Late to the party OR "Hips like Cinderella"
There are some things I just missed out on growing up. The Pixies are one. I didn’t buy music until I was 22. I’m not kidding. Aside from Beck and Bob Dylan, I never bought tapes/CDs. I think it’s because when I was nine I bought the tape of Vanilla Ice’s To the Extreme and had to listen to my dad read lyrics out loud to me and explain why they were sinful. I particualry remember some lyric about a bitch in a bikini he wanted to bang...hearing your father read that shit scars. I had to return the tape to Wal-Mart. It took me a while to emotionally recover.
Other music I remember other than your standard radio fare, would be Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em was released (My parents thought those lyrics were okay) and the Dangerous Minds soundtrack, which meant I rocked a lot of Gangstas Paradise. All the way through high school and college, basically, I didn't buy C.D.s and I really relied on my friends to make me copies of what they had (Anything from Tori Amos to the Smashing Pumpkins to Jewel). In fact, I still have some of them. My Bob Dylan tape is still in my drawer even though I haven’t seen a tape player in five years.
So, I am envious of people who have a lot of musical knowledge as there are just a lot of artists that I’m just not familiar with that I should be. One of these bands would be the Pixies. And, as a recent conversation illuminated for me, the Pixies basically influenced any artist I’ve ever listened to since they started rocking mainstream in 1987.
So I cheated. I’m a cheater. I’m the person who buys greatest hits C.D.s. Yeah, judge me, I know. But look, when one day I realized that just being able to sing along to "Under Pressure" was not sufficient enough for my David Bowie knowledge, the two-disc set of his greatest hits really came in handy. Same with The Cure. Because let’s be honest, I just need a taste. I want a sense of what’s good and can go from there.
So I bought the Pixies greatest hits on Saturday. And, I’d recommend that and a glass of whiskey for anything that ails you. The obvious songs I’ve heard of are still as great as I remember(Where is My Mind, Monkey Gone to Heaven, Here Comes Your Man, Gouge Away) but there are many, many others that are just as good, if not better (Hey, Tame, Broken Face, Velouria). Pixie fans are probably totally grossed out that I am not preaching about the obscure B sides, but I'm sorry, I'm just going in for my first dip.
Aside from being really, really impressed, I love the lead singer Black Francis (is that a pimp shit name or what), his voice is so versatile and personality so, like, complicated that it’s impossible not to love at first listen. And, I cannot get over Kim Deal. She fucking rocks me with her bass and haunting voice. And, sure part of it is that "Where is My Mind" is one of my favorite songs ever, period, but it's also that every fucking band since 1987 seems to have borrowed / copied the shit out of them. I hear so many Grunge / Radiohead- esque rifts and vocal stylings that giving this a listen is like digging up a graveyard of primate ancestors from whence we came. The Pixies are like carbon dating for any grunge / indie-rock / punk / emo worth listening to from the past 30 years.
And sure, it’s a little silly. Because I’m twenty-five and currently going through a “Pixies phase,” but just because you’re late to party doesn’t mean you can't enjoy.