ended in a tie. But Jan Berry insisted that the ending be rewritten -- he wanted it to end in a fatal accident.

If there were a Jan & Dean section on my site, that little essay would go there, but there isn't so all you Pixies fans please do me a favor and go listen to the song "Dead Man's Curve." It's two and a half minutes of perfection.

This Pixies thing is pretty darn cool - the only question is why in God's name did it take so long to come out??? You know what it is? Well I'll tell you! You know how Come On Pilgrim was really just a demo, but 4AD liked it so much they released it As Is? Well, it turns out that they only released HALF of the demo. This self-titled EP is the other half. And I (Mark Prindle) for one am a bit squinty-eyebrowed as to why seven of these nine songs were removed from the debut release. You know how great "Broken Face" is! And you know how great "Break My Body," "I'm Amazed" and "Here Comes Your Man" are! So what the heck? (Actually, to be honest, Kim Deal's background vocals in "I'm Amazed" are so ear-pokingly off-key, I can understand why they left THAT one off.) Even MORE curious -- you know what else was on this - their EARLIEST demo recordings? Fuckin' "Down To The Well" and "SUBBA"fuckin"CULTCHA"!!!!!!!! Explain? How could these two beautiful, wildass songs have been left off of their first three records? And get THIS -- instead of that little middle-eight part that ended up in the final "Subbacultcha," it originally featured a three-chord break where they sing "We are having big fun." Guess where that three-chord break ended up? Well here's a Blue's Clue for all you Trompe Le Monde fans out there --- doesn't "we are having big fun" sound just a little bit like "looking into the sun"? INDEED IT DO! And please allow me to offer this abbot and costello handshake to whomever it was that decided to pull out that little break and turn it into a KILLERASS song of its own on Trompe Le Monde (which is Spanish for "Tromp The Mond," just FYI).

They also do "In Heaven" (good song from Eraserhead), "Build High" (stupid annoying country/western song) and "Rock a My Soul" (possibly the least interesting song of Frank Black's career).

And that's your EP! Go to your local record store right now and ask for it by name! It's called "Dead Man's Curve by Jan & Dean."

Also, when Jan tells the psychiatrist, "I guess I found out for myself that everyone was right - won't come back from dead man's curve," what he's really saying is that even though he lived, he lost a part of HIMSELF that night. He will never be the same after witnessing a fiery death of which HE was the ultimate cause. The happy-go-lucky innocent drag racer he used to be is now DEAD.

Some people also insist that the word "Doc" is a bit of dark humor, as Bugs Bunny voiceman Mel Blanc died in an accident in the real-life Dead Man's Curve a few years earlier (seriously). And maybe it is. Who knows? All I know is that the Blink-182 version made me laugh!

Reader Comments

Jcjh20@aol.com
To confirm, Brian Wilson DID indeed write "Dead Man's Curve". Someone else co-wrote it with him, but not sure who (im 95% sure it's Roger Christian, though). In fact, there is a rare song that was released on the Little Deuce Coupe/All Summer Long albums 2-for-1 CD called "All Dressed Up For School" with a very similar chorus as "Dead Man's Curve". Either he reused the melody or he recycled the melody, but "All Dressed Up For School" is also a real great song! He also wrote (possibly produced as well) a bunch of other songs for Jan & Dean, including "Surf City" (which the Ramones covered!). Not sure if he produced "Dead Man's Curve", but i wouldn't be surprised if he did, as i'd go so far to say the production on "I Get Around" surpasses anything the Beatles (or anyone, IMO) did at the time.

megane@c-gate.net (M H)
Mel Blanc died in 1989 of natural causes (old age).

And your interpretation of "Dead Man's Curve" is ALL WRONG! Jan isn't messed up, he's GLOATING that he survived Dead Man's Curve while his adversary did not.

bickbyro@lycos.com (Keith Turausky)
Mel Blanc died 1989, Prind-o! (Haven't you ever seen that "Speechless" poster WB put out when he died? It will make you cry... see for yourself: www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Academy/3441/animation/warner/spchless.gif)

However, he did *almost* die in a car crash in 1961...

jturd@yahoo.com (Johnny Turd)
Mel Blanc, voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, and every other Looney Tunes character that ever spoke, actually died in 1989 from some old guy disease. I remember this because I was ten when he died and the Warner Brothers store at the Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury, CT, had a cell drawing of all the Looney Tunes crying and looking at a spotlight shining on an empty microphone and at the bottom it said, "MEL BLANC: 19?? - 1989". He was not killed on Dead Man's Curve, as you so irroneously reported.

drazy@gatecity.com
And I here thought that Mel Blanc was a roadie for The Amps. But seriously, Phil Collins, what we have here is one of the most sought after demos in underground rock. Oddly enough, found this baby used which may mean The Purple Tape isn't as sought after as it was ten years ago. Actually, 4 A.D. had it right all along by releasing the "Come On Pilgrim" the way they did the first time. This be the leftovers, but when you're The Pixies, the leftovers taste pretty good. With that being said, if I worked at 4 A.D. circa '87 and these songs (minus the "Pilgrim" tracks) got sent to me, I would have signed 'em on the spot too. I also couldn't believe that "Subbacultcha" was recorded this early. And for the record, "Trompe Le Monde" is French for "No Jacket Required."

zsdevo@wm.edu (Zachary DeVore)
to add to what has been said about the song "Dead Man's Curve," the infamous Cleveland art-punk terrorists the Electric Eels recorded a cover of it in 1975 that remained unreleased until 2001's The Eyeball of Hell collection. it like the rest of the Electric Eels, who apparently invented Midwestern noise rock (although maybe you could argue for the Stooges, but Iggy and the boys actually tried to use some chords and melody and extraneous things like that while the Electric Eels were more influenced by free jazz like Albert Ayler), material really must be heard to be believed. of course, if you've never heard the Electric Eels be warned that Dave E. really, really cannot sing at all, but the guitarists (2 of them, no bass) create a wonderful racket indeed. Drummer Nick Knox was later in the Cramps.

