PIXIES. 2004

Distributor: Beggars Banquet

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Great live performances; good videos; pleasing updating interviews; so-so road-trip video, this is a great DVD for Pixies fans, with over two hours of material focusing mainly on 1988 & 1989. The disc has several sections: "Live at the Town Country Club" 1988 concert; a set of promotional videos; a documentary of their whole career called "Gouge" with perhaps too many Brits just saying how good the Pixies were; "On the Road" a documentary of their 1989 "Sex & Death" tour in Europe.

Charles Thompson (Black Francis) wrote/sang wonderful stuff. The Pixies were not as innovative as this hyper-praising DVD says, but they were a great band, & Charles' influences (from punks & John Lennon & especially the Velvet Underground), & his influence in turn on the whole Grunge era, are obvious.

The Pixies were one of the most "real" rockers of the post-punk era. No flashy costumes or exploding dirigibles, just three guys & a gal rocking. This DVD captures them to near perfection in the archive material at the height of their powers. It would have been a five-star DVD except for short-shrifting Kim Deal in the updating material.

Charles' ego never did permit Kim to do much beyond bass guitar & back-up vocals, yet their single best song was not by Charles, it was "Gigantic" written/sung by Kim. In the disc's documentary material, the three lads have updating interviews (& have gotten prematurely fat or homely in the intervening years, though still wonderful fellows). Kim however is barely mentioned -- the only Pixie not interviewed. This is like interviewing everyone in Fleetwood Mac & noting in passing that Stevie Nicks was helpful.

Pixies began performing together in reunion in 2004, so it can't be Kim's drinking & drugs kept her out of the loop, or the band never forgave her leaving when Charles's writing was slipping anyway. One wonders if jealousies persist since Kim was the only one with a post-Pixies career, making it look all the worse that Charles never let her be featured much.

The Pixies remained a sensationally effective ego trip for Charles alone, & they might've had a couple more years or albums in them except for always under-utilizing Kim hence diminishing the whole band's potential. Whatever the reason, her absence in the "Gouge" interviews is glaring & causes a viewer to wonder why.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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