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the pixies
The lights come up on a screening of Un Chien Andalou, the surrealist film of Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel that inspired the song “Debaser.” The audience slowly becomes aware that the moment is going to be epic – and this realization is echoed in the screams of applause and anticipation.

In 1988, the Pixies released their second full-length album, titled Doolittle, which was viewed by musicians and music historians as the more polished and mature album from the quartet – unlike Come on Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa that focused on deconstructed melodies and syncopated rhythms.

Nearly 25 years later, Frank Black, Kim Deal, David Lovering, and Joey Santiago are touring across the country, celebrating the album that solidified them as the most influential rock band of the 1980s.

Without this monumental leap into rock music, the alternative rock progression of the 90s would simply not have been. Bands like Nirvana, Weezer and Blur all credit the inspiration of the Pixies to the recordings they produced. In a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone, Kurt Cobain even said that when he was writing “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” he was “basically trying to rip off the Pixies.”
the pixies

Following their breakup in 1993, the fire the Pixies had been trying to ignite in the world began its spread across the country. Grunge led to the alternative rock movement, and the face of rock and roll began to move in a different direction.

Although they have already completed one reunion tour, the current Doolittle Live Tour is rolling through America and will continue to do so until the end of September, providing many new fans a first time experience to revel in the original sound of 90s rock.

Moreover, the band has remained polished, even improving some of their earlier hits. “Where is My Mind” has almost been re-mastered, as Deal and Black have become more in-sync than ever before, erasing the slightest hint that their former rivalry remains.

Even though most of the band has aged considerably, their songs have taken on new life. “Monkey Gone to Heaven,” which before played out as a protest to environmental ruin, is sung with a newfound passion – especially in light of the massive natural devastation the world has seen in recent years. Black’s Hebrew numerology reference in the song (“If man is 5, then the devil is 6”) also echoes a certain wisdom the songwriter has matured into and did not possess in his prior performances.

Simply put, the band sounds nothing like their recordings – they have evolved their sound into an experience. To capture this, they have begun recording their live performances and putting them on limited edition albums that audience members can purchase as they are leaving the venue. The albums are recorded by technicians from the IFC show, Abbey Road Live, who perfect the recordings to eliminate superfluous cheering and screams from the crowd. A second disc is included to accommodate for the encore performances following the show.

The band begins every evening with the film screening and proceeds to perform every song off of the Doolittle album in order, including the B-side tracks from certain released singles. In the encore, fans are able to hear non-Doolittle hits like “Caribou,” “Into the White,” and “Gigantic.”

Not everything has changed in the band though, the genius of Black’s timing is still evident in his delivery, Deal is just as humble as when the band started, Santiago can still wail as hard as ever and Lovering is able to find the bizarre beat that keeps the distinctive style of the Pixies alive.

For those who are unable to attend the concerts, the live recordings of each performance can be purchased and downloaded from the Web. For tour information and recordings, visit / Issue 115 - September 4800
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