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Whoops, sorry missed JaggerT. I remembered the review distinctly for some odd reason, then replied a little too quick.
Tramp was reviewed – got a 7.9.
Yeah, true. “Hallways” and the bonus track “Swallows” are classic catchy Islands, but a lot of the other songs are so downtrodden that it can wear on you if you are not in the mood.
Nothing too surprising there. Let’s talk about the albums we really liked that did not make any of these year end lists; I’m bored reading the same names. Here are a few of mine:
PS I Love You – Death Dreams (Pixies meet Japandroids – a slight step down from their debut, but worth it for “First Contact” alone)
Suckers – Candy Salad (“Figure It Out” is impossible to forget after one listen)
Islands – A Sleep & A Forgetting (Catchy as usual, just a bit more somber than typical Islands)
Listen, kiddo’s. I am a grouchy old man and un-hip as they come, but I have listened to the Pixies for nearly 20 years and I love every song that they ever recorded, including “Here Comes Your Man.” Hell, for years, that song was my wife’s ring-tone for me, so there’s even nostalgia tied in there.
But, “Here Comes Your Man” has no business being in the top 10. That is not to reject the popular song just for cool points. I have no cool points left in my life. I honestly have spent thousands of hours listening to the Pixies and at no point was “Here Comes Your Man” in my top 25 songs by them. It really is a song that belongs completely to the time it was recorded. It fit with the radio culture of 1989 (that bass line is bubblegum) and it makes sense that it got popular (“popular” in a certain sense of the word), but the greatness of the Pixies lies in their strange timelessness.
Anyway, for my ears, no band has ever approached their combination of strangeness, accessibility, and ability to rock. Their have been albums here there (‘Apologies to the Queen Mary” and “Meet Me at the Muster Station” come to mind) that had that Pixies-ish spark of excitement, but no band did it as well and for as long as they did.
Now, get off my lawn!
Wait, a second there. Is there a version of “In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)” that Kim sings? I’ve heard the BBC version, the Live version on the Complete “B” Sides, and I think I’ve watched a video or two of it, but I’ve never heard Kim sing it.
I love the sound on Bossanova; the reverb drenched guitar made it sound so spacey and dreamy. Plus, they did some great stuff with song-structures that they really had not done before. “The Happening” and “All Over the World” really veered down unexpected paths and got a little prog-rock-esque even.
I really don’t think that “Monkey Gone to Heaven” is a no-brainer to make the list, though. It’s a good song, but I would not consider it one of my top 20 favorites. That song and “Here Comes Your Man” are two songs that seem to belong more to that moment in time, whereas some of their other songs have a strange weirdness that is timeless.
The timelessness of some of their stuff reminds me of the qualities of Black Francis’s often-cited loved director, David Lynch. Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet also have that strange otherworldly quality that belong to no specific time-period, but have plenty of uncanny references to actual time periods that unsettle you.
I’m on the same page with you. It seems like Trompe Le Monde does not get the credit it deserves because of the reviews that basically said it was too much of a Black Francis / Frank Black solo project. That mind-set has stuck with the album over the last twenty years, which is crazy to me.
Motorway to Roswell is probably in my top 10 favorite songs of all-time, never mind a list restricted to just the Pixies.
“Levitate Me” from Pixies at the BBC is outstanding. I always thought that the live BBC version beat the album version.
Just put on the Pixies now and it triggered another memory. One of the greatest songs of the 90′s was an intentional rip-off of the Where is My Mind? lead-riff: Toadies, “Tyler.” (Full disclosure, even though the Pixies are probably my most listened to band of all-time, I think “Tyler” is an even better song than “Where is My Mind?”)
Anyway, that makes me doubly thankful for Where is My Mind?
Typo above: “personal list,” not person list. If I was in fact making a top 10 “person list,” Black Francis would be in there.
Man, I’ve spent the last 17 years of my post-12-year-old life listening to the crap out of the Pixies, but I cannot imagine a more difficult or thankless job than compiling a list of my 10 favorites. No matter what, I will feel bad about neglecting favorite songs because there are just too many.
