Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Pixies, Live in Memphis, November 14

I can't believe I got to see the Pixies play live.

The first musical acts that I got into that swam away from the mainstream were Leonard Cohen, The Velvet Underground, and The Pixies.  I'll split up the credit for this between the film Pump Up The Volume and the influence of my friend Hayden, both of whom deserve it.  For the first time in my life, when I was about fourteen, I set aside my Rod Stewart and Aerosmith records for something that sounded decidedly different.

(I remember standing at the Cats Records store in Germantown, Tennessee, trying to decide what to buy Hayden's for Christmas, 1991.  In one hand, I held Lynyrd Skynyrd's greatest hits.  In the other hand, I'm Your Fan, a tribute album to Leonard Cohen with tracks from R.E.M., The Pixies, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.  I didn't buy the Skynyrd.)

The problem with our timing was that we were getting to know a band that was in the last days of their existence.  When I really fell hard for them, in 1994, after buying Surfer Rosa, they were already part of  the past.

But the Pixies came to the Orpheum Theatre this Monday night, and Renee and I were not going to miss our chance to see them.  In the hours before the show, I got an intriguing, mysterious tip from one of my facebook friends about where Kim Deal was likely to be having dinner.  I instantaneously turned from a responsible 34-year old adult to a star-stuck teenager, and Renee and I decided to make reservations at the same restaurant in the hopes of catching a glimpse of her.

We didn't see Kim Deal there, but we did have a fantastic night at the show.  The Pixies played Doolittle in its entirety (including the B-sides), plus an encore of greatest hits from their other albums.  Renee came away with a complete understanding of my Kim Deal admiration, and we both went to bed with our ears ringing.

Great job, Pixies!

The Pixies put out five records from 1987-1991.  Here are my favorite tracks of each album.

1. "The Holiday Song," Come On Pilgrim (1987) 

2. "Bone Machine," Surfer Rosa (1988) 

3. "Hey!" Doolittle (1989)

4. "Alison," Bossanova (1990)

5. "Letter to Memphis," Trompe le Monde (1991)

Bonus: "Wave of Mutilation (U.K. Surf),"  B-Sides and Rarities


  1. But, they didn't play Letter to Memphis. I'm dying to know in which restaurant you were trying to stalk Kim! I'd eat there just because of the rumor.

  2. I must protect my sources! And yeah, I was bummed we didn't get "Letter to Memphis," too. That song is wicked awesome.