It’s raining when I walk out the door this morning. I get into my car and put the faceplate on my radio and put in my copy of The Pixies album Doolittle.
The first song is “Debaser”:
The simple bass leads me to some kind of window in my mind. And as the guitars hit and Black Francis starts to scream his smart, primal poetry -- the window opens. I am singing and screaming along. Getting out. Letting out all the frustrations dropped on me by life, my family, the rain.
The people at the bus stop stare at me. I smile. Turn up the volume. Lean back in my seat.
Kim Deal’s feminine, sparse backups are like an angel on my shoulder. Reminding me of grace in all this confusion.
The next song on Doolittle is “Tame”:
How does he do that? He’s whispering, he’s yelling, yet somehow it’s all melodic. The part where he breathes is echoed by Kim’s counter-harmony. What is happening?
The third song is “Wave of Mutilation”:
Why does this rock band top all others in modern rock to me? Is it the space they leave in between (instead of filling every song up with noise)? Is it that the melodies are so different for every song? The way the songs on this record are so memorable I find myself humming them all day?
Maybe this is why Seattle is such a music hub. We NEED the music. Its light, expression, energy...
In my car with The Pixies, I’m as happy as I’ve ever been. And I can’t believe next Friday at the Paramount I’ll see this band perform Doolittle in its entirety. My friend Tiffany and I will be there, singing along to every melody line, every word. Until then it’s just me and the Pixies.
Michele Myers spins on KEXP Saturday afternoons from 3-6. Every week she chooses a favorite artist to spotlight and plays 3 songs in a row (the legal limit) from the artist. She also produces KEXP Documentaries and this week will run a feature on Kraftwerk on her Saturday afternoon show at 4pm, in honor of the release of their new 8-CD box set.