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   Now in our fifth calendar year
    PCR #238  (Vol. 5, No. 42)  This edition is for the week of October 11--17, 2004.
The Digital Divide by Terence Nuzum
CONCERT REVIEW    by Terence Nuzum

The Pixies
w/ The Thrills

USF Sundome October 8, 2004

The moment was at hand. It didn't really hit me till after The Thrills set (which I missed except for two songs. Didn't miss much by what I heard) about 10 mins later, as the roadies tuned the guitars, etc., that I was..........seeing the Pixies!!!!!!!!! My favorite band and the most influential band of the '80s. The band that gave birth to a dozen lousy rip-off grunge bands. The band who gave birth to that watery guitar chords and wacky ironic yelps and of course the band who gave us Kim Deal's voice, that raspy angelic unconventional vocal. Never did I think I'd see them regroup, much less live in concert in Tampa!!! This to alt-rock fans and indie rock kids is like the modern version of a second coming of the Beatles.

The great ones started the set by walking out to a large applause calmly and collectivley and then bashing into "Bone Machine". After a few minutes in as Frank Black belted out his demonic David Byrne howl it felt like home. Old friends had come back. They chugged through all the greats with aplomb from "Planet of Sound" to "Debaser" and even "Wave of Mutilation (surf UK version)". Black sounded as if nothing had changed. After hearing his solo albums all us fans were worried he coundn't hit those notes anymore. He dispelled any fears proving that his raspy vocals on his solo output was a conscious decision. His volcanic scream blew everything thing away on songs like "Head On" and "U-Mass" yet at the same time had the whiny twang in perfert form for the great '80s coulda-been-a-hit "Here Comes Your Man". Guitarist Joey Santiago was on top form perfectly recreating his watery floating chords and jagged riffs. During his solo on "Vamos", Santiago, in typical Pixies fashion, punk rock mocked Jimmy Page by setting his open chord feedback guitar on its stand and beat it with a drum stick and then after a bit of squeal and knob tweeking grabbed it as Black manically strummed on his acoustic and burst back into the song. Drummer David Lovering seemed to jsut be the laid back one as he pounding out song for song with an echoing intesity that invoked more of Surfa Rosa than the '80ish drums on Doolittle.

Of course now to the coolest of the cool, Kim Deal. She is/was every rock girl's role model and every rock boy's dream girl. Kim's voice was great live and simply lulled you in. She and not Black sang their infamous cover of "In Heaven", from the Eraserhead soundtrack, and made it into a lullaby rather than Black's manic screech. She also sang her only penned Pixies tune "Gigantic" and, of course, the feeling hearing this is explained in its title. The great thing about Kim Deal--- as she belted rock 'n roll smiling that little girl smile all the while chain-smoking and downing beers like a biker chick---is that she seemed like it was the best time of her life and that playing every song was the best thing in her life even though this must be like their 100th gig this year.

The band looked happy, too, as if nothing had changed even though the 30-year-olds mingled with the too-young-to-have-known-thems. They have transcended their era and still sound fresh. They made it even if they didn't get the credit in their time. They bowed to an enormous applause far larger than the audience there. They smiled even though Black was egotiscal by putting his hand on his hips and nodding he knew he was right. Nirvana is gone. Smashing Pumpkins are gone. Pavement is gone. They are all gone but the originators stand tall. They didn't fit in the college rock '80s and were too weird for the mainstreaming of their sound in the '90s but now its all caught up with them. And as they walked off the stage after the devilish encore of "Caribou", I'm sure I was not the only one with a sadness because it felt like a party that you never wanted to end, friends you never want to say goodbye to. Ill never forget it.

"Cease to resist, giving my goodbye
Drive my car into the ocean
You think I'm dead, but I sail away"

"The Digital Divide" is ©2004 by Terence Nuzum..  All photographs of The Pixies concert were taken by Terence Nuzum, ©2004.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.