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Pixies, the band that sent the devil the cult of rockstar

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Ismael Angeles

In Celtic mythology, the pixies They are fantastic little creatures with a small sense of fashion that scoff at adults and steal their children from time to time. In the real world, the Pixies they are similar: musicians with clothing at the supermarket on a Sunday afternoon and interested in harassing the audience with their sonorous regions and, from time to time, stealing the position of headliner in a rock festival.

The Pixies They knew fame very late, 15 years after the founding. A few bands have been such a good reunion. The members were almost forty when they got the honey from the out of stock and international tours. Far away were those years of dirty bars in Boston, then the underground The United States was a hotbed of bored and unbelieving young people of Reaganism. the Generation XThey called him later.

The American dream of abundance & # 39; Promised by Ronald Reagan was a joke for all those who lived their puberty in the 80s, also in the shadow of another Western leader who suppressed every youth presence on the other side of the Atlantic: Margaret Thatcher.

Interestingly, the UN proclaimed 1985 the International Year of Youth, when young people in the Anglo-Saxon world were faced with serious unemployment problems. A year later, the Pixies in Boston, a city that was at that time a mandatory reference for underground movements that had difficulty relinquishing the customs and customs of the most commercial rock. It was just as good as bands like Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü, The Melvins and Dinasour Jr. they started to build a scene that would later not only become the basis of the grunge, but everything that is known today as music indie.

However, "Ben Sisario writes Doolittle (2006) -, that would not have been possible without a band that knew how to combine the melodic simplicity of the Beatles and the rawness of the Beatles punk: the Pixies.

And who are they?

The band's first producer, Gary Smith, has said several times that it was difficult for him to play plays for his boys. I could not say that they were hardcorebut I could not sell them as punk. "Alternative rock was the word that came to mind", Smith confesses Fool The World: The Oral History of a Band Called Pixies (2005), by Josh Frank and Caryn Ganz.

Years later, groups will love it Nirvana, Radiohead or to fade they would openly declare being influenced by the Pixies. In fact, according to an article published by David Fricke in the journal Rolling Stone in 2007, the fame of Pixies it has increased because of Dave Grohl, the former Nirvana drummer confessed that publicly Smells like a teenage spirit it was "a huge plagiarism" of the sound of the Boston band. "Kurt Cobain always wondered what a group would sound like mixing the Beatles with Black Sabbath: that was the Pixies", Observe Fricke.

Usually the bands share a brotherhood that goes beyond the music: a neighborhood, a long-lived friendship, a social class, a musical movement … Without these elements there would never have been an existence Beatles, The Clash or Oasis. The Pixies They are cooked separately. Their union – as bizarre as their music – makes us believe that God is playing dice. Or how else would it have been possible if a humble Christian church musician would end up with bursitis (Black Francis, voice and guitar), a cheerleader and biology student who was already exiled from seven universities (Kim Deal, bajo), an immigrant descendant of one of the most well-off families in the Philippines (Joey Santiago, guitar) and a RadioShack employee who could not find work as an electrical engineer (David Lovering, battery)?

After the release of their first album, Surfer Rosa (1988), Black Francis It was positioned as the antithesis of the rock star of that time. Regardless of the situation, this chubby boy always wore a private school hairstyle, loose trousers, wide shirts and, for special occasions – such as presentations on local television channels – shirts from a Californian man.

Rabies without a channel

In the 1980s, the protest songs no longer ran to the rhythm of the four quarters, but to those of the turntables of hip-hop. In 1985, during a speech in New Jersey, Ronald Reagan used the success of Bruce Springsteen in a converted manner Born in the USA.when he said that "the dreams of the young Americans" rested on that song, it actually criticized the arms policy of the US. "My job," he said, "is to make those dreams come true." At that time it was clear that rock was no longer a participant.

In the undergroundOn the other hand, there was a lot of anger. Unemployed and disbelievers of presidential rhetoric, many young people found in the independent scene the rebellion that rock could no longer offer them. Black Francis He was one of them. His anger -write Frank and Ganz- translated into that irreverent way of singing that is more reminiscent of a rabid child than a star punk.

It all started in a drunken stupor somewhere in Boston in 1986. Francis was disgusted by a woman. He was a big fan of The Beatles and he knew there was no better song for the occasion than that Oh! Darling. He started to sing. Crying "No, no, no, sing like you really hated that bitch! Fuck the Beatles!" Someone shouted in the middle of the party.

"Pixies It was the result of our own limitations. We knew we were not great musicians, so we adjusted. My style was created by accepting my limitations as a guitarist. When we started there were a lot of bands that played as fast and difficult as possible. I saw it as something impossible. For me it was impossible and I decided to look for a sound with the least possible notes. Up to five. If there are more than five tones, you are not really thinking musically enough, "Santiago said in an interview with the digital magazine. playlist, in 2015.

Supervised for four years by Argentine-American bassist Paz Lenchantin -in replacement of Kim Deal-, the Pixies they refuse to disappear. Because little and fantastic have nothing. They are flesh and bones. Musicians of perspiration and saliva who still retain the adolescent spirit at age 50.

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