Monday, November 09, 2009

Hey Two Ways

You can listen to it crunchy (from back in the day):



Or listen to it sweet (as a song with many uhs and whores and screams will allow):



And since the Pixies are doing Doolittle in its entirety live for its 20th anniversary, I get one more chance to feel the old fart I am. Thanks, Pixies.

So 1989 was pretty much set to the soundtrack of Doolittle, as I'm sure it was for many folks my age (+/- 3),the last blast of a decade that has too bad a rap given it offered up glories like the Replacements and Husker Du, and that's not even leaving MN (then there's Tom Waits' best, fine T-Heads, the early stirring of YLT, perhaps the Mekons' two best--the '80s weren't just MTV, ok?). Deliciously snotty and snarly set to sneaky tunes, it's the perfect disc for someone trying not to be a productive worker in society while still making enough money to get by. My first year out of grad school, 88-89, and my reward for those multiple masters was teaching comp at Penn State, three course per semester, "earning" a wondrous $19K. And we wonder why we are a nation of illiterates (we certainly don't pay people to teach us out of that hole).

So something that let me play-act feeling, really feeling, well, bring it on. Of course it seems Black Francis is doing the same, tipping his hand writing a song to kick off the album whose images he steals from Bunuel, both arty enough and at enough remove to seem safe even when shouting about "slicing up eyeballs." Surrealism is a romp in comparison to Dada, which, after all, rose within WW I's European ruin; rock n roll surrealism 60 years on is nearly quaint. (Off-topic subject--what if Bunuel started a band?)

Maybe that's why I don't listen to the album much anymore. Grown too comfortable to even feel the need for the fake fight, the miming at windmill tilting. But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the simplicity of the line "Uh, says the man to the lady." Let's just boil this sucker down, what do you say? Plus the guitar gets to go where air quotes fear to tread.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Marty said...

I love this, love Doolittle, and the only complaint I ever had about the Pixies was this: Frank, let Kim sing more, please?. They seem to be getting along in their reunion shows, though. Twenty-year-old Doolittle might make one feel old, but seeing big Frank on TV recently (and Exene Cervenka, for that matter, plus getting invitations from AARP, and . . .)makes me feel even older. But the era did put out some great music and you could hear it as long as you were near a good college radio station with a super-knowledgeable dj or two. :)

wv: drearmes (not quite nightmares?)

2:06 PM  
Blogger E-6 said...

Or listen to it sweet (as a song with many uhs and whores and screams will allow)

That's rich, sir. God bless the Pixies. Especially Kim.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous James said...

Love the then and now.

I took a tripfrom Rhode Island to Maine in '90. A tape got stuck in the deck. Doolittle on ones side. Indigo Girls Strange Fire on the other. Those 2 albums hold a special place in my heart, though I rarely listen to either anymore.

The word verification is "tompe" as in almost le monde.

1:24 PM  

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