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 Post subject: The Pixies
PostPosted: 090404 04:04 
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(The Pixies' faithful version of neil Young's classic Winterlong)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWdsbYt4ibQ

(my favorite Pixies song: Tony's Theme)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Lm-SmZB94Y

(what makes them perfect? This:)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK0CJqMK6f0&NR=1

(Bone Machine, kind of reminds me of Re*Ac*Tor, ala T-Bone)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJfCIQHwQT8&feature=related

any Pixies love here?

I first tried to get into the Pixies during the peak of my nirvana fandom, knowing that The Pixies were one of Kurt Cobain's absolute biggest influences. At the time, I found their music to be very lacking due to the meaningless/inconsequential lyrics and the lack of heaviness.

I picked up their 1988 debut album Surfer Rosa a week ago at Borders, because it was produced by Steve Albini. I came into it expecting to be mildly impressed at best... but I think it's safe to say I am somewhat blown away by it now. There are some things I very, very deeply admire about this album. Firstly, it is a perfect album. Completely perfect. It's not perfect as in every track is a 10/10, it's perfect as in it's a *perfect album* -- it's a perfect 'piece,' it's everything I'm talking about when I say that the ALBUM is the essential form for music, the greatest work of art a musician can compose. And I'm dead jealous. I'm racking my brain viciously trying to reverse engineer this album so that I can find out the secret to albumific perfection.

So how do the Pixies manage to make senseless music seem so perfect? Well, first let's start with the lyrics. They're not stupid, like the overly poetic or overly random lyrics that a lot of these types will offer. They're moderately sensible, they are just vague. The thing about them is, they give you nice little images that you don't have to work hard for, so it kind of fades in the back, it doesn't interfere with the music. The music is the real driving force, the singing included. The beauty comes from the fact that it is incredibly catchy shit, but it's also legitimately far out and artsy and it just rocks. It's the most unique thing I've heard in forever... It truly stands on its own, nobody would have ever come out with this album if they hadn't. It has its ups and downs and it's not the same sound over and over again, it's an album like albums should be done. The song Gigantic really sums up my feelings about their high points... it's such a picture-perfect recapturing of the emotion I used to feel when a beautiful sentimental rock song would play, like Winterlong. Except the lyrics don't mean anything to me... they're able to recreate this feeling by sheer force of instrumentation, and I think that's genius. They can craft that stuff out of impressions. I guess all rock songs do that to an extent, maybe it's just because it's been almost 2 whole years since I started listening to a brand new rock band.

now, The Pixies aren't my typical kind of music. They're the quintessential College band, pretty much. But, like with neutral Milk Hotel, the fact that they came *first* and *inspired* the trends gives them a pardon -- you can't blame somebody for being so good that they cause a bunch of terrible, soulless impersonators (elsewise we'd have to hate Led Zeppelin for inspiring hair metal). What The Pixies have which a lot of college rock lacks (other than a heart), is that The Pixies are actually raw and have a rock edge to them. Their guitar style is more U2 than I would like, but instead of being a sterile studio band they're an art rock band with a punk rock mentality. Also, I don't really see them as a college band, I see them as a highschool band. When I was listening to Zep and Floyd in 7th grade, the Pixies were one of the essential bands for kids my age. So they kind of fit into my idea of this poetic youth thing, I imagine myself getting high for the first time and listening to Surfer Rosa.

I'm not sure how much of a future The Pixies have with me since their lyrics aren't particularly sensical... but rock music is my favorite genre and I have to wait many many moons inbetween finding any rock music that still sounds new and original, so I am thankful for what I can get!

I don't really see much of a connection between them and nirvana. I mean, I'm sure The Pixies are one of Kurt's biggest inspirations and I can see how he might have been striving to be like The Pixies, but people say that nirvana took their sound from the Pixies and that's retarded. I'm not even defending nirvana here, I like Surfer Rosa more than the over-produced, squeaky clean pop album nevermind (though nirvana has amazing material beyond that). It's just that, judging from Surfer Rosa alone, there's no comparison at all. There's not a single track on Rosa that sounds like it could have come from any nirvana session ever, which is more than I can say between nirvana and Pantera since Rise from Vulgar Display of Power sounds like it could be an early nirvana song with better technical chops. I've listened to nirvana's albums back to back with Rosa, and GG Allin sounds as much like nirvana as The Pixies do.

Anyway, what do you think of them?

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"If I could take it all back now, I wouldn't. I would have did more shit that people said that I shouldn't." - Marshall Mathers

"I hardly ever leave my house or my neighborhood really, and that's not a sad thing." - Fiona Apple

"It's alright, ma. It's life and life only." - Bob Dylan


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 Post subject: Re: The Pixies
PostPosted: 090404 06:06 
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I think they glossed over the best part in Winterlong. :|

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 Post subject: Re: The Pixies
PostPosted: 090404 06:17 
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Well, a lot of those live versions are short. Perhaps it's in the studio version.