And, btw, Mel Blanc was undoubtable into fast cars. He owned a very impressive collection that included several Ferraris, classic Corvettes, and a 1957 Thunderbird. Many of his cars were auctioned off after his death raising several million dollars for his estate. I believe that his 1957 Thunderbird set a record price for Thunderbirds, and his 1957 Corvette may have as well.

You're site is quite interesting. I'll just leave it at that

soul_crusher77@hotmail.com (Mike K.)
OK, so 8 of these 9 songs ended up getting redone as either album or b-side tracks, so this isn't the most essential release ever, but I'm glad they did release it, because it's an interesting little document. Only "Down To The Well" is in a superior version than it's previously released counterpart (heck, I didn't even really like that song till I heard this version with the rawer production and the Kim Deal "Chicka-um, chicka-um, chicka-um" backing vocals), but it's still neat to hear these songs in less developed form as a diehard fan.

It also raises the question "Who the hell picked 'Ed Is Dead' over 'Here Comes Your Man'?". Not that "Ed Is Dead" is too bad, but it is probably the worst Come On Pilgrim track, and a "Here Comes Your Man" would have made the record almost perfect, even one where they use the same guitar break in the beginning and middle of the song and Black Francis starts sounding like he's constipated at the very end.

If you think about it one way, this is yet another attempt to milk the Pixies for all they're worth (there's now almost as many post-breakup Pixies releases as albums they put out when they were actually still together), but on the other hand, if you already own Come On Pilgrim and then buy this, you'll have the entire set of demos that got the Pixies signed. If you wanted to, you could dub both on tape in the order the songs originally went, and it would be just like having an original copy of their first demo. Then you could make the tape purple, label it "pixies", send it to yourself, and pretend to sign them to your own imaginary record company. Or, um, listen to it. Whichever you want.

goldheart5@hotmail.com
Most of this EP is done better on later pixies albums, but an eyeopnening listen nontheless. It should probably be in your collection if you're a pixies fan. I love "Rock A My Soul" BTW, but I also like The band which might explain things a bit.

Add your thoughts?

Live At Burton Cummings Theatre - Disc Live 2004
Rating = 7

Burton Cummings has changed so many lives. For example, he brought The Guess Who fame and fortune in their home town of Winnepeg, Canada, as well as around the world, with such hits as "America's Women" and "No Mother Tonight/New Natural Sugar," all of which brought he, Randy Bachman, and the other members, of the band, fame, and fortune worldround. But tonight he's done something even more special. He's brought us the most hilariously inept Pixies concert anybody thought they'd ever hear.

For you see, when Burton Cummings of "Stand Tall" fame opened his Burton Cummings of "Stand Tall" fame Theatre in downtown Canada, he knew that Frank Black, Joey Santiago, Kim Deal and the other guy would love to get together for a reunion tour. And they did! And not only did they do just that in 2004, but they signed a deal with Disc Live Records to record every single show of the tour (or some of them, at least) and sell copies to a specially-chosen 1000 fans who had 25 extra dollars burning a hole in their fire-operated wallets. So theoretically, there are probably about 20 different live CDs floating around out there from this tour. But this is the only one I have, and man - it STINKS! Luckily, the Pixies have so many great songs, even when they stink they sound good.

I personally saw The Pixies on their Trompe Le Monde tour and thought to myself, "Hey, they're playing nearly every track off their new album, Kim Deal looks bored, and they're not doing anything. Also, Pere Ubu opened and didn't play a single good song. Why didn't I just stay at home in my dorm room studying Female Anatomy with a minor in Alcohol Poisoning?" But here tonight, on April 4, 2004, Frank Black has ballooned to a bald 650 pound man, and Kim Deal is so high on cocaine, she can't even throw up straight!

Okay, I made that up. But hey - that's why those in the legal profession refer to markprindle.com as "The Libel Bible"! Also, I saw Pete Townshend slam a little kid's head into a tree and shove his credit card up h

This particular reunion show featured three non-LP tracks, four Come On Pilgrims, 6 Surfer Rosas (not counting the ones like "Vamos" that were also on COP), eight Doolittles, and a disappointing mere TWO Bossanovas and Trompe Le Mondes. Disc Live did an amazing job capturing the crystal clear sound of the instruments and vocals (except for some excruciating cymbal hiss in the first song), and the band was chockfull of good spirit and energy on this night, but my good GOODness had they not practiced enough beforehand! Kim's backup/harmony vocals are as 'slightly but distractingly off-key' as Brix Smith on her worst nights, and quite a few songs feature horrid moments of amateurish shittery (an ear-torturous guitar/bass mixup in the middle of "Crackity Jones," several incorrect bass notes in the first verse of the THREE-NOTE "Gouge Away," Kim's inability to play her instrument in a natural-sounding manner during her own song "Gigantic," and a complete travesty of sloppy notes, botched chords and unlistenable feedback that they try to pass off as "Head On"). It was still probably a fun night though, and Kim even admitted that they weren't playing terribly well, with her encore comments "We fixed all you guys' (Disc Live) CDs, so they're perfect now! We did some overdubs." and "Thanks for coming out for the warm-up show!" Good old women and their jokes. Not that Kim's an "old woman," necessarily. I've heard tell there might be a penis down there.

Still, even with all these mistakes and with some song choices I personally wouldn't have made ("Winterlong"? "In Heaven"? "Into The White"? The SLOW version of "Wave Of Mutilation"? And again, only TWO songs from their most interesting record?), their finest performances remind me yet again of why love for the Pixies has continued to be passed down from generation to generation to the point that I'm pretty sure they're more popular now than they were when they were originally together. They just had so many great songs! 14 of these 25 tracks are compositionally awe-inspiring and actually performed correctly. Four of them are even really short, really fast and performed one after the other in exciting hardcore procession! So whether you're into the Pixies for their Doolittle pop hook angelica or their Surfer Rosa speed rockica, Burton Cummings Theatre is the Disc Live concert recording for you!

(as long as you're not into the Pixies for their Trompe Le Monde best materialica or their Bossanova bothering to rehearse each song at least one time before hitting the stageica).

