P I X I E S
...came through Oakland last weekend and I witnessed the whole mess.
The fathers (and mothers...Kim Deal has her own footprint) of everything that has come through the post-punk genre from Nirvana to Pavement to Weezer to Modest Mouse to Animal Collective to whatever new digs are in your CD player now was basically birthed through the line of the Pixies' 1989 tour de force Doolittle
. It resonates with a kind of surrealism that cannot be sensed and rationalized like any other set of musicians ever to set foot in a studio have been able to articulate. The Pixies' Doolittle was a sort of avant-garde masterwork with the depth and imagery of the surrealist masters of the early 1900's.
Anyway, the Pixies current tour revolves around the 20th anniversary of the release of Doolittle
. They opened the set with a showing of Dali's Un chien andalou
which was accompanied by a modern, moody soundtrack. It set an eerie, unsettled tone to the set. The classic eyeball slicing scene is particularly disturbing. Its important to know that this movie was influential in the writing process for Doolittle
. "Debaser" contains several allusions to the short film and its themes are present all the way through the album. Un chien andalou
was followed by 4 of the B-Sides released with the singles of "Here Comes Your Man" and "Monkey Gone to Heaven"...including a couple of my Pixies faves "Bailey's Walk" and the joyous "Manta Ray".
They followed the B-Sides with an in-sequence run through the entire album of Doolittle
, which was played to perfection. I saw them in 2004 and this performance was immaculate in comparison. There was no posturing, there was no cheapness about the show. It was raw and rough and right on time...just like a Pixies show should be. The highlights of the show for me were the performances of "Manta Ray", "Tame", and "Silver", which were essentially the extensions of the moods of the show. Beautiful in all respects, really. Joy, violence, loneliness...all juxtaposed like figures in a Dali.
The lights and effects were interesting and added alot to the presentation. You could tell that the Pixies are enjoying themselves on this tour and are probabably enjoying their commercial success (which is well-deserved) stateside as well.
The show was closed with two encores, which included 5 songs.
Best show I have seen. Wonderful.