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"If I could take it all back now, I wouldn't. I would have did more shit that people said that I shouldn't." - Marshall Mathers

"I hardly ever leave my house or my neighborhood really, and that's not a sad thing." - Fiona Apple

"It's alright, ma. It's life and life only." - Bob Dylan


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 Post subject: Re: The Pixies
PostPosted: 090404 16:01 
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It wasn't a section, it was a particular lead line.

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 Post subject: Re: The Pixies
PostPosted: 090404 22:08 
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The pixies were alittle too ahead of their time: if they came out now they'd be shitting all over the indie scene.

My only argument against my point is, "but would they sound the same processed and with Timbaland producing their albums?" Part of the pixies sound is minimalistic. I don't think that would hold up (seeing that auto tuning your voice is mandatory, I think Frank Black would lose some of his flair).

I've been listening to them all day because of this thread. Good stuff (even if someone stole my Surfer Rosa album..)


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 Post subject: Re: The Pixies
PostPosted: 090405 01:26 
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Move Underground wrote:
The pixies were alittle too ahead of their time: if they came out now they'd be shitting all over the indie scene.

My only argument against my point is, "but would they sound the same processed and with Timbaland producing their albums?" Part of the pixies sound is minimalistic. I don't think that would hold up (seeing that auto tuning your voice is mandatory, I think Frank Black would lose some of his flair).

I've been listening to them all day because of this thread. Good stuff (even if someone stole my Surfer Rosa album..)


:thumbsup: :thumbsup: I'm with you... the thing that indie today lacks is the raw rock edge of The Pixies. But I guess when you can upload programs onto your laptop that will produce your stuff and make it sound smoother and cleaner than a $20,000 album from the 60s, today's indie bands have no need for the utter genius of Steve Albini's production.

zharth wrote:
It wasn't a section, it was a particular lead line.


TBH I think their version of Winterlong sucks, but the fact that they would cover Winterlong is awesome, and with a band like The Pixies cover songs just seem strange, since they're so unique.

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"If I could take it all back now, I wouldn't. I would have did more shit that people said that I shouldn't." - Marshall Mathers

"I hardly ever leave my house or my neighborhood really, and that's not a sad thing." - Fiona Apple

"It's alright, ma. It's life and life only." - Bob Dylan


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 Post subject: Re: The Pixies
PostPosted: 090405 08:57 
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IfTheLightTakesUs wrote:
But I guess when you can upload programs onto your laptop that will produce your stuff and make it sound smoother and cleaner than a $20,000 album from the 60s, today's indie bands have no need for the utter genius of Steve Albini's production.


I hope you were being sarcastic.

I still think producers have a tremendous affect on an album, and even with the prevalence of home studio recording, you still need a music guru to lead you along the way. Someone who is significantly concerned with your project to give you criticism, and to see the big picture of the album.

Feel free to call bullshit on this, but about 5 years ago I was offered a position to manage a semi-big band in Cleveland under an indie label we were starting. For whatever reason, the lead singer liked me, thought I was moderately bright, and asked me to take care of the business end of things. I won't claim that I had any actual ability to do this, but I wasn't discouraged.

The band was The Bedroom All-stars. They had a similar sound to Deftones or Sevendust. They had a decent following, headlined local dives, and their claim to fame was that the lead singer dated Carmen Elecktra waaay back in the day (they were 17 years old, but no one really cared either way). I'm not sure what happened to them, but here's an old myspace account (which apparently someone still logs into).

http://www.myspace.com/bedroomallstars

Anyhow, they had a full studio out of a shitty house in Parma and I was encouraged to bring other bands there and really get some tracks recorded. We didn't get that far - we had some acoustic act come and record abit before the lead singer got in a fight and dissolved the band. I washed my hands of it after that. I'm not sure if they reformed later on.

Point of all of this: I sat in on afew of their recording sessions and openly criticized some of the songs. That third party input is crucial. Granted, I was no producer, but I could tell them they needed to work on a bridge if it didn't sound full.

You can have a kid run Pro Tools on his laptop and any other software he's acquired - polish up the recordings and make it all sync right, but without a producer his album might not flow correctly, or some of his work might sound amateurish in the end.

Alright, well I kind of ranted around there for a moment.. it's late and I'm tired.. :D


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 Post subject: Re: The Pixies
PostPosted: 090406 00:14 
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So hey, I'm big into Albini's production right now but I don't have too much of his stuff. Would you mind reccomending me some of the better Albini-produced albums? I've got Surfer Rosa and The Breeders I'm thinking about maybe something by The Jesus Lizard next.

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"If I could take it all back now, I wouldn't. I would have did more shit that people said that I shouldn't." - Marshall Mathers

"I hardly ever leave my house or my neighborhood really, and that's not a sad thing." - Fiona Apple

"It's alright, ma. It's life and life only." - Bob Dylan


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