Pixies Celebrate 20 Years of “Doolittle” at L.A. Tour Launch

November 5th, 2009 by Steve Appleford Leave a reply »

Photo: Webber/WireImage

There are drawbacks to performing an entire album live in concert — even for the Pixies, who unfurled 1989’s groundbreaking Doolittle on Wednesday in the first of three sold-out nights at the Hollywood Palladium. “You can’t skip it if you don’t like any of the songs,” bassist-singer-chatterbox Kim Deal noted onstage with a blissful grin. “You have to listen to all of them.”

The reunited Pixies began a nine-city U.S. Doolittle Tour this week in Los Angeles, marking the 20th anniversary of their alt-rock classic. Its intense mix of sonic dementia and soaring pop melody was brought to life in a 90-minute set filled out with memorable, if overlooked Pixies B sides from the same era, beginning with the heavy thump of “Dancing the Manta Ray,” the thrashing Spanish guitar of “Weird At My School” and the blistering, spooky surf sounds of “Bailey’s Walk.”

Before stepping onstage, the Pixies began with an unexpected screening of the 1929 surrealistic silent short Un chien andalou, with its notorious images of a sliced eyeball, severed hand, a man in nun’s clothing and other provocative visuals to warm a Pixie’s soul. It was directed by Luis Bunuel, the subject of the band’s raging “Debaser,” which opens Doolittle with a shriek of madness and release from singer-guitarist Black Francis: “Got me a movie / I want you to know/slicing up eyeballs . . .!”

Like the Doolittle album, the performance Wednesday was an unsteady balance of darkness and light, from howls of unease to the warmth of “Here Comes Your Man,” as the band’s faces were spread out on the big screen behind them, goofing in black and white like the Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night. After some sci-fi gibberish from Francis on &...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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