25 August 2004

I'm Going to See the PIXIES!

In my life, there is a huge amount of music I've loved- I like nearly everything. That said, there are 5 bands that totally changed my life, the bare bones of what every single one of my other interests sort of grows from. The Beatles. Nirvana. The Velvet Underground. Iggy & the Stooges.

And the Pixies. The Pixies are one of the greatest, most exciting rock bands in the art form's history- one of the ten best American bands of all time, and a true trailblazer of modern indie and punk rock. I remember the first time I heard them- before leaving to see family in Boston (where, coincidentally, the Pixies hailed from) my sister Colleen and I were in our local Sam Goody. I was about 16, she was 14. Fresh off a big payday from babysitting, she was looking for something to get. Just for the hell of it, I asked her. Colly, would you buy me a CD? She had no reason to say yes. But she did.

So I decided I would get a record from a band I'd read about a lot (mostly in conjunction with Nirvana), but might not take a chance on with my own money. I usually bought stuff then be groups I knew I loved, mostly because I didn't want to waste money on something that sucked with the little income I had coming my way. The Pixies record stuck out as my first idea. The only thing there was Doolittle. She bought it for me, and promised her I'd pay her back. I never did.

The first thing I noticed was his voice. Frank Black has the most insane, wild, frightening voice at times, and at others the steadiest, most common and honest you can think of. It seemed so odd and different, so unlike what I had grown used to. When I first saw a picture of him- the doughy, geeky guy that had written all those brilliantly strange songs- I was amazed.

"Debaser" and "Monkey Gone to Heaven" were my early favorites, along with "Wave of Mutilation." I always skipped over "La La Love You" (still do), and "Gouge Away" was an eerily prescient ending to an utter masterpiece of a record. I'd like to say I burnt a whole in the CD from overuse, but it was something I played pretty steadily. Then I got Surfer Rosa.

Surfer Rosa is, simply put, the best album of the 1980's, and is a landmark of American rock and roll music. "Gigantic," "River Euphrates," "Bone Machine," "Where Is My Mind?," "Break My Body"- these are songs bands wait entire careers to write. Surfer Rosa is one of my ten favorite records of all time, and is an absolute essential for a fan of modern rock and roll music. Pure genius.

So long story short- the Broseph snagged us tickets to see the Pixies on reunion December 5th in New Jersey. This is the greatest gift of all times. The Beatles are obviously gone. Nirvana is dead. Sterling Morrison is gone, so a Velvet reunion is ostensibly moot. The Stooges play every now and then- but it's not the same seeing old people play that music.

The Pixies are a live, and well, and I'm goin to see em. I cannot wait.

Stan Grossfeld of the Globe had a great article on Manny in the August 24th issue of the paper. Included were some great pictures of the Baby Bull.

Manny's off-day adventure concerns one of his passions, cars. He tells the limousine driver the destination is the tiny village of Manteno, Ill., population 6,414. Manny, decked out in a No. 24 Ty Law jersey, hands him directions to Rad Rides By Troy, a custom car restoration shop where he's having a 1967 Lincoln Continental convertible totally restored as a surprise for his father's birthday.

The driver insists that the only thing in Manteno, 53 miles south of Chicago, is a state mental institution, now closed. There are plenty of cornfields as well, apparently.

Ramirez took care of some important business on his off-day, albeit in the middle of nowhere.

As the car passes cornfields, Ramirez spies a sign for a McDonald's just off the highway. "Hey, how about Mickey D's? We're on a budget," he says, giggling. The limo pulls up to the golden arches. Manny jokingly says he's going to order a Happy Meal (with a toy) but instead gets a Big Mac with fries, and a diet cola.

At Rad Rides By Troy, Manny huddles with company president Troy Trepanier and admires the work on the striped, silverlike shell of his 1967 Lincoln. After consulting with Ricky Gutierrez, Ramirez selects a color that Trepanier calls "metallic celery." Ramirez laughs. Trepanier suggests a subtle two-tone color. Ramirez is firm.

"I couldn't get no sleep, just thinking about it," Ramirez said giddily. "I'm going to pick a nice color and a nice top, He's going to love it. It's a big surprise for him. My dad is 65 years old and he'll be thrilled."

Ramirez inspects engines with Rad Rides by Troy president Troy Trepanier. "We're putting in a 500-horsepower engine," Ramirez said. "I'm probably going to have it shipped to him because we're going to be in the playoffs."

All of this was, of course, copied from "The Boston Globe" and written by Stan Grossfeld. I love that last quote too, by the way. God damn right we're going to the playoffs.

Hey, I hate Abercrombie... but I don't mind poking fun at West Virginia at all. First, they did it with a t-shirt reading "It's All Relative in West Virginia." Good stuff. Not really funny, but kinda funny. Of course, this is the territory of the government for some reason, so the governer of West Virginia, Bob Wise, took umbrage. "'It is unfortunate that Abercrombie & Fitch continues to perpetuate stereotypes rather than positive things like the number of residents serving in the military or the state's PROMISE scholarship program,' Wise spokeswoman Jodi Omear said Wednesday." Ugh. Yea, I'm going to go buy a t-shirt that says "West Virginia: I Applaud the PROMISE Scholarship Program, and Governor Wise."

So what's Abercrombie's response? Another t-shirt, only this one's a lot funnier. It says "West Virginia- No Lifeguard at the Gene Pool." You gotta admit, a big company not bowing to some stupid PC outcry is kinda cool. Their clothes are still too expensive and trendy though.

Hey look, at CNN.com, there's an article... on X! Cool. I love that band. In fact, I was watching an episode of Freaks and Geeks the other night- the one where Desario tries to turn himself into a punk rocker- and they played "Rise Above" by Black Flag and... "Your Phone's Off the Hook, But You're Not" by X. Made me want to go run and play Los Angeles.

Manny and 'Belli were huge last night. Let's get Scheeeeeeling going tonight against the Jays, let's keep the wrecking ball moving. I can actually smell the Wild Card. I like this team now. Train keeps a-rollin'...

The Ballad of el Playlisto...

...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead- "It Was There That I Found You"
At the Drive In- "Invalid Letter Dept."
The Beach Boys- "Heroes and Villains"
Beck- "Hotwax"
Big Star- "The Ballad of el Goodo"
Bjork- "It's Oh So Quiet"
Bob Dylan- "Highway 61 Revisited"
Cat Power- "He War"
Creation- "Making Time"
DJ Danger Mouse- "December 4th"
Elliott Smith- "Cupid's Trick"
Foo Fighters- "Winnebago" (live)
The Hives- "Walk Idiot Walk"
Iggy Pop- "The Passenger"
John Lennon- "I Found Out"
Johnny Cash- "San Quentin"
Joni Mitchell- "Free Man In Paris"
Madonna- "What It Feels Like For a Girl"
MC5- "Kick Out the Jams"
Mclusky- "Kkkitchens, What Were You Thinking?"
Neil Young- "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)"
Neil Young- "When You Dance You Can Really Love"
Nirvana- "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter"
Sleater-Kinney- "One Beat"
Sleater-Kinney- "Far Away"

and yesterday's (no internet yesterday...)
The Shins- "Kissing the Lipless"
The Shins- "Mine's Not a High Horse"
The Shins- "So Says I"
The Shins- "Young Pilgrims"
The Shins- "Saint Simon"
The Shins- "Fighting in a Sack"
The Shins- "Pink Bullets"
The Shins- "Turn a Square"
The Shins- "Gone For Good"
The Shins- "Those to Come"

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