Monday, November 30, 2009

What now?

Wednesday night I saw the Pixies perform Doolittle.

I want you all to stop for a second and reread that. Are you with me yet? Not quite?

A quick history lesson.

Doolittle, AKA the most perfect album of all ever, was released in 1989...
when I was 4.
In 1997, at the age of 12...
I discovered the song "Tame" from a mixtape made for me by my beloved Jordan.
Within the year I had broken the tape, acquired Doolittle (the full album on which "Tame" resides at track #2) and secretly vowed to tattoo every lyric from the entire album over every inch of my body. This was the year I adopted headphones, became childishly fascinated with foreign films and developed a complex about anything sharp being anywhere remotely near my eye... all thanks to the Pixies.
In 2009 the universe spins in my direction and I am in New York at the same time the Pixies decide to do a mini reunion tour for Doolittle's 20th, at which they will play the album in its entirety. I purchase a ticket the day they go on sale and then faint.

So the show was Wednesday night. I had a great spot, the venue was perfect acoustically and aesthetically, the opening band was punctual and brief.

Un Chien Andalou
came on a giant screen at 9pm and I almost peed my pants.
At 9:07 the band took to the stage playing some of their best B-sides:
Dancing At Manta Ray
Weird at My School

*hello, 8th grade*
Bailey's Walk
Manta Ray

(This is where Kim Deal says, "some of these B-sides are so obscure we had to learn them" to which I say, "who knows them all by heart?! THIS GIRL!")

Then Un Chien Andalou comes back on and they launch full force into the album, sending me into a fit, the likes of which you are all lucky to have not had to witness.

(This next part is for me more so than for you, dear readers, but feel free to join me if you like.) Aside from the history and the fact that they're great songs and sounded better than I could have ever imagined, here's why I reveled in each and every one.

Debaser (for life long moral conflict)
Tame (for every time I've ever needed to scream)
*this is where I lose my shiz completely and go into full-on screams and hair flingage*
I Bleed (because Kim Deal should be every little girl's role model)
Wave of Mutilation (for 2008)
Here Comes Your Man (for judging hipsters who pretend to know the Pixies)
Dead (for driving away from Los Angeles in the middle of the night, proverbial middle finger up)
Monkey Gone to Heaven (because I always wanted to know what it felt like to scream along with Black Francis with seven of my fingers in the air)
*it was epic*
Mr. Grieves (for Mr.)
Crackity Jones (for delirious 4am drives to the middle of nowhere to shoot an ultra low budget indie film with a bunch of crazy people)
La La Love You (for shakin' my butt)
*David Lovering kinda made me swoon, balding head and all*
No. 13 Baby (for being a girl)
There Goes My Gun (for never letting them see you sweat)
Hey (because love doesn't give you a choice)
*Top 10 life moment*

Silver (for B)
Gouge Away (for bad decisions in college)
*let the worshiping and begging for more begin*

Of course they come back out and give us a little more from the B-side:
The slowed down UK Surf version of Wave of Mutilation
Into the White
*you could hardly see them, which was cool because the music was so overpowering*

And then a little more:
Bone Machine
Dig for Fire
They tell us "last one" and I beg and plead for "Gigantic" because that would officially make this the best concert experience humanly possible. They start something (I don't remember) and then stop because BF didn't think he could play it (I dunno?), some discourse on stage and...
*both of Brittan's feet are now simultaneously leaving the ground*
...and finally Vamos in which a drumstick flies effortlessly from Lovering's drums into the hand of Joey Santiago and he does crazy violin-like guitar things with it before throwing it just as effortlessly back.

This can't be topped.


  1. Hi-o, It's great you saw the pixies. Aren't they awesome? I saw them Akron, OH for the reuinon tour in 2004 and then again in Coachella of the same year. I missed this week cause I was out of town, so I saw Sonic Youth instead. Debasser was my go-to song in highschool, and Doolittle was my album. In college, I became more of a Bossanova lover with Dig for Fire. Now, I am an advocate for the often under appreciated Trompe le Monde with Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons. But then again, I am always rocking to River Euphrates. Have you heard Bam Thwok yet?

  2. Very awesome pictures Brittan! Looks like a great show!

  3. I saw Black Francis lay out an amazing live soundtrack to the German Expressionist film THE GOLEM at the San Francisco Intl Film Festival way back when.. he's also got some good work on Danger Mouse's DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL (Visuals by David Lynch?!?!). Sounds like it was a great show. And I must say, I don't really think TROMPE LE MONDE is under appreciated! E

  4. I love the Pixies.I'm so jealous you got to see them.

  5. Thanks for reading my super self indulgent post and for loving the Pixies with me! Benny, I think I've heard everything the Pixies (and Black Francis and Kim Deal) have done and not disliked any of it, but I think Doolittle is the perfect album, start to finish. As Kim Deal said at the show, it was made when albums were still the perfect length and more thought was put into the compilation than the singles. It warms me.

    And Erik, I am SO jealous about Golem.