Pixies? Do you mean the Fairy Creatures?
Well, not precisely, dear reader! While pixies are indeed charming and magical creatures from folklore, our guide is about a different kind of magic—the enchanting allure of music. And by Pixies, we’re talking about the legendary alternative rock band, not the mythical beings with fluttering wings. So, buckle up for a wild ride, for this is your ultimate ‘Guide to The Pixies.’
The Pixies will perform in SLC at the Kilby Block Party 4. They’ll be joined by another iconic band, Pavement.
Guide to Pixies: Who On Earth Are They?
The Pixies are a rock band that came about in the mid-80s. Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, this group of rockers shook the world with their unique sound. To say they created a splash in the music industry would be an understatement—they made a full-fledged tidal wave!
The Members: Who’s Who in the Pixies Zoo?
The Pixies are a quartet composed of Black Francis (vocals, rhythm guitar), Joey Santiago (lead guitar), Kim Deal (bass, vocals), and David Lovering (drums). Each member brought their unique flair to the table, creating a blend of music that was and remains uniquely Pixies.
Pixies’ Sound: A Symphony of the Strange
The Pixies’ sound can be best described as a musical roller coaster. One minute you’re coasting along with gentle, melodic tunes, and the next, you’re plummeting into a world of loud, raucous guitar riffs that would make even the bravest of rock enthusiasts buckle at the knees. It’s like strapping yourself into a rocket ship on a collision course with Mars while Elvis serenades you from the control deck. Yes, it’s that wild!
Their Signature Style: A Deliciously Weird Sandwich
The Pixies’ signature style involves “quiet-loud-quiet” dynamics, a technique that resembles the structure of a sandwich. The bread, or the quiet parts, encloses a loud, explosive filling. The result? A musical sandwich that you don’t just listen to but experience!
The Pixies and The ’90s: An Era to Remember
The Pixies were a force to be reckoned with in the 1990s. Their music was like a breath of fresh air, or more accurately, a gust of gale-force wind that shook the industry to its core. During this time, they released some of their most iconic albums.
Surfer Rosa: A Wave of Genius
Their debut album, Surfer Rosa, was a sensation. It was like a rogue wave in the ocean of music, unexpected but awe-inspiring. It introduced the Pixies’ unique blend of punk, surf rock, and unconventional lyricism.
Doolittle: The Album That Dared
Their second studio album, Doolittle significantly contributed to the 90s music scene. It was like finding a diamond in a coal mine—an unexpected, brilliant surprise. With tracks like “Debaser” and “Here Comes Your Man,” the album quickly became a cornerstone of alternative rock.
Pixies Today: Still Rockin’
The Pixies’ journey continued after the 90s. They’re like the Energizer Bunny of rock music—they keep going and going! Even after a hiatus and a lineup change, the band continues to create music that captures the hearts of both old and new fans alike.
Pixies 2.0: Rise of the Indie Cindy
In 2014, the Pixies released Indie Cindy, their first album in over two decades. It was like a phoenix rising from the ashes, reminding the world that the Pixies still had the spark that made them legends in the first place.
Best Songs by The Pixies
“Where Is My Mind?”
Ah, the eternal question, “Where Is My Mind?” With its surreal lyrics and haunting melody, this iconic track has cemented its place in pop culture. The song makes you ponder life’s mysteries while headbanging in unison.
“Debaser” is a song that screams (quite literally) The Pixies. With references to the avant-garde film, ‘Un Chien Andalou,’ this song is as punk as it gets. But, it’s the tune that makes you want to rebel against…well, anything.
“Monkey Gone to Heaven”
This track is where The Pixies showcased their softer, more melodic side. “Monkey Gone to Heaven” is a mystical environmental ballad that leaves you contemplating the cosmos and our role. Of course, you can’t help but sing along with its catchy “If man is five, then the devil is six” chorus.
Ah, “Gigantic,” the song that makes you feel larger than life. With its infectious bassline and Kim Deal’s sultry vocals, it’s a tune that’s bound to get stuck in your head for days on end. So dance around like nobody’s watching, because why not?