So how about you? Did YOU catch the Pixies on their whirlwind reunion tour? If so, how was it? Did Frank Black consume the entire first row during "Gigantic"? Was Kim snorting lines right off of Santiago's dick? Come on, send in a reader comment! The sicker the better! Give it some tits and smear 'em in blood!

Best,
Every Television News Program In America

Reader Comments

Mike
The next night in Regina, they were a lot more together and the sound was captured with crystal clarity...........................................except during all the shit eating, that was dirty.

mudshark@ptd.net (John)
They were really off at the start of the reunion tour, as you have noticed, but since then they've become tight as hell. They fired DiscLive for the shitty job they were doing and hired a new company called CDBaby, and started a subsidiary called PixiesDiscs. The latest round of bootlegs are all post-produced in a studio, rather than live on the spot, so they sound awesome. I recommend 5.30.05 San Francisco...two shows, every song in their current repertoire, with only a few repeats in the second night's encore, and it's all delivered with accuracy. Best live Pixies I've heard.

t_trudeau@tru.ca
You are a bad, bad man.

Add your thoughts?

30 May: San Francisco, CA - Pixiesdiscs 2005
Rating = 9

Say, you know how sometimes people get all bitchy and moany when you let your dog piss on a church? Well, I've come up with the perfect response to these ne'er-wish-you-wellers and I invite all of you to use it. The next time somebody says to you, "What are you doing? Don't let your dog pee on a church!," look him square in the eye and reply, "Hey, God invented urine - let Him deal with it!"

This double-CD features two entire shows by the reconstituted Pixies, both recorded on May 30th, 2005 in the Piss Club capitol of the world San Francisco, CA. It features 4 non-LP tracks, 5 Bossanovas, 6 Trompe Le Mondes, 7 Come On Pilgrims, 9 Surfer Rosas (10 if you count "Vamos"), 11 Doolittles and 7 Reruns of tracks already experienced previously on the disc. There's almost no stage patter and the songs sound pretty much just like the album versions except for a few irritating Kim Deal vocalisms (changing 'So long, so looooooooong' to 'So long, sooooooooooooooooo long' in "Here Comes Your Man"; singing "Debaser" 45 miles off-key) and a messier rendition of "Head On" that sounds intentionally rejiggered to more closely emulate the inferior Jesus & Mary Chain version.

It's a fantastic double-disc because the Pixies have so many great songs, but do you really need it? Hell no. In fact, I might even go so far as to say SHIT no. Especially since it starts off so slow and unenergetic. Who the hell puts "La La Love You" FOURTH in a set list!? And how did "Dancing The Manta Ray" and "Ed Is Dead" make the cut when more than half of Bossanova and Trompe Le Monde were told to "Eat a dick" by Frank Black, onstage? Did you hear that bit? It's cut out of most versions, but send me $30.00 shipping and handling and I'll tape it for you free of charge. What's really weird is that it doesn't sound like Frank Black saying it at all, but Mark Prindle. I think it's because of the acoustics.

The older you get, the more interesting lyrics become. This is something I've learned since first coming up with the idea of adopting a dog for the sole purpose of naming it "Ronnie James D.O.G." (prn. 'Ronnie James Dio, G'). Take the Pixies for example. Look at a very serious-sounding, dramatic and intense piece of music like "Gouge Away" -- what the hell is the line "Some marijuana if you've got some" doing in there!? And for years I didn't give a shit and just figured in "Debaser" he was making the nonsensical statement "Got me a movie! Ah ha ha ha! Slice in the Bible! Ah ha ha ha!" But then my wife corrected me (It's actually "Slicin' up eyeballs") and suddenly it was clear that what he's saying in the bridge is something about Un Chien Andalou, that Luis Bunuel movie where they slice the eyeball. Then he goes "I'm gonna grow up to be a debaser" and I'm all like, "So is this a statement about how the media blames horror movies for turning children violent and murderous, but Frank is ironically replacing a 'Video Nasty' with a famous and respected art film?" But that's as far as I think about it. Thinking's hard and it makes my forehead all wrinkly. Which would be fine if my head was a ballsac but it's not. It doesn't even have that much sperm in it since I quit the John Zorn Fan Club.

Another thing I can't figure out is who these assholes are that like the slow version of "Wave Of Mutilation" better than the fast one. When will you people realize that fast things are inherently better than slow things? When was the last time you saw a race to see who was the SLOWEST at something? Nobody CARES who's slowest! We're ALL slowest! It's fast people that win the grand prize and change the world. Just look at race car driving, or teen beauty contests in which I'm the judge.

49 songs long, this double-decker of Pixies pecker will keep your ears shiny, your palace briny, your dog whiny, your tartan tiny and Ben Vereen's hiney. Also, somebody tell Indian people about deodorant. I'm all for racial tolerance, but do these people bathe in warm horse shit? "B.O." isn't short for "Bery Ottractive"!

Not that I'm making fun of the way Indians talk.

If I were going to do that, I'd cry, "Please Henly! Please give me dee bol!" like I do in a hilarious Indian accent when I'm playing tennis with Henry The Dog.

Oh, but I kid the Indians! Come on now! We'd all smell like shit if we slurped that pus-boiled curry slop every night. So let's practice some racial tolerance for once. I'm a fan of all races, genders and sexual orientations, and feel that nobody should ever be mistreated or subject to unfair hiring practices due to their nationality or lifestyle preference. I'm serious. I can make 'offensive jokes' all day, but this is important. People are pricks, and too many of them scapegoat 'those who are different' for their own problems. So let's stay cool, "ya'all," and remember that gay jokes aren't funny if you actually MEAN them. Same with racial stuff. Only by accepting each others' differences can we come together in a spirit of global harmony and work towards a better world in which all religious people are burned alive in a football stadium filled with lava.

Reader Comments

spinaltomek@hotmail.com
I just watched the Pixies DVD "The Pixies Sell Out, 2004 Reunion Tour" which features concert material from lots of different concerts in 2004. It's cool! Really good tour. They play very nicely and they are incredibly well rehearsed. Sounds like they never stopped playing together. They were always very well rehearsed. That's why almost every live record sounds exactly the same. And even the records (except maybe for Trompe Le Monde) sounds like the live shows and vic versa.

