I haven’t written much about The Pixies or the various off-shoot projects by principle song writer and frontman Black Francis (foreground above). I came to The Pixies a bit backwards having stumbled onto Frank Black and The Catholics but quickly caught up to what I had missed.
Harder to categorize than most bands, many reviewers cite a clear mix of surf music and punk rock. There are a lot of influences here but that label hangs pretty well.
The Pixies were formed in Boston in the mid-80’s and the current lineup includes founders Black Francis (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Joey Santiago (guitar) and David Lovering (drums). Co-founder Kim Deal (bass) left the group last year and was replaced for touring by Kim Shattuck and by Paz Lenchantin for this year’s tour.
Wildly successful in the UK and Europe, they have a very loyal and broad fan base while not exactly achieving mainstream pop success in the U.S. (outside of Boston).
They broke up in 1993 in a cloud of bad feelings but regrouped in 2004. In 2013 they released their first album in over a decade.
Among the gems of their catalog, the standout for me is the tune “Here Comes Your Man”. Originally a demo song it was finally included on 1989 release “Dolittle”. Penned by Black (as a teen) it’s been described as their breakthrough hit.
Spin magazine reviewer Jon Dolan commented that it was “the most accessible song ever by an underground-type band.”
- “Here Comes Your Man”
- “Monkey Gone to Heaven” (Letterman show clip)
- “All Over the World”
- “Where Is My Mind”