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Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Pixies December 8, 2004 Constitution Hall DC

so....fi-na-ly its happened to me... got to see the pixies live... what can one say or write? its always strange to see a band live when you've listened to their songs 1000s of times with no expectation of ever getting to see them live... we'd heard the stories about the bitter breakup with frank black aka black francis aka charles sumner aka pillsbury dough boy faxing the rest of the band a letter telling them the pixies were over back in 91... we lost track of david lovering (drummer) and heard he was doing hocus pocus tricks to make a living.... frank black kept putting out music and developed a new hard core following but i lost him around cult of ray or black sessions...kim deal led perhaps the most colorful life leading the breeders to mega sales and becoming a member of the guided by voices worship society before spinning ever downwards in what appears to have been a blaze of glory no a haze of hard bitter drugs....joey santiago meanwhile led a real low profile with his new band the martinis...


fast forward to earlier this year when we heard frank black throw out the idea of a pixies reunion... a ton of shows later frank or black is leading a band that has played sold out shows all over europe and the US and is wrapping up a tour that has grossed the ungodly sum of $14 million at the pixies home base: the northeast... starting with DC and heading to the loci in boston only to end up with something insane like 9 sell outs in new york...



DAR Constitution Hall in DC is a better site for Opera or Nina Simone's farewell tour than it is for the pixies... but there they were playing a place with security tighter than at the Pentagon... where you can't even light up a cigarette.. where beer is $6.50 a cup or wine is $7.50 a thimble...where everyone's seated and you are not allowed to even dance in the aisles.... my idead of hell... but in the end i reneged on my boycott and thanks to my friend Dan Wray was looking pretty in an aisle seat in row S....



i see baldheads back stage.. they're coming out.. and just like that the pixies barnstormed through about 80-90 minutes of very fast paced rock... one classic followed another...they did shortshift my favorite pixies album Trompe Le Monde and focused on their more popular early work with Come On Pilgrim/Surfer Rosa/Doolittle getting played extensively... i think for me the biggest thrill was seeing Joey Santiago wailing away playing his style of surf punk guitar... the sound was LOUD but whenever he would start hammering away i simply had to take out my improvised plugs... kim deal thundered on bass.. to me, from my vantage point, the sound was very good... anyways, kim's bass was turned up as one would expect... david lovering was banging on the drums for all the marbles..meanwhile frank black or whatever he's calling himself shrieked and screamed his way through about 30 songs....like good modern rock stars they kept their contact with their worshipers to a minimum with kim throwing in a few comments.. she also managed to smoke a cigarette here or there.. guess when you're bringing the bacon the DAR people don't have as much of a problem with the second hand smoke?!....towards the middle of the set my friend Randy Smith did me a huge favor and let me use his ticket to stand in ROW 1 yes ROW ONE NUMERO UNO ICHIBAN right smack in front of joey who was wailing away and it was measurably louder and more powerful and intense up there.. i saw why people pay the big bucks.. anyhow... i stayed for two songs.. the second of which to my delight turned out to be a searing debaser!!!!!!! at one point joey looked at me as if to say "where did this clown in the wackjob hat come from?"..the rest of the show was one great tune after another.. we got some joey guitar feedback effects.. then the band played a four song encore...


what to say.. reunions generally never live up to the hype but i thought they sounded really good..really tight.. and they seemed to be enjoying themselves.. its nice to see them come back in their prime and getting their just deserts..its nice for me to GET to see them...i can only hope they get back in the studio soon and keep on writing their story.. there's no reason its got to end......


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