Week 26 – The Pixies: Surfer Rosa/Come On Pilgrim

10 Feb


I don’t have a favourite band. I lack the conviction to make that kind of decision. What if you went and got a tattoo, and then your previously hailed idols made some dreadful rap metal album? Even if they split up or died (YES DIED)  it doesn’t mean to say they can’t reform in some new and horrible way.  No, I just don’t trust these chaotic unions enough to pin all my hopes on just one. Or even five, or ten.

But if I DID have a favourite band, it would probably be the Pixies.

In spite of a lot of bands trying to sound like the Pixies (see: any band I have ever been in, for at least one song, and really badly), nobody really does. And it goes without saying that the Pixies don’t sound like anyone else. There was no musical evolution here, as far as I’m concerned there was the big bang and then there were the Pixies, and then there were a lot of people who tried to sound like them but failed.

Whenever I have sat down and tried to write a song that’s half as brilliant as the Pixies, my thought process kind of goes like this: “Just be yourself, and have no influences. Apart from, maybe, keeping it nice and simple. And then sing something sexually deviant or in Spanish or, better yet, something sexually deviant in Spanish over the top…. and then think for a bit about being a cowboy in a desert surrounded by bleached skulls and then if you were that cowboy what guitar solo you would play, and then…. oh, you’ve written a song that is clearly trying to be the Pixies but is only 2% as good. Again.”

This is my favourite Pixies album, even though all of them are my favourites.

Maybe Pixies songs would make good lullabies, if you didn’t think too much about the words.

Maybe getting a tattoo of a band is more respectful than endlessly trying to write songs that sound like them.


Incidentally I had a huge poster of this cover on my bedroom wall when I was a teenager, and because it has naked boobies on it, my mum said she thought I was gay for a while. Ah, mums.


3 Responses to “Week 26 – The Pixies: Surfer Rosa/Come On Pilgrim”

  1. Sam Denney (@samdenney) February 10, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    I gotta try and get into the Pixies. P.S. This blog is ace.

  2. siobhanjc February 18, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    I love the Pixies. That is all.

  3. futurepilgrim March 30, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    I feel exactly the same way. I won’t commit to a favorite, but if I did it would be the Pixies. I went to their show about 3 years ago and surprised myself by singing along – practically every word – to practically every song without thinking about it. I had no idea.

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