Pixies Reunite For U.S., European Tours
After months of rumors and over a decade since disbanding The Pixies have officially confirmed an
11-city U.S. reunion tour, culminating at Coachella Festival on May
1st. The touring band will include all four original members
singer/guitarist Black Francis (now known as Frank Black, real name
Charles Thompson), bassist/singer Kim Deal, guitarist Joey Santiago
and drummer David Lovering playing live together for the first time
since U2's 1992 "Zoo TV" tour, where the band was the opening act for the initial U.S. leg. The Pixies officially broke up the following year.
After Coachella, the pioneering
Boston-based pop-punk band will embark on a month-and-a-half-long European tour, whose
unconfirmed dates reportedly include T in the Park Festival near
Glasgow on July 10th and two nights at London Brixton Academy.
Bandleader Frank Black first mentioned the possibility of a Pixies
reunion last summer on London's XFM Radio, saying the band had been
playing together informally and that his dreams of a reunion were
"like those schoolboy dreams when you don't do your homework and you
don't study for the test. I'm at the gig and we're hanging out, but
it's an utter failure and I don't know the songs and hardly anyone
turns up for the gig and people walk out."
Reaction from fans was intense, and late last year rumors began to
circulate that the Pixies might play Coachella (the same festival,
incidentally, where the Stooges kicked off their reunion tour last
Up until now, a major stumbling block has been whether Kim Deal would
participate in a Pixies reunion, since band members Black, Santiago
and Lovering have remained close since the break-up. (Santiago has
played guitar on several Frank Black and the Catholics albums, while
Lovering opened for Black's tour with his science/magic act in 2002.)
It is likely
that the band's set list will mostly comprise songs from The Pixies' glory
days; a greatest-hits album is being released this year. Band
spokesperson Heidi Ellen Robinson Fitzgerald said, "Their focus,
understandably for a group that has not played together in more than
a decade, is on re-establishing their relationships, playing
together, and getting ready for this upcoming tour, with as few
distractions as possible. I can tell you that this particular cycle
of their reunion will be all about the live performance."
The 4AD label is
planning to release a DVD this year with eight Pixies videos, live
concert footage from a 1988 London concert at the Town and Country
Club, and a Pixies documentary called Gouge, which features
interviews with Thom Yorke, David Bowie, Bono and other high-profile
fans. A 23-track greatest-hits album is also in the works for this
year, with remixed versions of "Debaser," "Here Comes Your Man,"
"Gigantic," "Allison," "Nimrod's Son," "Dig for Fire," and "Monkey
Gone to Heaven."
The Pixies formed in Boston in 1986, pioneering a noisy but tuneful
punk sound, defined by abstract lyrics, sudden loud-soft dynamic
shifts and powerful guitar hooks. The band released four albums and
an EP during its tumultuous career.
An eight song EP, Come On Pilgrim, recorded
at Boston's Fort Apache in 1987, laid the groundwork for the group's
twisted, hardcore surf sound and caught the attention of 4AD, which
released it and all subsequent Pixies albums. Pilgrim was followed a year later by Surfer Rosa, which
included such defining tracks as the eerie "Where Is My Mind?," "Bone
Machine" and the first Black/Deal collaboration "Gigantic."
In 1989, the Pixies released Doolittle, named by the
NME as "Second Best Album Ever" and considered the band's best
album. Its tracks "Monkey Gone to Heaven," "Debaser" and "Here Comes
Your Man" brought the Pixies their widest audience. It was followed
by Bossanova ("Velouria," "Is She Weird") in 1990 and
Trompe Le Monde ("Alec Eiffel") in 1991.
The group was highly influential during its first go-round; Kurt
Cobain publicly acknowledged Nirvana's debt to them, and their
fingerprints are all over the indie-rock scene that has continued to
flower. Tensions between band members grew in the early 1990s, mostly
because Kim Deal wanted to write more songs for the band than she was
allowed to. By 1993 when the Pixies were dissolved by Black
sending a fax to the other band members both Black and Deal
were involved in other projects, Black with his first solo record and
Deal with The Breeders. Jennifer Kelly [Thursday, February 5,