Last year I read a book called “Perfect From Now On; How Indie Rock Saved My Life”. I think I found it via a Goodreads recommendation, I’m not sure. I did think that any book with a title borrowed from a great Built to Spill song and that subtitle warranted a read – it didn’t hurt that the cover was a bank of record sleeve spines.
I’m not going to drop in a book review here (and I’m not about to start a Mumbling About Books blog either, I barely give this one the time I want to) but it wasn’t too bad a read. Nothing amazing. Plenty of amusing revelations and elements familiar to all alt-rock / indie fans, I’m sure. A little too heavy on and Guided By Voices concerned though for my liking. What the book became really warranted a different title.
The reason I bring this book onto a rarely-updated music blog is that it mentions a universal truth – that the Pixies never released a bad song (although I feel it wrongly uses the exception of Bam Thwok).
Across the woefully-short discography of Messrs Black, Santiago, Loverling and Ms Deal there’s not a single duff song. They blazed a way that inspired both exciting new bands (it’s impossible to not point out that Kurt Cobain held them up as a big influence) and pale imitations. Their songs were tightly wrapped blasts of fun, essentially. There were hallmarks – the ‘loud-quiet-loud’ dynamic, the surf-guitar, the yelps and shouts, crazy lyrics and wonderful harmonies – that nobody else could do as well and so consistently.
Plus, they wrote a song about a superhero named Tony. How could I not love a band that does that?
I did, like so many artists, come to the Pixies too late. They weren’t a functioning unit when I started listening to them. The reunion and reunion tours were good and the documentary that accompanied it still makes for fascinating viewing. However, the need for new Pixies music, the curiosity, the eagerness is something that has finally been sated. The sudden release of Bagboy caught everyone – except for the band themselves – by surprise.
This is a new song in the fullest sense. It’s not a throwaway like Bam Thwok (which I still feel is underated) or a cover (the only other song to have emerged since the reunion was a cover of the much-missed Warren Zevon’s Ain’t That Pretty at All ). This is what has been missing in both of those tunes – the Pixies of now. Not a rehash of old songs, not a tepid ‘sounds just like they did on Bossanova’ – this is a tune that shows a band that hasn’t been frozen in time, one that is making contemporary sounds (take note, Soundgarden) and music. It sounds alive and ready to go.
I loved this one off the bat. My adoration for the song and band has even meant I’ve ignored my longterm dislike of being referred to as Tone:
To say I’m excited, then, to hear the new EP-1 would be an understatement. I know that I can go and hear it now. I even have the download files sat in my email. But, I got in there with the vinyl order before they sold out and I’m resisting the urge (thanks to a horrendous 4-hour traffic jam and the stress involved I wasn’t even able to pay attention to the airing of Indie Cindy on X-FM this week) to hear it until I drop the needle down on side one.
Of course, that being said, I’m also excited to hear EP-2 and any that follow as the band utilise the freedom of releasing how they like thanks to not being on a label (I’m sure it also helps divert any pressure away from actually making “The New Album from The Pixies”).
2 thoughts on “This is a song about a superhero named Tone”
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I’d love to have that as my theme song. CB doesn’t live too much in the electronic world but if that tweet is on the level that’s cool. BF is just a good guy. ‘Bagboy’ is a good one. Last thing, I was listening to Warren Zevon yesterday so it fits that I would come across this take. Love the piece.