Jump to content

'The Pixies' Appreciation Thread


Recommended Posts

Another thread I've wanted to make for a while. It's obviously pretty clear that I have different taste in music than a good deal of the people here (certainly not all...). After my Curve/Tweaker thread became a thread for everyone's random bands instead of the ones I wanted to talk about (and then it died), I was a little hesitant about bothering to make another... So I decided to just do one band at a time and see if that actually helps.


Today that band is the Pixies. Possibly my favorite band ever. I got into them quite a few years ago now, and it always surprises me how many people have [i]never[/i] heard of them despite their success, awards (some for band of the year) and rather large cult following. I guess that's mostly because they broke up so long ago though.

In a way it's rather sad though, because the Pixies are looked back on as one of the largest groups responsible for the alternative movement of the 1990s. Sure there were bands like REM that had made it out of the underground, but it wasn't really classified as 'alternative' at that point. The Pixies helped more or less create the genre. They combined aspects of punk, indie rock, guitar rock, classic pop, surf rock and riffs and came up with something that really had never been done to that point (and my opinion, never really replicated). In a way, they laid the foundation for bands such as Nirvana to run away with and bring to new levels of music.

[b][u]Biography Crap for those interested- Feel free to skip down to the end[/b][/u]

The band is made up of a couple college dropouts... Charles Thompson (the main guy) and Joey Santiago. They later recruited Kim Deal on bass, despite her not even owning one at the time (she played with her sister in The Breeders, and now that The Pixies are over, she is back with them). David Lovering was added on drums, and the band's lineup was complete. Charles came up with the stagename Black Francis (maybe some people here actually know Frank Black? That's him), and thet randomly chose their band name from a dictionary.

They made some demos (now referred to as The Purple Tape) and were picked up by 4AD records, who picked out 8 songs and released them on the Come On Pilgrim EP in 1987. Their first LP came out in '88 and was called Surfer Rosa. This was followed up by Doolittle (which I would say is their overall best CD), and it actually had two Top 10 Rock hits... "Here Comes Your Man" and "Monkey Gone to Heaven."

[center][IMG]http://punk.freeservers.com/images/pixies87.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://punk.freeservers.com/images/pixies88.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://punk.freeservers.com/images/pixie89.jpg[/IMG][/center]

Bossanova came out in 1990 and had a couple more hits, mostly with college students, "Veloria" and "Dig For Fire" (I really do not like that second one hehe). Trompe Le Monde was then released in 1991, and the band opened for U2 on their tour.

[center][IMG]http://punk.freeservers.com/images/pixies90.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://punk.freeservers.com/images/pixies91.jpg[/IMG][/center]

They broke up shortly after, and like mentioned Black Francis became Frank Black for his solo efforts and Kim Deal went to The Breeders. The other members haven't really done anything special to them.

[b][u]End of biography crap![/b][/u]

Anyway, now that the biography crap is out of the way we can get to the music. The Pixies really sound like little else, before or even now. There are many bands that are influenced by them, and in a sense they laid the groundwork for the whole Seattle explosion (I remember a member of Nirvana commenting that Smells Like Teen Spirit wound up sounding more like a Pixies song).

They are extremely hard to get into though. Black Francis is just a strange guy, and a lot of the songs are simply about... well, I guess small things, some almost could be considered [i]nothing[/i] (in the same sense as Seinfeld I guess heh). Some are impossible to really know all the meanings to, others you would never guess.

As such they are a really acquired taste. It took me a bit to get used to, but obviously now I love them and own every damn thing they ever bothered to put out.

If you are interested here are some songs that I feel are good to start with. There are others I consider my favorites, but they aren't something I'd tell people to listen to to really see the full range of the band heh.

Songs - Here Comes Your Man, Debaser, I Bleed, Into the White, Gigantic, Trompe Le Monde, Alec Eiffel, Wave of Mutilation, Gouge Away, and Where Is My Mind? are all good starts.

