Pixies: A Definitive User's Guide
Hold my head, we'll trampoline
My last post seems to have generated a lot (over 3 units) of increduilityness (and that's something that doesn't even exist, so, good post). I will attempt to address that here and perhaps provide some guidelines to "discovering" the Pixies.
Music, my friends, is not an area of expertise for me. This is more Alan's (updated annually!) bag, but I will give it a shot. I don't know a whole lot about music technically (I can play the chromatic scale!), but I know what I like. And generally I like a little quirk in my tunes - a little hitch in my giddy-up. I addition, I like a band capable of varying its metronome settings. To demonstrate what I mean, the first band I really liked and pursued was They Might Be Giants. I was in the 8th grade and I found them fascinating. Flood, to me, is the album that made me want to find more music "like this." What attracted me? TMBG are always eclectic. I had spent most of the past year listening to a top 40 station and rotting my brain with Bobby Brown's "My Perogative." TMBG were an oasis in that cultural desert.
As to the metronome thing, speaking generally, a genre like punk is one which I don't have much of an affinity. Though I might like a band here or there (Bad Religion), I'm overall not that enthused about the overall punk scene. Thrashing at your guitar as quickly as possible is a fine skill, but not always the best in creativity. In much the same way, I don't usually enjoy singer-songwriters. I might find them talented and I can understand why they are liked, but I tend to avoid them.
This is the most basic and seminal of my musical tastes that I can provide. With that grain of salt, here is my Pixies' guide:
- Start with Doolittle. Not only is Doolittle their best album (maybe not my favorite, but that's another story), but its range is best indicative of their catalog as a whole. My one bit of advice is, give it time. It may be off-putting at first, but don't listen once and discard. Take some time to listen, at least 3 to 4 times. If you don't like it then, feel free to mailbomb me.
- Doolittle is the ideal starting point. From their, if you like what you've heard, you'll probably want a Bossanova or a Trompe le Monde.
- That being said, many people consider Trompe le Monde, not the last Pixies' album, but instead the first Frank Black album. I don't necessarily agree that that's true. While TLM is not pure Pixies it is rockin' enough to be a legitimate part of their body of work. I only mention this because if you find that Doolittle isn't your bag of tea, you might enjoy TLM all the same.
- Surfer Rosa . . . just be sure that you're ready. If you don't like what you've heard so far . . . you're probably not ready and you'll probably never be a fan.
- Come on Pilgrim you know I love you! CoP is usually my favorite Pixies' album. As with any band you love, this distinction can fluctuate amongst albums. If you want to get your ass rocked off for 25 minutes, this is the album for you.
All this is to say, give them a try. If you like them, fantastic! We shall be best of friends. If not, well I guess there are other albums you might enjoy.