It's amazing to see so many people at their reunion concerts. Like 100.000 people or more. I have this other DVD with a concert filmed in 1989 i think, even before Doolittle came out, and there are maybe a few hundred people there, looking pretty bored, waiting for the Throwing Muses for which the Pixies opened...fucking Throwing Muses! Who have like 3 good songs! And suddenly, after 10 years or so everybody loves them Pixies. Maybe that's just fair.

One more thing: the Pixies were always terribly bad with their artwork. really bad and boring! While bands like the Residents or Pink Floyd waste more energy on designing album covers and concepts for their shows than rehearsing, the Pixies seemed to never care. I mean it's amazing that a band with almost JUST great songs and 4 incredible records doesn't have one cool album cover or poster or t shirt or stage decoration. Nothing. There is this scene during "No 13 Baby", where the stage light turns off and you just see the band in front of some cactuses in red colors...It looks terrible! They have a bad bad bad taste for artwork.

They're the coolest indie band anyway.

Add your thoughts?

07 June: Indianapolis, IN - Pixiesdiscs 2005
Rating = 8

There's this thing some of we have - and I'm writing this the next day after writing the preceding review so I'm in a different mindset now, so get ready for an abrupt mood change - that prevents we from feeling exceptionally proud of anything us've done. This is partly (a) knowledge that us aren't really that great a human being insofar as giving to charity and whatnot, and (b) the realization that even if what us does initially seems pretty as a picture, it inevitably winds up looking shitty as a scripture to those very same eyes of we a few years later. But it's not JUST that. It's also the whole celebrity/human being thing. It has always seemed fine to criticize and poke light merry fun at folks like Madonner or David Bowir or whatnot because these people are larger than life and purposely thrust themselves into the spotlight and are never, ever, ever going to run across my tiny little corner of the web universe anyway - and even if they DID, they wouldn't read anything they haven't already heard from a bajillion other PROFESSIONAL critics (that people actually READ) over the years.

But then there are 'people I've been in contact with personally' -- and of course I would never want to say assholish things about THESE people because they've been nice to me and are clearly just 'real people' who work 'real jobs' and are just playing music because they love it so much. Like Guy Picciottititooto for example. Or Mike Watt. Even if you could think of something rude to say about either of them, you wouldn't want to, would you? Of course not.

The problem is the in-betweeners. People that I assume will never run across my site but then somehow DO. Like one of the guys from Steel Pole Bathtub, whose feelings were hurt by my hideous piece of shit godawful review page for his band. Or one of the Angry Samoans that I'd said mean, pointless and unfunny things about. It's situations like this that make me feel like a truly rotten human being. And when one of these artists writes me and puts me down (it's only happened a couple of times, but that's enough), I fully deserve it. I put my reviews out there, I take potshots, and I deserve what I get in response.

But something that I hope people realize is that I'm NOBODY. I'm not a celebrity or a signed recording artist or a professional music journalist or anything. And I don't speak for a single other person alive, other than myself and the silly characters I play on the Intronet for your (or somebody's) entertainment. I'm just some guy who does PR during the day and runs a 'wacky' music web site in his free time. So when I get these long hateful emails from readers screaming at me for not liking Sonic Youth enough or calling me an ignorant so-and-so-and-so-and-so for not realizing the genius of David Bowie -- I mean it's one thing if they're friends of the band are simply coming to their defense for that reason, but otherwise it makes me worry that I'm striking all kinds of anger chords that I'm not intending to strike. More than anything, it makes me wonder, "When you saw that I was making fun of Tori Amos, why didn't you just leave the site?" My goal is not to upset people and piss them off and make them hate me. I'm just writing about music because it's fun, and joking around because I like to make people laugh. So I don't like PJ Harvey and you do - why should that upset you? So I say incredibly rude things about her that are uncalled for. That's true. And that goes back to that issue I mentioned earlier about my problem separating celebrity from human being. I definitely would not want PJ Harvey to run across my reviews of her work. But they made some people laugh and nobody was killed and life will continue and maybe somebody will even ask her to shave her mustache. But these hatemails I get -- they really sound like the writers are UPSET! Like I've ruined their entire day so they want to make me feel like a piece of shit for doing it. But my site has nothing to do with whether people live or die, or whether records sell or don't sell. It's just a tiny 'underground' site where me and other people joke and talk about records. If you want to send a note telling me why you DO like an artist, that's great! If you want to let me know that something I said was particularly mean, hypocritical or unnecessary, that's even better because I've been doing this site for ten years and don't really recall about 95% of what's on it (for example, I'd said some pathetically childish things about Jello Biafra in a recent review, and several readers brought them to my attention so I could change them). But please don't get upset because I say some bad things about Tool. Life is too short for you to get a headache over things like that.

And a few other important things -- I'm not really arrogant (I'm told you need some semblance of self-esteem to be so), I'm not really homophobic, I'm not really racist and I'm not really sexist -- those are just character-driven jokes, some of which work and some of which don't make any sense at all. However, it is true that I have a big problem with politicians and organized religion, so you can take stuff like that literally. Also the bits where I drunkenly ask serial killers to stop killing nice people. At any rate, eat my balls.

See? I'm "Wacky Mark" Prindle comin' atcha!

No but seriously -- I don't like upsetting people. I know that this is a tiny site and not that many people know about it or will ever run across it, but still - I don't feel that my site should upset anybody (except possibly, again, the actual artists). But I know from the amount of upset emails I receive each month that it occasionally does. Whether this is because my words sting more than I intend them to, or because certain people attach far too much of their identity to their favorite rock bands, I don't know.

