While waiting for Interpol to take the stage last Friday, I overheard a guy much younger than I excitedly tell his friends the Pixies are planning a reunion tour in April and that this was great news. I barged into the conversation to inform him that, sadly, this is not great news because they were a terrible live act. He was still in elementary school when I was out of college and seeing the Pixies in 1989-1992, so he never witnessed that, for all their innovation and cool weirdness, the Pixies were largely charisma-free and rather dull on stage.
On the karma scale, I would much sooner see the Pixies finally get rich
from their artistic impact than the Sex Pistols if only because John
Lydon is an arrogant bastard who needs to get over himself, a criticism
I would never lob at Black Francis after interviewing him several
times. But in terms of influential bands that broke up before getting
their due, I'd prefer to see a reunion tour by the Replacements. They
were much more volatile and vibrant live than the Pixies. Besides, it
would save Tommy Stinson from having to stay with Guns N' Roses, and,
while I wouldn't wish substance addiction on anyone, Paul Westerberg
wrote better songs before he got sober.
Maybe it's just time for a kick-ass Pixies box set. Or someone should
feature "Gigantic" or "Debaser" or "Tony's Theme" prominently in
a movie soundtrack. At least David Bowie has already done his part in
helping to expose them with a great cover of "Cactus" on Heathen.