I’m finding it a bit hard to be inspired lately. When I get into these kind of funks, I go back to my teenage years in the 80s when I would listen to alternative radio. The band that has always impressed me the most are the Pixies. The band that was composed of Black Francis, Kim Deal, Joey Santiago, and David Lovering are not that well known in the mainstream square community, you would never find them on America’s Got Talent, but they probably had more influence on post modern music more than any band since the Velvet Underground. Among the artists who have been quoted as being influenced by this band: David Bowie, Nirvana, and Radiohead.
Probably the one song everyone has heard from this band is Where Is My Mind from the Fight Club soundtrack. It is a haunting, peaceful song. It is hard to describe their music to a layperson because it is not very accessible. Unless you are a tad twisted. Then you get it right away.
I was a DJ for college radio in the early 90s and I would play these guys every chance I could. I couldn’t tell you what my favorite song from them is because there is such a vast range. However, I like the raw punk sounds of Crackity Jones. I think lead vocalist Black Francis actually “barks” in some parts of this song. And Isla de Encanta which is in Spanish.
Then they have slow reflective songs like Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf) which has a mellow surfer vibe meets Blue Bayou and surreal lyrics. Velouria also has a dreamlike feeling with a tinge of grunge. It immediately feels nostalgic even upon the first listen.
They have pop songs too. La La Love You is catchy and fun and reminds me a bit of the Stray Cats in the 80s. Here Comes Your Man is also a pop wonder. Francis wrote this song when he was a teenager. You can see in this video that they have a great sense of humor which is an underlying thread in their music (even the really hard stuff).
Like all bands, they have had their ups and downs. Kim Deal left the band and they added a new female member a few years back. Black Francis went solo a few time and has some outstanding live acoustic songs. He has a nice performance here doing charity work for kids who were diagnosed with cancer. A little bit of bhakti from a great man.
I hope you enjoyed some of these links. Like I said, this isn’t for everyone, but this band has certainly influenced me through the years to be more creative. I can’t count the number of times that a Pixies listening binge has lifted me from some dark places.