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Sunday, August 29, 2004

Sad But True

Sometimes it takes a comic book as exciting as Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's We3 to get me comics-blogging again.

Actually, there's really nothing particularly sad about that -- if you're going to write about comics, you might as well write about good comics, y'know? And hell, anything that motivates me to write that much nonsense gets a big thumbs up from me any day of the week!

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Saturday, August 28, 2004

"I'm not swaying darling, I'm dancing -- there's a difference"

I highly recommend that you go download the new Pixies recording of 'Ain't That Pretty At All' that's available on Fluxblog right now if you haven't done so already. As Matthew notes, it sounds exactly like an old school Pixies tune, but it does so without coming on like a dull re-tread -- needless to say I love it!

But you know what? For all that 'Ain't That Pretty At All' is a better showcase for what made the band so damned great in the first place (Deal's cool as fuck bass/vocal lines bouncing off of Black's dementia and Santiago's bizarre surf-punk leads, etc*), 'Bam Thwok' is still way more fun.

It's a fuzzy, repetitive little number, for sure, but that's part of its charm. From the first line onwards the lyrics are almost savant-like in their simplistic zeal:

"I can hear the buzz and modulations of the universe, but you're the first to make me feel it!"

This is brilliant stuff, an absurd, cosmic statement of joyous intent that is both stupid and vital at the same time. The music follows suit as best as it can, with both Black and Deal booming openly and unevenly over the noise they're making. It's weird, silly fun, and by the time they're brashly announcing that they love both the universe and all the listeners, I'm just completely there, y'know? It's an odd little pop-gem that is buzzes with beatific goodwill, like the sonic equivalent of Mike Allred's Madman comics or something.

Writing this now I am reminded of what I left out of my original analysis of what made the Pixies great -- their ability to create weird little pop-rock songs that you wanted to listen to again and again and again. 'Bam Thwok' is one of those songs, for me at least, and right now that's more than enough.

*I'm not trying to dis David Lovering here by the way -- he's a good drummer, but when I think of the Pixies it's not the percussion that I think of first, y'know? Maybe that's my bad, maybe it's not, but either way it's true. **

**I get the feeling that I've ripped someone off (S/FJ maybe?) in my description of the Pixies' sound, but I'm not sure. Feel free to tell me what I'm riffing on here, dear readers!

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