THE PIXIES CONSIDERED (2016): Clearing the path to Nirvana

 |   |  1 min read

THE PIXIES CONSIDERED (2016): Clearing the path to Nirvana

Apparently the man known as Black Francis (and later Frank Black) was obsessed with outer space but in '86 gave up the idea of coming to New Zealand to see Haley's Comet to form a band. Our loss was the world's gain because the band was the Pixies who inspired countless others in their first lifespan.

They split in '93, reformed in '04 (although founder member/bassist Kim Deal quit in '13) and carry on today with a new album Head Carrier out next week.

A long, if broken, life . . . but what are their essential albums?

800px_SurferRosaSurfer Rosa (1988): The impressive debut produced by Steve Albini announced a very different sounding band (with odd lyrics) and topped the US indie charts.

Raw, influential (Kurt Cobain loved it and got Albini in for Nirvana's In Utero) and often bruisingly melodic alongside the sonic aggression.

Doolittle (1989): The critically acclaimed “hits” album produced by Gil Norton which includes Monkey Gone to Heaven and the poppy Here Comes Your Man with indie.radio favourites Debaser and Crackity Jones.

Pixies_DoolittleThe easy-entry album for sometimes uneasy listening.

Quiet-loud which became a grunge hallmark is all over this.

Trompe Le Monde (1991): After the spacerock-cum-surf sound and themes of Bossanova the previous year, this was a return to their raw mix of power pop, alt.rock and melodic noise.

Not the critics' favourite (too much sci-fi) but fans loved it.

Indie Cindy (2014): A collection of their three EPs (all produced by Norton) released the previous year (all without Deal). The strong beginning of their second life.

Pixies_TrompeLeMondeCoverAlso: Black Francis' output as Frank Black has its many highlights in a pop-meets-noise way, notably his 94 Teenager of the Year and, for real fans, the curiosity Frank Black Francis double from 04 which was a disc of pre-Pixies demos and another where he revisited some Pixies songs in a stripped back manner.

Deal's band the Breeders (with Tanya Donnelly of Throwing Muses) kicked off with the powerful Pod (90) and peaked with Last Splash (93).

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Absolute Elsewhere articles index

DAVE LISIK INTERVIEWED (2011): Ancient, contemporary and to the future

DAVE LISIK INTERVIEWED (2011): Ancient, contemporary and to the future

Even a cursory glance at the website for Canadian-born, American-educated and Wellington-resident composer/musician Dave Lisik is impressive for his work ethic. Aside from noting him being a... > Read more

JOHN DENSMORE INTERVIEWED (2012): Re-opening the Doors four decades on

JOHN DENSMORE INTERVIEWED (2012): Re-opening the Doors four decades on

When it came to watching the rapid decline of Jim Morrison – and the Doors' once promising career being relentlessly dragged down with him -- John Densmore had the best seat in the house.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE PENINSULA, HONG KONG: A building through space and time

THE PENINSULA, HONG KONG: A building through space and time

Only a fool would try to suggest that a single building – in this instance, worse, a luxurious hotel – could refract the story of city. But let's be foolish, because the history of... > Read more

YOKO ONO, REVISITED AND RESPECTED (2022): Octogenerian great-grandmother of avant-indie kids

YOKO ONO, REVISITED AND RESPECTED (2022): Octogenerian great-grandmother of avant-indie kids

When Marlon Williams sang Nobody Sees Me Like You Do at his sold-out Auckland Town Hall concert in 2018, it’s a safe bet few who loudly applauded knew who had written the song: Yoko Ono.... > Read more