What am I trying to do? Who am I trying to be? How can I get excited when my site traffic goes up, then turn around and say I'm nobody? How can I bash every artist to my heart's content, and then not expect people to get mad about it? What is my point? Fuck, I DON'T KNOW! All I know is that (a) as much as I love the Ramones and the Fall, I don't care the teensiest bit when somebody else trashes them -- seriously, why would I give a shit!?, and (b) it makes me feel bad when I get hatemail. Somtimes it makes me angry, sometimes it hurts my feelings, but mostly it just makes me feel like a bad person for having made this person hate me. It makes me wish I could go back and turn the sender into a friend instead of an enemy. Sometimes I try to do so; sometimes it fails. I'm really not a bad guy. It's neat when people send me nice email. And if I didn't get a lot of site traffic, I wouldn't bother doing the site. Did I mention that people recently have been trying to put down the site too? Putting down its readers - saying they're 'immature' because of their votes in my "Top 73" contest. And saying it looks like I'm just dicking around for three or four of my friends. First of all, I don't have that many friends, and secondly if I didn't get positive feedback for my writing, I wouldn't do it at all. One of the big reasons I've kept the site going for so long is because of all the email buddies I make through it and all the nice notes I get from people discovering my silly writing for the first time. It's nice to be liked. More specifically, it's nice to be liked for doing what I actually WANT to do. I'm not kissing anybody's ass or working towards some publisher's or advertiser's agenda -- this is my site and ONLY my site, I say exactly what I want to say, and dodgammit if people like it, then that means they like me.

With that out of the way, let's talk about how much the Pixies suck and how anybody who likes them just hasn't heard enough music because they're terrible and their fanbase are all lesbo niggers.

This date was one of the Pixerses' infamous "Alphabetical Shows" wherein every track is performed in alphabetical order. Unfortunately for me personally the set list isn't the greatest and Kim's microphone is turned up so loudly that Frank's lead voice-o-riffics are completely drowned out by her occasional wanderings off-key and irritating vocal mannerisms (mainly singing behind the beat and dragging out notes longer than they're supposed to be dragged). Check out this set list, okay? And keep in mind which Pixies album I like the most. Okay, they played 3 non-LP tracks (why in CHRIST'S ASS are they so stuck on "In Heaven," "Into The White" and "Winterlong"!?), 4 Come On Pilgrims, 2 Bossanovas, 5 Surfer Rosas, a horrifying ONE from Trompe Le Monde and TWE-GODDAMNED-LVE from Doolittle!!!! Sure, I love Doolittle too, but not to the expense of every other record they made! Bunch o' shitasses. Plus "Ed Is Dead" blows. It might be the only Pixies LP or EP track for which I feel no absolutely no affection at all. Do you like it? If so, tell me why; I'm willing to learn! Also, are there any Pixies songs you hate? If so, why? I'm asking actual FANS here, not people who hate all Pixies songs. Tell me! I find such quirks interesting! Don't leave me hanging here! And if you don't want your email address posted, just tell me what to list you as name-wise. That goes for all of my reviews, incidentally! Nobody understands the irritation of spam like I do. What with my email address being featured prominently on every single page on this site and all.

And secondly, as I mentioned, Kim's too loud. If you don't know what that means, it means that the chorus of "Monkey Gone To Heaven" sounds like it has one note. It also means that her cutesy, behind-the-beat "Deeeeebaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasuuuuuuuuuuh" deflates all the retarded power from Frank's "DEE-BAY-SUH!!!!" But don't think Frank is fault-free either, if that's what you're thinking, Ol' Thinky. This large man completely ruins the sole Trompe track by speaking "U-Mass" all in one note (!), foregoing the adorable drop-note that belongs at the end of every line like a good song would.

There is one funny bit though where they start to fear that they've screwed up the 'alphabetical order' gimmick. However, it turned out that the word "Man" on the set list stood for "Here Comes Your Man," so it was okay that "Hey" came right after it. Also, I finally figured out that one of the whistles in "La La Love You" is a slide whistle, which changes everything. Particularly gravity. WHOoooooooooooooooooooooooooa!

(that was me flying up in the air, hilariously)

On a related note, I noticed that my Tae Kwon Do instructors have started using the word 'sweat' as a euphemism for 'shit' -- as in "Ah sweat! We're out of time!" As such, do you think it's okay if I end the next class by shouting, "Man, what a workout! I'm all covered in SHIT!"

Reader Comments

Fishgum999@aol.com
Just to throw in some more positive feedback: I like your web site, and I find it very funny, and I'm glad that it continues to exist.

superunknown@ananzi.co.za
Hey, I've been reading your site regularly for five or six years now, started reading it in high school and recently graduated college, and even though I almost never comment, the review I mention in the subject line just recently compelled me to write again and express support. First of all, I'm always completely entertained by all of your writing styles, the silly rambling, the confessionals, and the genuinely music-related parts. I'm not going to make any kind of far-reaching statements regarding your greatness; I'll simply say that I, personally, find it massively enjoyable. You have a very distinct style and voice, and I admire that. You've also, particularly in the last couple of years, become very good at describing music in an effective way. I personally think that the balance between music writing and other writing is excellent right now.

Personally speaking, I think the reason people get so hostile about disagreements regarding musical taste is that a lot of really dedicated music fans are very insecure. They take the coolness of their favorite bands and try to claim some if it as their own, and then take taste in music as a reason to feel superior to other people. It's identity politics, and it helps them feel better about themselves as people. When you challenge their tastes, you put them right back into the land of insecurity; the fear of not being right makes them react with anger and they start being idiots. I used to be this way myself, to some extent, and I'm very glad to have grown out of it. Of my four current favorite bands (Genesis, Opeth, Monster Magnet, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) you openly dislike two and have completely ignored one, but I still look forward to every update because the writing is entertaining and you often make good points. For instance, that thing you said a few weeks ago about old keyboards like Moogs and Hammonds still sounding good while '80s synths sound like shit, and how a lot of modern production techniques will be in the same place in a decade or two? Totally right! Brilliantly observant!

The overriding point here is, when people get angry over you bashing their favorite band, it's a sign of emotional immaturity and a poor self-image. The fact that you can take musical taste lightly makes you a mentally healthier person.

jsw33@drexel.edu
mark, i honestly think this is the funniest web site around right now--i just moved to a new city (philadelphia) to go to school and i'm spending all this time in the computer labs 'n'shit and it provides a fantastic distraction. anyways--i hope you don't get too bummed out by all that hatemail

Patrick
Those people who get all worked up would find something to piss them off if you didn't.