“Wave of Mutilation”
“Wave of Mutilation” is one of those songs that grabs hold of your eardrums and never lets go. The catchy melody, coupled with Frank Black’s signature yelps, creates a tsunami of punk rock goodness you cannot help but surf along with.
“Here Comes Your Man”
Sweet, jangly, and utterly charming, “Here Comes Your Man” is a song that proves The Pixies can do pop with the best of them. This track has the uncanny ability to turn any frown upside down, so give it a spin and embrace your inner sunshine.
“Bone Machine,” the opening track of their debut album “Surfer Rosa,” is like a sonic punch to the gut—in the best way possible. Its angular guitar riffs and driving beat set the tone for the entire album. It’s a song that says, “Hey, we’re The Pixies, and we’re here to rock your world.”
“Velouria,” from their album “Bossanova,” showcases the band’s ability to fuse punk rock with dreamy, almost ethereal melodies. This track will take you on a rollercoaster ride of sound, from its frenetic verses to its hauntingly beautiful chorus. It’s like a whirlwind romance with a punk rocker—intense, passionate, and utterly unforgettable.
“Caribou” is a mystical, almost otherworldly track that showcases The Pixies’ knack for creating atmospheric soundscapes. With its echoing vocals and hypnotic rhythm, it’s a song that transports you to another realm. So, put on your headphones, close your eyes, and let “Caribou” carry you away.
Last but certainly not least, we have “Hey,” a track that perfectly encapsulates The Pixies’ “soft-loud-soft” dynamic. The song starts slow and sultry, building up to a raucous, guitar-heavy chorus that’ll have you nodding your head in time with the beat. It’s a masterclass in musical tension and release and a testament to The Pixies’ enduring appeal.
Pixies’ Influence: A Legacy That Lives On
The Pixies’ influence can be felt far and wide in the music industry. They’re like the proud parents of a generation of bands inspired by their sound and style.
The Pixies and Nirvana: A Connection for the Ages
The late Kurt Cobain, frontman of Nirvana, was a self-proclaimed Pixies fan. He even admitted that the Pixies significantly influenced Nirvana’s sound. It’s like discovering that your favorite candy inspired your favorite dessert—it just makes everything that much sweeter! Listen to “Debaser” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to see the similarities between the songs.
Guide to Pixies: FAQs
Q: What is the origin of the Pixies’ name?
A: The band took their name from a random word found in a dictionary. They felt that the word “pixies” embodied their music’s whimsical, mysterious, and fun nature.
Q: What was their first hit song?
A: “Gigantic,” from their debut album Surfer Rosa, was their first hit, propelling them into the spotlight.
Q: Why did the Pixies disband in 1993?
A: The Pixies disbanded primarily due to internal tensions and creative differences. However, they reunited in 2004 and have been rocking the world ever since.
Q: What is the “quiet-loud-quiet” dynamic?
A: It’s a technique the Pixies use that involves alternating between quiet, melodic verses and loud, explosive choruses in their songs.
Q: Who replaced Kim Deal in the band?
A: Kim Shattuck and later Paz Lenchantin joined the band as bassists and vocalists after Kim Deal’s departure.
Q: What is their most recent album?
A: The Pixies’ most recent album, Doggerel, was released in 2022.
Q: Who are the original members of The Pixies?
A: The Pixies originally consisted of Black Francis (vocals/guitar), Joey Santiago (guitar), Kim Deal (bass/vocals), and David Lovering (drums).
Q: What was their first album?
A: Their debut album, Surfer Rosa, was released in 1988 and featured classics like “Bone Machine,” “Gigantic,” and “Where Is My Mind?”
Pixies—A Love Affair that Never Ends
Our ‘Guide to The Pixies’ represents the band’s enduring legacy and charm. With their music still resonating in the hearts of fans worldwide, it’s safe to say that the Pixies will forever remain an essential chapter in the annals of alternative rock history.
Check out our guide to Pavement.