11.03.2006

After the Unlikely Pixies' Reunion


by Stephen Tringali

In 2004, something entirely unlikely happened—the Pixies reunited.

If this news had come only ten years earlier, the U.S. might have responded with a collective shrug. Who are the Pixies again? Sure, the rock critics would celebrate, and the Pixies’ countless alt-rock admirers—David Bowie, Radiohead, U2, Blur, Bob Mould of Husker Du, Weezer, TV On The Radio—would all gush over the importantance of the band.

But the Pixies didn’t. The announcement came 12 years after the band’s discordant split, more than enough time for the Pixies’ material to have filtered into the stereos and laptops of a new and younger generation.

Still, some worried about the reunion. Many demanded new material. Instead, the band provided a rehashing of the old: a new compilation disk; a previously unreleased concert; another concert featuring footage from the reunion tour; and an acoustic concert in Newport, RI.

And now loudQUIETloud, the documentary chronicling the Pixies’ reunion tour, will be released next Tuesday. While the trailer promises a picturesque look at the Pixies’ reunion gigs, band members, particularly frontman Frank Black, have voiced concerns over the documentary’s content.

Drummer David Lovering had a difficult time coping with his father’s death, but the filmmakers, Steven Cantor and Matthew Galkin, edited the film such that his grief appeared to carry on throughout the entire tour, Black told NME (New Musical Express) according to Pitchfork.

“[Lovering] was OK [for most of the time], but as it got toward the end of the tour, he started drinking heavily,” Black said. “But [Cantor and Galkin] re-edited this [film] to look like it happened in the middle of our tour, and it looked like this whole tour careered [sic] into this drunken stupor with David. It really wasn’t like that at all—he was solid for, like, 90 percent of it.”

Despite these releases, demand for new studio material still remained. Black responded by first saying that a new album was certainly possible. Then, he called off all bets. The Pixies would never record another album, he said. However, Black announced in late October that a new album will be recorded.

“We’re rehearsing in January, if we can persuade [bassist] Kim [Deal] to come out of her house,” Black said. “We offered to go to her, but we figured if we book the rehearsals, she’ll show up.”

The Pixies have, presumably, understood the implications that go along with an endless touring schedule that doesn’t promote new material: they become a static classic rock act like Crosby, Stills, and Nash or (until recently) The Who.

Or have they?

Black later clarified his comments in an interview with The Winnipeg Sun, which ran Nov. 2. There are no definite plans for a new album, he said. “It’s just NME running with some scrap that is much less than that, of course.”

Black described his interview with the weekly British music magazine: “‘What’s the plan, Frank? When’s the new album coming? What's the plan?’…‘Well, we’re getting together to do a little jamming, maybe in January—that’s it, no plans.’…‘Ohhh, they're going to make a new record!’”

So, we’re back to square one. The Pixies are, once again, straddled safely on the fence of uncertainty. There might be a new album, and then again, there might not be. Who really knows? Many fans, including this one, are probably screaming inside their skulls—please just make a decision.

(Promotional photo of the Pixies, courtesy of the loudQUIETloud website. To see a trailer for the Pixies' new film see below.)








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