FYI, some bands I'd be curious to see reviewed are Shudder to Think, Luna, and Lotion (just 3 albums plus an EP!).

curtis_hates_you@hotmail.com
I've just combed through your recent review of a Pixies show, and it kind of prompted me to send something your way, just a basic 'thank you' for about 5 years of laughter, dependable reviews and introducing me to all manner of musical fun. I know it's maybe a trivial thing and perhaps I'm overstating it but I wouldn't be the music fan I am today without your site. I wouldn't have heard half of my favourite bands if it wasn't for hearing from them directly from you, or being urged to take a chance on a new band I've heard of but not been convinced by before reading one of your particularly energetic reviews.

I too know the sting of having what I say misinterpreted to blown out of proportion. Sometimes I make these jokes that are character-driven and not really from the heart at other people's expense and they take them seriously. But i'm not a bad guy, I don't think. I'm trying to fix that lately, trying to get my feelings and behaviour lined up so I seem a bit more human or genuine. I don't know, it's one of life's struggles. The Three Doctors band page was a real help in seeing like-minded individuals sharing some of the same problems as me. Problems always seem more... defeatable when they're out there on paper. Though I hate shrinks; it's daylight robbery. People can talk to each other (hopefully) without paying $200 an hour.

Anyway, keep it up. Thanks.

demander77@aol.com (Trevor)
This is Trevor e.y., a long time reader. I was reading your latest Pixies live album reviews, and thought i would tell ya some songs i didn't like, though they are few and far between (like you, i would give all 4 lp's 9 or 10). "there goes my gun" is pretty annyoing to me, because it is sooo repeatative without being at all interesting. "stormy wheather" is the same way, and probably my least favorite Pixies song (though i will admit it was neat when they played it when i saw them live and it rained.) "bird dream of the olympus mons" is the only other one i don't like; i just kind of think it goes nowhere, but i don't mind too much that it is so badly produced. That is all though, love everything else pretty well, though yeah, i don't know what is with them loving Doolittle so much live and those three songs off that greatest hits, what ever the hell they are called.

I know it sucks to get all that hate mail, but some people just do not have a sense of humor. You are one of my favorite online critics and your work really does convince me to go try new things, i just want you to know that. You of course are not racist and all those other things, but some people cannot see beyond what they read, and that is pitiful. your site is humorous like nothing i have ever seen, and i looove it. My favorite band is even Sonic Youth and even though they are not yout favorite band or anything, your review of Confusion is Sex convinced me to buy it (and boy i love it!) even though all i had read about it was that it sucked. So keep up the good work man, your a site's a beacon in an often gloomy world of rock 'n roll reviews.

jeremyhedgecock@hotmail.com
Mark,please please PLEASE stop worrying so much about your site's effect on people. I know it's in your nature but it honestly bothers me to see someone I have so much respect for constantly doubting himself. Like 'superunknown' above I've been checking in with you for years and I owe you thanks for recommending dozens of bands & albums I now consider absolute favorites. The Pixies were one of the first in fact. What a happy coincidence! You have such a range of bands reviewed now that even the most negative visitor should be able to find plenty of common ground with you IF HIS FRAGILE EGO CAN HANDLE IT. Plus the negative comments are priceless!

you are a faggot who the fuck sits around talkin about how much they dont like ed is dead especially on the internet if you dont like it fine dont go around bitchin about how you dont like em and if you dont like em its probly cuz you look at it like a fuckin scientist instead of just listenin to it who the hell listens to melodies and crap like that are you a fuckin music teacher.

nikus80@hotmail.com
Actually, I think it says "Andalucia", not "Andalou". Andalucia is a spanish city, and Luis Buņuel ("ņ" rulez) is spanish, I believe. I've never seen the movie, though. Oh, and that last sentence on the review really cracked me up. But about the offensives jokes, the thing is, even if you don't mean it, you WILL offend someone. Then again, is hard to make a non-offensive joke, even if it's kinda innocent, but slightly kinky it may offend the pope. Then again... some people are looking to be offended. then again, about 99% of jokes about the jew people were actually made up by the jew themselves. I love those folks; they're really funny. Especially Woody Allen, although he's an atheist, he is a jew; he simply doesn't believe in god. Do I have a point? Yes, some people would be offended of jokes about their culture or their religion; the jews joke about themselves.

About Pixies songs... well, I don't have a Pixies song I genuinely dislike. I rarely think a song is bad, blows, etc... I dunno, I find it hard to throw such words easily, and I always try to sense what's good about something. Only if I really feel it I'll say it, like Moby's Play, Pushing ShellKinks's Gish, Jason Becker's The Raspberry Jams (which IS an outtakes record, but it BLOWS, and HARD, and some people RESPECT it)... I won't even say that A Thousand Leaves sucks, even if I can hardly stand it aside from a few songs (although some ideas and tracks are PLAIN RETARDED, like contre le sexisme). In constrast, I'm blown away by less music than most people, I think... for example, most people think side A of Surfer Rosa is killer, then tend to despise side B... but I'm not in love with side A, and I like quite a few songs from side B... which averages to an 8, not a 9 like you. That's just a minor example, I'm not in love with Fragile (though it kicks ass), I fail to see the greatness on Relayer or Going for the one, but I don't hate those records, nothing like that... you get the idea, I think (but I really like Talk and Tales...funny, isn't it?). I do dislike the whole second side to Close To The Edge though (I think the first one is one of the best sides ever), but even there I can find something good: the AYAI climax, Wakeman bits at the beginning, the opening riff to Siberian Khatru, the harp solo, the DURURURIDIPADPAP part....

Ed Is Dead is ok, I guess. I don't think is much worse than Isla De Encanta (awful spanish there) or Nimrod Song. It's a good, not great song. "Hey", then now we're talking. That's the best song ever, or close to it.

