Thursday, April 05, 2007

PIXIES - live 4/4/07 and other rambling

ahhhh, that PIXIES experience last night (The Best of V Festival at the Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne) was great... and i couldn't resist (giving my goodbye) jotting down as many songs i could remember them playing, and can't remember the order after the 3rd song, but i think they went into the Trompe album:

[this started off as a quick email purge of the songs i could remember from last night, and then got way long... so i've blogged it]

1. Bone Machine - a totally perfect starting song.
2. Caribou Monkey Gone to Heaven
3. Wave of Mutilation

and they stopped mid-song in monkey with Frank Black demanding that a stupid big beach ball was removed. i think most in the crowd agreed with this. there was an amusing few minutes of discussion of where to re-start the song again.

the rest of the concert (in rough but pretty close order to what we saw, based on the set list posted here, we didn't get In Heaven or Holiday Song, but instead got Broken Face and I Bleed... i think we were more lucky):

4. U-Mass
5. Head On
6. Caribou
7. No.13 Baby
8. Tame
9. Hey
10. Gouge Away
11. Mr Greives
12. Broken Face
13. I Bleed
14. Here Comes Your Man
15. Planet of Sound
16. Debaser
17. Crackity Jones
18. Something Against You
19. Isla de Encanta
20. Nimrod's Son
21. Vamos
22. Where Is My Mind?

and joey's theatrics were great in Vamos, with the feedback and playing guit with a drumstick.

23. La La Love You
24. Gigantic

so 24 songs in total, a great set really. would've been great to have a song or two from Bossanova... and it's interesting that they ignored this album at the Gold Coast gig too. would've also loved (everything else!), but some of:
hang wire
is she weird?
the happening - has to be one of my fave Pixies songs
all over the world
dig for fire
cecilia ann

motorway to roswell - this song's really been getting to me lately, it's quite amazing
distance equals rate times time
the sad punk

cactus - a fantastic song, and possibly Bowie's version is even better... contentious, i know
ed is dead
river euphrates
levitate me
i've been tired

and i can't believe all of Doolittle apart from 3 songs was played:
dead (would've loved this)
There Goes My Gun

and maybe, after looking at the songs played, i do like Doolittle the best after all. i've always thought i liked Bossanova more, with it's surf-rock feel, but apart from the overplayed monkey and wave, i think Doolittle could become my fave again, like back in the early 90s... i mean, Bossanova, still has a lot of totally mad, great songs, but in general they don't seem to have the same complexity and strangeness that permeates doolittle (and surfer rosa/come on pilgrim for that matter). but songs like the happening, is she weird?, all over the world, dig for fire, etc are still amazing. i think possibly the first track on Bossanova, cecilia ann says it all, it's amazing musically (and is apparently a cover of the Surftones), like the rest of the album, but Doolittle just wins by miles with its lyrical content.

i've never sung along so much at a gig, nor noticed such crowd response and knowledge of lyrics etc. and just having something like 11,000 fans singing along with the likes of Caribou, Hey, etc. sounded amazing. often i've been at gigs of bands i really love, and get bored with a couple of songs here and there, and get tired, and start wondering what good songs they still haven't played and hope that they play those and get it over with. but last night, despite sore back and legs, i could've stayed for hours and heard every pixies song (still, there's not that many more, even with the b-sides). i think that's a sign of just having so many amazing songs, and partly the reminiscing value, of a band i've loved since i moved to brisbane in 1990 and discovered them, the cure and the violent femmes. it was such a jump from milli vanilli and average top 40 pop. yeah, i found the discomfort didn't matter and instead of hoping for particular songs almost every song was a surprise - "what's that chord? yep, it's a good one...". apart from say Head On (the Jesus and Mary Chain cover) and Gigantic, both of which i find slightly ordinary. but i found myself singing along to both, regardless. i was really impressed by the sound at the bowl. and there was great guit playing by joey, he re-created all those great sounds really well i thought. his guitar was a little too loud in one song, but that was ok. frank screamed a fair bit and changed delivery of the occasional line. dave was awesome on drums, as expected. and i didn't have any problems with the bass, i didn't really notice it that much. kim's vocals were kinda average, but that's how i've always thought they were, and they certainly add to the songs.

it's funny, i've found hardly any reviews of the gig yet, except for here.

i was checking out the meanings behind some Pixies lyrics this morning, although it partly ruins the intrigue of songs... i started with what the hell "Uriah hit the crapper" means in the song Dead... i thought it was about Uriah Heap (i think i saw Frank playing a Uriah Heap tape on a doco of them on the road), but no:

The song is taken from 2 Samuel, Chapter 11.

After Bathsheba tells King David that he has impregnated her, David sends for her husband Uriah the Hittite who is fighting in David's army. David tells Uriah to "Go down to your house and wash your feet". But Uriah, being the faithful servant refuses and sleeps outside the entrance to the King's palace.

The reason David was telling Uriah to go wash his feet is so that he would go home, sleep with his wife, and cover up the pregnancy. That's where the "hit the crapper" part comes from... it's King David telling Uriah to go home to his bathroom and wash his feet.

I believe that the whole reference to "Dead" is the fact that starting with these evil deeds, King David's life starts to go downhill, leading to his death.

P.S. Frank Black confirms that this song is indeed about David and Bathsheba in a recent SPIN article, (Summer 2004).

and go here if you want more Pixies lyrical analysis.

and it looks like Gouge Away is about Samson and Delilah, which makes sense now.

after reading more of these lyrical analyses, i'm just blown away more and more by this band. i've always loved the colour and bizarreness of Frank's lyrics, like i'm sure everyone else has, but it still amazes me when eg. a song like Mr. Grieves, which i thought was pretty simple, actually could have a lot more levels and intertwined possibilities throughout it (it's probably well over-analysed, but Frank's got some complex stuff going in most of his songs which is intriguingly stripped back to almost abstractness):

also, i've never been a big fan of the choice of title for "Doolittle" but maybe that last discussion makes it a bit more clear. still it's better than what it almost was.

other comments on the V festival:

Jarvis Cocker was good to see. a seasoned front man, great to see him finally, but a big shame he didn't throw at least one Pulp song into the set. loved his in-between song banter and his general swagger and charisma.
missed the New York Dolls, and saw the last few Phoenix songs. they were ok. really just wanted to see the Pixies.

it was funny seeing the blatantly commercial tents around the perimeter, advertising mobile phones, and various drinks. i sortof think wonder if the advertising would have any impact on the middle-aged crowd who would certainly be very cynical about such stuff. especially a crowd that's into such non-generic music like the Pixies. but then i guess advertising will gradually filter into the most impervious minds, and that must be the plan. even discussing this with friends at the gig is promoting the ads to some extent, giving them credence.

and another great thing about the festival/evening was the middle aged crowd. i didn't feel too old like i have done at more recent Big Day Outs - people just wore everyday clothes; there was very little "hey look at me" statements of clothing, hair, piercings, etc. i guess 'cos it was a cold night most people had jackets on too, so all the band t-shirts weren't that evident. and there were a few, but no where near the amount you'd expect at other festivals. and again, the sound was surprisingly good and there was very little wind. a great gig all round.

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