Any comments for or against the band would be appreciated. Would be nice to know that people at least [i]tried[/i] if they didn't already know the band. If you do know them well already, well then I love you already :D

Kim Deal sings a few Pixies songs as well, and is the lead singer for The Breeders now. For some reason I am completely in love with her singing voice, despite her not being that amazing (well on some records, the latest Breeders I'm kind of mixed on). I can't explain that well though heh.


I think the most annoying thing is that I'll have to buy all these all over again because they are being remastered for release in 2003 :bawl:

Edit - Well all the CD covers suddenly cannot be linked. How annoying.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

yay for the Pixies!
for those that do not know...
eee!*gets to talk about Fight Club*
*loves Brad Pitt* :love2:
"Where is My Mind?" is the song that is playing at the end of the movie when [spoiler]the bombs go off and the building is collapsing.[/spoiler] its also the only song on the soundtrack that wasnt done by the Dust Brothers.
thats about the extent of my Pixies knowledge (for now). Soon, i will be enlightened to the wonder of this band via the kindness and generosity of SA. yay for Semjaza!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[color=darkblue]All I know about them is Kurt Cobain like them a lot, but I've heard a few of their songs. They're one of those bands I've always respected & meant to investigate but never did, like the Grateful Dead (yes, I know mostly nothing of the Grateful Dead).[/color]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, a couple more replies than I actually expected heh. Hopefully treton_noir will get the CDs from me soon, and Mitch will get some downloaded and there will actually be something to talk about in here hopefully. Thanks to the three of you that bothered :)

Always strikes me odd what band threads get replies and which ones don't. People need to broaden their horizons a bit I'd say.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[color=indigo]My cousin, who is into all sorts of bands I have never heard of, gave me a burned copy of Trompe le Monde (I think I spelled that right) last summer and it is one of the few CD's I can listen to in any mood...I really like Sad Punk and I Believe (which I think is actually Space, but I don't have a track list for my CD...I'm sure Semjaza will let me know)...

Thanks for the brief bio, I actually didn't know anything about the Pixie's and I would appreciate any info on which one of there albums I should procure next.[/color]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trompe Le Monde is wonderful :). I'd say grab all their main CDs, but since that's not an option... Definately get Doolittle. It's probably my overall favorite of theirs (although most of my absolute favorite tracks are on Come on Pilgrim, go figure), and the art and photos are great too.

And the song's title is "Space (I Believe In)," so close enough I'd say heh.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[size=1][color=darkblue]I can't say I've heard much of this band, but I have heard 'Where is my Mind'. I heard it on the film, Fight Club (YAY!), and I then heard it again at a party with these guys from New Zealand. They told me the title, because I recognised the tune, and it's now actually one of my favourite songs. Download it now![/color][/size]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[font=arial][size=1]Semjaza.... I am currently in the process of obtaining some of the Pixies music. I have a friend that's going to download it for me... thus I can listen to it. *Yay another burned CD* lol. Well I will let you know more what I think once I obtain that CD.


[EDIT] Well in my posession, I have a burned CD of the Pixies.... so far I enjoy it. Also I was reading a Guitar One (or Guitar World) magazine, and they had the Pixies in it about garage rock, or something like that. It caught me off guard, then I realized it... and went WOW! lol. Well, so far so good. [/EDIT]



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did anyone that said they were going to get some songs manage to yet?

I just noticed Cora's haha. What CD is it?

I was looking at some NME list, and they had the Pixies' Doolittle as the number 2 album ever... NME is a crap magazine, but still. It was nice heh.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[font=arial][size=1]Well, I got some songs, I don?t really know which CD they are from? but here is the list of the songs. [color=blue]Alec Eiffel, Debaser, Here Comes Your Man, I Bleed, Into the White, Umass, Wave of Mutilation, Where Is My Mind, Alec Eiffel, and Trompe Le Monde[/color]. I think that was the list you gave me Tony. I like it?. But then again, I like lots of different kinds of music. I had a friend of mine listen to it and he loved it. The songs are nice and the style is different. But yeah, I like it!! Go figure right?! Lol. Anywho. Thanks for introducing me to them. Good Music?. Two Thumbs Up!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Their videos were always really weird. I get them mixed up because none really have anything to do with the songs... They all just have the band standing there and playing.

