Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Albums I Haven't Heard In A Long While: "Doolittle" by the Pixies

Heavy symbolism.

It's still the only Pixies album I own. Why I don't know! It's creative as all get out and I loved it the moment I first heard it. That was three and a half years ago. WHATTT??

Let's tally up the album count here. Because this isn't right. I like to fancy myself a "hip" music reviewer, full of sweet good taste. I mean, I'm telling you what music to listen to, right?? So I've gotta be hip, or else you'd have no reason to listen to me! So keep this in mind: I have ONE Pixies album. The Pixies were one of the biggest influences on 90's alt-rock ever. They are still considered one of the most important and influential rock bands of the past two decades or so.

And I have ONE of their albums. Here's a few bands that I have more albums of than the Pixies:

- Blur (four)
- Hanson (four, no shit!!)
- Coldplay (three)
- David Cross (two, and I don't even listen to those albums anymore!)
- Green Day (...um, three. Yeah, I know)
- Paul McCartney solo (two, more like TWO TOO MANY) (actually no I like those albums)
- New Radicals (Well ok, only one, but I've listened to it more than this Pixies album according to iTunes so yeah)

Jeezum crackers. You've heard it here, folks: Sean Rose prefers Coldplay and Hanson over the Pixies. TELL ALL YOUR LOCAL BLOGGER NEWS BLOGS.

So Doolittle. Kicks ass. Starts off with the nutzoid one-two-three punch of "Debaser," "Tame," and "Wave of Mutilation," and doesn't let up from there. The first and third aforementioned are more Pixies pop, but "Tame," oh man. That song as the greatest vocals ever: Frank Black whispers creepily in the verses, and then SCREAMS AT THE TOP OF HIS GODDAMNED LUNGS in every verse, and man it's so cool. That's a Nirvana trick! Now you see where it comes from!! And that part where Frank Black stops after one of the verses and starts doing that rhythmic breathy singing that sounds like he's stopping for air, with Kim Deal singing over it? And that part right after that where he launches right back into the "TAAAAAAAAME!" scream? THAT IS. Cool.

"Here Comes Your Man" is still my favorite song on here. Always has been, always will be. As creepy and shouty and scary as the Pixies could make themselves, they always had surprisingly strong pop instincts, and this song is probably the closest they ever got to a happy-dappy pop song. And I LOVE it! It's got the funniest, loopiest little riff that dips in and out of the whole thing, and Frank Black and Kim Deal's vocals are so strong and happy I just want to kill myself.

Otherwise, there's still some great creeper-rock tracks on here. "Dead"? "I Bleed"? "Crackity Jones"? Kim Deal's "Silver"? All jagged, minor-key, noisy creepouts that are also real catchy. Again, pop instincts about whether they like it or not - like the groovy bridge of "Dead". But they've also got some cool, laid-back rockers like "Hey," some goofy funny moments like "Mr. Grieves" and "La La Love You" (featuring cat-call whistling and "SHAKE YOUR BUTT!" incantations), and even some weirdly poignant numbers like the epic "Monkey Gone To Heaven," perhaps the Pixies' definitive piece of gospel. And then there's "Gouge Away," which might as well be a Nirvana song. I mean that in a good way.

Umm, well I'd like to discuss Kim Deal for a moment. For all you non-Pixiesologists, she was their bassist and other chief vocalist/songwriter, offering a lilting, melodic female vocal counterpoint to Frank Black's screeching, demented wail. She was important, damnit! Her basslines are ALL OVER this album! A lot of the time, her basslines form the melodic BASS-IS (haha jokes) of most of the songs. And they're all cool! And Frank Black barely put her songs on their later albums - this one only has "Silver" which I've honestly never really liked all that much, so I always kinda wrote her off. But I just heard Pod by the Breeders, her side-project recorded about a year after Doolittle, and damn is it cool. So props to Kim Deal.

God, what do I know? I don't have Surfer Rosa. I've never listened to it before. I have no credibility on this matter. I don't have an excuse - I've had Doolittle for three years and I haven't bothered with anything else. I'm too deep in the hole now to save my credibility. So I'll only direct this review to people who have never heard of the Pixies: this album is good, so buy it! They were the most ripped-off band of the 90's! And don't buy it just 'cause they had a song in Fight Club. Honestly, there are still people in this country who will refer to the Pixies as "that Fight Club band." Can you believe that shit? These are the same people that listen to the Toadies and 311 unironically. You have no reason to trust them.

Now if you don't mind I'm going to put on Coldplay's classic record Parachutes. That "Yellow" number really shakes me up.


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