Teenage nostalgia is absolutely a huge factor in my person list:
10. Rock Music
9. Alec Eiffel
7. No. 13, Baby
6. Gouge Away
4. All Over the World
2. Where is My Mind?
1. Motorway to Roswell
I am always amazed that more people don’t prefer Rhapsody. I’ve tried MOG, Rhapsody, and Spotify, but the one that seems to work the best for me is Rhapsody. The client for Spotify is terrible; I feel like I am back on some late 90′s application like WinAmp. The iPhone app for Rhapsody is pretty smooth, although I can see why people would not like the web-based version of Rhapsody. They could certainly use a cleaner design there, but I still much prefer it over the Spotify client.
The main area where Spotify kills Rhapsody and MOG is the social side of things, but that’s not a deal-breaker for me because I find that most of my friends listen to music that I have no interest in ever hearing, and they have no interest in hearing what I listen to (except to laugh). “Animal Collective… hilarious!”
“Gray-Mane or Battle-Born?” I am glad we know how Brandon Flowers handled this question. I wonder if he went Imperial or Stormcloak…
Ah, sorry, I did not mean to bring my Skyrim obsession over into this world.
The lyrics on the Among the Leaves favorably remind me of Pinkerton, another album with condescending self-deprecation (I.e “Butterfly” with lines like “If I’m a dog, then you’re a bitch”) and very specific details that you cannot relate to, yet are fascinating (I.e “Across the Sea” with lines like “They don’t make stationery like this where I’m from / So fragile, so refined / So I sniff and lick your envelope and fall to pieces…”).
For whatever reason, it seems that most publications tend to think the Pixies only had two notable albums in “Surfer Rosa” (1988) and “Doolittle” (1989), so I was not that surprised by their omission.
Personally, I love both of their 1990′s albums (“Bossanova” and “Tromple Le Monde”) and think they deserve the same level of respect as Surfer/Doolittle, but the hive-mind conclusion tends to be that the later albums lacked too much of their early manic-energy and became too much of a Black Francis solo project (again, I disagree).
Nice, I love this. I’m still dreaming of the strings returning for another Islands’ album, but I appreciate the variety of sounds he’s taken on. Each album is definitely it’s own entity.
The subtle build-up and harmony in the middle portion of the song are beautiful. Great stuff.
This one time when I had a lot on my mind, I started running up and down the stairs at my town’s local football stadium. Well, I was a little distracted and probably pushing it a little too hard, but I noticed another guy running the stairs pretty darn fast.
Needless to say, I ended up falling and hurting my ankle while trying to match the speed of this stranger. The other guy noticed me fall and came over to help me. We had a nice chat and I enjoyed his Scottish accent. He also said goodbye in a mysterious way that I really liked: “See you in another life, brother.” Intriguing.
Anyway, to make a long story short, a couple of years later I eventually realized that this guy was the singer for the Twilight Sad. Small world, huh?
The behind the scenes leader of the World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation was directing this performance from the catwalk above the studio. None other than the nefarious… Dr. Claw.
“…and the guitar tone sucks.”
Don’t ever watch Friday Night Lights (or listen to Explosions in the Sky). It’s basically that guitar tone played over shaky-cam shots of high school football and family turmoil.
I love FNL & WU LYF, for the record. I thought they pulled off a great performance here.
No, I agree that they put on an exciting live show (lots of energy), but his ratio of hit-notes to missed-notes while singing live is extraordinarily high. When he’s yelling and running around the stage, the missed notes are something that you accept as a fair trade-off. But on videos like this, where his voice takes center-stage, it’s more difficult to be forgiving.
His voice reminds me a lot of Desaparecidos-era Conor Oberst. I’m not much of a Bright Eyes fan, but Conor eventually found his quiet voice after years of shaky singing, so I’m hoping for a similar evolution here.
I give him points for trying, but the voice is too much for me. I love singers with unique voices who may not hit the traditional notes, but it sounds like he has not found his voice yet, particularly live. The yell-singing-talking type thing works okay for them in the studio, though.
The cover of They Might Be Giants that they did was just as grating because of the vox: http://www.avclub.com/articles/titus-andronicus-covers-they-might-be-giants,53051/
The intent of the comment was regarding how well Adore would fit right into the current Pitchfork-approved indie rock world, but thank you for the link, I had never read that.
…And wow, I can see why they took that review down. Calling “Perfect’ a “dead-ringer for the Icicle Works’ ‘Birds Fly’” is the perfect reminder that reviewers (and founders of taste-creating websites) do not necessarily have functioning ears.