In one they have these weird things over them so they looked deformed (like those carnival mirrors), another where Black Francis just opens and closes his mouth instead of singing... another where they just smile at the camera and pretend to play. It's just strange heh.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
[color=red] Here's what I've gotten so far, Tony:

[b]"I Bleed."[/b]-It's a good song. Bleeding and blood has always been a wonderful, symbolic image in my head. The entire beat and the entire way the song goes is wonderful. This is the first song of theirs I listened to, and I wasn't disappointed. At all.

[b]"Here Comes Your Man."[/b]-Probably the song I least like that I've listened to of theirs. It's just so outdown and outwashed. There's too many songs that are in close par to this one.

[b]"Hey."[/b]-This is my favorite song I've heard so far. I can't really explain why. I just love it. The entire way it goes and goes, eventually ending, is just great. As I said, my favorite song so far. I love it.

[b]"Velouria."[/b]-I have not listened to this song that much. It's only OK for my tastes. But as I listen to it, I know it'll grow. Already it's growing on me.

[b]"Dead."[/b]-I also really like this song. It's dark and wonderful. Not much else to say. It has nice beat and it keeps me into it.

[b]"Debaser."[/b]-This song is also good. The lyrics are nice and interesting. The constant repeating of 'Debaser' is great.

[b]"I've Been Tired."[/b]-This song is fine. I just need to let it grow on me more.

[b]"Wave of Mutilation." [U.K. Surf Version][/b]-This song is nice too. I just haven't really listened to it more than twice.

[b]"All Over the World."[/b]-I like this song. It's their longest song I've gotten so far. I like long songs. Especially Pink Floyd long songs, heh. But anyways, it's average, but I like it.

That's pretty much all I've listened to so far. They're a great band and I hope to get Doolittle and Bossanova once I get the money. Thanks as always Tony.[/color]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
I like the Pixies too, but not quite as much as Semjaza :). To my shame, I?ve still never heard Doolittle. I tried to get it a few years ago, but I couldn?t find it in any shops, so I gave up looking and forgot about it (nothing like persistence).

I?ve always thought it strange that, among Pixies fans, the consensus is that Trompe Le Monde is their worst album. It?s one of my favourite albums ever. So vibrant ? loud and fast, but super-melodic, too. I love listening to it while driving.

I?m surprised so few people have heard of the Pixies over in the US. Even for a ?cult? band, their reputation remains strong in Britain. There was even a TV documentary about them last year (David Bowie came across as the biggest Pixies fan ever, which I thought was pretty cool).

Ah, well ? no accounting for taste, eh?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They've always had this higher popularity in Britain, and Europe in general it seems. All the best bootlegs of the Pixies come from over there... The crowd sings along to like every single song. There is a nice one that was included on "Death to The Pixies" from Denmark, which was an official release I guess. Plus, those great BBC sessions... A lot of the singles are import only, and so was that B-Sides collection (which I bought despite owning all those songs elsewhere lol). I know that's somwhat normal, but not after a band has been dead for over a decade.

I also like Trompe Le Monde. I've never really thought about what the "worst" album is honestly. I listen to Bossanova the least, but that's simply because I lost the disc and hadn't found it until recently lol.

David Bowie did a cover of their song Cactus on Heathen. I thought that was great. If I was in a band, there would be no higher honor than having someone as amazing as Bowie covering one of our songs.

I would have liked to see that show you are talking about. Sadly, very few people here seem to know jack about the group, and TV in general doesn't care.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...