You didn't mention the singer from GBH, and the singer from that nü metal band which I think you even interviewed that called you a 5 year old boy. About the people that send you stupid and hateful emails... well, people are stupid. Don't get too worked out on that, I know its hard thought. I have my own website, with a music critic section; it's in spanish tough, I'm not trying to publicize myself or anything... I got a few insults, mainly for a long essay on a argentine band that's sorta like a ripoff of nirvana/ramones and really, really, sucks (the band, not the essay... I think). Anyway, I wrote this essay that goes point by point, seeing what's good about this band, and the conclusion is "nothing". But let me tell you: nobody ever visits my website, or maybe they do (I think I get 200 reads a month, I've read on a statistic... or something like that), but few send me emails or post in the guestbook, so I get a kick of every single post, positive or negative. It's true! I love those flames! some even cracked me up for good... ok, I didn't like to have my life threatened, but the point is...

Ok, this didn't have much of a point, I wanted to show my views on flames. The thing is, no matter if you're offensive or not, if you post your opinion on Inet (which BTW is a great abbreviation of Internet, I think), people are going to be pissed off. Even if your opinion is mostly positive, people ARE going to be pissed off. Like I said in my comment on the review above: Some people are looking to be offended. Or, at least, they seem so. Your Sonic Youth page is a great example, your AC/DC page too... but take a look of some of the John McFerrin's website comments: some people look that he gave a rating of THREE to ELP and say things like "your opinions are worth nothing" or "so you don't like prog, that's ok". So if the polite, joke-less, expansive John McFerrin gets moronic hatemail, why shouldn't you? It has nothing to do with your "stingy" words - ok, maybe it does, but even if you toned down your writing to the point of the academic writing of McFerrin (I'm not critizing him, though), people still would be offended, people still would send you moronic hatemail. EVEN IF YOU GAVE A TEN TO EVERY RECORD EVER MADE, PEOPLE WOULD BE UPSET. they would said to you: THIS [shit] IS COMPARABLE TO *insert tracklist of who's next*? Ok, that guy wasn't upset, but I think you get the idea.

About getting mad about people trashing the music you don't like... I dunno, I also get upset, but in a good way. If someone says punk is brainless I will spout a long diatribe about why the Ramones are so friggin' cool, which by the way I did yesterday: 4,23 kb of pure text in a forum. Ultimately I find it amusing, like carrying around my little website around the net, people I speak to, etc.

By the way, I love your website. About the folks putting down it readers, that might be true for Pedro Andino (which sometimes annoy the crap of me, especially in the Smashin' Pumpkinks page of MJA, where he says a few bad thing about you for not liking Tissue Dream), but it's not true for the bulk of the people. Definitely not. The folks that said that suck and deserve to be deported to argentina. Or maybe not.

billy.barron@comcast.net
Mark,

Next time they get to you, go re-read the reader comments on your Linkin Park page. It shows why you should just blow them off.

Alright, I'll try to tie this to the right page and draw some of the flame mail my way. Here we go!!! The Pixies and Radiohead are good, but not great bands. We know that if you don't jack off at the temple of OK Computer at least twice a day that the Radioheadies will come after you.

Did I mention that I set up an email filter to reply to any Radiohead emails by sending Viagara spam?

dompenguin88@sbcglobal.net
Mark, don't let anyone whatsoever get you down. Your website is incredible - at any given point, it can shift from complete fucking hilarity (most of what you write, but particularly the recent stuff, like the Animals page and the new Miles Davis Reviews - "Also, Miles Davis smothered poop in his hair to attract stray animals to sodomize, a practice which I disagree with" and that Animals review structured like a newspaper article literally had me hunched over my keyboard, laughing so hard that my sides hurt) to insightful musical analysis (sprinkled in all throughout most of your reviews; you can say more in a couple of sentences than George Starostin can in two pages, no offense to George) to equally insightful political analysis (that one Air Miami review with the whole post-election rant, your INCREDIBLE review of Madonna's "American Life" which I think is my favorite music review ever) to incredibly poignant personal stories (your review of Springsteen's "The Rising") to venomous character assassinations (your review of that latest Biafra/Melvins combo album that you edited), and you sound unique, intelligent (even the poop jokes!), and above all, GENUINE all throughout. You obviously have a passion for music, and it shows in your writing.

As for assholes that email you death threats etc. for saying something nasty about their favorite band, fuck 'em. In all likelihood, many of your devoted fans disagree with you on just as many issues as the drooling middle-schooler that bashes out profane screeds to you. For example, I really like Tool. A lot. Plus, I completely adore Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde. Yet I, and undoubtedly many of your other fans, am able to accept this as a simple case of different opinions and let it go. The reason that people email you nasty letters is THEM, not you, so don't AT ALL feel guilty.

Also, I'd like to thank you for reviewing a bunch of heavy metal that the vast majority of WRC sites would never touch - specifically, Napalm Death, Obituary, Slayer, Probot, Motorhead, Corrosion Of Conformity, Danzig, and all of them people. You've got an unusually adventurous taste in music, which I wholeheartedly salute. (Speaking of which.... any chance of Sepultura reviews? Not to sound like some kind of leeching asshole or anything.)

So yeah, in conclusion, you're fucking incredible and quite often, a particularly funny update from you will brighten up my day no end. I really appreciate that. Thank you.

jpnwt@highstream.net
Hey Mark

I first discovered your website about 5 years ago when I found a link to your reviews of the Melvins albums. It wasn't till awhile after that when I discovered that the Melvins arn't the only band you review. Anyway, I love your website, both for your humor and reading about bands that I like. I think the people that get offended have not read many of your reviews. I think it's pretty funny that you described Nirvana as a supergroup and a few people didn't have a clue that you were joking. I've gotten into quite a few bands that now are some of my favorites just from reading about bands that I've never heard of on your website. Keep up the good work!

spinaltomek@hotmail.com
i didn`t like "ed is dead" either for a long time, but...hmm, actually the question why i now like it is pretty tough because i couldnt say why i love most of the pixies songs. except "monkey gone to heaven", which i love for the insane "then GOD is seven" screaming and "debaser" which i love for the "slicing up eyeballs ha ha ha ho!" line...uh, and "hey" which i love for the "weīre cha---a-ined" line...hm....maybe i could say why i like "ed is dead" (listens)

no i canīt. maybe because it fits so well in the mood of come on pilgrim? maybe...its not my favourite live track either, i have to admit. BUT "into the white", as unexiting as it might be on the EP is a GREAT live track. i just love the drum / bass interplay, although its simple. maybe because i love simple drum / bass interplay. itīs cool, cool effect. did you ever hear them play that track in concert? its amazing!

i never pick single pixies songs to listen to...i either play the whole album or nothing. i could never say - if you want to get into the pixies listen to THAT song. because i fear people dont like it and miss the whole point. i would just give them the entire catalogue and force them to listen to it. i dont know any other approach. its like....you have to have heard it all. like all the different tempo changes they use (although i guess its always the same concept - but the effect is always cool), all the weird chord sequences they had, the AMAZING guitar lines (did you ever try to play lead guitar? can you imaging playing line like mr santiago (that his name, is it?) play? i canīt. i canīt figure out what he does, what scale he plays in or whatever. sure i can follow tabbed notes, the lines are SIMPLE. yet they sound like they come from another planet. and a fucking cool one. i wish more artists would come from there! see, thats why the pixies are so great. they are SIMPLE like the Ramones. Listen to Kims Bass, thats Beginners lesson 2 (although sometimes she plays quite fast, but that aside). I donīt understand drums so i canīt say anything about them, but all in all the songs may be fast, but simple. Yet completely different to anything else. and why? i donīt know. i play pixies songs for several years. and i never figuered out WHAT the magic is. maybe the whole lot of them. thats why the breeders, the amps, the catholics, frank black and the martinis (who i never actually heard, did they actually make records?) dont come close to the pixies catalogue.), the violent screams, even the OFF key background vocals, everything, literally.

love love love, thats what every pixies note says. love for playing. yea, they love to play. they dont write songs because they fell in love and broke their hearts and miss their girlfriends/boyfriends, no they just love to play bass/guitar/drums and like singing/screaming. and this is what you hear. just love for playing together in one band. and is there anything greater on godīs little planet? sometimes iīm in the mood (mostly listening to doolittle or surfer rosa or...) to say: nothing. cheers!

SolomonsOther@aol.com
'Holiday' and 'Nimrod's Son' have always sounded a bit too much alike for my taste. Whenever I play one, I end up skipping the other. I think it's either the song structure or the fact that they're too close together on the EP. Probably both. 'Into the White' (I always get that confused with the Neil Houng song Into the 'Red/Black')bothers me as well, but only because I know Kim Deal can write much better. Finally, Allison does nothing for me... I should never have married her.

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loudQUIETloud: A Film About The Pixies - MVDvisual 2006
Rating = 7

Not much happens in this movie, which is actually about The Pixies' reunion tour, not their days as an active creative unit. But I guess if you've spent several months filming a band on tour, you've got to release something, even if there's not much there. And the songs are still great, so that's always a plus.

Strangely however, the film's complete lack of interesting content does ultimately succeed in creating a poignant portrait of four middle-aged musicians who have absolutely nothing in common except a bunch of songs they recorded fifteen to twenty years ago. Frank Black has grown into an obese, bald and gentle singer-songwriter with a loving new family but sad awareness of the steadily declining public interest in his solo work. Kim Deal is a chain-smoking, overweight and fragile woman struggling through a new drug-free life with the emotional support of her sister. Joey Santiago is now a bald soundtrack artist with a wife, two young children, and more apparent bitterness than he probably intended to show in the film. And most troubling of all, David Lovering is shown in the film spiralling from a damaged but lucid stage magician into a pill-popping, hyperactive drunk who won't take off his iPod headphones for anything. He blames his father's struggle with (and death from) cancer for his Valium abuse, but then he blames the monitors for his obviously drug-fuelled on-stage fuck-ups, so who knows. Only one thing's for certain: the man knows his metal detectors.

I realize I may have made the film sound awfully dramatic with that last paragraph. But it's really not. The whole thing is so understated -- I mean the band members hardly speak to each other at all. But there's a lot of personal baggage to be interpreted here, through the looks in their faces at certain moments (ex. Joey's sudden excited interest at Frank's mention of recording a new Pixies album, followed by immediate disappointment when it's revealed as a 'pie-in-the-sky' motion picture concept; the regret in Kim's face after a reunion visit with her former husband John Murphy -- two key segments unconscionably relegated to the 'special features' section!), and through minor lines of dialogue that slip out here and there (like Frank Black's aside to his producer John Tiven that no large or even mid-sized record label will be interested in his new solo CD, and that 'this will all end in tears'). So there is some drama and emotion to be found here -- it just may not be the action-packed blow-out you're hoping for.

But crikey, those songs! You'll get to watch the band perform segments of 14 great hits, and boy oh boy are they still great hits. That's really probably the most disorienting thing of all -- watching backstage footage of (a) Frank Black listening to his boring new folk-country album, (b) Kim Deal hoarsely performing out-of-tune vocals for a new Breeders track, (c) Joey Santiago struggling terribly with a new documentary soundtrack, and (d) David Lovering beating everything in sight with his ever-present (and ever-annoying) drumsticks.... and then watching the four of them go onstage and suddenly burst into perfect renditions of some of the greatest pop songs ever written.

I'm now going to write something extremely mean that I hope the subjects never read: Kim and Kelley Deal, both in their mid-40's, have acquired bodies the shape of two refrigerators. They're rectangular and blocky now. That's what growing old and drinking too much does, I guess. I'm sorry I was so mean.

And yes, Frank Black seems a bit bothered that the world is more interested in his first band than anything he's recorded in the past decade and a half, but I hope he's at least proud of all those beloved, generation-spanning Pixies songs. I mean, he's only one guy! How many timeless records can he really expect himself to write?

The same with Rod Stewart! I mean, sure he was kickin' some ass up through Stardust: The Great American Songbook, Vol. 3, but since then there's been a noticable decline in q

And don't get me started on Guns 'N Roses! Sure, they were kicking the balls out of your pants with classic albums like The Spaghetti Incident, but when push came to sh

What's that you said about Duran Duran? Oh hell yeah, they were pulling their pants up and shitting out diamonds as recently as Thank You, but something must have snapped because th

Did somebody say "Paul Rodgers"? Awww, don't even get me STARTED on the genius Stone Free: A Tribute To Ji

Neil Young? Never heard of him. Is he a cover band or something?

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